CUMMING — A member of the Forsyth County News’ award-winning advertising team took top honors at a recent Georgia Press Association event.
Lou Ann Brownlee, who has worked at the FCN as an advertising sales representative for almost two years, was named the association’s Salesperson of the Year during an annual advertising awards conference last weekend.
Brownlee said receiving the statewide recognition was an honor that she wasn’t quite anticipating.
“I was a little surprised,” she said. “There were other salespeople there who have certainly been in newspaper advertising sales longer than I have, so they had been at conventions in the past and this was my first one.”
Ryan Garmon, the newspaper’s advertising manager, who nominated Brownlee for the recognition, was not surprised she won.
“I submitted information lauding Lou Ann’s accomplishments throughout 2013, and the GPA selection committee, seeing what I see on a day-to-day basis, recognized her as the top salesperson of the year,” Garmon said.
“I am extremely happy for Lou Ann and she deserves all of the recognition she receives for her hard work. As I stated in the final line of the submission, she makes my job easier.”
Garmon said Brownlee has a special connection to her customers.
“I have witnessed the way in which Lou Ann’s advertisers interact with her,” he said. “They essentially treat her like family because she gets to know their business inside and out, and offers them the best marketing solutions to help them grow.”
Brownlee, who has spent her entire career in sales — first in voice, data cabling and phone systems, and later for the Yellow Pages before joining the FCN — said she is thankful to her customers.
“When your kids grow up and go away, [customers] sort of become like your extended family,” she said. “I tend to find out lots about them because every business, especially every small business, is really a story about the owner.
“I’m thankful that they opened up and let me in.”
Brownlee and her husband, Rickie, have lived in Forsyth County for the past four years. Together, they have six children ranging in age from 18 to 40, and 10 grandchildren.