We continue our Getting to Know You series with an interview with Anthony Fleet. A Philadelphia native, Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from La Salle University. He’s been an avid sports fan since he was 8 years old, and he wanted to pursue sports broadcasting. However, during his time at La Salle, he explored corporate internships, which led him to Day & Zimmermann and Subaru of America. These internships allowed him to gain valuable experience and help expand his communications skills.
Before graduating from La Salle, Anthony began considering graduate school. A former professor and mentor suggested applying at Northwestern University, a school that wasn’t on his radar having never left the East coast. He was accepted to Medill School’s Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program, so he packed his bags and moved to Chicago—a decision he doesn’t regret. The IMC program opened doors for him that led him to an internship in San Francisco and study abroad opportunity in Paris. He completed his master’s degree in 2017.
After working as a contractor at UL as a content specialist, Anthony landed a similar role at Beam Suntory, a premium spirits company, located in the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago.
Tell us about your career at Beam Suntory.
“I am on the Corporate Communications team and I touch both internal and external communications. I’m responsible for the content on our intranet, create posts for our corporate social accounts, support the communications for our Global Supply Chain function, and help produce global and functional town hall meetings. I also partner with our creative director to produce some videos and other creative assets. Before the pandemic, I was able to travel to several of our distilleries outside of the U.S. I’ve been to the UK and Japan. It allows me to get an up-close look of what’s happening in different locations, meet our people and tell their stories. I have a great team and a manager who’s entrusted me with a lot of different responsibilities.’
I also have the pleasure of supporting our company’s D&I efforts, specifically with leading BOLD, our Black Employee Impact Group. BOLD is not an acronym but instead encourages members to be courageous to stand up for equity and have open, candid conversations with colleagues about pertinent issues. BOLD is a representative voice for Beam Suntory’s Black employees and works with the organization to help make our workplace diverse, inclusive and equitable.”
How can communicators help their organization create an inclusive culture and advance equity for diverse groups of people in the workplace?
“I recommend consulting with employee resource groups (if your company has them) to help better understand how to effectively craft messages. Working with these groups can also bridge gaps that might exist among leadership teams, communications teams and diverse employees.’
Also, be a thought leader in your space by consistently educating yourself. There are plenty of resources available to learn more about the social inequalities that exist. I would also consider outsourcing or contracting diverse agencies that specialize in cultural communications.”
How did you become involved with the IABC?
“Kellie Harris, an IABC Board Member, and fellow IMC graduate, recruited me to join her on the board when she was invited. I’m part of the PR & Marketing team. It’s been a good experience that has allowed me to expand my network.”
Tell us about your life outside of Beam Suntory.
I’m mostly a homebody who likes to hang out with small groups of friends. Since working at a spirits company, I’ve stumbled into mixology and realized I’m pretty good—if I do say so myself! I also enjoy playing board games. My favorites are Scrabble and Pegs & Jokers. For those of you not familiar with the latter, I highly recommend you give it a try!’
I’m a huge fan of Philly’s sports teams, so any time I get to watch a game, I’m tuned in. I tend to watch more from an analytical perspective than just as a fan. I still have a little sports broadcaster inside of me.”
What do you like to do for fun?
“I’ve had the opportunity to travel for school, work and fun. I love to take public transportation in every city I visit. I took the Tube in London and the Bullet train in Japan. However, there were certain places I visited that did not have a robust public transportation system. When I was in Scotland, I had to rent a car, which meant I had to drive on the other side of the road! That was a surreal experience. At times, I found myself accidentally in the other lane. Thankfully I wasn’t dealing with Chicago rush hour traffic!”
Do you know someone who should be featured in the Getting to Know You series or would you like to be? Please contact Rhonda Carlson.