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Jill Gregory is the head of NASCAR’s Charlotte office (about 500 people) and serves as the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at NASCAR.
Last week, I hopped on the elevator, pushed floor 20 (the top floor) and walked to meet Jill in her corner office with large glass walls overlooking Uptown. I found her thoughtful, passionate and smart — all with a slightly quiet confidence. She’s the type of person you want as a boss.
Here’s how Jill works.
To-do list manager?
Before I leave each day, I try to get a good sense of what tomorrow looks like. I’m old school. I have a notepad. On the front, I list all my business to-dos. On the back, I list all my personal to-dos.
Phone and computer setup?
iPhone 7. I know, I know, it’s time to upgrade.
Dell with dual monitors at the office, Mac at home.
Apps you can’t live without?
Spotify. I have to have music. I like old school hip-hop. They sent me a notification the other day that I haven’t downloaded the Tupac station yet.
Social media habits?
I’m mostly on Twitter and Instagram.
I wish I went to bed earlier, but I don’t get to bed until 11:30 p.m. and I’m up by 6 a.m. I try to work out in the mornings, but it doesn’t always happen. I’m into cycling. I go to Flywheel on Providence.
Do you drink coffee? What do you eat for breakfast?
I make coffee at the house. I’ll go down and make a cup. I use a Jura coffee maker. It’s amazing, makes just one cup at a time.
For breakfast, I’ll use some Naked Whey and throw some fruit or some spinach in there for a smoothie.
Best part about working at NASCAR?
You don’t have a set schedule or know what to expect each day. If you want to know exactly what’s going to happen, we’re not the place for you to work.
What are some unusual habits you have?
The team finds that I have a special ability to remember an old email and then ask about the status. I’m pretty organized. I don’t forget about a lot of things.
What everyday thing are you really good at?
I’m a good communicator. I’m good at getting the right people in the mix and making sure they all know what their role is.
Best time-saving shortcut or life hack?
I travel a ton, so I’m pre-packed at all times. I’ve got a mirror image of what I have at home so that I can just grab-and-go.
I bought an Away bag that has the charger. It comes with the packing cubes, which I wasn’t sure about, but I love now. I love organization.
When hiring, what do you look for in job candidates?
I think of it like a sports draft. I’m not looking for a specific skill, I want the best available athlete. They can learn NASCAR. I need people who are passionate, committed and want to jump in.
Advice to your 30-year-old self?
Relax. Take a seat at the front of the table. Don’t worry so much that you’ll be wrong or wait for the perfect opportunity, just participate. Jump in and see where it goes.
What’s your favorite Charlotte restaurant and go-to bar?
What are you involved in outside of work?
I’m very involved with the Light the Night Walk here in Charlotte. It’s for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which has an amazing chapter here.
If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing?
I’d be a winemaker in Napa or Sonoma.
What do you read to stay up to date in the fast-changing marketing and media world?
I love to read. I read the trade publications, but I also read a lot of lifestyle and general interest publications. You’ve got to be well-versed in what’s happening in the world — and then you can apply that to your vertical.
Best job advice you’ve received?
Be authentic to who you are.
And do what you say you’re going to do at the time you said you were going to do it.
A lot of people say “chase your passion” — but then people don’t know exactly what you want to do. You’ve got to figure out what makes you happy and how you can do more of that — if it’s a job that’s great if it ends up being a hobby, that’s great. There doesn’t always have to be this end results.
What other Charlottean would you like to answer these questions?
Felix Sabates. He always has fantastic stories to tell.