When I was at The University of Texas as an undergraduate, I knew I wanted to stay in the academic environment. I was going to become an Economist and a professor of Economics and study game theory and the transition from a centrally planned economy to a free-market economy (i.e. - going from communism to capitalism, which was nicely timed as the Berlin wall fell and Russian communism was collapsing). Once I started studying for my PhD at SMU, however, I
My professional background has a foundation and origin in traditional, offline marketing, including direct mail marketing, graphic design, printed collateral, POS marketing, ROI analysis, and strategy. Once I discovered the Internet in 1993, I knew that was where I had to be. I have been an online professional since 1994, starting with Toyota Motor Sales and Lexus, Inc. at corporate headquarters in Torrance, California, to help create their first online parts catalog on "The Internetworks" across the US. I was part of some amazing teams in the automotive industry (Toyota, Lexus, Saab), the rock concert lighting industry (The Obie Company, PRG), the ski industry (Crested Butte Mountain Resort), gaming (Pala Casino) and the travel industry (Grand Pacific Resorts) as a corporate webmaster, Internet marketing manager and email marketing specialist. Once I upgraded to motherhood, I struck out on my own (cyndismith.com, webvixn.com) and acted as a marketing and e-commerce consultant for several large Silicon Valley firms and developed websites for small-to-medium-sized businesses across the United States and in the UK. I also happily dived in to Social Media Marketing and Application Development as Internet Marketing evolved over time, and was at one time the ranked #2 on Twitter in Silicon Valley.
Though California was fun (and weird, especially for a recovering Texan), and Silicon Valley/San Francisco are the tech hubs of the planet, we truly wanted to move back to the Gunnison/Crested Butte area. We love this place. Becoming the Mountaineer's Web Manager afforded me the opportunity to pursue two of my passions: the web and higher education. It is an honor to be a part of the #MountaineerNation and to be a part of improving the online experience for our current students and for students who are looking for that perfect place to go to college and start their lives. I can't think of a better place than Western! #WesternUp #WeAreWestern