Public Affairs / Traffic Safety
American Automobile Association (AAA)
Charlene has been with AAA since 2014 and in this month’s blog she shares about her career and passion.
Q: Please tell us about AAA and your role in Public Affairs/Traffic Safety?
A: As an organization we focus on child passenger safety, teen drivers, and senior driving mobility. We also provide business lines of insurance, travel, financial and car care to the communities we serve. I am blessed to work for a company who also gives back to the community through our traffic safety advocacy. My role at AAA is in our Public Affairs team where I manage all of our traffic safety initiatives for Illinois and northern Indiana.
Q: What makes you excited about AAA and the impact you are making?
A: For more than 100 years AAA has been an organization that looks out for their members and the motoring public. I am proud to be a piece of that history and thankful I get to wake up starting my workday knowing I am able to save lives and prevent injuries due to motor vehicle crashes.
Q: What advice would you give for other women in business?
A: It is important to give back to others. It is easy to get lost in what we have going on in our business and personal lives. Life should not be about, “What is in it for me?” but “What can I do to help and connect others together?” When we give of ourselves, our giving comes back to us twofold. Also, read a new book every month to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone.
Q: You are involved in the Chamber and community. Please tell us about the organizations and why you are passionate about them.
A: I am an active member of the Chamber’s Women of Business Outreach Committee, the Exchange Club of Naperville, Indiebound Naperville, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, and volunteer my photography services for local animal rescue organizations. I am also the treasurer for Illinois State Police Memorial Park Board which is very dear to my heart.
Q: What are some of your hobbies?
A: During my free time I enjoy reading and capturing life’s moments with my camera. My passion for photography has grown into me owning a local photography business and creating priceless family heirlooms for my clients.
Q: What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned along the way?
A: When I was in my twenties, I was told that as we age time goes by quicker. At the time I thought, “24 hours is 24 hours.” Now that I am older, time does seem to be going by awfully quick and because of this I try to fill my days with people and experiences that feed my soul.
Q. What’s your favorite thing to do in Naperville?
A: I appreciate slowing down and spending time with my husband and friends enjoying dinner at one of the many sushi restaurants in Naperville.
Other facts about Charlene
I earned a Masters’ Degree in Public Administration and for the past 15 years I have worked in public relations with the past 9 years focused heavily in traffic safety. I live in Naperville with my husband, bonus daughters and three rescue dogs. I also have two additional bonus children who are away attending college and my son is in the Army National Guard training to be Combat Medic and attending Loyola University.