In our 2023 issue, we’re shining the light on some outstanding leading ladies for all their accomplishments and contributions to society.
Account Director, Saatchi & Saatchi X
Sarah White’s story starts in Memphis. She attended an all-girls high school called St. Agnes Academy, which truly gave her a front row seat to the camaraderie of women and a taste for giving back. She and her husband moved to NWA about 11 years ago for his Ph.D. program at the University of Arkansas. A Georgia Bulldog herself, she had no idea she would eventually be a Razorback, too – so she hasn’t perfected her Hog Call just yet. Sarah and her husband, Jacob, have been married 10 years, have a 4-year-old daughter named Ruthie, and rescued a boxer. Professionally, she spends her time getting you to buy cat food and dog treats! She has been at Saatchi & Saatchi X for the past eight years, and she currently leads its Smucker’s business. Her job is at the intersection of leadership, curiosity and great brands – which is a fun combo and an exciting challenge.
B.A. History, Minor in Spanish, University of Georgia in Athens
Executive M.B.A. Candidate, University of Arkansas
When did you know what you wanted to do?
Looking back I can see it – the Girl Scouts were my first taste of leadership and business: a team environment, goals by way of badges earned, and of course, cookie sales. I was all in. I meticulously worked my go-to-market plan, the tablescape outside the grocer and my elevator pitch. My neighborhood route was strategically planned, and I delegated a sales quota to my parents. This led me to top cookie sale stardom and influence within the troop. So maybe I haven’t always known what to call it, but I have been in pursuit of this life since I was a kid. I’ve been on this journey of finding my “why” and learning what makes great leaders in business. This passion is one of the many reasons I pursued the Executive M.B.A. program with the Walton College of Business. It is as much about propelling my career journey as it is about gaining the confidence to take business and personal risks.
Have you stayed on a straight path to your career goal?
It hasn’t been a straight path, but isn’t that part of the fun? It’s OK if your career journey looks a bit like Chutes and Ladders. Some of the most painful experiences can be the most valuable, over time. Growth doesn’t mean title. It could be a skill or an experience – find the opportunity within the task. Hold yourself accountable to your own growth and hold true to your purpose.
Best part of your job:
Culture. Prioritizing the people is what makes our work so good.
Client relationships. I love getting to know my clients on a personal level, but I also love walking into a mess and helping clients solve some of their toughest challenges. We might fall down and break things along the way, but we learn together and we make a great team.
Quality you admire most in women:
Is there anything that women cannot do? We are truly superheroes. I admire our grit and tenacity. We show up, and we push through.
What nonprofits are you involved with and why?
My heart and energy has been with the Children’s Safety Center of Washington County for the past five years. I bring my own childhood experience to my role on the board of directors, and the work of this organization is incredibly special to me. I am also active with NextUp and am a Junior League of Northwest Arkansas sustainer.
What do you for fun? Any hobbies?
When I am not working, you can find me on the tennis court. I have been playing since I was a kid, and will likely still be playing into my golden years. I also enjoy travel, reading, volunteering, wine and bubbly, the Enneagram, grocery stores, cooking, gardening and live music.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
The underdogs of the world.
Enjoy the journey. As a self-professed Enneagram 3, I am by nature an Achiever. Sometimes I have to remind myself to be patient. I don’t have to scurry to the top of the mountain as quickly as I might think. Take some pit stops, talk to people, challenge yourself, and once you summit the mountain, give yourself grace and the ability to sit with your achievements.
Best advice you’ve ever received:
Never lose sight of prioritizing PEOPLE.
Surprising fact about you:
Seems like colors have permeated my life. My maiden name was Gray and then I went to White. Our neighbors growing up were the Greens!
Thing you’re most proud of:
I am most proud of being a mom to my sweet Ruthie. I want to raise her for herself, not someone else. I hope she keeps her sass and spunk. It’s an eye roll now, but I know these are qualities that will serve her well later in life.
Most used app on your phone:
The podcast app gets plenty of play on my phone. My favorite feeds are Hidden Brain, Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris, and Re:Thinking with Adam Grant.
If you won the lottery, what cause would you support?
This one is easy. The Children’s Safety Center would be my first phone call.
You can view Sarah’s page in the Leading Ladies segment of the 2023 3W Magazine here.