BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –
In a world full of marketing, public relation specialists, and networking, it can feel complex and overwhelming. The truth is, each and every person has a role in the world of marketing. People are marketing a product everyday, that product is themselves and the things they are most passionate about. Sonya Maye, Marketing and Public Relations Director at Mena Regional Health System, is passionately promoting things like the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Mena hospital.
Sonya is married to Bryan Maye, agriculture teacher at Mena and operator of Maye Club Lambs Farm. She has been serving in the role as Marketing and Public Relations Specialist for nearly four years now. In her time at the hospital, she has passionately promoted the hospital and the services provided to people in the community.
Before she ever planned an event for the hospital or made any marketing plans, Sonya was a school teacher. “I have my Bachelors of Science in Education and I taught for 12 years. I was approached about a marketing opportunity in Oklahoma and after careful consideration I took it. Some time after that, I received the opportunity to come to Mena,” says Sonya.
Since coming to Mena, Sonya has really devoted herself to the task of serving her community in a variety of ways. One of the ways that she does so is through the local Chamber of Commerce, where she serves as secretary. This is her second year to serve the board as secretary, but has been a member of the board for three years. “Our goal for the Chamber is to advance the general welfare and prosperity of the area citizens and businesses and we do that in several ways. One way is that we provide annual scholarships for students in Polk County through funds raised at our annual Polk County Chamber Awards Banquet. This year we were fortunate enough to raise over $10,000 that can go to students,” beams Sonya.
In addition to her time and service given to the Chamber, Sonya is also a member of the Rotary Club of Mena and, she serves on the Mena Regional Support Foundation, a philanthropic avenue for money to be donated to MRHS. The motto for Rotary Club is ‘Service about Self’, an ideal that Sonya very much embodies. “My dad taught me the value of hard work growing up and Mom always taught me to give back. If you want your community to be successful and flourish, then we each have our part to play,” says Sonya. One of the ways that Sonya and fellow members of the Rotary Club are doing that in Mena is by promoting literacy among children in Polk County. “Locally, we personally deliver dictionaries to all 3rd grade students in the county in hopes that we can improve literacy and education among the children of our community,” says Sonya proudly.
One of the ways that Sonya is helping the community is by supporting the hospital through the support foundation [MRHS Foundation] in its attempt to provide quality care for patients. “Our goal is to assist the hospital through funding equipment and facility improvements. We are very grateful for everyone who has given over the years.” Recently, the MRHS Foundation hosted their 3rd Annual Foundation Frenzy Color Run, which has become a signature fundraising event. The event is a great time for families to take part in an activity that encourages family involvement, but also supports and gives back to the hospital as a whole. “We are really fortunate to have the support that we do. Not only is the Foundation supported by many in the community, but by numerous MRHS employees who donate to the foundation monthly. In order to show our appreciation, we host an employee appreciation luncheon.
When Sonya isn’t at work or involved with one of her other service opportunities, she can be found outside somewhere. “Most people that see me wouldn’t think this, but I love being outside. I love the outdoors, fishing, camping, hunting, I love all of it. I also really love to cook for my family and exercise,” Sonya says with a smile. Sonya and Brian stay busy outside of their regular jobs with the day to day operation of their farm. “It keeps us pretty busy. There is always something to be doing. Even when we vacation, we just go down to Gilham so we are close enough still for the animals.” Although Sonya hasn’t been in Mena long, it is her home, it feels like family, “This is a wonderful community that is so welcoming and friendly. It feels like a close-knit family.”
Sonya is a great reminder of the influence that we each can have around us. Through telling others about the things we love and are excited about, there is a real possibly to help bring about positive change. “Giving back is rewarding. Making an impact for the intentional good of others is wonderful.”