Sara Malo is the President/COO of LinkUnite, a community of executive women in digital marketing and the VP of Partnerships at Lead Generation World. She started LinkUnite in 2022 with Amanda Farris after realizing that there was a need for support and representation for executive women in the male-dominated digital marketing industry.
Malo and Farris both have over 30 years of experience in the industry and are dedicated to providing value to their members, partners, and ambassadors.
Malo has seen significant changes in the industry’s gender representation and equality over the years, from the days when the only women representation was booth babes at events to now having women owners, Presidents, and CEO’s at the forefront. “We often wondered why it was so male dominated and how there wasn’t any support out there for the executive women in the space,” Sara told us. She is excited about the progress that has been made but acknowledges that there is still a long way to go.
Sara is clear what her mission is: “We want to see more brilliant women delivering content at the industry events.”
As a single working mom, Malo believes in not seeing things as challenges or as negative but instead choosing to focus on the positive. She is a very busy person but manages to be a present mother by working from home full-time and being a master of multitasking.
She enjoys running, hiking, and blogging, believes it is essential to make time for hobbies and interests outside of work. “I start every day hiking my two dogs (Luna and London) in the woods and catching the morning sunrise,” she told ADOTAT. “This gives me time to get fresh air and figure out how to attack my day. I do my best thinking in the early morning hours. Oftentimes I am texting or skyping Amanda and Mike with new ideas that pop into my mind. I love that they get to wake up to this as they are both on different time zones.” Blogging is another hobby that she finds therapeutic, and she does it to get her thoughts out, “even if no one reads it.”
Aside from her hobbies, Sara is also passionate about community involvement. She chairs a local scholarship committee that has given out $500,000 to graduating seniors, and she enjoys writing letters of recommendation for young people heading off to college. Sara also serves as the President of her local athletic boosters association, which supports student athletes and athletic programs. She believes that volunteering is essential and finds it to be one of the most rewarding experiences, second only to being a mother.
According to Sara, “I think my biggest pet peeve is when people say they don’t have time to volunteer. My response is to make time and give back.” She emphasizes the importance of being a role model and leading by example, especially for young people. By volunteering in her community, Sara feels that she is making a positive impact and contributing to a better society.
Malo’s latest project is the LinkUnite Mentor Program (L.I.N.K.), which she launched with Kathy Yang from Digital Moses and a young college student named Emma. The program aims to ensure that industry knowledge is passed on to the next generation, and Malo encourages anyone interested to reach out to her.
Malo approaches business development in the marketing events industry by listening to what her clients need and being a good person they want to talk to. She takes time to understand their business and how events can help them with growth and ROI, with the value being the number one component.
Her expertise in sales, client success, and business development has been instrumental in her current role as the President & COO of LinkUnite. She creates her approach, which focuses on building strong relationships and always making herself available to brainstorm a new idea with clients.
She has worked with many clients, some of whom have become close friends over time.
As the Vice President of Partnerships at Lead Generation World, Malo is responsible for creating partnerships with industry players and finding the right sponsors for events. She has a vast network and works to bring in sponsors that are a good fit for the event and provide value to attendees. She is also responsible for creating and executing on-site sponsorship programs.
She sees that performance marketing is a rapidly growing industry with endless possibilities for innovation and development. She says, “Performance Marketing is very unique and rapidly growing. I am still learning something new daily and I only see digital marketing growing from here on out.”
When it comes to her personal brand, Sara says it has been the “key to her success.” She used to work behind the scenes, but she wanted to be known and give back some goodness. She believes that every post, picture, video, podcast, etc. that she puts out into the world comes from a genuine place, and she takes pride in that. “
Sara also emphasizes the importance of networking in the marketing events industry. She believes that it is essential to be visible and have in-person conversations, particularly when it comes to business development. As she puts it, “I am in the part of my career where I only surround myself with good people.” She believes that good people can make a significant impact in the industry, and she only surrounds herself with those kinds of people.
“At our most recent LinkUnite II Event we asked our members to meet us on the beach,” remembered Malo, “We sat in a large circle and we asked our members to share their story. Tell us how they got here both personally and professionally. We had tears, laughter and so many emotions. Giving these women the opportunity to speak and share was life changing. Definitely my most cherished accomplishment thus far.”
Malo is a sought-after speaker and has spoken at many industry events over the years. Malo is passionate about giving back to the industry and has served as a mentor to many young professionals over the years. You can link up with her here.