Tonia V. Ramsue
(BBA, Banking and Finance, ’98)
Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My finance classes were my favorite classes. I loved numbers. My favorite teacher and advisor was Adjunct Professor Gioia Bales
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
My first job after graduating from Hofstra was as a merchandise analyst at Lord & Taylor. The most valuable thing I learned in this position was how to multitask and get through road blocks independently.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I am a senior national sales executive at Coca-Cola. I started as a trade spend analyst, working with the sales team and approving promotional deals. Well, for me to approve the deals, I had to start analyzing data of past performances and getting more involved in the selling aspect of the business. I then realized that if I believed in a program and had facts to support it, then I could become an account manager.
- What advice would you give Hofstra students?
My advice to Hofstra students would be the same advice that I share with other students and will outline in my upcoming book, The Late Bloomer. Have a development plan of where you want to be short term and long term, have a supportive circle (mentor, coach, and sponsors), and get comfortable being uncomfortable.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
Supportive. The school supported my goals from day one when I applied in person and received acceptance on the spot to The Career Center supporting me for my next steps once I graduated.
- What is a typical day like as the senior national sales executive at Coca-Cola?
I would describe a typical day as unpredictable. I can have a to-do list and never touch one thing on the list by 5 p.m. that day. I can get an email or phone call from a customer, and next thing I know I am chasing down product, a merchandiser, or service technician.
- Having kicked off your career at Coca-Cola in 2006 as the trade spend manager, what has been your most rewarding experience with the company thus far?
My most rewarding experience with The Coca-Cola Company has been the times when a promotion comes full circle. I developed a “Sip & Support” promotion for one of my customers where some proceeds from soda sales will be donated to PetFinder Foundation. I did everything from developing the creative to stuffing envelopes to mailing the kits to 1,000 stores. My proudest moment was presenting a check to the foundation for over $27K.
- As the senior national sales executive at Coca-Cola, you maintain productive partnerships with over 70+ bottling partners nationally. How do you handle executing multiple client demands?
Prioritizing, putting myself in their shoes, and creating a team perspective to every task. Prioritizing to get the most out of every task. Putting myself in their shoes allows me to feel compassion for the position they are in and what they have on their to-do list. Most important is creating a team perspective. We are in this together, and we cannot be successful without one another.
- How has Hofstra contributed to the development of your leadership skills?
While at Hofstra working on group projects allowed me to become a leader as well as a team player and understand that the talents of many are better than the talents of one. As a leader, I could voice my concerns and deliver where I was subject matter expert.
- How do you balance work and life?
I am still working on this, but I would say being true to both your personal and work life helps you prioritize the things that are important to you. Also remembering a healthy me (spirit, mind, and body) is the best that I can be to anyone, so I have to take the time to take care of myself.
Tonia Ramsue started her career at Coca-Cola as a trade spend manager for Warehouse Water. She then moved into a sales support role as customer category manager for East Region, supporting all channels. She spent the last five years as the East Region field execution manager for the National Specialty Retail Channel. She was recently promoted to senior sales executive on the East Region National Specialty Retail team.
Tonia served as a member of Women’s LINC for seven years and has been involved as chair of the volunteer committee for the Community Service division working with Girls Inc. She also served as co-chair of logistics and is currently co-chair of the partnership committee for Network of Executive Women/Atlanta Chapter.
She specializes in analyzing data to develop marketing strategies for customers and communicating these programs to Coca-Cola’s bottling partners and field account teams for execution.
Before becoming a member of the Coca-Cola family, Tonia worked for Lord & Taylor, where she held several positions over an eight-year period. She started as a merchandise analyst and quickly rose to the position of senior business analyst for Lord & Taylor in New York, where she was raised and lived with her family.
Tonia holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Hofstra University and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in management information systems from Dowling College.
Tonia now lives in Atlanta, GA, with her husband and children. Her hobbies include traveling, volunteering, playing golf, and spending time with family and friends.
Her favorite quote: “Your life is what you make it, so start making great memories!”