Kelly Benish

Kelly Benish

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Uberall

As Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Uberall, a leading provider of location content to the databases that power the navigation and mapping industry, Kelly enjoys working with channel partners. She sits on the board of educational non-profit Angel Ed, where she manages the marketing focus. In her spare time, she authors the ‘CareerCheck’ column for NetNewsCheck, prior, she founded and authored the Movers and Shakers Column at Street Fight and Charlotte Startups.

Starting in finance and finding her way to the interwebs by chance, she’s always had a keen eye on networking and learning new business models. Her experience in sales, marketing and business development specialization around media clients spans IYP’s, publishers, newspapers, agencies and vertical industries. Kelly has a BA in English and Criminal Justice, graduating with honors from the University of North Carolina.

She’s been fortunate enough to work with some highly intelligent people that allowed her to learn from their mistakes and triumphs, She’se been given excellent advice, trained to ask the right questions, taught to know that one’s reputation, word and integrity are everything. She’s also been afforded some great opportunities – all of which she’s taken.Kelly is a national speaker including engagements through BIA Kelsey, Borrell, Local Media Association, Local Search Association, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, Association of Directory Publishers, Inland Press Association, SMX & more.

Now, meet the B-side!

Q. Do you have a kind of daily routine to get the day started? 

Yeah, I think just getting out of bed and putting on pants and, you know, doing your hair is quite an accomplishment for many people nowadays. It’s just making sure that I’m staying healthy. 

So, I’ve taken up, I’ve always been a runner, and since I’ve been in quarantine, especially where I’m at in the US. It’s been under strict lockdown because we have things like people that don’t believe in masks, and so I don’t go to the gym even though it’s open now, but I’ll run outside and it’s a little bit colder now a little bit more brisk. So, each weekend day, Saturday and Sunday I try to get in about 16 kilometer-run. Sometimes I’ll go up to a 24 kilometer-run. And during the week, I at least try to do 5 K every day.

 So, it’s good to keep going. And it keeps me sharp mentally. It’s tough when you’re not actually interacting with people on a daily basis outside of a virtual stance. So, I think keeping the mind and the lungs and the heart healthy are one step in the right direction.

Q. Are there any new hobbies you started or something that you’ve done differently during the pandemic?

Yeah, it’s just nice, it’s kind of a double-edged sword, but it’s nice to be home for a while and spend time with my dog and be able to cook more, you know, going out and eating out every day. When I was traveling so much, I was traveling, like 80 to 90% of the time before quarantine hit. So just cooking, making healthier food at home and also making soap.

I’ve always made soap, I just like to put my own ingredients in there and especially in the US it’s not really regulated so there’s chemicals in a lot of the commercial soaps that people use. So I like to use things like shea butter, lanolin, vitamin E and then I’m even getting a little wild and putting lavender seeds in the soap for exfoliation experimenting with different fragrances. And they, especially right now, when everyone’s so cognizant of washing their hands. Not that they weren’t, I would hope they weren’t lacking in washing their hands before. But, it’s just also a nice gift to give to people.

So, I’ve just been mailing them to friends and family and trying to let people know that I care about them by sending them. So, it’s kind of nice on the connection thing.

Q. This is a great way to better care for the planet, the environment and also people. This is important to you, isn’t it?

Oh, yeah, I think, I think right now, especially empathy and consideration for others in the environment is paramount.

Q. What about music? What is your favorite?

Yeah. Oh, that’s such a good question. I’ve always been pretty eclectic in my music choice, you know, I spent some time in New Orleans so I really got into jazz music there. Now, I grew up in New Jersey, So I wasn’t that kind of classic rock and fifties, music and rap. So I think, I’ve always been into EDM, and I’ve just gotten more into alternative music since I’ve been home. Just easy listening, all the way ranging from easy listening to more complex. And I think heavy lyrics, but around more muted and mellow songs. It really helps too. Kinda scare the seasonal depression away, the political depression and the COVID depression. So, it’s just, you know, finding things that make you happy and upbeat in times like this.

I mean, I just heard a very interesting report about, they did a ranking of the, uh, of the songs that make people happy. You know. And I think is number two, the Queen was number 3 or 4, so you know, there’s a bunch of things, which I would say I really agree with, but then I Q, I like to pick up different music, depending on, you know, depending on the day the feeling you have, and so on, but it’s really something that’s, that’s helping also, in the data.

Q. Do you miss concerts and live events?

I really missed the live ones.. Yeah, oh, yeah, I’m definitely missing live music. I’ve been attending virtual concert, local bands. And then also, there’s been a couple of public concerts. So, a lot of famous artists got together in the US on New Year’s Eve, for instance you watched it and experienced it virtually. It’s actually, kind of nice, not having to pay, you know, €20 for a drink and watching Pouch. No-one’s bumping into you.

But I’ve also been catching a lot of virtual comedy shows, that’s just like a really nice way to have a couple of laughs.

And I’ve just been amazed by all of the different formats of sharing those things with friends and family from afar, and the ability to stay connected without actually being around one another. I think those formats really make it possible to stay connected in such a crazy time.

Q. What was your first job? 

I actually started working when I was 14. At that moment, you could get working papers in the US, and I worked in a little ice cream shop, but it was, it’s dairy queen. So it’s like a national chain here, but I loved it. And I love peanut butter, ice cream, and anything peanut butter, and I have a funny story about that. So, every shift, they would, you know, tip you out, and you would make, like, minimum wage. 

And at the time, I think it was $7 or something. And they would give you a shift ice cream sundae. And I would smother my sundae and peanut butter sauce to the point where I would drink like a gallon of peanut butter sauce every month, and it was just such a fun little job, and no one’s unhappy when they’re getting ice cream.

So it was really nice, and it kind of taught me how to interact with people and, You know, speak up. And tell people what you want Yeah, I was about to say.

Q. You talked about cooking, what is one of your favorite cuisines or comfort foods?

I would say Portuguese, or Spanish Food. I think Seafood is my favorite thing and it’s kind of a crowd pleaser not that you could really have people over now. But it makes my neighbors happy when I make seafood paella, and I like to keep it, you know, as authentic as possible.

So I still, actually have some ingredients from my last trip to Portugal and I’m toward nearing the end of the spices that I haven’t some of the (unintelligible) that I purchase. So I’ll have to ship somewhere over but I’m just looking forward to the day or night I am in Europe again, OK. So, I don’t know. If we’re going into a little, a little contest with Siinda.

Q. What is a message you would like to convey to our Siinda partners, members and colleagues?

Just, I can’t wait to see you all again. It’s, we’ve got so much to look forward to right when things change and we can see each other once more. And I think, just stay strong, and I am so excited to see you all again and celebrate all of the little moments that we’ve had and the success that we’ve seen in just writhing in this environment now and, you know, it’s a tough time for everyone and I know everyone’s going through, you know, their own situations right now, but we’ll have so much to talk about.  We get back together and I’m sending you all a virtual hug.