Alumna Establishes Distinguished Publishing Career

Mandy Albert Richardson ’00 ΚΚΓ of Little Rock, AR, says Westminster College’s small classes and close professor-student relationships helped her find the power in her purpose. The Fulton, MO, native who majored in Corporate Communications today is the publisher of Little Rock Soirée and Little Rock Family magazines. Richardson — who received a master’s degree in Media Communication from Webster University in St. Louis, MO, in 2007 — describes below what she has been up to since she left Westminster’s campus nearly 20 years ago.  

Can you tell us a little bit about the publications you are in charge of? Soirée is a monthly lifestyle publication focused on philanthropy, arts and culture, and the people of Little Rock. Family is a monthly magazine for busy parents in the city.

What is a typical day on the job like for you? My days greatly vary, which is what I love the most about my job. Some days are spent with my editorial and creative teams reviewing story angles and photography ideas for future issues. Others are spent deep in spreadsheets, analyzing profit-and-loss statements or conducting internal meetings. And many days are spent in the community — meeting with nonprofits or advertising clients and with city leaders to brainstorm how Soirée or Family magazines can assist in their current marketing efforts.

How did your Westminster education help you in your life and career? More than anything, Westminster helped me gain a sense of community and realize that we all play a role, and that we all have to be working to find ways to be better and to do better. Certainly that sense of community plays out daily in my work and personal life.

What is your favorite Westminster memory? There are so many … and my favorites are probably a bit incriminating, so I’ll just say I have so many great memories with my Kappa sisters: hanging out at our houses off campus, nights at the Sigma Chi, KA, or Phi Delt houses, trips to Columbia for Trops. I’ll stop there!

Would you recommend Westminster to prospective college students? Westminster was an amazing experience for me, and I’d certainly recommend it to prospects. The professors challenge you, the smaller population allows for you to form strong relationships and to find opportunities to be involved, and the friendships and memories created will last a lifetime. For me it was a great educational opportunity that provided with me with a strong base on which to build a future.

How did you find your purpose in life? Parts of me are still looking for that purpose, but my husband and children have obviously given me purpose as a wife and mother. I really enjoy my work and what I do daily, which is a blessing. It allows me a platform to give back to the city, whether it be by exposing the amazing work that people and nonprofit organizations are doing in Little Rock or by connecting with a struggling parent and giving them a tip or two to inspire or help them.

Spouse’s name? Kevin Richardson.

Children’s names and ages? We have two daughters : Miller is 7, and Wells is 4. We also have two Labs — Nessie and Weezy. (Our house is a madhouse!)

Favorite Westminster faculty member? I have so many favorites, I’m not sure I can pick just one: from communication classes with Keith Hardeman to creative writing with Wayne Zade to lit classes with Carolyn Perry.

Favorite spot on campus? The Admissions Office. I spent so much time there with Student Foundation, and I love the memories it brings back and excitement around finding the right college.

Last book you read? I’m currently reading This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps, and it’s the first book I’ve read in years that isn’t a children’s book, so I’m starting light and easy!

Do you have a favorite quote? “You can do anything if you believe in yourself.”

What do you do in your free time? I do my best to spend every free moment outside of work with my girls. I really want to show them balance and expose them to as much culture as possible. They see me working all of the time, so it’s really important to me that they also see me playing, laughing, and enjoying life with them and their dad. I’ll find time to do things just for me when they’re a little older and don’t want to hang out with me anymore!


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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is a Media and Content Strategist at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communication in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.