My name is Martha D Stabb, when I attended ENMU I was Martha D Keyless but now I go by Stabb. The degree I received was in Communications with an emphasis in public relations got a Bachelor's degree. And now I own my own marketing agency, which is it's an interesting road how I got there from PR to marketing, it kind of goes hand in hand but yeah I own my own marketing agency.
Tell us about your family and background.
I was actually born in Chihuahua, Mexico I was brought over to the US by my mom and dad who were already living here. I was raised in Roswell I'm an only child I'm a second-generation college student my mom was the first generation. She started going to the university here at ENMU Roswell and then you know she had a couple of courses on the main campus. Unfortunately, she didn't graduate she had a lot she was juggling a lot of things and she was super ambitious, but you know she didn't she didn't get to walk down that stage and receive that degree so I did. I started out at ENMU Roswell and got a good chunk of the degree plan done there and then once I got to everything my dad's like finish everything before you go over there and I did and then I had two years left at and I finished it at ENMU.
What are your hobbies?
I'm a little bit of a health nut so I have been working out a lot. I was just recently in Seattle and typically you know I don't know if you've ever been over there but there's a lot of Rolling Hills. So what I like to do is I used to like to walk those Hills and those were super challenging and this time because I had been on a health kick since the new year I found a gym nearby and I was like you know what I'm gonna go in here and see what this is about and I tried out workouts I've never done before like yoga, bare, and cycle. I was like you know what like you know and I had fun doing it and so yeah so anytime I can get out and walk around or just move my body that's typically what I'm doing because I'm working so much and then when I do have time I do travel quite a bit and sometimes it's for work sometimes it's you know for just me to travel I recently took my family to Mexico and we saw the pyramids for my birthday because that was my dream I had been dying to go down there and I'm like you know what I travel so much in the U.S it's time to go out and so I try to make a trip once a year to somewhere that's not work related that I can just push everything off to my team and I'm just like you know what don't bother me but if something breaks or something's bad just call me but other than that don't bug me and so traveling is a big thing right now for me so that's typically what I like to do is work out and travel.
Why did you choose to attend ENMU?
I kind of wanted to complete my mom's mission in a way. I'm going to go and do it I'm going to go graduate from here. I started out it was a stepping stone to get to where I was going and my dad didn't want me to go too far he was just super protective too. He was like we have a fine college right here you're going to get your stuff done here and ironically I'm glad I didn't go away. Because he was diagnosed with cancer a year after I started attending ENMU Roswell so I was glad I was able to be nearby and so anytime I had class I would just run back home and hang out with my dad. Or if he needed a ride to the hospital to the doctors at least I was there you know so eventually this cancer killed him. But I'm glad he told me to come here it was just him for one just wanting me to be nearby and I'm glad that I don't know something divine intervention I guess but he forced him to say hey you're going to stay here. And then I started looking at you know the benefits of it and I was like yeah you know what I can do I can stay at home longer it's you know all these credits are going to transfer to ENMU's main campus I'm like it's fine you know it has the degree that I want and I said you know it's just a better plan and so I'm glad that that happened it was just it was weird how it happened but you know at the same time I felt that connection with my mom too so it was a couple of things that kind of you know served that purpose for that.
Why did you choose to study Public Relations?
I really wanted to join a major in journalism I was like you know what let me I like put the two degree plans side by side. Journalism and public relations and I saw it you know journalism was super heavy with journalism classes but PR had far more options. I was going to learn journalism magazine writing, graphic design, and public relations I was going to learn all those other things. I didn't want to stick in one box I wanted to be able to I just saw there was a possibility if I wanted to be a reporter I could be a reporter if I wanted to do public relations I can because I graduated under this umbrella. It gave me far more options and it was super fulfilling for me because then eventually when I graduated I ended up becoming the editor of the Roswell Daily Record, that was one of my first gigs so I fulfilled something I wanted to do by that and then when I moved to San Diego that's when I kind of sprouted out into PR marketing.
What inspired you to start your own agency?
I started working in marketing and working for small businesses. One day you know I was doing really well for this company and out of nowhere I was just terminated for no reason. I had pumped a lot of money like millions of dollars into this business through the marketing that I was doing and it was one of those things that just kind of jolted me and I almost wondered is this was the end of my career. I was unemployed for 233 days and I ended up working for a business coach as a part-time job and that was an awful experience I think it was the experience I needed because this person was a very horrible boss and after three months I got let go there and I said you know what I'm done working for people. I know I'm good this person had told me my previous boss said I just don't think you're a good marketer and I said you know I've made businesses over 10 million dollars I think I'm a good marketer and then she let me go. I said I'm done working for myself and that's how MDMC entertainment which was a side hustle for a good while turned into my full-time job so I've been doing this now without a security net and without a nine-to-five for about four years now and so I'm self-sustained so I'm really proud of that it was an interesting road to get here.
What do you hope to ultimately achieve in your career?
Ultimately I really want to run a very successful marketing agency. Right now we're Boutique super small I have several interns that come through every year and a good chunk of them are graduating this year and so it kills me because I just don't have enough of the bandwidth to bring them on full-time. I would really love to see my company MDMC just grow and become come a Mega force of the One-Stop shop you know. I also developed MDMC Authentic which we sell a lot of funkos and action figures that are signed and authenticated by respectable authenticators and then I have also MDMC Talent where I am I represent talent that goes to Comic-Con conventions a lot of talent just doesn't know how to get out there and to show up at these shows so acquiring a cool Talent roster as well I just want to be the Ultra Mega force. I can do it all you know if we have a client that comes in and says hey you know I need a Comic-Con but I also need you to manage my social media you got it I'm done you know.
What was your favorite place on campus?
The fountain when my mom was doing classes we would have to come on the weekends for whatever reason. She had classes on Saturdays so we would make a day of it and so I think I can't remember I think I must have been ten or nine somewhere around there and my dad was like let's just walk around and so I got to know the campus before I actually attended. The fountain was always my favorite and it I don't know if it was nostalgic for me probably because it was my dad that took me there and then the fact that I lost him in my junior year and walking around the campus it was nostalgic for me so after he died I spent a lot of time there just thinking you know.
What professors mentored you?
Dr. Patty Dobson, she's still there as a professor. She's killing it she was very integral in my growth there. I remember having her for several classes because she taught all the PR classes and I just had so much fun with her she's just one of those teachers that this was meant for her to be a teacher. I remember she was like all right you know we're going to meet up and you know look at your next classes and I said well I really don't like my advisor can I just go with you and she's like yes. And so she really kind of helped me along the way and she advocated for me when I went on my internship she advocated for me to earn a certificate at the end of the year from what I heard quite a few professors advocated for me to win that. Patty is amazing I'm sorry Dr. Dobson I still talk to her that's the thing. She's one of those professors that kept in touch with me the entire time and I still talked to her she just recently did me a huge favor by writing a recommendation letter for me for something that I was working on. To this day I'm forever grateful for her and she really helped me whenever my dad died because you know I told her I was like this just happened and she's like I will let everyone know don't worry about a thing and she was just my angel. I'm forever grateful for her.
Were you involved in any activities outside the classroom?
The only thing that was outside of the classroom was my internship. I really didn't do any clubs or anything I was really focused on just making sure that I was able to equip myself well before I graduated. My neighbor Keith Gardner at the time was the minority whip at the house representatives in Santa Fe. I knew he did something important but I didn't know what it was until I saw him at the Walmart and he was like do you have an internship? I'm like no this is my senior year I said what do you have and he said you want to come to Santa Fe and I said to do what and he was like to be in the capital I was like doing what and he says you could be a Legislative Assistant I spoke to him I said well I have a PR you know public relations degree like I don't know how that would tie in and he says well you'll see that there are lobbyists and you know you'll see how kind of like the way the law works and how some of those PR tactics work hand in hand for some of the people that are pushing for legislation. I was like okay you know so I sent in my resume and I got a call from one of the hiring people at the Capitol and they told me to report to the Capitol in January of 09. I told my mom was like I have to get this approved so I talked to all of my professors and the Comm chair at the time that was Doc Elder and they approved it and so I was gone for three months I did that I was a 60-day session. And I was able to do most of my stuff online everyone sent me my assignments so I kept in track. So that was like the only big thing I did outside of the classroom and I returned at the end of March and from there on out it was like a roller coaster down to graduation. So that was the only big thing I did I wish I could have joined more clubs I should have I regret it now because I would have loved to have done some broadcasts and done some things that I really did enjoy. I just didn't get the time or the chance to do it so yeah I have some regrets about that.
What advice would you give to current and future students?
One of the things is definitely don't jump around in your field of study, because it's going to cost you a little bit more money to do that. But you really kind of have an idea of what you want your future to be like and it definitely major in a degree that will allow you once you graduate to kind of move in different directions in that field space. Luckily for me, I had that option so you know really think about what's going to make you happy in your career. Then try to find a degree that works in that area so that you can forever be happy because don't end up at a job you're going to hate later. You know and it's hard to predict where you'll be unhappy but you know kind of have a decent idea of one of the things. I absolutely loved just being creative I knew I was a creative person and so I knew that this degree plan would allow me to do that whether it was creative writing or you know Creative Design. Whatever that was I just knew I was going to be happy in that area and I knew that it was a good field to get into.