If you know Melanie McKinney, you know this — she doesn’t forget anyone. If you were to bump into her at the grocery store, she would ask you about your family by name, and she would remember everything you had told her about them the last time she saw you, no matter how long ago it was.
You can imagine what a gift that’s been for the advertising department of The Alabama Baptist for more than 21 years. She’s been a dear friend to her co-workers but also to every advertiser she’s emailed and talked with on the phone over the years.
“I love talking to people,” said McKinney, TAB’s advertising manager. “It has meant a lot to me that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know people and have those relationships for so long.”
That’s one of the things she said she will miss the most as she retires Aug. 31.
“You feel like you’re part of their family because you are in a way, and I loved that part and just helping them,” she said. “Sometimes someone would call back later and say, ‘You helped me so much,’ and that would make my heart smile. It made me think I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.”
McKinney came to TAB in 2001 after spending nine years as the administrative assistant for youth/college at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in Homewood. Her sons Sammy, Blake and Russell were 19, 15 and 4 at the time — now they’re 40, 36 and 25.
Over her years at the publication, McKinney handled the company’s communication with advertisers, including billing, classifieds and occasionally selling ads. She also attended events on behalf of TAB Media.
In all of that work, she became a familiar face and voice for friends of TAB.
Jennifer Davis Rash, TAB Media president and editor-in-chief, said, “Melanie is loved so dearly by everyone on staff, as well as by countless friends and ministry partners of TAB Media. She will certainly be missed around the office, and we are holding her to her promise to stay connected.”
Rash said McKinney has been part of her life for more than two decades and “is no doubt one of the sweetest people you could ever meet.”
“She truly loves and cares for all of us,” Rash said, “and with that heart of gold comes a fun spirit. She makes sure we are smiling and laughing a lot.”
McKinney said the TAB staff has been like a family to her over the years, walking with her through high and low times.
“I’ve always known that I could count on everyone for anything I needed,” she said.
McKinney said people often say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, but she feels like she’s known all along.
“I just hope and pray I have contributed something meaningful to this ministry over the years that has helped in some way,” she said. “I’m going to miss the work. I’m going to miss the ministry and knowing that we were working together to do something good.”