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Midland woman lands on Forbes 30 Under 30

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An ambitious Midland woman is making waves in social media.

Thea Neal's hard work has landed her on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Every year the magazine highlights standouts from 20 different industries.

Thea graduated from H.H Dow High School in 2006.

Her teachers describe her as a mover and shaker always destined to do great things.

Now her perseverance paid off.

Back in 2006, a bright-eyed Thea Neal just graduated from H.H. Dow High School.

“I think the biggest thing you can do is really create your personal brand and figure out what differentiates you from the completion get lots of internships when you're young,” she said.

She never took no for an answer. Thea worked for several companies before finding her new home away from home last year at Hallmark Gold Crown.

“There's lots of times where I work long hours and I didn't a hundred percent know what I was doing but a lot of times you have to fake it until you make it,” she said.

Now she's definitely not faking anything anymore. Take a look at the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in marketing and advertising.

“It's really competitive and it's kind of like the holy grail business award you get before you turn 30,” she said.

Now you'll see Thea's lenghty list of accomplishments. They include running social media for 2,000 Hallmark Gold Crown stores, and engaging millions of online users. Her success, not surprising to Thea's former teacher Emily Grocholski.

“I think of Thea and see a big smile on her face, because that's pretty much how she was. Infectious smile, gregarious spirits, great energy, just a bundle of excitement,” Emily said.

Even though she's found worldwide recognition, Thea hasn't forgotten her mid-Michigan roots, and can't wait to see the next generation of talent that shakes up the business world.

“I think anyone from Midland, Beaverton, Gladwin can absolutely do these same things and I'm sure I won't be the last person on the list from Mid-Michigan,” Thea said.

To give you an idea of just how down to earth Thea is, we found out Mrs. Groholski was her favorite teacher growing up.

And to this day she wants to be the kind of woman to others that Mrs. G was to her.

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