Before starting my own consulting practice, I spent more than 20 years in the corporate world. In fact, many of my consulting clients are former colleagues. I had the privilege to work with several industry leaders in a variety of categories.
I worked for Aramark twice.
From 2000 to 2003, I led the marketing function for Aramark Educational Resources, one of the largest providers of childcare and educational services in the U.S. We repositioned the Children’s World Learning Centers brand as a premium provider of early childhood education. The award-winning Children’s World of Reading loyalty program, developed in partnership with Scholastic, reversed a 4-year enrollment decline and was perhaps the most innovative marketing program ever executed in the childcare industry. We also reinvigorated the Aramark Work/Life Partnerships (a business unit that helped employers provide childcare benefits to their employees) brand, creating their first website as well as portals enabling clients’ employees to understand and take advantage of their childcare benefits.
I returned in 2007 as vice president of marketing for ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment, a division that needed to become more consumer focused. My team redeveloped brand positioning, and refined culinary planning and innovation processes to better align with strategic objectives and tactical business needs. We pioneered the fan segmentation study now known as FanCONNECT in Major League Baseball. I led cross-functional teams that created new revenue streams and piloted a process to enhance operational throughput.
Prior to returning to ARAMARK in 2007, I was senior vice president of marketing for New World Restaurant Group (now known as Einstein Noah Restaurant Group), the nation’s largest operator of bagel bakeries and a leader in the quick casual restaurant segment. I led marketing and product development to revitalize the Einstein Bros. Bagels, Manhattan Bagel & Noah’s brands as well as the grocery/wholesale channel. We completely refreshed the Einstein Bros. image, testing both a new concept prototype and a remodel of the existing concept (the existing concept won). Our clever “Anything But Routine” advertising campaign not only won awards, it grew profitable sales. Under my leadership, the company experienced 18 consecutive periods of organic growth.
I really learned marketing during my 11 years with Burger King Corporation (a Diageo company). I held leadership roles in field marketing and sales analysis, and was respected as an authority on evaluating the profitability of marketing programs. My brand management foundation comes from being a member of the global team that rolled out the Diageo Way of Brand Building, a brand management curriculum for Diageo executives.
It all began at Whirlpool Corporation, where I was a Decision Support Analyst in the Management Science group. Best first job out of college, ever! I did quantitative analysis projects for every functional area of the company and with all levels of management. I gained an understanding of all the departments, how they fit together and depended on each other, and learned that marketing was my real passion. I truly believe this job set the foundation for the strategic, analytical and interpersonal skills that have made me so successful.