TITLE: Manager, Marketing (and Communications)
BIRTHPLACE: Brooklyn, New York, but “grew up” in Atlanta
EDUCATION: Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia. BBA, MBA
- NW AYER, NY, NY (accounts: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Dietac)
- McCann-Erickson, NY, NY (accounts: Coca-Cola USA & Coca-Cola Foods Division)
- Ted Bates, Inc., NY, NY (accounts: M&M Mars Candies, Kal Kan Dog Foods)
- The Walt Disney Company, Orlando (senior national and international advertising representative), also co-op with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola USA, and Delta Airlines)
- Paradigm Communications, Tampa FL (major accounts: Tampa Bay Lightning, Shell’s Seafood Restaurants)
- AutoNation USA, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Brands: Power, AutoWay, Team, Mike Shad, Mullinax)
- Sirata Beach Resort, St. Pete Beach, FL (Marketing Manager)
- HART (Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority), Tampa, FL
YEARS WORKING IN TRANSIT INDUSTRY: 1+
YEARS WORKING WITH HART: 1+
BIGGEST SURPRISE IN MARKETING TRANSIT: There is little direct competition and I am used to strategically positioning a product or service. In this industry cars and car/vanpools can be seen as competition, but there is not the direct competition (economy and gas prices aside). It also amazes me how transit agencies around the country are willing to help and give advice to each other. There is a great support system from other marketing professionals in transit agencies and great networking opportunities exist. There is no pride of authorship and a great compliment is for another transit agency to actually use a campaign, or campaign element(s) from another transit agency or agencies.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN MARKETING TRANSIT: Our biggest challenge is to continue to provide the best possible level of service given decreasing funding and growing customer demands. Our ridership continues to increase by double digits month over month versus prior year, which is good news; however, we are continually trying to maintain our level of service to keep up with demand. This impacts the marketing budget which must be stretched to the limit.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Member of the Tampa Latin Chamber; Supporter of the American Aids Foundation; Humane Society of Tampa Bay, American Advertising Federation – Tampa Chapter; American Marketing Association of Tampa Bay
PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Pastimes include: swimming, rollerblading, running and taking care of my humane society shelter dog, Ms. Beatrice Victoria Marie (Pomeranian). Greatest excitement is learning from others.
CHILDHOOD AMBITION: I wanted to be a veterinarian from an early age. I am lovingly called a ‘dog whisperer’ by my family and friends. Understanding nature is a virtue. Since admission to veterinary school was not feasible, Advertising/Marketing was the next logical choice (no, really, I was inspired by a professor at Georgia State University).
INSPIRATION(s): It would be so hard to narrow to one. The foremost is my Grandmother, who I idolized. Others include: Mr. Mitchell Burg (currently, President of the Syndicated Network of America and mentor who taught me to also be patient with those less fortunate); Douglas Bodden, of Douglas Bodden Designs (who got an A+ in color), Tampa; Ms. Ann Lange, President of My Traffic Department, San Antonio, TX (worked with her on extremely time sensitive and newsworthy projects when I was with the Walt Disney Company and taught me not to worry so much because things get done), and two talented artists Ronnie Philips and Graciela Rodo Boulangier. Their incredible art work makes me smile. I also need to acknowledge Ms. Pat Spencer and Dr. Samuel Wright, Jr., new extended family members in the Tampa community who are teaching me to have a ‘vision’.
FAVORITE BOOK: Easiest one by far! The Little Prince, the most famous work of the French aristocrat writer, poet and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944, Mort pour la France) To read this book is to get insight into who I really am. It’s not really a children’s book.
FAVORITE COLOR(s): As an astute marketing professional, I should say, Pantone© 541 C and Pantone© 542, which are the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) logo colors (got to get a plug in there). But, personally, I love bright colors, yellow, orange and emerald green. The emerald green helps balance the bright colors.
FAVORITE CANDY: Again, not straight forward. I would say it would be white covered chocolate pretzels. Not necessarily a candy, but it is who I am. I actually like the crunch in the crunch bars, but have to watch the weight (not fun).
This year has been an incredible year for the HART Marketing Department and for myself. This past year, we won the APTA (American Public Transportation Association) AdWheel Grand Prize Award across all North American Transit Agencies, for our Public Awareness and Educational Campaign, “It All Started On a Bus…” featuring four of our local community leaders and in honor of Rosa Parks. This campaign was created and blossomed after I was in transit marketing for only four months. Our marketing department made the finals for the WEDU/PBS “Be More Awards” (also known as The Academy Awards of non-profit Agencies).
This year I was also awarded the “Compadre of the Year Award” by the Tampa Latin Chamber, in November, 2011, for being a non-Hispanic member of the community helping the causes of the Latin Community. We are also up for two more awards from the American Advertising Federation of Tampa Bay, which will announce the results on February 24.