What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
I manage the relationship with large advertising agencies regarding their use of Nielsen’s digital ad effectiveness solutions. I have spent my career in media and advertising , mostly in traditional media planning & research software sales. With the advent of new digital measurement tools, I was able to transition to the digital space and contribute to bringing new solutions to the industry.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
My biggest challenge is the ever changing marketplace. The digital advertising space is fast paced, in transition and evolving quickly as new and better approaches to targeting, measurement and ROI tracking are available. Particularly, when you are involved in introducing new solutions to market, this constant state of change can be a challenge. Having said that, it is also one of the elements I like most about my current role. Every day is dynamic and full of both new challenges and breakthroughs. It’s wonderful to feel that I am a part of impacting that change.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is truly my family. From a business perspective, however, it was the experience I had mid-career of co-leading the organization with my colleagues. At the time, we each ran a piece of the business and we were operating without a president for an extended period of time. We were being asked to collectively run the business, build 3-5 year plans for the organization, present these plans and budget updates to corporate, etc.. It was an amazing experience for me to reach outside my comfort zone, leverage the strengths of each co-lead to manage and grow the business and build and utilize skills we didn’t even know we had. It was a tremendous period of leadership growth and I had the privilege of experiencing that collectively with my colleagues.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
While there are many who have inspired me and have served as role models, I realize that I draw my daily inspiration and motivation from my colleagues and family. I am always amazed at the creativity and results that occur when a group of folks with a common goal and a spirit of team work get in a room and brainstorm around an idea. While I understand the concept, and have seen it in action many times, it always seems to motivate and surprise me. I draw daily inspiration from my family as they approach each day with a new perspective, a positive outlook, a hunger for knowledge and a thirst for being the best they can be that day. That inspires me to do the same.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I have spent nearly 30 years in media and advertising and while I don’t know where the next 10 years will take me, I hope that they will be as dynamic and fun as the last 30. I hope to always continue learning and passing that knowledge on to others as that is what has made my past roles so engaging and has allowed me to contribute to growing the organizations I have been a part of.
Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?
I have several informal mentors and I mentor several folks as well. I am very passionate about mentoring and as such, lead a mentoring program at Nielsen which focuses on cultivating high performing individuals to build a broad and diverse pool of future leadership candidates. I believe that we all have something to offer others (skills, perspective, guidance, etc.) and having mentors, formal or informal, helps us to understand various approaches so that we might select and adapt those that work best for us as individuals. It gives us a reference point for setting context and a safe place to make mistakes. My mentors have provided me with invaluable guidance and most of all examples of leadership that I strove to emulate. Likewise, I have learned a great deal from those that I have mentored as well. That’s the beauty of mentoring; it is a two way relationship that we all can benefit from.
How has your participation in the Executive Leadership Program impacted the way you approach your day-to-day role?
The learnings that I took away regarding communication styles has been invaluable in assessing certain business relationship challenges and allowed me to identify ways to create a more productive exchange. The speakers provided great insight from their own career choices that helped me to approach my career with a new perspective and the networking opportunities allowed me to meet wonderful leaders from other businesses and industries.