Board Member since 2016
Occupation: Marketing Manager, Great Lakes Orthodontics
Where do you work, and what does your role entail?
I just joined Great Lakes Orthodontics as the marketing manager after having spent 10.5 years at Crowley Webb. My role at Great Lakes Orthodontics involves digging deep into understanding the clients we serve, orthodontists, dentists and dental labs, the products we sell (there are over 3,000 of them!) and the services we provide (we create custom orthodontic appliances, like retainers, but we also make specialty appliances things like sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing.) I’m in charge of taking leading a small team to strategically create and manage all marketing messaging and communication to these many customers. I also look at company data to find business insights we can turn into actionable marketing initiatives.
What drove you to get into the advertising/marketing biz?
Ever since I was little I was always fascinated with cool direct mail pieces. I remember vividly getting a direct mail from Zoo Books, a children’s magazine that was all about animals, zoos and safaris. The direct mail piece was a foldable, cardboard safari suitcase. I remember thinking “this is so neat”, and it inspired me to follow an advertising and marketing career path.
What do you find challenging in our industry?
I think one of the most challenging things facing our industry is the proliferation of new media options and fragmentation of audiences. I also think that consumer’s attention spans have shortened so significantly that we’re lucky when we truly gain their attention so we need to make those interactions meaningful.
Describe a recent success.
One of the first “wins” I’ve had at Great Lakes was the idea for integrating emoji “stickers” into our retainers. We’ve offered images in our retainers for years, but when I was training I noticed that these images (think a tiny dime-sized sticker embedded in the acrylic of the retainer) looked kind of dated. I also noticed that they were mostly circular in shape. Then it came to me: EMOJIS! From there we launched the line of emojis at the largest North American Orthodontics trade show, and we’ve implemented the internal elements to be able to manufacture these as part of our product line.
What advice do you have for emerging talent in your field?
Learn as much as you can at every job you have, even if it’s not your dream job.
What was your first job?
My first job out of college was a marketing assistant job at a b2b company that sold infection control supplies. Super “boring” products but I learned a ton about b2b marketing, manufacturing, ISO certification processes and customer service. It was a good learning opportunity.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Cake. Wine. Lululemon.
What’s your favorite app or social media outlet?
I like instagram. So many dogs to follow. None of the political drama.
What’s the last thing you read?
1Q84 by Haruki Murakam.
What’s your favorite hidden gem in WNY?
I like Devil’s Hole in Niagara Falls. I need to go there more often.
Why did you join AAF Buffalo?
I was encouraged to by my bosses at Crowley Webb, and I was thrilled they suggested it.
What has been your proudest moment in your role on the board?
I was super proud that I managed to pull off a sports related event, Uberbowl, with no working knowledge of sports.
What’s your favorite AAF Buffalo event?
What do you enjoy most about AAF Buffalo?
I love the brilliant minds we have on the board. I love the connections to the ad community that I still have even after leaving the ad agency world.
How has AAF Buffalo impacted you professionally?
AAF has brought me closer to more professionals outside of Crowley Webb, and it’s allowed me to build strong connections across the industry. I love the spirit of the group, the fantastic execution of ideas, and that AAF Buffalo is a leader in educating our community through our skillshops and speakers series.
What’s one pro tip you can share with our membership that will make their lives better or easier?
Get involved. Come to events. Say hi. You never know when you’ll meet your next boss or coworker because this industry is always changing.
Why would you encourage others to join AAF Buffalo?
If you’re serious about staying on top of your game in this business it helps to network with the area’s brightest minds. And the events and people that AAF Buffalo bring together create opportunities to continue learning and growing.