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Introduction

I believe marketing exists to play a central role in building the brand and, with it, the organization. Effective leaders accomplish this not just through sound strategy, creative, analysis, and tactics, but by cultivating a positive environment that values courage, curiosity, and trust.

As trust grows, products improve, the team feels safer to take chances, and momentum accelerates. In environments like this, brands can awaken and take flight.

Helping brands take flight is my passion.

Learning A-Z & Kurzweil Education, Divisions of Cambium Learning Group (NASDAQ: ABCD)

Earthwatch Institute (nonprofit)

Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV)

Thomson Gale (now Cengage Learning; private)

Work History

SVP, Marketing (Learning A-Z and Kurzweil Education)

Cambium Learning Group
2009Present

Recruited to executive team to take the SaaS (software-as-a-service) organization from promising K-12 start-up to $100M international solutions provider.

Grew Learning A-Z by a factor of 4 times, from $14M to $65M. Built online lead generation models, designed and launched a seamless brand platform to expand sales into schools, districts and state consortiums, and informed product development to widen and deepen marketplace status.

Key Accomplishments

  • Developed strategy and executed tactical program for Learning A-Z’s inside, field, international, and distribution rep teams, resulting in YOY bookings growth of 9% in FY09, 26% in FY10, 25% in FY11, 24% in FY12, 29% in FY13, 30% in FY14, and 25% in FY15.
  • Built robust Lead Generation process for Learning A-Z, resulting in YOY eCommerce bookings growth of 10% in FY09, 22% in FY10, 13% in FY11, 11% in FY12, 17% in FY13, 17% in FY14, and 10% in FY15.
  • Optimized paid and organic search programs, resulting in reduced FY14 YOY spend of 51% and growth of resulting revenue of 136%.
  • Grew Learning A-Z’s small Marketing team into a team of 13 FTE’s (eMarketing, Product Management, Events & Tradeshows, Marketing Management, Multimedia, Creative) and specialized agencies
  • Designed and led Brand Discovery project to analyze brand equity, using findings to launch: 1) new LearningA-Z.com company website, 2) active social media communities, 3) streamlined Learning A-Z email and eNews programs, 4) full collateral library, including company overview brochure, product sell sheet package, and sales presentations, 5) technology-based booth experience for expanded conference calendar, and 6) segmented toolkits for sales regions
  • Promoted to simultaneously lead another Cambium business unit’s 3 FTE Marketing team (Kurzweil Education). Took Kurzweil through a rebrand, resulting in clear and revitalized design, messaging, new corporate website, all new Marketing collateral, new conference booth experience, and other branding elements.
  • Public relations efforts led to 41 industry awards in FY09-15, including two awards for Marketing (Best Website, Best eNewsletter)

Director of Marketing & Communications

Earthwatch Institute
20072009

Sole leader of the US-based marketing and communications team charged with engaging the world in Earthwatch’s mission-based story.

Led a team of up to 15 strategic and creative professionals, contractors and interns responsible for: strategy, creative and design production, website and eMarketing, interactive and film-based communications, strategic marketing partnerships with corporate and non-profit organizations, lead generation, PR strategy and execution, and volunteer communications. Also led the international Marketing team (US, UK, Australia, and Japan).

Marketing Strategy & Execution

  • Modernized the marketing plan by leading the transition from a tactical production department to an innovative strategic marketing team prioritizing expansion of Web-based tactics, resulting in a more sophisticated program with higher market yield while using 25% less funding
  • Created and implemented first-ever “mission-based,” multi-tiered marketing campaign for Earthwatch (Beat the Heat), including partnerships with NGOs and a gala fundraising event
  • Partnered with Tree Media and National Geographic to sponsor and promote the 22nd Annual Earthwatch Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital; event included an extensive publicity tour designed to encourage climate change awareness and action across college campuses

 Investor & Community Relations

  • Created the organization’s first-ever International Annual Report, providing a true reflection of the organization’s mission, scope, progress and 10-year plan to all stakeholders
  • Championed Earthwatch’s mission to external parties at fundraising events, media events, and partner meetings to an audience including Corporate partners (HSBC, Starbucks, Google, IBM, Wells Fargo, Mitsubishi), NGO partners (Ocean Conservancy), partner-based CSR campaigns (Discovery Communications), and donors

Leadership

  • Restructured the marketing organization to improve resource allocation and to align core workflows with staff abilities; created new positions, deleted obsolete positions and hired new talent to fill skill gaps
  • Appointed by the Global CEO to serve as Chair of the US Senior Leadership Team
  • Drafted organization’s first ever Guiding Principles, Vision Statement and Strategic Marketing Plan
  • Chaired and facilitated all US Senior Management Meetings and agendas

Marketing Director

Fiserv
20062007

Hired to transform the largely sales-oriented business unit into an industry-leading brand.

Leader of the marketing, creative, and communications group, serving as the department representative within the Senior Leadership Team, and owner of all goals and business objectives. Responsible for engaging a wider audience of potential clients and partners, creating and implementing the organization’s first-ever comprehensive strategic and tactical marketing plan. Served on numerous task forces at the parent-company level, including a select team tasked with repositioning the Fiserv Corporate Brand.

Key Accomplishments

  • Developed and led marketing initiative to segment, target and position product to attract new prospects, retain existing clients, and expand stagnant client relationships, including a revised product demonstration process (in- person and via Web-based video), outreach, and all product and company marketing
  • Company achieved +10% increase in revenues in 2007 during execution of marketing
  • Directed Branding Firm to conceptualize, create, and present new corporate identity options for both Fiserv Galaxy and Fiserv Continuum (closely related B2B product)
  • Traveled extensively to meet with and present to clients, media contacts, and prospects as a primary spokesperson and “evangelist” for the company and the “Solutions for Life” vision
  • Served as Fiserv Galaxy’s primary communications writer, crafting letters from the President, budget letters, client and senior management presentations, client and product e-Marketing pieces, and launch materials

K-12 Marketing Strategist

Thomson Gale
20042006

Brand strategy role responsible for re-positioning the company’s marquee K-12 and college imprints. 

Imprints included Greenhaven Press, KidHaven Press, Lucent Books, Blackbirch Press, and Sleeping Bear Press. Ownership for all sales channels, including inside, field, and independent reps and wholesale accounts; representing $25M in annual revenue.

Creative Services & Marketing Communications Manager

Thomson Gale
20002004

Managed the full-range of agency work, including direct mail, Web, events, signage, email, and advertising.

Senior Editor and Product Manager

Thomson Gale
19942000

Rapid promotion through various product development and editorial roles, from Assistant to Associate to Editor to Senior Editor and Product Manager.

Education

B.A (English)

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
19891992
  • President-elect of Sigma Tau Delta (National Honors Fraternity for English Majors)
  • President-elect of Student English Association (Purdue Organization for English Majors)
  • Managing Editor of The Quill (Purdue's Literary Journal)

John's Resume (PDF)