Thirty Under 30: The best and brightest young direct marketers

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Thirty Under 30: The best and brightest young direct marketers
Thirty Under 30: The best and brightest young direct marketers
Kristen McCaney, 27
Senior manager, integrated solutions | G2 USA
With a year and a half under her belt at G2 USA, Kristen McCaney has led several successful digital and CRM-focused initiatives for the agency's P&G CoverGirl brand. Under her leadership, G2 developed a singing competition for its CoverGirl Queen Collection's Ignite Your Persona campaign, which resulted in 8,000 video submissions with five winners who recorded a new track with Queen Latifah.

Previously, McCaney worked at The Star Group, where she managed the My Coke Rewards Sprite campaign, which increased participation by 15%, and spurred brand loyalty. She is also an active volunteer and runner.

Ellie Mirman, 25
Marketing manager | HubSpot
Ellie Mirman has made her mark on management at HubSpot, including being selected to handle the launch of a new trial program which is now responsible for 20% of the firm's new business.

Mirman also started the agency's webinar series from scratch, attracting 500 people to its first webinar in 2007 and expanding it to 13,500 registrants for a single webinar at the end of 2010. She worked tirelessly to make sure the world knew about HubSpot. Through her efforts and those of others, the firm was featured in more than 30 different business books as a case study. She also volunteers at Founder Mentors.

Ruth Mitcham, 27
Manager, client services | BrightWave Marketing
Both the leadership and clients of email and digital marketing services firm BrightWave Marketing have been wowed by the marketing prowess of Ruth Mitcham. “She is the most creative, positive and responsive customer engagement manager imaginable,” raved one client. Company CEO Simms Jenkins called her the “consummate professional at a young age.” As the manager of client services, Mitcham has ensured 100% client retention and also worked to grow incremental revenue by more than 200%. Always up for a challenging marketing problem, she intuitively looks for ways to integrate mobile and social marketing into clients' existing email programs.

Carolyn Nye, 28
Email marketing manager | USAData
Carolyn Nye grew the amount of sales generated by email programs by more than $3 million in five years while employed as a marketing manager at S&S Worldwide. Since joining USAData late last year, she has established an optimized internal email program and worked with clients to successfully create and manage their email marketing campaigns.

She has also presented at industry events as a thought leader, such as the 2010 Retail Marketing Conference, the 2010 MarketingSherpa Summit and the 2010 Silverpop Client Summit .

On top of her busy schedule, Nye is currently pursuing a Master's degree in business administration.

Frank O'Brien, 29
Founder | Conversation
Frank O'Brien founded Conversation, an integrated firm with a social bent, in 2008 after working at Mr Youth, Deutsch and Island Def Jam Music Group/Universal Music, overseeing revenue growth of 536% in 2009.

Those results stem from O'Brien's immersing himself in his client's world. At Mr. Youth, he grew the creative and interactive division of the agency from a one-man show to an entire department while sustaining nearly 800% growth over a three-year period. At Conversation, O'Brien created an integrated eCRM and mobile program for a casual restaurant client that resulted in a 35% conversion rate for its rewards program.

Carina Pologruto, 28
Director, client services | Marketsmith Inc.
Carina Pologruto is one of those rare birds whose talents span both the left and right sides of the brain. It's that duality that's allowed for significant achievements in record time, including turning around a multimillion loss for a Marketsmith Inc.client to a positive bottom line within a year. Pologruto also created a sweepstakes campaign to build a client's Facebook fan base. Within a few months, the number of fans more than quadrupled. The sweepstakes were directly responsible for incremental revenues with fans having 50% more transactions than non-fans. Another client that opted to use a different firm for a project emailed the CEO of Marketsmith afterward, saying, “I want my Carina back.”

Heather Hilburn Rucker, 28
Senior account executive and marketing contractor | Javelin Direct
As a senior account executive and marketing contractor at Javelin Direct, Rucker has established a reputation for strong project management skills. She handles more than 75 direct mail projects annually with quantities averaging more than 1 million and multiple print formats. Rucker recently developed a welcome touch-stream strategy in an effort to help an entertainment services client alleviate customer churn during the first 90 days of tenure.

Before joining Javelin, Rucker worked as a territory sales manager at Wrigley. She is also an active member of the Direct Marketing Association. In addition, Rucker holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

David Schuette, 25
Web marketing analyst | Catalyst
Generating results has been on David Schuette's mind for many years, including in college, where he started an online media resale business, peaking at $6,000 in monthly sales. More recently, Schuette, a cross-channel agnostic, worked with a Catalyst team to create a franchise deck providing Valvoline Instant Oil Change location owners with a comprehensive, bird's eye view of their businesses.

Previously, while at Lands' End, Schuette restructured the retailer's email marketing data, realizing an 80% gain in efficiency. He also proposed and executed site testing resulting in a functional shift in the way it cross-sold products at the company.

Sarah Van Heirseele, 30
Digital director | Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide  
Sarah VanHeirseele joined Blue Chip as a senior account executive, but quickly made her way to digital director where she leads the firm's digital practice. Launched in 2010, she has grown the digital division through work with clients such as P&G, On-Cor Frozen Foods and BJ's Wholesale Club. For P&G, she helped to redesign and update the Military's “Family Unit” website creating a social media destination that also increased opt-in rates. Under her leadership, Blue Chip Digital is expected to grow from contributing 10% of the firm's overall revenues to 25%. She taught advertising creative strategy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, while receiving a Master of Science in advertising.

Alice Wilson, 28
Associate manager, social marketing | Southwest Airlines  
Alice Wilson rapidly moved up the ranks at social-media savvy Southwest Airlines, becoming associate manager of social marketing at the airline. She has been instrumental in digital partnerships that have linked Southwest with other organizations, such as an initiative that connected the airline to Gowalla through social media reporting.

She also developed the company's first Facebook Places campaign that raised more than $300,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Colleagues describe her as “visionary” and “invaluable for any team in the company.” She continues to work with Southwest's digital agency to develop interactive ads and speak at industry events.

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