18 Leaders Who Put the Femme in Phenomenal

Risk takers. Storytellers. Leaders. The Direct Marketing News 2014 Marketing Hall of Femme honorees stand out not only for the success of their marketing strategies, but also for their outstanding leadership.

Their inspiring stories are ones of dynamism, decisiveness, and determination. Their approach to marketing—and business—is to be fearless, supportive, and engaging: to take risks and challenge the status quo; to hire talent who can fill their shoes, give them the resources to succeed, and then get out of their way; and to focus always on what’s meaningful to the customer.

These methods have yielded measureable results—from revenue growth to increases in customer engagement. Read on to learn to the success secrets and leadership strategies of this group of exceptional female marketing chiefs.

Ginger Conlon


Frances Allen
EVP, Chief Brand Officer
Denny’s Corp.

“Just like we need to understand our brand DNA, people need to understand their own DNA.”

Read about how Allen elevated the Denny’s brand into a social media giant.


Amy Bohutinsky

“I started my career as a broadcast journalist, so my approach to marketing comes from that perspective.”

Read about how Bohutinsky uses data and storytelling as the foundation for her work.


Leilani M. Brown
Starr Companies

“Work outside of your comfort zone. If you have a new assignment and it seems a little scary to you, that’s great—that’s the assignment for you.”

Read about how Brown embraces simple, clear goals for marketing success.


Kathy Button Bell
Emerson Electric

“Never forget to be the chief inspiration officer because it’s the soul of your job as a marketing person.”

Read about how Button Bell tackled the overhaul of Emerson’s brand architecture.


Susan Cohig
SVP of Integrated Marketing
National Hockey League

“Always listen to your fans. Understand what they’re interested in and what their passion is—and then figure out a way to connect to that.”

Read about how Cohig uses social media to break down barriers.


Dorothy Dowling
SVP of Marketing and Sales
Best Western International

“We’re all salespeople, and we all have to engage in persuasive selling—whether it’s ideas, products, or positioning.”

Read about how Dowling manages the omnichannel conversation.


Peggy Dyer
American Red Cross

“Regardless of industry or company, marketing is a catalyst for demand-driven growth.”

Read about how Dyer and the Red Cross is 100% mobile first.


Jamie Haenggi
CMO and Customer Experience Officer
Protection 1

“You have to know the data and statistics that drive your business. Come with facts, come with data, and ask questions.”

Read about how Haeniggi and her team built the Protection 1 brand nearly from scratch.


Teri Llach
Blackhawk Network

“There are two important constituents in what you’re doing: the consumer you’re selling to and the employee you’re working with. You have to focus on both of them equally.”

Read about how Llach has adopted “customer empathy.”


Kristin Lynch
CMO and VP Brand Marketing
World Kitchen

“Things change so much in life and there are new experiences behind every door…enjoy them.”

Read about how Lynch always looks through the eyes of the consumer.


Nagisa Manabe
Chief Marketing and Sales Officer
United States Postal Service

“Marketing must leverage the best of technology and communicate with consumers in a constant dialog.”

Read about how Manabe is delivering innovation at the USPS.


Stephanie Marchesi
CMO and Senior Partner

Build your personal brand. Become really good at something you’re passionate about and become known for it.”

Read about how Marchesi has left an indelible mark on her brand in less than four years.


Tricia Melton
SVP of Entertainment Marketing
TBS, TNT, and Turner Classic Movies

“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”

Read about how Melton skillfully combines social media and TV marketing strategy.


Trish Mueller
The Home Depot

“If you truly understand the audience, you’ll speak from a position of authority and the efforts you make in your field will be successful—and so will you.”

Read about how Mueller guides strategy for one of the world’s largest retailers.


Mary Novak-Beatty
VP of Marketing and Call Center Sales
Mayflower Tours

“Content marketing is the most important trend right now. Content remains king.”

Read about how Novak-Beatty rejuvenated the Mayflower marketing strategy.


Sheena Oliver
VP of Marketing
Oticon Inc.

“Build consensus by making sure key stakeholders are knowledgeable about marketing.”

Read about how Oliver encourages true creativity in her team.


Karen Quintos

“You spend the first 40 years of your life trying to be successful, and the next 40 years trying to be significant.”

Read about how Quintos guided Dell through a total brand overhaul.


Ann Sung Ruckstuhl

“You are the company you keep. Pick your company and team very carefully.”

Read about Silicon Valley vet Sung Ruckstuhl’s journey from electrical engineering to marketing-tech.

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