Principal, Company B Brand Marketing
218 S. Second St., Milwaukee
Industry: Branding and marketing, specializing in the hotel industry
Family: My boyfriend, Keith Harenda, and I have four kids between us; Gabrielle, 18, Riley, 19, Konner, 18 and Kody, 20.
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“I hired an office manager, Andrea Davies, who cares about this business as much as I do and an accountant, Jim Locatelli, who specializes in our industry. Both have allowed me to focus on the details that keep us profitable and the big picture that sets us on a course for where we’re going.”
What’s new at your company?
“We continue to grow outside the Midwest, taking on new hotel clients from Boston to Anaheim who realize you don’t need to be local to capture the essence of what makes each property truly special.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“Balancing the workload to ensure we are giving each project and client the attention they deserve.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“As we continue to grow, I see us adding to both the account side and our design team.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.’ – Dory, ‘Finding Nemo.’”
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“Hotel franchises like Marriott and IHG continue to buy boutique brands and roll out their own ‘lifestyle’ brands that independent hotels must compete with for travelers. So we are seeing and embracing personalization at the marketing and guest experience levels to continue to differentiate these true boutique properties.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“My parents passed away too soon and both were accomplished in business. My mother was a bank executive and the consummate professional. My father spent his entire career in the beer business and used common sense and a love for the common man to relate to everyone. Their words and advice continue to resonate with me.”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“Sometimes you profit most from the business you turn down.”
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“I did speechwriting for Kohler Co. and was assigned Mr. Kohler’s speech to introduce President George (H. W.) Bush at the opening of Whistling Straits. He didn’t like it, and when I asked why, he said Bill Murray was supposed to deliver that but couldn’t make it, so it needed to be funnier. I had to admit I was never going to make Mr. Kohler Bill Murray-funny.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I love being active, from working out to entertaining. As a family, we enjoy everything from boating and skiing to scuba diving.”