Current title and company: CMO, Eat Your Coffee – an organization on a mission to energize lives with nutritious, caffeinated snacks.
Brief description of who you are professionally with concise accomplishments:
Who am I professionally? Simply put, I’m a brand builder. Although a bit abstract, I like to think of myself as a barista – serving up brands built on a consumer-first mindset, customized but standing for an overarching mission and consistently striving to surprise and delight. I have a work motto that helps bring this analogy of a barista to life…people like hot tea and they like cold tea, no one likes lukewarm tea. Don’t build a brand that attempts to be everything to everyone, build a brand that gives YOUR consumer what they want and work to surprise and delight them in the process.
With regards to professional achievements, I’m most proud of an award I received serving in the Finance function at General Mills. I was awarded the “Champion of Finance” award from the CFO for developing a process to track and improve brand spending. The project resulted in annual results <1% off target for a $1.3b budget. It was exciting to see hard work pay off in such a tangible manner and then to be acknowledged for it was quite special. Another accomplishment dear to me is successfully raising $250k whilst serving on the Board of Directors for Gigi’s Playhouse, a Down Syndrome achievement-focused non-profit (my sister has Down Syndrome). Finally, most recently I led a full rebrand for Eat Your Coffee (a caffeinated foods company) in tandem with closing a Series A round of financing. We pivoted from being a single product company to a platform brand focused on caffeinated natural foods.
Why did you join TWT and what are you hoping to achieve as a member of the organization?
I originally joined TWT in an effort to meet professionally driven women in Boston. I moved here with my husband, who’s working on his MBA at Harvard Business School, and found that although I was building a large community through HBS, many of those individuals planned to leave Boston post school. Not only did I want to develop a Boston seeded community, I was excited about the prospect of building “my own” community, outside of HBS.
What is one of your most proud professional moments and what are you most looking forward to professionally in the next five years?
Honestly, my most proud professional moment is seeing Eat Your Coffee’s rebrand come to life. It’s exciting to see the rebrand visually through new packaging and a new website (not yet launched) but also see the business shift in mission, internal culture, etc. It’s been incredible how the rebrand has prompted consumer feedback and enabled me to interact with our consumers so intimately. It took many tough days to get us to this place – you don’t just waltz into a company and say, hey guys, your brand isn’t sustainable, we need to completely unravel and rebuild. No, you have to spend meaningful time building trust, managing within the team and with external investors/mentors. Additionally, with the team being small and extremely emotionally invested in the brand, influencing successfully becomes a factor of how effectively you can combine facts and communication tactics. It has certainly been an incredible growth opportunity for me.
What do you do in your “free” time? Hobbies, Interests…
In my free time, I love to hike – my husband and I have hiked all over the world. I think Patagonia is next on our list. I also truly LOVE going to the grocery store and perusing the aisles of brands. You start to see interesting patterns of success – I’ve found it extremely beneficial to my work however, my husband will no longer accompany me to the store.
3 Core values:
- Integrity: Honesty is the ‘bread and butter” of true success.
- Intellectual Curiosity: I don’t like to say knowledge is power, but it certainly is powerful.
- Kindness: Although I’m sure you can be an effective leader without being kind, I do believe kindness plays an integral part in building up others to achieve their full potential. To me, kindness boils down to being generous and considerate. It’s important to be generous with your time and your resources; it promotes strong relationships and we can get a lot more done when we work together.
Fun Fact/What makes You, you?
I have Synesthesia, which means I see numbers, letters and words in color in my mind. It makes for a fun game when people find out and want to know what colors their name is. It’s especially fun when they quiz me on them a year later.