I’m an award-winning marketing executive with over 20 years experience digging into what consumers deeply desire and helping companies deliver it profitably.
My clients and employers have ranged from scrappy mobile startups transforming how music is played in bars to the largest, most polished brands in America. The similarity is that they all strive to think strategically, act creatively, and execute to drive measurable results.
My marketing and sales experience began when I was the #1 sales person in my department at Tiffany and Co. while getting my MBA at Kellogg. Following graduation, I went on to work at the brand strategy boutique firm Howard/Merrell crafting marketing and advertising for Coors and Kimberly-Clark.
Then I moved to work for eight years at Digitas, before and after its IPO. Here I partnered with amazing teammates and clients including AT&T, General Motors, and Sam’s Club to execute scores of cross-channel marketing campaigns. I was chosen to be a founding member an internal team that grew to $20 million in revenue in four years.
A favorite Digitas experience was being one of the inner circle that brainstormed, created and launched a groundbreaking, highly profitable promotional platform for GMC that was so successful that it continued for 10 years, long after I left the account.
After Digitas, I consulted for companies including the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, PayPal and Dunkin’ Donuts creating go-to-market strategies for new and repositioned products and brands.
Then I joined Sense Networks, a big data mobile ad tech start-up out of MIT, where I led all facets of marketing through our exciting, rapid growth and acquisition by YP. I continued for two years with YP as a Vice President, running Marketing for a division with $150 million revenue.
Want to connect? Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I realized that each bite was the end of a journey of many decisions, one that mirrored the classic marketing consumer journey. While marketers are very focused on understanding consumer desire, intent, and decision points along a path to purchase (or consumption in my case), most people are not. It was helpful to put on my marketing hat to understand and address my mealtime challenges.
The book brings together this expertise in marketing, insight from my practice of mindfulness and meditation, and my love of mealtimes. It shares a wide range of research, from neuromarketing to gastrophysics, about triggers that influence our food decisions and experiences.
The research was extremely eye-opening and crystallized the importance of being mindful in real-time, throughout my journey to meals, not just while lifting a fork to my mouths. I share a practical ABC approach to integrate mindfulness into daily food-related moments that I have been using successfully to increase ease, enjoyment and taste. And yes, I stopped choking and have even lost some weight and reduced food costs.
My intention is that my path can inspire you to pay attention to your environment as perceived through your senses, notice what is cycling through your mind and heart, and how these things are connected to the experience of what you choose, prepare and put in your mouth.
I started meditating in high school, over 25 years ago, after reading one of my mother’s yoga books. I took weekly lessons for over three years and have been on dozens of retreats across the US and UK to study and practice with monastics.
I remember doing my senior thesis in high school on Zen Buddhism, sitting cross-legged on the teachers desk at the front of the classroom and sharing koans – paradoxical riddles meant to open the mind such as ‘what is the sound of one hand clapping?’ I went on to study Asian Studies and Communications at the University of Michigan, after which I rode the Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Bejing and backpacked around Asia.
My participation in a retreat at Duke University with Jon Kabat-Zinn in the late 1990’s was my first introduction to mindfulness. The Mindful Walking exercise made a particularly profound impact which I still integrate into my urban lifestyle today – I choose to not pull out my phone while on city streets, preferring to walk while walking.
Food has always been an interest. My first job was at a roadside farm stand in Illinois where I learned to shuck corn and sort apples. I earned college money by waitressing and working in a university kitchen chopping lettuce. (a LOT of lettuce).
I inherited a love of cooking (and reading ingredients on food labels) from my mother and honed my cooking and baking skills through classes at the Cordon Bleu in Paris and the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, MA. I’ve made over 30 trips to Europe where planning meals was the daily priority. Traveling through Russia and Asia also provided many tasty memories. (Satay dinner on the beaches of Bali! Fresh pierogies sold by the babushkas in Irkusk!) It has been delightful to write a food-related book.
I enjoy (love) tennis, cooking and spending time with my husband and young son who is an expert in mindful curiosity and savoring favorite foods. He creates daily opportunities for me to ‘walk the mindfulness talk’ and be present, kind and generous in word and deed.
Academically, I graduated with a BA, with high honors, in Asian Studies and Communications from the University of Michigan. I also have an MBA in Marketing from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.