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Utah Business

Meet our 2021 sales & marketers of the year

Sales and marketing can be cutthroat, a risky campaign or a questionable sale can make or break a business. But this year, we’ve seen our sales and marketing teams step up and tackle challenges in new and innovative ways. Here are the teams and individuals who are pushing through the pandemic to keep Utah businesses running strong. Meet our 2021 Sales and Marketers of the Year!

Best Content Marketing Campaign

Divvy

Twitter | LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Stephanie Newton with Divvy photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What has your team done recently?

Our three-woman content team rallied around Divvy’s new PPP initiative and published more blog articles in April 2020 than we did in all of 2019. Traffic to the Divvy blog rocketed that month, driving an increase of 4,211 percent compared to April 2019. Between March and September of 2020, the blog gained 366 backlinks, thousands of new ranking keywords, and 100+ featured snippets.

What does sales and marketing look like to you in a post-COVID world?

Marketing post-COVID looks like a better version of what it always should have been: empathetic. People don’t want to buy from companies who talk about values, they want to partner with brands who provide real value. This means that sales and marketers have to rethink the customer journey while demonstrating trust and empathy every step of the way. 

Rachel Cottam, Content Marketing Manager, Divvy

Extreme Motus

Twitter | TikTok| LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Ryan Gassley and friend photographed with Extreme Motus by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

What’s the most exciting campaign that you’ve worked on?

Watching our TikTok channel grow to 100,000 followers in the last year. I really think we stand out on TikTok because our videos tend to be fun and heartwarming. 2020 has been such a downer of a year, and people are looking for a way to smile again.

What marketing project is your company most proud of?

I feel like our marketing not only shows off our product, it also educates people about disabilities. Disability or not, everyone wants to feel included. I hope one side effect of our work on TikTok is that the young people watching will be inspired to make friends with the people who have disabilities in their school and make sure they are included.

Ryan Grassley, CMO, Extreme Motus

Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Tiffany Blake Fox from Summit Sotheby’s photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

What marketing project is your company most proud of?

Collections Magazine, Summit Sotheby’s International Realty’s signature publication, is now in its 12th year. With over 230,000 copies printed and distributed annually, this publication is the dominant force showcasing the homes, estates, and lifestyles of Utah. 

What sets you apart?

Our company is committed to doing the work that others aren’t willing to do. It doesn’t matter how beautiful an ad is designed or how on-target messaging gets delivered, if a company’s processes, follow through, and customer experience does not match, it is all for naught. Our company’s approach is that luxury is an experience and that every moment a client has with our firm is an opportunity to reinforce our brand.

Tiffany Blake Fox, Vice President of Marketing, Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

Best Digital Marketing Campaign

Zions Bank

Twitter | LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Rob Brough with Zions Bank photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What marketing project is your company most proud of?

Our marketing team helped promote SBA PPP loans to businesses, resulting in Zions Bank ranking as the top provider of these loans in Utah and the ninth-largest PPP loan provider in the nation. We further celebrated the intrepid small businesses weathering the economic storm through an integrated marketing and communications campaign involving digital, traditional, and social media. 

What does marketing look like to you in a post-COVID world?

It’s been incredible to witness the acceleration of digital platforms to support physical distancing, and we know there is no turning back for consumers and businesses using technology in new ways. In this “new normal” marketing will continue to be increasingly data-driven and smart, strategically driving and supporting sales.

Rob Brough, EVP, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Zions Bank

Best Social Media Campaign

Bank of Utah

Twitter | LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Megan Kenley with Bank of Utah photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What marketing project is your company most proud of?

Bank of Utah’s Chow Down Challenge provided a way to support Utah’s ailing restaurant industry which was partially shut down by the pandemic. Bank of Utah is also proud to have sponsored a fundraising campaign in July of 2020 to help Weber County Search and Rescue purchase a life-saving drone. Ultimately the pandemic made us even more alert to the community’s needs and more creative in how we might impact the community for the better.

What sets you apart?

As a locally-owned Utah community bank, we strive to treat our customers like we would anyone in a tight-knit community: like family. We’re here to help, we’re here to give advice, and we’re here to serve. We want to see the community succeed because we are a part of the community. 

Megan Kenley, Communications & Marketing Specialist, Bank of Utah

Extra Space Storage

Twitter | LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Andrew Todd with Extra Space Storage photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What are the rewards of working in sales or marketing?

That feeling when you work as a team to come up with an innovative solution to a company problem. Not every attempt at overcoming challenges is successful―especially considering all the challenges that come with an ever-changing landscape like working in social media marketing.

What advice would you give to someone studying sales or marketing?

You can only be taught so much in a classroom. Find or create real-life opportunities to gain experience first-hand and you’ll quickly discover two things: 1) if you actually enjoy it, and 2) if you have the skills needed to effectively execute the work. That said, don’t give up if you don’t get it right the first time, real-life experience is all about trial and error.

Andrew Todd, Social Media Manager, Extra Space Storage

Soo Ryun Lee

LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Soo Lee with Tech9, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

Why were you initially attracted to marketing? 

When I was little, I would cut the cool ads out of newspapers and magazines and scrapbook them. I loved how marketing materials would stir up certain emotions in the short amount of contact time they have with people. I still love marketing for the same reason, it’s about storytelling in a short amount of time.

What advice would you give to future sales or marketers? 

If you are not sure and feel like you are paralyzed by your own critical voice, I suggest you talk to the people that you trust, really breathe in the positive feedback they tell you, and believe in it.

Best Use of Video

Pura (not pictured)

Twitter | LinkedIn

What is your company’s favorite way to engage with your customers?

One of our core values at Pura is to “wow every customer.” We still have a long way to go with this, but we try our best to create a wow experience across all of our marketing channels as well. One of our favorite ways to accomplish this is through our mobile app. So, doing things like notifying customers when they are running out of fragrance or when a new fragrance is available through push notifications gets us excited! 

How does your company approach sales and marketing that sets you apart?

In all of our marketing, we focus simultaneously on growing our subscriber base and building the brand. It’s very easy to get distracted by chasing the short-term revenue numbers, but I feel like we do a good job of playing the long-term game.

Daniel Lacey, Interim CMO, Pura

Marketing Professionals of the Year

Andrew Wittenberg

Marketing and Research Manager | Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development

Twitter | LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Andrew Wittenberg with the City of Salt Lake photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

Why were you initially attracted to marketing?

After nearly 15 years as a broadcast journalist, a career pivot into marketing came as a natural fit. The work we do in economic development impacts people’s lives every day. If my work helps just one business owner make rent, create jobs, innovate a new product, and ultimately contribute to our local economy, that reward is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of in my career.

What does success look like to you?

Success to me is always evolving. When I leave work (or log off my laptop at home these days), I cherish the time I have with my wife and son. I try to never take a moment for granted. Sure, life is never perfect but I’m always evolving. 2020, in a way, helped me prioritize what is important in life.

Bryn Frazier Ramjoue

Marketing Director | my529

What does success look like to you?

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Bryn Ramjoue with My529 photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

In high school, it looked like [being able to buy] two-ply toilet paper and organic food. We had one-ply and ate a lot of cereal. This still defines success in 2020. Really, I think success is being as smart as you can be, as kind and you can be, and as brave as you can be.

What are the challenges/rewards of working in sales or marketing?

It is a constant cycle of problem, solving, refining, hard work, and accomplishment. A colleague once said: “it’s the business where you eat at the best restaurant on Monday and from the vending machine on Tuesday.”

Carey Hilderbrand (not pictured)

Chief Marketing Officer |  Western Governors University

LinkedIn

What’s the most exciting campaign that you’ve worked on?

WGU recently created a program called “We Won’t Rest” with ambitions to expand access to higher education and remove all the barriers that stand in the way of student success. We launched a “Role Model Murals” campaign that I am exceptionally proud of.  Across the country, local artists are creating murals of inspiring WGU graduates in the underserved neighborhoods where they grew up.  

What does marketing look like to you in a post-COVID world?

More important than ever for marketers will be to build agility within our teams to adjust to the world that emerges. Strong data capability is critical to monitor trends and changing behaviors, a personalized customer experience that puts the customer at the heart of everything we do, work that is closely aligned with our brand purpose, and the willingness to commit to bold changes in strategy to meet the moment. 

Hilary Robertson

Account Manager | Wilkinson Ferrari & Co. 

What are the challenges & rewards of working in marketing?

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Hilary Robertson with Wilkinson Ferrari & Co photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

To stay competitive in the field, you not only have to be a good writer and researcher, but you’re also often called on to be a photographer, graphic designer, videographer, podcaster, actor, event planner, and a whole slew of other roles that fit under the “communication specialist” umbrella. It can be challenging to wear so many hats at one time, but also incredibly satisfying to look back at the end of the project and see something you worked on become a reality. 

What’s the most exciting campaign that you’ve worked on?

It’s a tie between working on the public engagement effort for the construction and opening of Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City and the organization of Spike 150, the statewide celebration of the 150th-anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike. 

Josh Knotts (not pictured)

VP of Strategy & Marketing | Ameritech College of Healthcare

Twitter | LinkedIn

What advice would you give?

Just go for it. My advice would be to understand what you’re good at and what interests you, then charge towards the niche that fits you the best. If you’re around a good team with good support, you’ll eventually fill your skill gaps which will make opportunities almost endless.

What does sales/marketing look like to you in a post-COVID world?

My hope is that we see a more creatively diverse world of marketing post-COVID. In the short-term, once it’s safe to do so, I suspect we’re going to see a wave of community-based and events marketing. I think we’re all just ready to be around one another again.

Leslie Titus Bryant

Director of Marketing & Brand | Spectrum Solutions™, SpectrumDNA™

LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Leslie Titus Bryant with Spectrum Solutions photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

What’s the most exciting campaign that you’ve worked on?

Our 2020 “Part of the Solution” campaign included a partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) and a trip to the World Series. I will never forget the feeling of being at my first World Series game and seeing a commercial I created playing up on the Jumbotron. 

What does success look like to you?

Success is truly measured in outcomes. It’s putting what’s learned into practice—being appreciated and valued for the specialized skills and experience that has taken decades to develop. I believe the quote says, “success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” It isn’t by accident but sincerely achieved through dedicated hard work and learning from failure. 

Nick Rico

SVP, Growth & Marketing | Lucid

Twitter | LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Nick Rico with Lucid photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

What’s the most exciting campaign that you’ve worked on?

I was a crucial member of Ancestry’s “Declaration of Descendants” television campaign a few years back. I was incredibly proud of its message―embracing, respecting, and valuing the diversity within America. It was all about bringing people together. It was bold, purposeful, culturally relevant, and rooted in purpose.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?

It is okay to be different, to come from diverse professional backgrounds―great marketers come from all backgrounds. If you are willing to listen, learn from others, and embrace technology, you can be a successful marketer. Be sure to chase experiences that give you these opportunities.

Monet Johnson

VP, Marketing | SME Industries, Inc.

Twitter | LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Monet Johnson with SME Industries photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

Why were you attracted to marketing?

Because of the data, I’ve always loved and been good at analyzing data. I remain in marketing for the same reason. Digital marketing allows me to use the data I receive to make decisions. I’ve been able to excel at understanding where to optimize campaigns and how to improve performance.

What does success look like to you?

Continuously striving to be the next best version of me; creating space for me and everyone I am lucky enough to work with to show up in a more profound way for family, friends, colleagues, and clients.

Payton Halls

Senior Digital Marketing Manager | Max Connect Marketing

LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Payton Halls with Max Connect Marketing photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

What’s the most exciting campaign that you’ve worked on?

The most exciting campaign recently has been Avetta, I have been working with Avetta to scale globally into Canada as well as the EMEA and APAC regions. Avetta is campaigning for companies like Netflix, General Mills, Raytheon, and more.

Why were you attracted to marketing?

I was originally attracted to marketing because of the data. I’ve always loved and been good at analyzing data and I remain in marketing for the same reason. Digital marketing allows me to use the data I receive to make decisions. I’ve been able to excel at understanding where to optimize campaigns and how to improve performance.

Ryan Nelsen

VP of Marketing | MX

LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Ryan Nelsen with MX photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

What are you looking forward to accomplishing most in 2021?

At MX, our mission is to empower the world to be financially strong. We are building the biggest fintech company in Utah and creating a category called money experience, that is improving the financial lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. 

What advice would you give to an aspiring marketer? 

Get your foot in the door. Join the fastest growing company with the best product. When you’re starting out, choose the company over the title or position. Then go all in, be proactive, earn trust, and crush every opportunity you are given. As you become the most valuable employee for your boss, you will be given opportunities to become the most valuable employee at the company. 

Stan Sorensen

VP, Director of Marketing | Altabank

Twitter | LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Stan Sorenson with Altabank photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine.

What are the challenges/rewards of working in marketing?

Most people only see the end result of any marketing campaign. What surprises people is the amount of research and testing that goes into any campaign before the final project; the amount of learning marketers do in order to become expert enough to create and execute a campaign. People are also surprised when I tell them everything that goes into actively managing campaigns, the days of “set it and forget it” ended a long time ago.

What’s the most exciting campaign that you’ve worked on?

My first big product launch, the Microsoft Exchange Server 2000, in the fall of 1999 and most recently the Altabank rebrand. We took three banks with over 100 years of name recognition and rebranded them, doing so in 9 months. We created an entirely new web site in five months, we had a small team and a great creative partner in Struck. It was a whirlwind.

Travis Tidball

SVP, Marketing & Growth | Filevine

LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Travis Tidball with Filevine photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What are the challenges/rewards of working in marketing?

I’m constantly reminded and surprised by just how much sales and marketing require you to use every part of your brain. We talk about it as a largely interpersonal skill, but the best salespeople are problem solvers. Marketing requires its own mix of mental capacities, you’ve got to know a little bit about everything in order to understand what’s working.

What does sales/marketing look like to you in a post-COVID world?

For marketing teams, COVID put a bright spotlight on what was already heading our way. As we step deeper into this new decade, I believe sales and marketing can best distinguish themselves with a return to something old school: personal connections and offline experiences. It’s now the minority, which makes doing it well that much rarer. And when you do, people remember it forever.

Sales Professionals of the Year

Peter Chun

VP, Sales | Lucid

Twitter | LinkedIn

Utah Business announces the annual list of sales and marketers of the year.
Peter Chun with Lucid, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

Why were you initially attracted to sales?

I was initially attracted to sales as it is a department very close to revenue―so the impact on the company/organization is clearly quantifiable and measurable. As I’ve been in B2B tech sales, I’m constantly driven by the quest of mastering the craft and find great fulfillment in first understanding the challenges of our customers and helping them solve complex business problems. 

What does success look like to you?

As a leader, success is not just crossing the “finish line” of an important goal or milestone, but being able to do so with others who have also put in great effort and whose lives are better because of it. There is tremendous fulfillment in bringing people together to accomplish something amazing together. Success, to me, is sharing that special sense of accomplishment and creating memories that everyone can take with them throughout the rest of their lives. 

Suzy Djilas (not pictured)

Enterprise Account Executive | SimpleNexus

LinkedIn

What are the challenges/rewards of working in sales?

To work in sales, you have to have thick skin and not take things personally.  Sales is not for everyone because there are a lot of rejections, but that is the part I love the most. My motto has always been “It might be a ‘no’ now, but it will be a yes later.” 

What advice would you give to an aspiring salesperson?

I believe it’s critical to take the time to train prospects in the best use of the product they’re being sold, so I work closely with SimpleNexus’ implementation and training teams. Second, I believe in honesty and I always admit when I make a mistake. Finally, I make a point to return every single phone call and email I receive, no matter what, by the end of the day.

To learn more about our honorees, check out the videos below:

Lindsay Bicknell is the project coordinator for Utah Business magazine. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she graduated from Miami University of Oxford with a degree in communications. She has a background in television, print, and web media, as well as public relations and event planning. As a transplant to Salt Lake City, she can't get enough of the mountains and loves snowboarding.

Comments (1)

  • Dan Dent

    Congratulations Hilary Robertson! It is great to see this recognition of your hard work and talents!

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