I have spent over 15 years in the Marketing and PR industry using my creativity to help brands such as University of Phoenix, GCU and Yelp make an effective footprint in the Valley. I achieved my most notable career success during my five years at Yelp where I was head of Marketing for the greater Phoenix area serving as Senior Marketing & Community Director and acting as the liaison between businesses and their target audience of consumers. During this time, I was solely in charge of Marketing the Yelp brand and did so through their growth from being a private company to going public. When I started in 2010, the Influencer world was just starting to grow and businesses looked closely at the most active and vocal Yelp reviewers as online "influencers." My job was to connect the businesses with these reviewers in a way that got consumers through their doors.
My role at Yelp allowed me to wear many Marketing and PR hats. I acted as an agency of one serving as the event planner, online ambassador, community and business educator, publicist, media spokesperson and I was the area's go-to Yelp resource both online and offline. I loved serving as a community educator to support local businesses and through my work, I grew the Phoenix market to become one of the top 10 in the world and excelled in my role to become one of the top leading Senior Community Directors in the company. It was also a very exciting time for Social Media when I started at Yelp in 2010 and during my time there, I grew the Yelp Phoenix Twitter handle from scratch to 12,500 followers and the newsletter from 12,000 to 500,000 subscribers.
As the Marketing Director for Yelp in charge of the Phoenix metro, I had a $0 budget but expectations to throw epic parties to grow awareness for Yelp and local businesses. What did this mean? It meant that I had to be an excellent community leader, friend to the area and an educator explaining to business owners, locals and influencers alike on how Yelp made a positive impact on their businesses and the community. I accomplished this by showcasing my creative Marketing efforts, both online and offline. Online, I acted as the head Yelp Phoenix ambassador where I facilitated conversations on Yelp and social media that got the community engaging with each other and supporting local businesses. My community management efforts results in new friendships, new jobs and even marriages! Offline, I connected the community and raised awareness for local businesses by planning and executing large events. If I could think of it, I was able to plan it. I created a cocktail society, secret cinema club, a resort pool party series and restaurant crawls just to name a few. I planned events for 1,500 guests at the Science Center, the Children's Museum of Phoenix and I even transformed an empty parking lot in Downtown Phoenix into an evening under the stars for 1,500.
Some of my most notable accomplishments that catapulted my Yelp career to Senior Director were my outside the box ideas for branding Yelp during the Super Bowl in Phoenix. When the Super Bowl came to town in 2015, I was tasked with making a big Yelp splash without spending money. How did I succeed? I came up with the idea to create the World's Largest Snack Stadium (#YelpSnackStadium)! I worked with a renowned architecture firm to design and build it, a local food bank to benefit from the food used to build it, national brands to donate the food to build it and then donate it to the food bank, the biggest mall in Scottsdale to host it and generated over 12 million impressions from media hits and even got a write-up in Yahoo Foods and Sports Illustrated! This was all accomplished entirely through barter and trade. The day was even officially deemed "Yelp Day" by the Mayor of Scottsdale. Yelp was a part of the Super Bowl without spending a dollar! I also solely planned and executed three nights of parties for over 1,500 attendees inside the ESPN Zone during Super Bowl Week all through barter and trade. These parties were free for the influential community and had local businesses donating their products and entertainment to provide an epic experience to raise awareness for our local community of businesses during the biggest event of the year!
In 2015, I left Yelp and started my own Marketing and PR agency to shift the focus of my efforts to helping local businesses grow their footprint through successful Marketing campaigns. I am passionate about helping a business succeed and I have enjoyed working with over a dozen clients in the last four years of owning my own agency. I specifically work with the most successful online influencers in the area to connect with them the businesses through Marketing and Influencer campaigns and I work with over 150 local successful influencers. One of my biggest attributes is working with local influencers on Marketing campaigns to promote brands in an effective way. I love coming up with creative and out of the box ways to market a business and enjoy working with influencers to execute these campaigns. I watched the evolution of Influencers first as a Community Manager during a time before influencers existed and blogging was still a new idea, to the current marketplace where Influencers drive brand growth and the Marketing world.
Community & Marketing Director
6/2010 – 7/2015 • Phoenix, AZ
- In charge of Marketing, PR, Event Planning, Social Media and Business owner education for the Phoenix metro
- Promotes Yelp both on and offline.
- Works closely with businesses to come up with ways for them to effectively raise awareness about their business to the tastemakers and influencers.
- Educates businesses on yelp.com by hosting business owner education seminars and meetings.
- Educates business owners on online reputation management.
- Event planner and host of monthly events for the community of active and vocal influencers, with attendance ranging from 100 to 2,000 in attendance.
- Identifies and executes marketing partnerships with events and organizations.
- Writes the weekly email newsletter (yelp.com/weekly) which is distributed to local subscribers.
- Manages the social media accounts for Yelp Phoenix, including the Twitter handle with 11,400 followers.
- Acts as the local “face” of Yelp and Yelp representative for media appearances and interviews.
Associate Director, PR, Community Relations
Grand Canyon University
9/2009 – 6/2010 • Phoenix, AZ
- Manages Public Relations accounts.
- Teaches and mentors college students on public relations and community relations.
Plans and implements public relations strategies, policies, and procedures.
- Manages media relations to increase presence of the University locally and nationally.
- Oversees and directs the Internal -Communications team of the Communication’s Manager and Specialists.
Responsible for directing and approving all staff, student, alumni and faculty communication.
- Fosters and maintains strategic relationships with key influencers by identifying and developing relationships and organizing events with community, non-profit, and political organizations.
- Identifies and develops appropriate sponsorship opportunities, special events, projects and programs that will increase brand awareness, trust and loyalty pertaining to community impact.
Community Relations Manager
University of Phoenix/Apollo Group
1/2007 – 10/2009 • Phoenix, AZ
- Built, executed and maintained partnerships with non-profits nationwide under the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility model and business mission.
- Created and implemented engagement strategies for employees, students, faculty and alumni nationwide, by expanding and nourishing relationships with non-profit partners in areas not limited to: business/organization relationship development and growth, volunteerism, financial support, in-kind giving, event sponsorships, company awareness, community initiatives and public relations.
- Created innovative community campaigns for non-profit partners to include the creation of the plan, website, electronic and printed marketing materials, company-wide communications, securing company support, social networking communication, planned events and event promotion.
- Managed the department interns and coordinator positions.
- Created and maintained the Community Relations website http://communityrelations.phoenix.edu.
Project Manager - Marketing
University of Phoenix/Apollo Group
1/2006 – 1/2007 • Phoenix, AZ
- Account Manager for all direct and lead generation internet marketing components for University of Phoenix Online, Axia College, Alumni, Scholarships and Public Affairs.
- Prepared and managed print marketing, internet marketing, website creation and audio marketing from the start to the finish of each project.
- Managed the company’s first e-commerce marketing partnership with theU.com.
University of Phoenix
Masters in Business Administration & Marketing
1/2006 – 07/2008 • Phoenix, AZ
University of Arizona
08/2001 – 05/2005 • Tucson, AZ
Events Marketing PR Social Media Coaching Reputation Management
event planning PR Marketing Social Media Writing Training Consultation