WHO WE ARE
Jen Hogan / Co-Founder
Combining commercial acumen with the ability to create process and design organizations, Jen has spent 20 years building consumer brands, and crafting compelling business and communication strategies.
She began her working life in the UK via roles in Thailand, Singapore, China and Japan, before settling in the US. Her career has included positions in financial business partnering, brand development, marketing communications, corporate strategy and investor relations.Through these experiences, she has developed a problem-solving approach to business, coupled with the ability to tell a persuasive story grounded in data.
Jen has spent most of her life in consumer goods, starting her career at Unilever on household name brands, including Magnum, Axe and Dove. As a result, she can tell you why you should think twice about chocolate ice cream, and why the skin care routine of a Japanese woman would leave you feeling like you’re not making the effort.
Her first role in the architecture of a corporate transformation was in a consulting role for the former Newell Rubbermaid business. Jen’s rigorous portfolio analysis of business strengths, drivers of performance and right-to-win positions was critical to the new corporate strategy’s Where To Play resource allocation choices. The resulting Growth Game Plan pivoted the fortunes of an ailing business facing double-digit revenue declines, to a consumer-centric culture with a topline growing at 5%+.
Jen maintained her strategy stewardship role in her Chief of Staff position. As the communications lead for the CEO, Jen led the employee engagement strategy of the transformation, and its launch with the investor community.
As a member of Newell’s marketing leadership team, Jen led the creation of an enterprise marketing services function. From a fragmented roster of over 500 suppliers, Jen streamlined a global model of three agencies of record. The resulting cumulative $70m savings in fees reduced the non-working/working media ratio by 20 percentage points. Far from being a pure procurement exercise, the transformation encompassed advertising process, briefing training and new budget management disciplines.
Newell Rubbermaid subsequently merged with the Jarden business to form Newell Brands, a house of brands of durable goods, with brands such as Coleman, Yankee Candle, and Graco. Jen was tasked to replicate the transformation of marketing services for the new $14bn entity as Vice President of Marketing Operations, with global responsibility for media, PR, social media and digital marketing. She created a 100-person centralized team, staffed with employees of both legacy businesses and new hires. Under Jen’s leadership, the blended team established a culture that recorded world-class employee engagement scores. Within two years they were recipients of prestigious industry awards, including a Silver Cannes Lion for #crockpotisinnocent real time response to brand crisis, and the PR News Award for follower creation with Elmers Slime.
Her most recent corporate position used her experience in forging emotional connections through brands, in a role in elevating the customer engagement experience of the award-winning loyalty program at Delta Air Lines.
Jen’s passion in life is organizational, personal and leadership development. She is a trained coach, and brings her collaborative coaching perspective and client-goal focus to all her work. She also loves karaoke and cardio dancing, but hopes you don’t mind if she goes left when everyone else goes right.
Dr. Kristine Sickels / Co-Founder
Kristine Sickels is a transformational business leader who is known for a strategic focus on getting results with a successful track record in turnaround management, brand building, and strategy development. In her previous role as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Newell Brands, she led all marketing initiatives for a $2bn + global portfolio of consumer appliances and cookware. While leading a 200-person high-performing team, Kristine set the strategic product and marketing vision across six brands, including Calphalon, Oster, Mr. Coffee, Crockpot, Sunbeam, and Breville.
Kristine is passionate about developing the marketing & leadership capabilities of teams & individuals. She believes leading well includes the what AND the how and that empathy is a must-have for an executive to truly succeed in the C-Suite.
Kristine has led global marketing teams and launched innovation and brand building efforts in the US, China, Central & South America, Europe & Australia. Her experience spans B2B & CPG. Kristine’s approach to innovation is grounded in local market insights. Rather than assume what customers want, she strives to understand market pain and to create unique solutions that address market problems. For each initiative, she is an advocate for the voice of the customer (VOC).
Within her marketing leadership roles at Newell Brands she spearheaded successful commercial launches such as Calphalon Space Saving Cookware, Rubbermaid Brilliance & Freshworks, and the rebranding of Mr. Coffee & Oster. Each of these launches not only lead to revenue increases for the brands, but they also achieved the true metric of success which is POS gains at retail. Her approach to commercial launches is holistic. She ensures consumer insights are the foundation for clear communication, creating a unique value proposition, developing innovation & brand activation. She also created a clear process to partner with retailers such as WalMart, Target, Williams-Sonoma, & Costco in the co-creation of innovation to meet the needs of their respective customers. This process lead to several exclusive product launches across major retailers. It also enhanced relationships with key retail partners because their input and customer needs were included early in the product development process.
As a key member of the marketing leadership team of Newell Brands, Kristine developed and rolled out several marketing trainings for the full global marketing team of the $14bn entity. Kristine’s passion for culture & leadership development provided her the opportunity to lead several cross functional teams in culture building, marketing leadership competencies, & mentorship programs for the entire Newell Brands Marketing organization. She consistently fostered best in class engagement scores for her direct teams across multiple leadership roles within her 20-year tenure.
Kristine left her 20-year marketing career at Newell Brands to start several entrepreneurial ventures. Kristine is the founder of Her Story, which is a marketing agency created by women for women. Her Story focuses on empowering female founders and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses with great marketing. She focuses on strategy, brand positioning and personal branding along with coaching & mentorship.
Kristine serves as the President for Nexus Project in Charlotte, North Carolina. Nexus Project is a for-purpose startup founded by Ridge Church. Nexus is focused on creating engaging campuses and environments where people work, gather, learn & play – to help them live out their passion & purpose while making their communities better.
Kristine is also the Co-Founder and sits on the board of directors for Gift of College Inc. College loan debt has become the number one form of consumer debt in the US. Gift of College helps students and families save for college tuition, taking away the stress and worry of college loan debt.
Kristine holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University; a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan’s prestigious Ross School of business; and a Doctor of Business Administration from Georgia State University.
Johanna O’Leary has had a strong 15 year career helping to grow large, global consumer brands, like Calphalon, Oster and PaperMate to name a few. Her expertise in consumer insights was originally grounded in her early education, where she received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. It is with this passion for people and deep knowledge of human behavior, that she drives the brands she works on to be consumer-centric.
Johanna brings with her deep experience with consumers, shoppers, market intelligence, and B2B purchaser dynamics. Previously working at Newell Brands, she helped develop several consumer-focused brands & products as well as most recently on Rubbermaid Commercial, specializing in B2B insights. She has a strong ability to develop and foster relationships within the business and feels collaboration is imperative in driving success in complex, cross-functional organizations. Johanna prides herself on leading with compassion and authenticity.
Johanna believes in balancing hard work with personal pursuits to bring her best self in everything she does. Dedication, hard work, compassion and understanding are the cornerstones that make her an excellent business partner.
Emily has devoted over 20 years to a focus on infusing the voice of the consumer and customer into business decisions to accelerate growth, ignite innovation and build brand equity. She began her career on the agency side of the business helping inform consumer understanding for industries such as telecom, food, apparel, music and movies.
She then moved to Unilever where she focused on global & US personal care brands such as Vaseline, Dove, Suave, Degree/Rexona, Tresemme and others to help drive their expansion into new geographies and development of categories and markets.
In her most recent corporate positions, Emily has translated her experience to durable and prestige consumer goods categories globally spanning over 100 brands, such as Rubbermaid, Calphalon, Aprica and Waterman. In these roles, she’s had the pleasure of guiding global teams in delivering strategic insights while overseeing consumer focused direction on GTM strategy and innovation roadmaps. Emily is a passionate champion for consumers, leading vision and strategic direction across global brands and organizations.
Today, Emily will sit on the leadership teams of our client partners and work in collaboration with marketers and cross-functional teams to create and deliver robust learning plans, providing insight into the consumer, shopper, buyer, user and wider marketplace to inform business priorities and decision making.
Melissa has over 20 years’ experience in new product development in the housewares and kitchen appliances industry. Melissa is a collaborative leader known for partnering cross-functionally with teams to deliver growth and innovation. Melissa has an impressive marketing career leading new product development and activation for brands like Solo Cup, Mr. Coffee, Oster, Holmes & Bionaire.
She has a track record driving growth through consumer-informed category strategies and rebranding. Today she partners with our clients on key marketing and marketing operations projects – such as phase-gate optimization, training, and marketing services. She has a passion for collaboration, engagement, and culture. Melissa builds relationships and is dedicated to helping teams succeed. Melissa is also the Founder of Swingly Toys, and recently wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign. She created the Swingly Doorway Storefronts to inspire creative play for kidpreneurs.
Marta Aebischer, SVP Marketing & Business Development for C-Sweet, is a passionate marketing leader with over 25 years of experience leading powerful global brands such as Rubbermaid, Graco, Black & Decker, Ball, Dymo, and Irwin – spanning both consumer and commercial industries. She brings a wealth of experience in brand and product management responsible for building and executing growth strategies across multiple brands and regions across the globe.
Marta’s expertise centers around developing short and long-term innovation and category growth roadmaps with a consumer first mindset. She believes in the power of collaboration and developing the right team and culture to deliver optimal results.
Personally, Marta is a proud working mother of three growing teenagers and has tried her best to balance it all through each phase of her career while wearing many hats. She is a strong advocate of empowering women to do what they love in their careers while finding their own work/life balance formula. In addition to C-Sweet, Marta is pursuing other interests like public speaking and executive coaching.
Jean has had an extensive career that expands from a sixteen-year position as a Buyer in the supermarket industry to a sixteen-year position where she served as an Office Manager, Executive Assistant and Event Planner at a corporate office in the nursing home industry. Before joining C-Sweet, Jean supported the Chief Marketing Officer and three Vice Presidents in the insurance industry.
Jean is a resourceful and experienced professional with multi-faced skills to organize, coordinate, and execute all aspects of managing an office, supporting executives to assist in their success, and planning events down to the smallest detail.
Jean understands that building relationships and a positive attitude are keys to individual and professional success.
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