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.
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