I have 20+ years of brand building experience. In that time I have worked on the client side with some of the world largest companies including Procter and Gamble, Kimberly Clark, Wal-Mart and ADT leading the marketing. This includes overseeing pricing, communications, marketing plans, media plans, promotions, innovation, customer acquisition and retention. Previously I worked in advertising and led holistic communication with iconic brands such as M&M’s, Pampers and Fisher Price. During that period I worked between Account Management and Planning.
Today, in my retirement phase, I am a partner in a new Digital Advertising Agency called Blue Island Digital. Our area of specialty is SEO and Social Media. And I find myself right back where I started, not knowing nearly enough about the business I am in and still having a blast doing it. Life has come full circle. And because I still have a farmer’s curiosity I am also a partner in a Wasabi farm in Oregon. Our goal for wasabi is the same as our goal was for watercress…to become the best grower of wasabi in the world. By being the best, we will again, eventually become the biggest.
My goal is the same as when I began…Never stop growing as a person
In 2002 I launched another research firm, Widener Research, LLC. This company specializes in conducting qualitative research. In that role, I manage focus groups and other advertising and marketing research projects that focus on branding/positioning research, new product development, ad concept and copy testing, online ad testing, website content development and usability studies, and customer satisfaction research.
I have broad experience working for a variety of US and International clients, including banking/financial services, health care, travel/tourism and hospitality, media/journalism, packaged goods, beverages, non profits and associations.
Some of my most fun and visible work has been on the “got milk?” account. Recently, I’ve also conducted a significant amount of research for National Public Radio, the Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Regions Bank, Johns Hopkins Hospital, MedStar Health, Georgetown Hospital and several Blue Cross Blue Shield plans around the country.
Most of my career I’ve worked in sports marketing, which included negotiating media and sponsorship deals and running sales/marketing depts. for major media companies, sports organizations and brands.
I’ve now taken that sports/media career experience to run my own sports; even marketing/career development company. Now, I help hire sports, entertainment and media sales/marketing executives for agencies and media companies (i.e. helping my clients hire great people to generate more revenue and create business-building partnerships). I advise clients on their sports/entertainment events, and also conduct sales training and do career coaching for my clients.
Currently I lead the PR team for one of Charlotte’s biggest integrated communications firms with such recognizable clients as BB&T, Belk, Bojangles’, Carolina Panthers and the PGA of America. I work with clients and colleagues in other communications disciplines on program strategy, oversee the implementation efforts of our PR team, and also manage their personal growth and development. I provide senior-level PR support to clients in the area of media relations and crisis management. I also help the agency identify and develop new client relationships and stay active in the community so our firm is visible. And I’m part of the senior leadership team that charts and activates the overall vision for our company.
Currently I am working as a consultant to start up to medium size companies and non-profits on projects such as leadership development, resume and staffing support, and policies and procedures. Along with working with my husband’s company with marketing and social media support.
I have my own marketing consultancy, MCL Strategic Support, and I also partner with a content creation boutique in Miami. In both instances, I advise on marketing strategy—how to identify and connect effectively with customers, and on creative strategy – how to persuasively get the best message to the customers that will prompt them to think or act in a specific way that is profitable for my clients.
I started my career on the agency side as an account person who was responsible for bringing in my own business, which meant I did a lot of writing – letters, proposal, RFPs etc. My writing got the attention of the powers that be and soon, I made the jump to the creative side as a copywriter. After traveling around the US for a stint, I went client side as a national brand manager before launching my own agency in 2002 -www.evokad.com. When we started, I was new biz, account management and copywriting, and between then and now, I have done just about every role the agency has to offer.
We have three offices – Orlando (headquarters), Memphis and LA, and affiliate offices in five other markets. As CEO, I now oversee a team of some of the most talented, and dedicated, individuals on the planet, and spend about half my time doing new business -yes, the fun part of advertising. So, ask me about the pitch process over drinks.
I am the Co Founder and Chief Pet Finder of mobiPET -www.mobipet.me a startup company specializing in rescuing lost pets with a photo amber alert..I am also the CMO for a mobile digital company ProxMob who has launched a real time mobile marketing app ( DealsOnTheGoGo) for local businesses in beta test in Myrtle Beach and Greenville, SC.
St. John; Partners’ Vice President and Digital Director, Shane Santiago, is a Florida native who grew up in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. He attended the University of Florida, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Advertising. He also earned a diploma in Marketing Communications from the International Advertising Association (IAA), and was recognized by the American Advertising Federation in 1999 as one of the country’s Most Promising Minority Students. Upon graduating, Santiago landed at global advertising agency Ogilvy; Mather New York, where he tackled some of world’s largest brands including IBM, Jaguar, Sears, Golf Digest, Kraft, and Perrier while his work garnered recognition for MC ICON Awards, CyberLions and ADDYs. Santiago honed his craft at various advertising agencies in Baltimore and Washington DC, developing interactive campaigns for a wide range of clients including Visa, Wall Street Journal, GlaxoSmithKline and Under Armour before he was named Vice President, Interactive Director at GMMB, an Omnicom issue-and- cause-based marketing and communications firm. There he built the entire interactive capability from the ground up, working for clients including the Obama for America campaign, the Red Cross, the Save Darfur Coalition, Association of American Medical Colleges, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Santiago then founded SBS Studios, a digital creative agency in 2006 to create a “Madison Avenue” experience for businesses of all sizes, across multiple verticals. SBS Studios is an internationally recognized digital creative agency that has garnered industry honors such as the Davey Awards W3 Awards, Pixel Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Summit Creative Awards and ADDY awards; and boasts a portfolio with brands such as Marriott International, Disney, Discovery, The NBA, The AdCouncil, ADCOLOR, Comcast, Axe, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Twisted Pixel, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, and others. Shane has been published in top industry publications such as Advertising Age, Communication Arts and Mashable.
In April 2013, Shane lead the successful acquisition of SBS Studios by St. John; Partners, a full-service advertising, public relations and marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida.
Shane is also committed to the future of the industry, as he is often a speaker at campuses in Jacksonville, in advertising clubs across the state, and at conferences across the country. SBS Studios also underwrote the first ever “SBS Studios Mosaic Scholarship” in the 4th District of the AAF in 2012.
Leading SBS Studios to major industry recognition including ADDY Awards, W3 Awards, Davey Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Summit Creative Awards, Pixel Awards and more, Shane also was recognized as the recipient of AAF’s 2012 Most Promising Minority Student Program Distinguished Alumni Award, presented by Omnicom, a 2012 ADCOLOR Innovator and the 2013 AAF Silver Medal Award for Jacksonville.
Shane currently serves on the advisory board for ADCOLOR®, as well as the board of directors for the American Advertising Federation local chapter in Jacksonville.
Shane is inspired daily by his wife, Amy, and sons Bradley and Carter.
Currently, I serve as the Executive Director for an ad agency network called MCAN. Website is www.mcan.com. Around 20 ad agency owners that meet three times a year. Some of my past students have been hired by some of the members of MCAN over the years.