It’s no secret that DirectEmployers is growing in more ways than one. New faces, fresh ideas and strategic planning are the name of our game as we look at expanding our offerings and membership. Recently, Nancy Holland transitioned to become the association’s Philanthropy Chair for DE-Serves, and Jessica Brown was welcomed as the new Vice President of Marketing. We sat down to chat with her about everything she enjoys in life and it’s easy to tell this Indiana native will make a great addition to the team ya’ll.
Thanks for chatting with us, Jessica! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your professional background to start things off?
Marketing and Recruiting for AXA Advisors, LLC – Texas Marketing Center. I was hired by their firm in 2010 and by 2018 had worked my way up to Sr. Executive Operations and Marketing Coordinator. My role primarily focused on executing any marketing, recruiting or leadership development initiatives our executive management team developed.
Moving from a work from home position to an office setting must be quite an adjustment! What will you miss most working from home?
My fur baby LE (pronounced el-ee)! While she is a sweet co-worker, I am ready to be back in an office with humans.
What was your very first job and what skill from that position do you still use today?
My parents own Integrity Automotive in Carmel, IN, so my first job was helping with oil changes and cleaning up the shop after school when I was 14. While I don’t do my own oil changes these days, I do respect taking good care of my car. That job taught me that details are always important – one misstep with a simple oil change could damage the vehicle or deter your entire day.
How do you like to get your day started?
I’d LIKE to start my day with coffee but I generally start my day with my girls waking up singing the “Good Morning” song…which, let’s be honest, that’s way better than coffee.
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
Instagram – I’ve lived in so many cities over the years that Instagram allows me to keep up with friends and former coworkers all over the country with just a simple snap shot of their day.
What is your favorite HR blog/resource?
Fistful of Talent – educational and entertaining!
iPhone or Android – what kind of phone do you have?
What does your workspace look like?
Spotless – although I am having my Little’s create some artwork for me to hang in the new office.
How do you think your past experience in financial services marketing has prepared you for your new role as VP of Marketing?
The best (and worst) part about working in that particular industry is that it required me to work outside my comfort zone at a very young age. Financial service regulations are ever changing within FINRA. So when it came to marketing and recruiting strategies in general, we had to be very clear and methodical in our approach. For instance, any new piece or communication had to be scrubbed by two compliance officers before we could launch to the public. Certain phrases, adjectives and photos were not allowed to be used and would be automatically kicked back for editing if caught in the initial submission. Starting my career with those stringent guidelines to follow along with the expectation that my work had to be highly creative and relatable was challenging. It did force me to be a critical thinker though, especially when my mind wanted to default to creative focus only. Having those parameters forced me to really dive into situational analysis before attempting to plan a marketing strategy. That particular skill set is useful in any industry so I’m excited to jump right into the world of OFCCP!
What elements do you see carrying over into marketing for a Member-based organization?
I feel that any company’s goal, no matter the industry, is to find, service and retain clients. The key to transitioning a prospect to a client or member is all about figuring out what their thread of discontent is. It’s then our duty to not only provide solutions but differentiate ourselves from competitors. While the competition may have similar remedies to offer, I’ve witnessed first-hand that people don’t leave companies – people leave people. Fostering a relationship with each member on a personal level is crucial to not only their success but ours as well. People come in for the service but they stay because of the people and their commitment to success – this applies across the board whether it’s financial services, OFCCP compliance, or an auto shop.
What do you like to do for fun?
Total foodie, movies and camping.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what genre do you listen to?
Maxence Cyrin – he takes pop music and turns it into classical.
What is the background photo on your cell phone?
My two lovely daughters, and my lovely, I mean ornery.
What is your non-marketing dream job?
Dolphin Trainer – high hopes for that career since I was 12 – lol!
What is the best job advice you’ve ever received?
My mentor and Branch Manager consistently reminded our team to “always look good in times of change”…I made sure I was always in early, staying late, taking on the “tough” projects. Our directors recognized my commitment to excellence and gave me the opportunity to move up in our leadership team when new positions became available which resulted in 4 promotions within 8 ½ years.
What is your top non-professional accomplishment?
Solo motherhood – #BOSSMom!
What are you most excited for in your new role?
The people! I’m very fortunate to be joining one of top teams in the country!
Share with us an unexpected fun fact about yourself!
I love to go dove and deer hunting.
Jaime Costilow is a Marketing Manager specializing in social media and communications for DirectEmployers Association.