Vice President – Marketing Communications Group
Company Name: M&I (Marshall & Ilsley Corporation)
I spent 15 years commuting from Milwaukee to the Chicago area (Schaumburg and Buffalo Grove) as an account executive with Alexander Marketing. I eventually took over as General Manager for the agency working with clients like Siemens and Juno Lighting. After 15 years of winter commutes and Chicago traffic, I interviewed for a position as the manager of the internal agency at M&I, a Wisconsin-based $64 billion financial services firm and the #1 bank in Wisconsin. I joined the corporation in October of 2006.
What is the best thing about working in-house?
1) Having more work than you know what to do with; versus the ongoing new business prospecting efforts with the external agency.
2) The willingness of our business partners to share their insights relative to the customer, the market, the product
3) Attracting top talent from major Milwaukee-based external agencies.
What types of projects does your department do?
We manage the brand and are involved in a variety of projects including direct mail, print advertising, collateral, building signage, sponsorships, TV and radio spots, tradeshow support, etc. We support all lines of business: retail banking, commercial and business banking, wealth management as well as corporate initiatives as well as our regional initiatives in Minnesota, Arizona, Florida, Kansas City and Indiana.
What keeps you motivated and inspired in your job?
Great and talented people. A strong commitment to the brand and M&I’s values. The diversity of the lines of business which include both B-to-B and B-to-C. Diverse projects. We light the corporate headquarters in the shape of a guitar in recognition of M&I’s sponsorship of the Classic Rock Stage at Summerfest. Les Paul was the honorary guest last year. (Go to Youtube.com and type in “M&I and Les Paul”)
What do you consider the biggest success of your in-house career?
1) Building of the internal agency team. We have a great blend of existing employees who have 15 plus years with the organization as well as several team members with under 2 years with M&I.
2) Demonstrating everyday that even a conservative financial services firm can have great creative.
What are you currently reading, watching and listening to?
Reading Frank Lloyd Wright His 100 Greatest Works (lots of pictures). Recently returned from a visit to Taliesin West in Scottsdale. My i-Pod is a strange mixture of everything from Clay Aiken to Metallica.