- James Capo - WINNER
Vice President, Digital Services
I have been incredibly lucky in my career to have worked for, and with some tremendous leaders. Leaders who have inspired me, taught me, and challenged me -- but also provided daily examples of what it truly means to be a leader. This award is not just about the individual. It recognizes the importance of mentorship and the incredible impact today’s leaders can, and do have, on future leaders.
“While our company has been making the shift from print to digital for years, James has really made an impact here in a short amount of time. He has been instrumental in spreading the word of digital sales with a focus on audience data, and has helped that become a daily conversation throughout the company. In his first 18 months with AI, James has helped bring in almost $1 million in new digital sales."
- Rob Paciorek, SVP/CIO, Access Intelligence
- Krystle Kopacz - WINNER
Chief Operating Officer
National Journal Group
The best leaders empower those around them. I have had the good fortune of working at a company that is committed to building its employees into leaders. Because of this, I have been able to learn from the best on what it means to be a good leader and adapt that into my own management skills. But, the only way to truly tell if you are a good leader is by noticing those around you. Ensuring that employees feel nurtured, nimble, and creative in their work is essential to being a good leader. By developing that atmosphere, companies can thrive off the smart ideas and efficient execution that stems from hard-working, committed staff.
“As Chief Operating Officer of National Journal Group, Krystle is responsible for many aspects of internal operations and personally manages several business units. In addition to coaching members of her own teams, Krystle makes herself available to individuals across all divisions, constantly taking on new mentees within the company and offering advice to everyone from interns to executives. Through this personalized process Krystle acts as a powerful change agent across the organization, pushing for open communication, strong recommendations, and decisive decisions. Since joining National Journal, Krystle has led successful transformations of the digital and marketing teams.”
- Tim Hartman, CEO, National Journal Group
- Kip McDaniel - WINNER
Chief Investment Officer, Asset International
I cringe at the idea of self-promotion, because the success of CIO is the result of many efforts that we think of as the principles of success in business-to-business publishing. If anything, it is the infusion of these principles into everything we do that is deserving of recognition. They include: The client is the reader, not the advertiser. You can’t have readers without advertisers. You can’t have advertisers without readers. No one reads a B2B magazine because they think their job is boring; so don’t be boring in writing it. The best circulation department is the editorial team and the content they produce. We are paid to be creative, not to rewrite press releases. Forming relationships with the community you cover is essential to the long-term success of your brand. We try to follow these principles every day.
"Kip founded Chief Investment Officer (CIO) in the depths of the financial crisis, and has grown it into the second-largest media brand within Asset International in just six years. The publication would not exist without his almost absurdly dedicated leadership over the last six years. He still treats the brand like a startup. CIO ranks ahead of all or all but one of our decades-old (and very successful) sister publications in page views, unique viewers, overall revenue, mobile traffic, print advertising, events revenue, and Neal Awards. He has led CIO to roughly 30% annual revenue and traffic growth.”
- Leanna Orr, Managing Editor, Asset International
- Michael Mellody - WINNER
Chief of Staff
National Journal Group
I began my time at Atlantic Media in the company’s fellowship program, where I worked on digital strategy and new product development. After nine months, I was promoted to Digital Media Analyst and charged with directing National Journal’s social media strategy. After three months in this position, I was promoted to Chief of Staff for the Chief Executive Officer of National Journal Group, where I’ve worked to develop, manage, and implement the ongoing leadership agenda for Atlantic Media’s Washington divisions, National Journal and Government Executive. I’ve have been fortunate enough to work with incredible leaders who have both taught me the power of open communication, collaboration, strong team-building, and clear decision-making, qualities I strive to emulate. I hope to share these skills with other young staff at Atlantic Media.
"As Chief of Staff at National Journal Group, Michael Mellody serves as the primary project manager and operations analyst to the Chief Executive Officer and has full transparency into his leadership agenda. Michael frequently finds himself as a de facto leader in our company acting more as a Chief of Staff at the White House would. Michael’s response to uncertainty is “filling the room.” Michael’s leadership eliminates any ambiguity of priority. His willingness to push himself beyond his initial comfort zone, combined with his talent for leadership, diagnosis, and decision-making accelerated our turnaround by months, if not years. His superior communications skills, raw intelligence, and sheer drive to get results have a powerful impact on those he works with and ultimately the business.”
- Tim Hartman, CEO, National Journal Group
- Cynthia Wittig - WINNER
Project Services Manager
Northstar Travel Media
I could talk about how my work ethic, passion, and persistence opened doors; reveal how an advanced business degree and certifications prepared me to face the challenges of working with people of varying backgrounds and skills; and describe how products I developed with colleagues improved my company’s future. However, the Northstar team has taken a chance on me and has given me multiple opportunities to take professional risks that lead to my personal and professional growth.
“Cynthia views change management as an integral part of everything we do. She identifies and then emphasizes the value of change to stakeholders and gains regular feedback to understand our progress. Cynthia’s leadership role has grown with the implementation of our international financial system to cover our expansion into Asia and China. Cynthia’s commitment, focus and willingness to jump in, helps our team ensure projects align with corporate and brand strategies. Cynthia
- Roberta Muller, SVP, Product Development + Production, Northstar Travel Media
- Blake Bobit
Digital Sales Manager
Bobit Business Media
I use my experience in interactive design, digital advertising, and sales every day to help transform our business. We have a great team here and I couldn't be successful without them being willing to try new things. I am especially interested in attracting and developing digital talent within our company and want to see our long-term associates keep learning new skills.
“In the past two years as digital sales manager, Blake’s strategy and leadership have produced digital revenue growth over 40% per year. As the future leader of the family business he takes his role very seriously and is always challenging the status quo, seeking new ways to improve and expand the business. He has the future of the business in mind.”
- Sherb Brown, VP/Group Publisher, Bobit Business Media
- Kara Davey
Vice President, Corporate Development
I am focused on identifying emerging technologies that can empower communications professionals. I am passionate about the potential of content marketing to help businesses reach new and engaged audiences. Plus, I am working on finding ways that innovation in the business media space can better engage brands with the Millennials who are consuming a record amount of online content.
“Kara brings a breadth of experience in many areas, but in the area of innovation, it is her experience on the Emerging Platforms team at Google that has really given Cision a new perspective on an ever-evolving industry. Her knowledge of up-and-coming technologies helps to identify solutions within Cision's product portfolio and moves the organization forward. Kara is a global leader in our organization and excels at collaboration and bringing together organizations.”
- Heidi Sullivan, SVP, Product & Interim MD, Canada, Cision
- Genevieve Diesing
Digital Editor, H&HN and Trustee magazines
Health Forum/American Hospital Association
When I began working at Health Forum, I filled a new position among a well-oiled machine of highly skilled and accomplished journalists. It was up to me to figure out ways to be of value. As a newcomer who is generations younger than many of my colleagues, it was not easy to initially suggest that they think and act differently than they were used to. The generation gap could have been a real impediment if it were not for the support of my supervisor and the innovative spirit of our executive editorial director. I am lucky to have the freedom and guidance to try new things, and in our rapidly changing digital world, there are limitless opportunities to do so.
Genevieve was hired to help transform Health Forum's media team into a much more digital-savvy organization. Her calm demeanor, helpful attitude and strong listening and collaboration skills helped her to quickly succeed in achieving this goal. Genevieve built the role herself, in large part, and in doing so she has been leading by example and helping her colleagues increase their digital savvy. Genevieve put a digital strategy in place that has helped to boost Web traffic by 47 percent over what it was last year.”
- Peggy Scanlon, Director of Marketing, Health Forum/AHA
- Natalia Dykyj
Vice President, Product
This is a generation that is fundamentally changing our corporate cultures and rethinking how we work. I not only embody this change within my own organization, helping bring a new form of leadership, collaboration and data driven decision making to Cision, but I also lead Cision's efforts to make our customers' organizations work better and smarter. In that role, I lead the strategic vision and delivery of products that help companies all around the world to harness technology to improve their PR, marketing and communication efforts to more effectively reach and engage their target audiences on a broad range of online channels.
"Natalia has been responsible for our entire PR software suite from vision to implementation - launching new products, pivoting into the marketing space, expanding our products into new geographies and new target markets, growing into a competitive marketing automation product and integrating acquisitions. Her vision has been a key driver in Cision's success. Leading a cross functional team comprised of members from all legacy organizations based across the globe can be a challenge, but Natalia has done this with ease and increased the velocity of our product production and innovation."
Heidi Sullivan, SVP, Product & Interim MD, Canada, Cision
- Lauren Gabriele
I fell into B2B right out of college. I have been fortunate to benefit from access to mentors and thought leaders. I am passionate about helping young professionals grow, learn, and develop within B2B. There is a need to span the gap between tech, consumer brands, and the B2B community. By developing the B2B initiative at LiveIntent I have shined a light on how the data and subscriber bases of B2B companies intersects with LiveIntent’s goal and made this a priority for my business.
"Lauren has found creative ways to grow existing partnerships and has developed new partnerships for our business with over 40 new companies to date. She has proved to be a leader inside the company as well helping many younger employees grow in their roles. Lauren came in and positively disrupted the way things had been done. While we had been very successful with our core offering aimed at a core audience, Lauren's experience told her that there was another market and another value proposition to investigate."
Dave Hendricks, CEO and Managing Director, Liveintent
- Amy Hanan
Vice President, Strategic Communications & Creative Services
I do not contrive to be a leader. From time to time I realize that I have positively affected someone, not just in their day-to-day work life, but in a way that will carry forward with them throughout their careers and lives that is deeply personally satisfying, and not something that can be planned, spearheaded, or quantified.
"Amy is an extraordinary leader. She has built a team of creative employees that are constantly seeking new outlets for their talents. She has created a greenhouse where they can thrive and refine their craft. She developed a branding strategy that helped ALM go from a collection of publications to a media brand. Now she is helping ALM go from a media brand to an information and intelligence company."
Molly Miller, Chief Content Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, ALM Media
- James Karklins
VP Audience & Demand
I am deeply passionate about the media industry and optimistic for its future, particularly in the growth of digital and emerging channels like lead generation. In my role I engage daily with different groups across the business and recognize that in order to lead effectively that I have to draw from others around me. My career so far has taught me the importance of embracing change and adapting to changing circumstances. I like change. I get bored easily, so I love working in this industry that’s constantly changing! Most of all, I enjoy the intellectual challenges because the media landscape is changing so rapidly, and no one has it all figured out.
"During his three+ years at SourceMedia, James has had a great impact on the organization.
James has been a very effective change agent and innovator in terms of introducing new products, new processes and new tools. He is always looking for new revenue streams and better ways to deliver. James has introduced numerous process improvements from an execution and client delivery perspective and has made demand gen products a top priority with the sales organization and our clients."
Minna Rhee, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, SourceMedia
- Liz Keener
Powersports Business Media(EPG)
I have spent the past five years of my career committed to educating myself and teaching others about the powersports industry. My responsibilities have grown, and for the past two years I have managed the production of Powersports Business’ annual Market Data Book, a data-filled resource relied upon by those within the industry as well as those who want to learn more about the industry. The powersports industry has fortunately also taken notice of my contributions, as I’ve been invited to represent Powersports Business at a variety events from Tennessee to Taiwan.
"Liz Keener has contributed immensely to the growth of the Powersports Business brand at a variety of levels in her five years on the editorial staff. She began as an associate editor and her desire and productivity allowed her to quickly escalate into her current position as Managing Editor. Prior to Liz’s arrival on the editorial staff at Powersports Business, the brand’s social media channels were, essentially, a non-entity. Liz took oversight of our social media channels upon joining the editorial team, and they have not only flourished, but they help shape our editorial approach to a variety of industry topics."
Dave McMahon, Editor in Chief, Powersports Business Media
- Heather Krentler
Regional Director Human Resources
Kudos fall flat for my generation if they don’t include heartfelt appreciation for, and clear understanding of, the impact we have made. Because, at the end of all of this, we want to know we made a difference. We don’t just want to be heard, we want to be considered. We don’t just want to be included, we want to contribute. We don’t just want to win, we want to be remembered. The things that we burn for are the things that you need from us, but you have to trust us a little more than is comfortable to reap the value we’re begging to provide. And here’s the kicker: we’re imperfect and time is running out. The workforce has limited time to turn Millennials into the leaders they need to be. It is only with honest, frequent, feedback and equal portions of forgiveness and faith that we will be able to continue your legacy.
"Heather is an insightful and a natural born leader. Heather’s leadership and commitment to making a difference is crucial for our organization, especially as we evolve from a successful family-owned business into a more corporate focused entity. Her deep understanding of HR issues combined with strong business acumen and leadership style has already contributed to the positive work place changes happening at Crain. Her knowledge, confidence and her natural curiosity give her instant credibility with leadership."
Fawn Lopez, VP/Publisher, Modern Healthcare
- Emily Lettieri
Manager, RealShare Conference Series
I am dedicated to my team and the products that we produce. I always look for innovative ways to grow our division and take chances with new and challenging ideas. I want to be the innovator, but I also want to collaborate because I know that success is greatest when it is achieved by a team. I work hard to create a team environment for those that I manage and work to keep an open line of communication. I want to help them grow within the organization and try to assist in that process. I strive to implement news ideas into the events that I manage, create forward-thinking marketing plans to generate buzz, and generate new leads and revenue opportunities that will help my division and overall company to grow.
"Emily has been the architect of innovation and change. She has worked with her team, the editorial team, as well as the sales team to incorporate creative branding and high-impact sponsorship opportunities into a number of our events. These innovative branding strategies create additional revenue sources, provide new and exciting branding options to clients and help to make the events a better experience for attendees overall. In addition, Emily often takes the initiative with her team to find creative ways to update conference agendas to stand apart in an ultra-competitive event marketplace. Emily leads by example. There is nothing that she asks her team to do that she has not or will not do herself."
Michael Desiato, VP + Group Publisher, Real Estate Media Group, ALM Media
- Tara Loszach
Digital Content Director,
WATT Global Media
As a member of the Millennial generation, there is constant pressure in the workplace to shake things up. Being in a leadership role right now, and also being under 35, often feels like you must A) have identified all that is different about Millennials, and B) know how to cater to these differences (how to recruit, engage and retain this generation). As a leader, my supervisors trust me to boldly go forward and achieve the results we need to remain competitive and relevant. The truth is, each generation has motivated change within a corporate culture and how we work, and the Millennials won't be the last to effect change in this arena. But the most effective leaders know that regardless of these changes, results are all that matter.
"Tara is continually questioning our current processes and is on the lookout for new and better ways to do things. She has led change and been a major driver in the use of new tools for project management/editorial management. She has quickly learned to see the big picture of how editorial, technology, audience and sales have to interact and work together and is good at working with all departments to make sure the overall goals of WATT are met. Tara has encouraged her employees to use the latest collaboration tools, and has led by example. Tara gets assigned to many teams; she’s the person everyone wants on their team because she has good ideas and is capable of getting things done."
Bruce Plantz, VP, Director of Content and Innovation, WATT Global Media
- Jacob Perry
Database Marketing Manager
Business Valuation Resources LLC
Wherever I have landed in the past 10 years, I look at the big picture and think about how my work can improve and grow the company as a whole. My communication style allows me to communicate well across generational barriers, departments, cliques, and external stakeholders. My technical aptitude and strong desire to continually learn help me keep my company at the cutting edge. I seek out opportunities to streamline processes and cut back time on mundane tasks so we can better utilize our staff’s strengths and focus on achieving our overall goals. I have also become involved with local and national user groups dedicated to sharing best practices and provide leadership worldwide.
"Jacob is a key contributor of data and analysis in support of BVR’s marketing initiatives. In his role as Database Marketing Manager, Jacob understands the data in multiple systems, and is able to synthesize multiple data points (in multiple systems) into actionable reports, aiding in the development and measurement of goals and initiatives related to lead generation activities, sales campaigns and retention programs. Jacob demonstrates leadership every day. His system and data knowledge make him the go-to person with questions related to SalesForce and customer data. He works well with different stakeholders to outline requirements, build workflows and reporting."
Lisa McInturff, Chief Marketing Officer, Business Valuation Resources, LLC
- Andy Smith
Director of Technology
WATT Global Media
I enjoy initiating change from within my organization. I thrive on taking an innovative idea or process change and turning it into a reality by motivating others to see and achieve the end results. Since being promoted to Director of Technology, I have established a strong project management discipline that spread from the bottom of the company to the top. I was also integral in setting up a new idea and innovation process for my company. In the last 18 months, my teams replaced and moved the following key business systems: CRM, ERP, CMS, and our entire art and production back-end systems. I am happy to report that our company is more secure, agile, and efficient than ever before.
"Andy started with WATT as a recent college graduate. He quickly moved into a key area in development and was then promoted to Director of Technology. He has transformed the group, applying best practices to our process and becoming a vital member of our management team. We are in process of moving our directories into our new CMS. He went beyond moving the data to looking at our entire directory and sales process. Andy sees himself as a change agent in the company. He continually asks questions such ‘What’s our desired outcome? Is this measurable? Is this profitable?’ Andy has been given some large projects to manage, projects where he has to work with senior people in the company and guide them to the desired result. He has learned that you have to guide people, rather than tell them what to do."
Bruce Plantz, VP, Director of Content and Innovation, WATT Global Media
- Lucy Sullivan
Communicating to a niche industry can be isolating in its specificity. My leadership philosophy is to counter this isolation by finding and leveraging the many points of connection in our efforts. Connect ourselves to our work: I encourage my team to develop a love for the work, even when the subject matter seems daunting or obscure. When you can’t find inspiration in the material, find it in the execution. Connect the audience to the content: Niche publishing gives us a unique opportunity to fulfill people’s needs, not just their desires. Connect ourselves with our colleagues: We have in-house experts in nearly every facet of publishing and marketing, and we not only leverage those resources, but also learn a lot, by connecting and communicating with them. Connect ideas to action: I like to balance pragmatism with idealism. Have a bold and defined vision, but don’t fear compromise. Follow a thrilling brainstorm with a concrete action plan.
"Lucy is the poster child of a change agent. Her peers and colleagues see her as someone that will drive positive change, and they know she has the capacity to do it. She displays confidence and determination backed up by intelligence. This emerging leader is having a significant impact on our 60-year-old organization There are changes taking place in marketing that were not possible even 24 months ago -- because of Lucy's drive. She is helping define a new standard at Diversified around working with shared resources on a significant data integration, rebranding, and membership re-launch that will position the business for significant growth."
RD Whitney, Group Vice President, Diversified Communications
- Lizzy Thomas
believe leadership is reflected by effective communications both internally and externally, in addition to do what it takes to get the job done. My leadership skills were initially recognized by my promotion from Assistant Editor to Editor-in-Chief one year after beginning my first full-time job. I later established successful sales leadership in my role as an Account Executive, in which I realized my passion for selling, with repeated achievements in revenue gains. Currently, I am on track to exceed 2015 revenue expectations by 21%!
"Lizzy Thomas started her career in publishing as an editor on several pharmaceutical publications. She transitioned to sales, and during the interviewing process she spoke of her aspirations; even with little sales experience, she felt her desire, personality, organization skills and work ethic would help her succeed. I’ve been in sales for over 30 years and this is the first time I truly have an emerging leader on my staff. Lizzy really has become an important part of the Science Group, which is comprised of veteran sales people which all have 20+ years sales experience. Her energy, passion and sales approach have invigorated not only the sales team but resonates with the customers. She has brought new ideas and direction to the group. She has great listening skills, strong presentation abilities and is respected by her customers."
Michael Tessalone, Group Publisher, UBM Advanstar