A long-time veteran of the marketing and business development world working for global agency holding companies, Carrie leads Brownstein Group’s overall brand positioning and marketing initiatives while focusing on strategic growth. Carrie has a maverick approach to the marketplace and has created breakthrough marketing strategies for some of the world’s largest and most recognizable brands. She is a pioneer of reinvention and was instrumental in launching and directing the country’s leading marketing-to-women communications company, Frank About Women/IPG where she counseled global companies on gender savvy brand revitalization initiatives. Prior to Brownstein Group, Carrie served as Partner/SVP of Account Management at Rosetta/Publicis where she drove brand partnerships and thought leadership on behalf of Samsung. Previously as SVP at GO Experience Design/OMC, she led their flagship global account, Bank of America, and championed agency integration. After ten years at creatively-led Mullen, she vowed to never leave the agency business and her passion still prevails.
What do you do best?
If you ask others, I have been told that I am very good at mentoring young folks at maneuvering this crazy agency industry to help them carve out a career path. If you ask me, I’d say I’m an "original thinker," because I have developed the ability to find the white space in an extremely competitive ad agency environment. I'm especially intrigued with finding untapped resources or discovering ways to reinvigorate old strategies or create completely new approaches. I strive to go where others have never dared to so as to avoid being duplicative in the marketplace, and moreover, to garner eyeballs and get noticed.
What makes you the best?
I am not sure if this is a positive or a negative, but I have been called a business bulldog. I make things happen - plain and simple. On the trek to finding the white space that I mentioned, I've had to be proactive and seek opportunities instead of sitting back and waiting for them to come to me. When I see an opportunity, I latch onto it and don't let go until I've won it, activated it or killed it. And my motto is: eat what you kill.
What are your aspirations?
Personally, I aspire to make a positive impact on my three teenage sons. They inspire me constantly in a way that nothing else can. They're straight-A athletes who have grown to become some of the kindest, most well-behaved human beings on the planet and I'm so proud to be their mother. I try every day to see myself in their eyes and to be a better person for them.
Professionally, I want to make an impact on the brands that I work with and the agencies that I work for. I would love to run my own agency but my boys require a lot of my time. If I can be a part of an amazing agency and help to put them on the map, then I've done my part.
I have had many milestones in this business but perhaps my biggest success was launching Frank About Women, a premiere consultancy that was dedicated to helping brands create enriching and enduring relationships with women by delivering gender-savvy brand and business-building initiatives. Starting this agency was my way of forging new ground for women everywhere by attacking previously uncharted territory in the agency world. In five years, I built a uniquely powerful company from the ground up, and I am hopeful to apply this same rigor to my efforts at Brownstein Group. Perhaps my biggest success is yet to come.
Most Challenging Moment?
Throughout my life, I have been challenged consistently to rebrand myself. My father was a C-Suite marketer who traveled the globe to pursue his career. From the time I was young until I completed my college career, I moved from state to state, attended numerous schools, and been involved in countless peer groups.
Instead of resenting my uprooting, I saw opportunities. I gained insight by meeting people from all over the country and learning about their world - their likes, their dislikes, their habits. In this way, I was able to obtain an understanding of the various demographics and topographies of the markets in the United States. Ultimately, this has made me a better marketer. When it came time for me to enter the workforce, I had already honed my ability to talk to anyone and I was able to quickly transform myself (yet again) into the thick-skinned business woman that I am today.
"Stay the course."
In business and in life, I have always been a highly motivated individual who is driven by achieving a goal. When I set my mind to something, I see a clear path that's going to lead me to success and I follow it. I also believe in a silver lining…that is how I make it through tough times.
Favorite People/Role Models?
I've always been a fan of any musician. My father, in addition to being a marketer, was a musician. He helped me to become the self-proclaimed music aficionado I am today and encouraged me to play guitar, violin, and piano, which I still play.
I really do enjoy any kind of music - from Beethoven (the first artist I learned to play), to Frank Sinatra (who has the voice of a musical instrument), to Steven Tyler (who came from a family like mine), to Prince (a musical God) and even Lady Gaga.
I'll go anywhere where there's a mountain range. I've traveled the world to ski many mountains and seen the peaks of Switzerland, Banff, Park City, Alta and the entire Summit. I also have a collection of mountain bikes for which I have equal passion.
My iPhone, second only to my piano. I use it for everything - my kids, my work, my calendar, my music - so it’s never more than three feet from me. I'm a huge advocate of every form of social media, so I use my phone for that as well. I'm on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Snapchat, but my favorite is Instagram. I love being able to capture anything that catches my interest and sharing it with the world.
My all-time passion and the epicenter of my world is my family. At the moment, I am obsessed with exploring new experiences with them before they start their own adult lives. Next week we leave for an 8-day holiday romp in the Florida Keys staying at various small island resorts that are off the beaten path. To wake up on a beautiful island for the first time with your loved ones – well, nothing quite compares.
Oh, and I am also passionate about great wines.