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**AVAILABLE**
Creative Director & Marketing Strategist for print, digital, social, ecommerce and marketing teams.

EXPERTISE

Creative Storyteller, Marketing Campaign & Content Development, Team Leadership, Brand Development & Management, Creative Direction, Digital Design & Development, Social Media Content Creation, In-Store Marketing & POP, Print Advertising, Packaging Design, Marketing & Sales Materials, Trade Show & Event Planning, Vendor Relationship Management, Budget Planning & Reporting, Project Workflow, Communications Development, Timeline Creation & Management, Process Improvement, Project Management

EXPERIENCE

Associate Director of Creative Services
Flinn Scientific, Batavia, IL. | March 2019 - present

Brand Strategy | Web & Social | Video & Photo Direction | Content Development | Marketing & Sales Collateral | Project Management


Direct, design and manage creative programs and initiatives, overseeing all creation of art, photo, video, and layout design for both print and digital. Revise, implement, and maintain the company's Brand Identity throughout all levels of content. Responsible for coaching and motivating the team of creative professionals, developing best practices, processes, and road maps for successful, on-time project execution. Known for building trustworthy, collaborative relationships with executives and directors throughout the company, developing and presenting effective marketing campaigns, managing production companies and vendors (animators, photographers, printers, and designers), coordinating timelines, collecting and executing team feedback and executing all content throughout the enterprise.


 

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS:

Concepted, directed and implemented content and designs for Flinn At-Home Science, a complete customer solution to teaching during the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Lead the cross-functional team coordinating content to be made available to teachers and schools at little to no cost to teachers and students. Leveraged and repackaged existing content and created new video presentations with Scientists to deliver live, at-home science lessons. Executed digital marketing strategy including social media ads, website creation, paid search and email campaign increasing traffic to the site. 


Developed and executed content and marketing strategy for Flinn private label product launches, including 360Science and GettingNerdy. Coordinated with Product Management to determine website platform functionality, branding and go-to-market campaign strategy. Developed and executed advertising needs including print, digital and trade show collateral. Coordinated with Sales to develop relevant sales materials in coordination with branding and marketing strategies.



Creative Marketing Director
Melissa Ernst Design, Chicago, IL. | August 2018-March 2019

Brand Strategy | Web & Social | Marketing Materials | Video & Photo Direction | Pitch Decks | Content Strategy & Development


Directed, designed and managed creative programs and initiatives for clients including Cornerstone Chiropractic, Chicago White Sox, Morreale Communications and Women of the Dream.


Marketing Director, Creative Content & Channel Marketing
Cedar Electronics, Chicago, IL. | June 2017 - August 2018

Brand Standards | Web & Social | Packaging & POP | Video & Photo Direction | Campaign & Content Development | Project Management


Directed team of creative and marketing professionals to develop innovative, strategic marketing campaigns and product launches for new and existing consumer electronics product lines. Drove multi-channel engagement, increased product and brand awareness and improved BTB and BTC sales. Responsible for mentoring and inspiring team of marketing and creative professionals, developing processes and road maps for successful, on-time project execution. 


 

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS:

Successfully launched new line of Cobra Dash Cameras, securing in-store placements in retailers including Costco and BestBuy. Provided all creative for packaging, advertising, campaign messaging, sales presentations, ecommerce, social and retail collateral. Directed and designed all content creation including photo shoots and live video, explainer video and A+ content for Amazon.


Established in-house design and channel marketing team workflow and processes from ground up, including developing creative briefs, process workflow charts, pre-flight checklists, electronic file system set up and storage, three concept presentation and approval processes. Developed in-house studio to process designs by varying project types and created efficiencies by implementing job tracking software.


Associate Creative Director

CLAIRE’S, Hoffman Estates, IL | May 2014 – June 2017

POP & Packaging | Brand Standards | Web & Social | Campaign Development | Project Management


Directed and designed brand creative as multi-channel Associate Creative Director for the Claire's Brand. Lead the overall day-to-day operations of the creative services team. Set priorities for group, developed production calendar, implemented digital workflow system and ensured on time delivery of creative design initiatives. Responsible for providing leadership and innovation through team building and constructive feedback delivery to ensure dedication, passion and inspiration for my employees.


 

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS:

Concepted, designed and launched flagship store redesign, implementing new color, copy and icon designs for a dynamic, trend-right brand experience. Socialized new guidelines to marketing, store design, franchise and digital teams, reducing double work and increasing cohesiveness while following fashion trends. Provided oversight and quality control of all creative assets & materials for all channels.


Developed and hired staff for in-house design team, creating workflow and processes from ground up, including developing creative briefs, pre-flight checklists, electronic file system set up and storage, 3-concept presentation and approval processes. Developed and implemented the overall content strategy and oversaw the execution and delivery of all content including print, digital and video.


Advertising Manager, POP | Visual Merchandising Manager

OFFICEMAX, Naperville, IL |  October 2008 – May 2014

POP & In-Store Signage | Visual Merchandising | Campaign Execution | Project Management


Coordinated cross-functional marketing, Branding and POP teams to design and execute captivating visual presentations. Developed in-store marketing and visual merchandising POP for 900+ store locations; ensured support of initiatives from design to final in-store execution. Hired and managed advertising coordinators. Developed visual presentation strategy for 28+ visual off-shelf placements for entire retail chain.


 

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS:

Managed and organized 2014 new store concept for test, execution and executive level review in accordance with the company’s rebrand initiative. Coordinated visual merchandising, branding, and marketing teams to concept and implement strategies within a 4 week time table. Organized daily war room sessions, maintained timelines and organized vendors to ensure the program was complete on time and on budget.


EARLY CAREER

Brand Manager and Senior Art Director

Senior Art Director

HONEY-CAN-DO, Berkeley, IL

HAVI Global Solutions, Downers Grove, IL

   

Senior Art Director

Visual Manager •  Graphic Designer •  Jr. Graphic Designer

ULTA, Romeoville, IL

Sears Holdings Corporation, Hoffman Estates, IL


SKILLS & ATTRIBUTES

Flexible & Adaptive

Expert Change Management

Strategic Thinker

Manages Multiple Projects & Deadlines

Visionary: Sees & Executes Big Ideas

Expert Presentation Skills

Compassionate Leadership

Communicative & Open

 


APPLICATIONS

Expert:

Adobe Creative Suite: Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator
Microsoft Office: PowerPoint, Excel, Word

Experienced:

Digital Marketing Software: MailChimp, Facebook Ad Manager, NetResults, Google Analytics
Project Management Software: WRIKE, ASANA, Basecamp, Smartsheet


EDUCATION
Valparaiso University, Bachelor of Arts, 2000

 
 

WHO IS MELISSA?

A Creative Director with over 10 years experience leading teams and executing flawless creative marketing campaigns, I conquer business challenges with fresh, innovative ideas, delivering on time, every time, with no excuses. I build strong, exceptionally creative teams from the ground up, working hard to develop processes that allow my employees to showcase their talents and thrive. I lead by example, and I don’t ask my team to perform tasks I haven’t done or wouldn’t do to keep projects on track. As a director, I possess the unique ability to switch from creative design and development to analytical reviews of data, budgets and timelines without skipping a beat.

Let’s work together on something great.





Text or Call 630-862-7282