Our team makes connections that matter.
Robin Black, Co-Founder, CEO — Curious. Committed. Enthusiastic.
Connects Marketing Group’s High Priestess, Robin brings her extensive sales and marketing project management skills to the forefront when supporting our clients. With over 25 years of experience bringing innovation and creativity to sales and marketing, account management and customer relations; Robin always looks forward to new challenges that disparate projects may bring.
Robin gets to know her clients, one conversation at a time. She brings with her professional and effervescent personality, solid sales experience, clear communication, a deep respect for best practices and continuous process improvement. She is constantly searching for new and innovative ways to connect her clients with customers. After a lifetime of sales, she understands the need for quality leads. She knows sales people must be efficient with their time, talking to decision makers, closing deals. She has long had a burning desire to help people Connect to the people, services, solutions and resources they want and need.
In her former life, Robin was a Principal at Leeds Consulting Group and prior to that she was a field sales manager at an electronics manufacturers’ representative agency for eight years. Robin’s has in-depth knowledge of the high tech, medical instrumentation, industrial and computer markets.
Favorite quote: “Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain” – Unknown
The bottom line: Connections made through Conversations Matter.
Lisa Schulte, Director of Client Relations — Energetic. Intelligent. Effervescent.
Lisa loves to talk, and people love to talk with Lisa. The most common phrase heard in our office is “Everybody loves Lisa.” In fact, rumor has it, that a major network has a pilot in the works about her life story.
With over 10 years of High Tech Inside Sales and customer service, she brings a strong sense of organization and communication skills to Connects Marketing Group. Prior to working with Connects, Ms. Schulte worked as the Inside sales manager for an electronics manufacturer’s representative agency for 7 years. She won the Presidents Award for Inside Sales Achievement from Tyco Electronics. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, which she earned from the University of Washington.
Favorite quote: “enjoy the ride…”
The bottom line: Connections made through Laughter Matter.
Tim Callison, Vice President, Business Development — Analytical. Agile. Adaptive.
Tim brings us 36 years of experience in manufacturing, sales and executive management in the industrial marketplace. With a wide range of positions of increasing responsibility, Tim has 26 years of experience in the hydraulic seals business, the last 10 years of which were spent as president of the Americas region of a leading international seal manufacturing company. This experience means unparalleled capabilities for Connects and its clients.
His specialties include Strategic Plan Development and Execution, Profitable Sales Growth, Organizational Buildout, Acquisition, Personnel Development, Structured Innovation and the
creation of a High Performance Organizations. Everyone can benefit from his vast knowledge and expertise.
He has an Engineering Tech Degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University.
“After more than a decade of consulting with C-level executives, I’ve never encountered someone who can filter the noise and accurately pinpoint key strategic initiatives with such clarity and confidence as Tim Callison. His track record speaks for itself: Proven. Successful. Impressive.” – Christine Mulcahy, Mulcahy Consulting
Favorite Quote: “Disturb the comfortable, and comfort the disturbed…” – Cesar A. Cruz
The bottom line: Connections made through Experience Matters.
Christine Mulcahy, Innovation Accelerator — Inquisitive. Insightful. Innovative.
Christine Mulcahy brings more than 13 years of experience in business, marketing, and sales communications consulting. She is an experienced business strategist and marketing professional with a passion for developing content that resonates with sales, partner channel, and customer audiences. Christine helps position an organization’s products and services to reach an increasingly global audience using the right tools and technology to tell a story and land it effectively with consumers. By developing strategic tools, such as sales communications and channel training programs, she helps to drive down costs, streamline operations, and increase revenue.
Christine joins Connects Consulting group as an Innovation Acceleration consultant to help individuals and businesses acquire the skills and tools to transform creativity into profitable innovation.
Favorite quote: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” –Anthony Robbins.
The bottom line: Connections made between teams and across organizations matter.
Wendy Sack, Staff Writer - Genuine. Determined. Silly.
Wendy is a certified grammar geek, down to play Scrabble anytime, anywhere. She is a lover of words, wordplay, senses of humor, animals and Alabama Crimson Tide football. With close to 10 years experience in marketing communications, Wendy’s specialties are shaping your ideas into stories and helping you share your stories with the world. She has written for and maintains relationships with several key editors in the manufacturing, engineering, aerospace, life sciences, oil & gas, food & beverage, fluid power, alternative energies, automotive and marine industries.
Wendy’s cup of tea includes copywriting, copyediting, PR frameworks, media relations and social media.
A voracious reader, Wendy never has less than three books going at once, her favorite authors being Harper Lee and Wally Lamb. Wendy finds humor easily in any situation and is a self-proclaimed Jim Gaffigan nut. She will tell you that laughter really does cure anything.
Favorite quote: “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” - Stephen King
The bottom line: “Connections made through Words Matter.”
Bev Monte Calvo, Project Manger — Zealous. Inquisitive. Creative.
Bev likes performing to an audience, so when not singing, she’s capturing the attention of prospective customers, on both a domestic and international playing field, delivering, with her oh so fine English accent, a succinctly scripted pitch that has successfully lured & secured thousands of qualified leads for a variety of products. You could say she’s ruthless, in a nice way, of delivering the goods, but at the same time lending her empathetic ear to potential customers, a blend of which brings in the results! Working side by side with clients, Bev provides clear communication, partnership and builds a rapport that allows for a seamless extension of their team.
Bev brings to the party 25 + years of marketing, sales, management, and customer service related experience. Starting her career in marketing in London, she has worked in the travel, medical, electronic components and financial industries, as well as owning and operating her own retail business. She has been actively involved in public relations and been instrumental in developing community marketing and branding strategies, conducting long-term planning and budgeting.
Favorite quote: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The bottom line: Connections made through Relationships Matter.
DeDe Campbell, Project Manager — Insightful. Intellectual. Thorough.
DeDe has a knack for working with engineers and other technical people. She has years of experience introducing tech tools to engineers, MDs, architects, and IT staff. As an Account Executive for over 9 years, her customers always enjoyed working with her. Her customer connections made her and the companies she worked for very successful. At Connects Marketing Group she continues to quickly find the right technical contacts and conveys the right message to get those important appointments or referrals.
When she hangs up the phone for the day, she likes to garden, play with her cats & bird, and get outside to enjoy the great Northwest.
Favorite quote: “Be who you are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Suess.
The bottom line: Connections made through Customers Matter.
Aristana Firethorne, Project Manager – Integrity. Optimism. Compassion.
Aristana is well organized, intuitive, and persistent in follow through when it comes to reaching her goals, as well as her clients’. With over 20 years experience in the Natural Products and Health industry as a manufacturer, retailer, and wholesaler, she brings expertise with Small Business Management as the proprietor of A.B. Firethorne & Co., specializing in handcrafted, natural herbal and aromatherapy bodycare products for women and children.
She joins us after 4 years with Leeds Consulting Group as Marketing and New Business Development Coordinator, and 7 years with Many Rivers Company where she served as Queen of Fulfillment, managing the merchandising dept and inventory for this publishing house, where she also handled Customer Service, Event Coordination and was an Ireland Tour Guide.
Aristana holds a BS in Environmental & Systematic Biology with a focus on Wildlife and Botany, volunteers as an Adoption Coordinator with Royal Hounds Greyhound Adoption rescue group, and teaches and performs Tribal Fusion Bellydance, when not busy working, gardening, or parenting her two brilliant teenagers and four dogs.
Favorite quote: “Today’s great oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground” – anon.
The bottom line: Connections made through Diligent Communication Matter.
Gretchen Cole, Director, Business Development — Collaboration. Creativity. Curiosity.
Gretchen is a business development expert with an entrepreneurial spirit; her primary focus is getting fledgling businesses off the ground. She has more than twenty years experience in customer service, sales, marketing and PR in the high tech, hospitality, medical, publishing and travel industries. Gretchen has an innate ability to get people talking, enabling her to zero in on clients’ needs, and she is tenacious about digging up every last bit of information relevant to market research projects. Gretchen is also a stickler for detail, especially when it comes to messaging, and is the go-to person at Connects for copy-editing.
Gretchen also has an extensive and successful background in fundraising and devotes much of her spare time to volunteer work. She’s done everything from costume design in regional theater to historic building preservation, in addition to organizing countless benefits and auctions. She served as Treasurer and President of the Bayview Community Hall Board of Directors and held a position on the Meerkerk Gardens Board of Directors.
Gretchen’s “Three C’s” have been the cornerstone of her endeavors for many years, and are summed up best by saying that she is always curious, seeking alternative approaches via collaboration to come up with the most creative solution possible.
Favorite quote: “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
The bottom line: “Connections made through Collaboration Matter.”
Michelle Slater, Business Development — Analytical. Charismatic. Dynamic.
Jill of all trades. Master of many. Michelle’s 12 years of experience in lead generation and development lend to her remarkable ability to nurture prospective relationships for clients in a variety of industries. Michelle’s short learning curve and ability to analyze data has sustained her reputation for being a highly sought after project caller, manager, trainer and strategic writer.
When she isn’t wrangling her vivacious 3 year-old son, or perfecting the art of multi-tasking, she devotes her time to making Connects Marketing Group’s clients successful on a number of levels. She’ll setup and manage SalesForce accounts, analyze and enhance call strategies and learn products and technology ensuring her involvement in any project is beneficial for callers and management.
Michelle’s studies in Industrial Psychology give her an analytical, enigmatic edge that hones her exceptional skill at the art of conversation.
Favorite quote: “At the first sound of hoof beats think horses not zebras.” - Occam’s Razor
The bottom line: Connections made through Intelligent Analytics Matter.
Camila Mauris Figueroa, Project Manager, Latin America – Fluent. Sensible. Determined.
Pick a Romance Language and there’s a strong chance Camila can speak it. She brings natural communication aptitude and combines it with the ability to strike up a rapport with customers and prospects in mere moments. Results are results, in any language.
She has over 8 years of experience in the financial and staffing industries. At Connects Marketing Group, her bubbly personality and technical knowledge helps build connections from the United States to South America.
Camila studied Economics at MacKenzie University in her native Sao Paulo, Brasil. Her two puppies ignore her commands in both Portuguese and English.
Favorite quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
The bottom line: Connections made in all Languages Matter.
Andrea Estrada, Project Manager – Humorous. Thoughtful. Dedicated.
Andrea enjoys the outdoors and time with family and friends. She is a dedicated soccer mom spending most weekends and evenings supporting her son, both on the field and off. She is an enthusiastic cheerleader. How many cheerleaders do you know that will call out in both English and Spanish?
The best thing Andrea you may ask? Her sense of humor. When you make her laugh, really laugh, it will absolutely make your day.
In her prior life, she worked as an Underwriter, then, utilizing her marketing experience, she and her husband started their own business. Andrea has been working with us in business development for over 7 years and has mastered many subjects. Her results are always spectacular. Perhaps this is due to her love of research and constant desire to learn. Perhaps because she cares about everyone’s success. Whatever it is, it works.
Favorite Quote: ”Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.”- Napoleon Hill
The bottom line: Connections made through Enjoying Life Matter.
Rachel da Silva, Project Manager- Spirited. Insightful. Undeterred.
Rachel is a New Yorker, but has lived most of her life in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. She credits the immigrant communities of both her hometowns for opening her eyes early to the amazing diversity of languages and peoples in our world.
She has more than 30 years of professional experience in an array of industries, from printing and publishing to legal services and mediation. She co-founded a book publishing company back when letterpress technology had only recently been replaced by offset and an adventure travel company back when airfare was affordable. With Connects, her specialties include technical sales.
Rachel lives in Olympia with her partner, son and godson. An avid biker and hiker, she can also be found volunteering for her kids’ schools, legal services and mediation organizations. She is learning to play the cello and enjoys helping care for 17 chickens, two pet mice and her garden.
Favorite quote: “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings!” – Optimus Prime
Bottom line: Connections made through Insightful Relationships Matter.