Our team makes Connections that Matter.
Robin Black, Co-Founder, CEO — Curious. Committed. Enthusiastic.
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, financial coaching, 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, Program Director — 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.
Christine Mulcahy, Sales Enablement Consultant — 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.
Gretchen Cole, Business Development Manager — Collaborative. Creative. Curious.
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.
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 Cs” 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.
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. Seuss
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 four years with Leeds Consulting Group as Marketing and New Business Development Coordinator, and seven 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.
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.
April Nowak, Project Manager-Focused. Passionate. Thought-Leader.
April is focused and strategic in all things big and small.When you hear “What’s the end game look like?” you know she is nearby and really does want to know the plan.Whether it’s preparing for a competitive run or leading a cross-functional, multi-national team, April always has a plan.
She brings over 15 years of program planning, management and implementation experience to the Connects team.In both the public and private sectors, April has a proven track record of success developing and executing comprehensive strategies.As a former aerospace program manager, April negotiated long-term contracts and developed business strategies for program requirements.
April’s executive philanthropic resume includes being a former member of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and the Washington State Elementary Chess Championship Policy Board. She currently serves as the president of the Seattle Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Favorite quote: “Wherever you go, there you are.”- Attributed to many
The bottom line: Connections made through Planning Matter.
Shaun Bowen, Client Communication Specialist – Intelligent. Inquisitive. Funny.
With four years of political campaigning and marketing experience, Shaun knows the ins and outs of personal connections. In college, Shaun became very active organizing for causes and issues he supports. Everything changed in 2008. Jumping in a car with three friends, Shaun traveled from New York to Iowa to help organize caucuses for the “Ron Paul Christmas Vacation.” Although Paul failed to get the presidential nomination, Shaun’s first taste of political action led him to forgo law school for a more active future.
After graduating from SUNY Fredonia, Shaun joined Young American’s for Liberty as an intern, helping college students organize on campuses across the country. In 2009 he joined the National Right to Work Committee, and in 2011 joined the Ron Paul presidential campaign in New Hampshire- organizing the largest two cities in the state, leading to an overall 2nd place finish in the primaries. Following the campaign, Shaun worked for the New Hampshire Republican Party and again the Right to Work Committee. All told, Shaun’s political activities allowed him to travel and work in over eight states for four organizations in just a four-year period. Sensing a need to shift his priorities, Shaun joined Connects for a chance to get out of the world of politics and into the world of business.
Shaun likes to spend his free time playing video games and reading. He is a tech junkie and avid fan of podcasts. A certified scuba diver, Shaun is lucky enough to have dived in some of the world’s top ten diving locations.
Favorite quote: “Don’t panic.” – Douglas Adams
The bottom line: Connections made through Ideas Matter.
Doug Peterson, Client Communication Specialist – Tenacious. Wise. Affable.
Doug has an extensive professional background, including sales at Pitney Bowes, systems design and sales for Nortel Networks Telecommunications and satellite and microwave communication technology sales. To mix it up, he also had an interesting side trip as a wine broker, sourcing small-production boutique wines for private clients, and was a managing partner of a litigation support firm.
Doug has also worked in radio and television, co-hosting a weekly sports TV show in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as a nationally syndicated talk show. He was a staff sports reporter/anchor for the San Francisco Giants flagship station, and assignment reporter for national networks such as CBS, Westwood One and the AP. He also had an enjoyable stint as the voice of the Giants at their former home, Candlestick Park.
Doug’s communication and business skills, along with his SaaS, technology and telecommunications sales and consultation background, make him invaluable to our clients who seek a tenacious and effective sales communicator.
Doug, a graduate of the Bailie School of Communication, and his wife, Academy Award-winning special effects artist, Joanne Hafner, reside with their menagerie in the historic Victorian seaport of Port Townsend, WA.
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
The bottom line: Connections made through Persistence Matter.
Kristin Carlson, Client Communication Specialist – Intuitive. Compassionate. Authentic.
Kristin has more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing, account management and customer relations, as well as group facilitation skills. All of these attributes are advantages for our clients.
She is professional, insightful and personable and utilizes her solid sales experience, effective communication style and leadership skills to empower and inspire others to fulfill their passions and purposes in life.
Kristin has worked in many industries, and is always diligent, accessible, proactive and authentic. She speaks the truth with compassion.
When she isn’t hard at work, Kristin enjoys the outdoors and in her time off can be found on a ski slope, hiking, biking, kayaking, water skiing, scuba diving or even horseback riding.
Favorite quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi
The bottom line: Connections made through Thoughtful Communication Matter.
Karen Fleckenstein, Client Communication Specialist – Determined. Detailed. Delightful.
Karen co-owned and ran a marketing consulting business for over 10 years, creating strategies for clients such as financial advisors, insurance agents and accountants. She has had over 20 years of experience managing software technical support, training and customer support departments ranging from 10 – 150 employees. As a Life Coach, Karen helps clients explore, refresh, invigorate and clarify their visions for creating lives they love.
She is known for her hospitality, frequently opening her home to her small island community for potlucks before the Oscars®, “Downton Abbey” or any other excuse to connect.
Karen enjoys her daily walks on the beach with her two shih tzus, watching the whales go by. She loves to write and is memorializing her 2-year-old granddaughter’s life with a custom poem of the past year’s events each Christmas.
She is quick-witted with a confident personality – a woman who plays well with others, loves to learn, laugh and enjoy life!
Favorite quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson
The bottom line: Connections made through Clarity Matter.
Dawn RaSchell Moore, Client Communication Specialist – Passionate. Engaging. Trailblazer.
Dawn has dedicated her career to starting conversations. Her quick wit and demeanor make talking to her a pleasure and leave you with a smile! Dawn is a motivated solution-based thinker; determination is her driving force. Challenges are met head on and with a good sense of humor!
She comes to Connects Group with over 20 years in the inside sales and customer service industries. Dawn has worked with national companies developing telesales scripts, sales copy, web content and continuity programs. She has enjoyed many accolades in her career as a senior account representative and understands the importance of continuing education in marketing and personal development.
Dawn is a devoted single mom with three daughters and has been successfully trained by her beloved four cats and three dogs. She is an
enthusiastic vegetarian, enjoys healthy living and camping and getting away for weekend trips as often as she can. She’s a bit of a hippie chick!
Favorite quote: “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”
– T.S. Eliot
The bottom line: Connections made through Solutions Matter.