I’m a Marketing Executive and the current New Development Director of the Southeastern United States for the Cathedral Corporation. And to toot my own horn, I’m known as being incredibly smart, savvy, competitive, and an award winning, innovative change agent in new product and market development on an international scope.
I was born and raised in beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico with a strong Spanish influence, as my father is originally from Spain and my mother is Puerto Rican yet raised by Spanish parents. Therefore, a European influence ruled the household. A leader since birth, I’m the oldest of three girls; always a model of success and of top-tier performance.
My talents of being fluent in English, Spanish, AND Italian were catalyzed by a lifelong passion for learning new languages. In my Catholic school, I swooned over Italian poets and learned to embrace the romantic language with dreams of international travel and of doing something meaningful, creative, and exciting with my natural talents in foreign languages.
I experimented with various sports including tennis and cross country and also excelled at caring for the elderly as a volunteer. I thrived in various academic subjects including math and science. Yet, the greatest memories of my childhood were formed with my aunt’s husband, Arturo Ruiz Guardiola, who I called Tio, even though we weren’t blood-related. Tio Arturo was a cutting-edge chemist and physicist as well as an impassioned and successful entrepreneur. He was the glue of the family, and took me and on various nautical adventures as the Commodore of a local yacht club where he was honored and celebrated. Tio Arturo served as a mentor to me and instilled within my youthful self a sense of appreciation and wonder for the mysteries of the universe.
Sadly, Tio Arturo lost a battle to cancer at a young age, but he painted an indelible memory in my mind and has always inspired me to excel professionally and to experiment with leading-edge ideas, concepts, trends, and possibilities within my field. We all have our own angels who inspire us, and Tio Arturo was that special creative champion to me.
Hanging out with Uncle Arturo
While enrolled as an undergraduate student in consumer studies at Syracuse University, I was involved in customer advocacy and various protection agencies that help consumers such as the FDA, FCC, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I enjoyed working with market research and analyzing data to make educated decisions about a product or service. This passion is exactly what catalyzed my drive to accomplish an MBA in new product development and innovation management at the prestigious and highly reputed Whitman School of Management of Syracuse University.
Myself with Veronica Olivo, a close friend
During the pursuit of my MBA, one of the most exciting projects I was involved with was idea generation and understanding the patent process of an idea or concept. I actually led a team of young pioneers in patenting a project that was well ahead of its time.
After graduating, I searched and landed an opportunity to leverage my marketing and language skills as an International Account Executive at Pass & Seymour. Upper management recognized my potential, leadership, and strong work ethic. They swiftly promoted me and thus I began my rapid progression into an executive marketing role. I continue to be making value-added contributions for global corporations 19 years later.
I stayed with Pass & Seymour until 2007, during which I was promoted to a Product Line Manager position where I grew sales 15% year over year and achieved an increase of 250% in gross margin by developing and rolling out a luxury residential line into the US retail market and achieved product placement in 120 Lowes and 80 Menards retail locations.
Interested in new challenges, I took on the role of a Global Training Marketing Manager until 2009 at Cooper Crouse-Hinds in Syracuse, NY. At Cooper Crouse-Hinds, I introduced change management and process improvements. Most significantly, I created and managed a $1 Million dollar e-Learning Management System for employees, partners, and end-users.
Following my heart’s desire as a marketing executive, I then drove direct marketing initiatives and directed a top-tier graphic design team at Cathedral Corporation as their Director of Marketing. My boss recognized my leadership skills and offered me an amazing opportunity in 2012 to be the New Market Development Director in the Southeastern United States with a new home base of Orlando, FL.
As an avid motorcyclist, triathlete, and lover of the outdoors, I relished the opportunity to live in the tropical wonderland of Orlando with my husband, best friend, and long-time partner, John Jarmacz, and our dog, Max.
As a marketing executive, my primary concern is to always listen to the customer, assess their needs, and to think strategically through a problem or opportunities. Architecting a pragmatic plan that is logical and easy to understand, from the top to the bottom, is key behind my success.
Celebrating my most recent birthday with my husband, John