Connections that Really Matter
Robin Black, Founder & CEO
Curious. Committed. Enthusiastic.
After a lifetime of sales, Robin saw the need for quality leads. Her burning desire is to connect businesses to the people, services, resources, and solutions they want and need.
Robin loves new challenges that disparate projects may bring. For over 25 years, Robin has brought innovation and creativity to sales and marketing project management. Robin has a professional and effervescent personality, as well as a deep respect for clear communication, best practices, and continuous process improvement.
Robin has in-depth knowledge of business development specializing in the following industries: financial and business coaching, industrial applications, high tech, medical instrumentation, and software.
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, Manager
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 organization and communication skills to Connects Marketing Group. Prior to working with Connects, Lisa won the Presidents Award for Inside Sales Achievement as the Inside sales manager of Tyco Electronics.
Favorite quote: “Enjoy the ride.”
The bottom line: Connections made through Laughter 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 and 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.
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 while utilizing 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.
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 department 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.”
The bottom line: Connections made through Diligent Communication 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 copy-writing, copy-editing, 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.
Gretchen Cole, Client Communication Specialist
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.
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 morethan 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 and 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.
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.