Connections that Really Matter
Robin Black, Founder & CEO
Caring. Committed. Consultative.
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, She has brought innovation and creativity to sales and marketing project management. She 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, services, 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, General 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 20 years of project management 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 from Tyco Electronics.
Favorite quote: “Enjoy the ride.”
The bottom line: Connections made through Laughter Matter.
Bev Monte Calvo, Communication Specialist
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 30+ 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, 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.
She supports our Sales and Marketing team by doing client outreach, coordination, and business development. She brings to her role over 13 years of professional B2B Marketing experience in a wide variety of sectors through her work with Connects Marketing Group as a Project Manager and Lead Generator.
She lives by her guiding principals of integrity, compassion, optimism, service, and clear communication, and spends her free time involved with family, community, volunteering, creating art, working with plants and animals and dancing.
She graduated from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Environmental and Systematic Biology with a concentration in Wildlife and Botany.
Favorite quote: “Today’s great oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”
The bottom line: Connections made through Diligent Communication Matter.
Marie Shimada, Communication Specialist
Confident. Dependable. Empowered.
After completing law school, Marie sought projects and opportunities that allow for an alternative use of her legal expertise and analytical skills. After multiple years and millions of dollars raised in the nonprofit sector, Marie brings her charisma and enthusiasm to the team at Connects Marketing Group. Her background includes K-12 and higher education, a plethora of pro bono legal affiliations, and the upscaling of nonprofit development programs.
Marie is currently a professional student in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, as well as the president of a local nonprofit board of directors. Marie’s passion for creating and inspiring positive change continually drive her forward.
Marie’s strength is the ability to make other people smile.
Favorite quote: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” -Oscar Wilde
The bottom line: Connections made through Empathy Matter.
Gretchen Cole, 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, Communication Specialist
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 more than 12 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 decision makers and conveys a compelling 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, Communication Specialist
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 12 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.
Jessica Lee, Social Media
Canty. Centered. Charismatic.
Jessica is our head of Social Media. She contributes to the development and on-going implementation of social media as well as supports CRM management and data cleansing. Jessica believes the most important part of social media is connecting human-to-human through different platforms.
After spending over seven years working in customer service, Jessica knows what truly drives conversations and grabs people’s attention. She understands that conversations should be about truly trying to connect with heart-beating people so you can help and communicate your understanding back to them.
Jessica enjoys spending her free time with her family, including her Husband, baby boy, and two dogs. She grew up playing sports and loves any opportunity to incorporate this into her day-to-day life.
Jessica holds Sociology and Organizational Leadership degrees from Arizona State University.
Favorite quote: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
The bottom line: Connections made through Words Matter.