As SES attendees, we've had the delight of having Marissa Meyer of Google keynote, but before that, I can't readily remember when a woman was really a spotlight at any sort of search conference. My how things have changed!
Next week at SES New York City, not one, not two, but three women have been "spotlighted". How's that for progress? I think that says a lot for how this industry really respects women and is going beyond "gender lines".
The three women are Kendall Allen, Erica Schmidt and Lyndsay Menzies. These three women are playing key roles in both the companies they work for and it's great to see them getting the spotlight shined in their direction.
So what do we know about these three great online marketers?
Kendall Allen is the Managing Director at Incognito Digital. During the three years preceding her joining the team at Incognito Digital – Allen presided over regional Client Services operations for two Search Engine Marketing firms, first as founding executive team member at Fathom and then industry pioneer, iCrossing. It is during these years that Allen met the founding partners Gray and Hoydich of Incognito Digital, collaborating to serve the marketing needs of VOOM HDTV.
With critical periods of her career spent in the SF Bay Area and now on the East Coast in New York, Allen has consulted with, launched and staffed engagement teams against the digital marketing efforts of marketers including Ask Jeeves, SF Examiner, Chandon, Intel, Intuit, VOOM, American Express, Fairmont Hotels, McGraw-Hill and Colgate-Palmolive. Allen now has teamed with her partner, Elizabeth Bleser, to truly evolve the agency Incognito Digital and the brands it serves.
Erica Schmidt is Global Director of Search for Isobar. Erica is primarily responsible for helping Isobar search agencies across the globe increase their revenues from search engine marketing, and she assists Isobar agencies in launching iProspect-branded search engine marketing practices. Schmidt also ensures that each agency is delivering their services according to the best practices developed at iProspect in the U.S. Prior to joining Isobar, Schmidt was client services director at iProspect, responsible for overseeing a number of client-facing search teams, and focused her attention on delivering superior strategies and proactive account management to iProspect’s clients.
A polished speaker, Schmidt has presented at various conferences around the globe, including Search Engine Strategies. She has also authored articles for industry publications, including Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine and Direct Magazine.
Lyndsay Menzies is Managing Director of Big Mouth Media. At bigmouth since 1999, and with 100 bigmouths under her watchful eye, Lyndsay's remit can be summed up as 'Responsible for developing and keeping the happiest clients and teams in the industry', whilst growing bigmouthmedia UK into the clear leader in its field.
Lyndsay heads up the 3 UK offices, as well as the NY office. Bigmouthmedia has the highest client and staff retention in the industry, and is a 2007 FT 'Best Place to Work'. A real 'people person', Lyndsay is a pioneer in integration of search within marketing strategy, offering a no-bull, can-do attitude crucial for the success of her clients in a fast-changing medium.
I found her bio on the Big Mouth Media site really funny too (this company certainly has a sense of humor!):
Bigmouthmedia's much loved Managing Director. Complete workaholic. Once went to have her wisdom teeth taken out over lunch and went straight back to work. Finalist in "Scotland's Most Eligible", when asked what her unique fact was, Lyndsay disclosed that she once spent 12 hours in the back of a truck in Cambodia with a dead pig... like we said, she's been working very hard.
Wow, these are some really impressive resumes aren't they? All three of these women are "take charge and get it done" and that attitude has propelled them to the top of not only their companies but this industry as well.
I got curious as to why SES & Kevin Ryan selected to highlight not just one, but three women and asked him these questions:
Li: Kevin, could you tell me why you have them featured?
Kevin Ryan: They are incredibly talented people that possess thought leadership characteristics along with and “feet on the ground” knowledge.
Li: What’s their role for this conference (SES NYC)?
Kevin Ryan: Women at SES take on a number of roles. From Orion panels to day one’s strategic thought leadership to our week-long tactical sessions. We have a number of nationalities represented and they represent multiple levels in the companies they represent.
Li: Why were they chosen?
Kevin Ryan: SES does not discriminate or select speakers on the basis of race, creed, gender, social media platform usage or socio-search engine alignment. Sincerely, the selection process was very simple; they were the most qualified candidates.
Kudos to Kendall, Erica & Lyndsay, and thanks to Kevin Ryan for selecting to spotlight them at SES New York!