Get to Know Them: A Q&A With Our C Suite

How long have you been at Isobar and what do you like most about working at Isobar?

  • TONYA:  I joined Isobar 18 years ago when the company was first created.  I took a quick break from the company and spent several years working for JP Morgan Chase, but eventually returned to Isobar in 2008.  My decision to come back was driven by two things:1. the opportunity to work on exciting, cutting edge projects with really passionate and smart people and, 2.the opportunity to shape my career progression in a way that balanced my work ambitions with my most important job –  being great mom to my three kids.  The work, the people, the opportunities to grow, our unique culture – it’s what I love about Isobar and what I hope to continue to cultivate as we grow!
  • DAVE: About 11 years. What I like most about working at Isobar is the people – and that includes both our team in the U.S., as well as everyone else across the globe. The people make the business and we are lucky to have so many smart, interesting, kind, innovative and curious people to learn from every day.
  • SEAN:  Like many of our senior folks, I was present at the agency’s creation – 18 years and counting.  So, clearly I like this place a lot.  And, the things I like the most, the things that have kept me here for nearly two decades, are the deep friendships and the opportunities to work on fascinating problems.  I can’t think of many places where a thirty-something would be entrusted to build a company on another continent — and standing up IWS Brazil is just one example of the many amazing opportunities I’ve had here at Isobar.  Essentially, it’s like getting paid to go to B-school!

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

  • TONYA:  Isobar, for too long, has been the industry’s best kept secret.  That is going to change…and I look forward to getting started on it!
  • DAVE: Being empowered to bring innovation to each and every thing that we do. From internal cultural programs, to stimulating collaboration and cross-disciplinary thinking, to the launch of a new, focused innovation services offering. Innovation has really been a key part of our company and I hope to be able to represent that legacy and work to ensure that our clients and partners gain from that.
  • SEAN:  Building the next generation of tech leaders at Isobar by giving some of our most talented people the opportunity to drive key parts of our technology agenda.

What can we expect to see from your team in the coming year?

  • TONYA:  A better general understanding of all that Isobar has to offer our clients,  continued recognition for our work through awards and analyst recognition and more visibility for the overall Isobar brand.
  • DAVE: New ideas, new ways of collaborating, a lot of curiosity, exploration, trial and error, learning and tuning. We are pretty good at what we do and I recognize that,but also want to make sure that we never settle and that our teams collectively work to be better and do so while having fun and further developing our culture.
  • SEAN:  A lot of high-quality thought leadership, and, perhaps, tapping new formats to share our ideas , such as podcasts – something we haven’t yet explored at Isobar.  Behind that, I expect the technology group will really push the envelope in Commerce and co-drive a lot of exciting developments with Dave and the Innovation practice.

What is your one “big bet” for 2019?

  • TONYA:  Disruption is looming within Healthcare and there is so much potential for technology to improve the customer’s experience in this space.  I think 2019 will be a year that we see Isobar lead in this area, helping our clients transform by solving the biggest pain points for their customers.   We also foresee continued growth in Commerce, particularly with brands looking to establish or regain a direct relationship with their customers.  With our focus on experience-led commerce and innovation, Isobar is very well positioned to capitalize on this momentum.
  • DAVE: One? What kind of Chief Innovation Officer only makes one big bet? Kidding aside, I’d say that the agency is due for a lot of growth, and that’s going fueled by the new strategy that Deb and our leadership team have put into place.
  • SEAN:  This will be a big year for us with regard to to blending the physical and digital.  And, I have one side bet, too: our Federal practice will have its best year in Isobar history!

On a more personal note, what’s something most people don’t know about you?

  • TONYA:  Even though I am focused on marketing now, my degree is in Engineering.  I actually sat next to our own Gary Schwartzbard at our UoM engineering school graduation.  So I have a passion for technology and ton of appreciation for the work our engineers do every day.
  • DAVE: Behind all the technology and business stuff, I appreciate good design and art more than anything and when I find free time, like to make art with my kids.
  • SEAN: I am an aspiring writer who wants to write a history book, an espionage novel, and a collection of sonnets sometime before my time on earth is up.