Brooke Barney, Kramer Madison
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Brooke Barney, marketing & creative services director, Kramer Madison.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
Enabling my sales team through marketing efforts to make them the hero. I wish the sales cycle was faster. I geek out on metrics and love to calculate the return on the investment on our campaigns, new solutions, and technology to help Kramer Madison grow, prosper, and succeed. I love that I work for a woman-owned company and think Gina Weise is doing a fantastic job despite the roller coaster of the last 15 months. We are a small team and it’s pretty special. Kramer does great work and I look forward to help continue growing our 85-year-old company and team.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
Mark Lacek and Jeff Patrias, for giving me a second chance at the Lacek Group and an amazing position in Singapore. Also Ron Brant, for creatively pushing me outside my comfort zone and inspiring me to think differently.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
Well, I did work for Prince at Paisley Park studios. That was my first job out of school. This could be considered a pretty high point but I think mine was realizing I wasn’t in the right work environment to do my best work and having the confidence to call the other company that had given me a job offer at the same time to ask if there was still any opportunity for me there. Turns out they still needed me, so I was grateful I took the chance!
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
To always be adaptable and flexible, and that everything happens for a reason. With almost 30 years of wisdom in the industry, I don’t think I would have told myself to do anything differently. You will work for a variety of industries, companies, and leaders. You will discover new interests and try new things, volunteer, raise a family, all while being the bread winner. You did it right. You go, girl!
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
The amazing networking and volunteering opportunities — especially with AMA Madison, which is an awesome group. The cool people. The great restaurants and outdoor activities. I moved to Madison 15 years ago and couldn’t be happier.
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
I get sh_ _ done (is it OK to say that word here?) I love connecting talent and resources to solve problems.
What are your guilty pleasures?
I was between jobs last summer and went kayaking every single day. I’d take a to-go coffee and just go float out on Lake Mendota. It was a great way to clear my head and relax, and the cityscape of Madison is fantastic.
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