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BOSTON — The envelope, please.

VentureBeat today announced its choices for the top 20 chief marketing officers in New England at the GrowthBeat Summit conference, taking place at Boston’s Langham Hotel.

Our readers and Ad Club of Boston nominated 37 CMOs. A panel picked the final 20. This group included VentureBeat founder/CEO Matt Marshall, VP of research John Koetsier, and VentureBeat’s internal research team.

While some of the winners do not carry a marketing title, our rules said that they must be the company’s top marketer and the key person responsible for growth.

The judges took vertical differences into consideration. For example, an apparel company may not have grown as fast as a mobile ad network. (Growth based on VC funding fumes alone did not suffice to make a CMO a winner.) So the panel considered how the company is doing versus its industry peers. Both private and public companies were considered.

The panel also considered which marketers have achieved impressive growth by:

  1. Articulating a well-honed and creative “story” for their company’s product.
  2. Leveraging technology to have the right conversations with the right customers in the right channels.

Here’s the list, along with a note about why that CMO was selected. Notes in quotes are from employees at that company:

  • Mike Troiano, CMO of Actifio
    “[Troiano] played an instrumental role in driving Actifio’s growth and expanding its brand footprint. He’s a master storyteller, a deft strategist, and always a source of sage advice for young marketers in the community.”
  • Matt Johnston, CMO and chief strategy officer at Applause
    Colleagues describe Johnston as a “driving force of growth,” leading Applause to be named to Forbes’ fastest growing companies list three years in a row — an accomplishment that only a few companies can claim. Matt also successfully rebranded Applause almost seamlessly from uTest after six years in existence.
  • Rob Cosinuke, SVP and CMO at AthenaHealth
    In his long tenure at AthenaHealth, Cosinuke has helped create a $4.5 billion market cap company and a leader in the medical software solutions marketplace. During 2014, AthenaHealth saw revenue grow an astonishing 41 percent year over year, and it’s helping medical practitioners everywhere spend more time worrying about patients and less time on software.
  • Maria Feicht, chief brand officer at Au Bon Pain Franchising Corporation
    In 2015, Feicht led Au Bon Pain to become widely recognized as the healthiest (or one of the healthiest) fast food chains in the U.S., highlighting its “unrivaled standard of nutritional transparency.”
  • Anne Finucane, global chief strategy and marketing officer at Bank of America
    Finucane has led the marketing and branding efforts at one of the biggest banks in the world for over 10 years.
  • Bari Harlam, EVP, membership (marketing and analytics) at BJ’s Wholesale Club
    Harlam has fostered growth and a strong brand as the No. 1 mass retail club in the New England area.
  • Geoff Cottrill, Vice President-General Manager of Brand and Segments at Converse
    Cottrill has fostered strong growth and innovation in the past year with 18 percent revenue growth and a revitalization of the Converse brand.
  • John Costello, president, global marketing and innovation, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.
    As president of global marketing and innovation at Dunkin’ Brands, Costello has continued to foster one of the world’s most recognizable fast food brands into markets around the globe, with over 18,800 distribution points in more than 60 countries. He’s also recognized for his strong work within the marketing community (as chairman of the Global Mobile Marketing Association).
  • Jonathan Martin, CMO at EMC
    Martin has been a driving force for record-breaking growth rates at the company, creating a strong corporate narrative behind EMC’s large portfolio of products and making them accessible to larger audiences.
  • John Frascotti, president, Hasbro Brands, Hasbro
    As CMO at Hasbro for seven years, Frascotti transitioned to president of Hasbro Brands in October. He has helped Hasbro reach an all-time high stock price, with the market cap growing over 30 percent to $9 billion in the past year.
  • Mike Volpe, CMO at HubSpot
    “Mike Volpe has not only built a leading marketing automation company but led it through a successful IPO. He’s innovated new ways of recruiting on his way to building a world class team of 200-plus.” “Under [Volpe’s] leadership, HubSpot has built a top brand in our market, built one of the top 10 marketing blogs, and created the largest social media presence for any B2B software company.”
  • Julie Ginches, CMO at Kahuna
    Julie played a key role in taking Rubicon Project public and in helping eXelate get acquired by Nielsen just nine months after joining. Now, at Kahuna: “There are very few marketers that can do what Julie does, which is why she is one of the most desirable CMOs out there.”
  • Steve Fuller, CMO at L. L. Bean
    Steve is CMO ahead of technology, driving scalable solutions for one-to-one customer connectivity and engagement. In a recent profile on Social Media Today, Steve described how he overhauled L.L. Bean’s approach to social media marketing with a customer-centric approach and a focus on measurable results.
  • Josh Todd, CMO at Localytics
    Todd has made an immediate and significant impact during his eight months at Localytics, most recently completing a $35 million round of funding in March. He “revamped Localytics’ entire marketing program within four short months, putting the company in an extremely competitive vantage point by differentiating ourselves in areas where our competitors were not.”
  • Heather Smiley, CMO at Mass Mutual
    Smiley is a seasoned CMO who has helped Mass Mutual become one of the biggest companies in the US (97th on the Fortune 100) over the past seven years.
  • Jim McNiel, VP, worldwide marketing at NetScout
    McNiel joined NetScout last July as the VP of worldwide marketing, after serving as the founder/CEO of a number of ventures. During his year, he helped NetScout achieve 14 percent revenue growth while being named Forbes’ 51st best small company in America. “Completely revitalizing an old school tech company.”
  • Robert Tas, SVP and CMO at Pegasystems
    Tas brings extensive industry experience and knowledge to Pegasystems. As CMO, he’s responsible for leading Pegasystem’s global marketing efforts, including its brand, advertising, communications, product marketing, industry business lines, and global programs teams. Since the beginning of this year, his marketing campaigns have resulted in an increase of 191 percent for organic search rates, over 100 percent for social followers, and 33 percent for unique visitors.
  • Marianne Budnik, CMO at Simplivity
    Having gained quite a reputation as CMO of CA Technologies and Acme Packet, Budnik has made an immediate impact at Simplivity. She has led them to close one of the biggest rounds for a private Boston company in recent memory, raising $175M in March. “She brings a powerful mix of branding/messaging skills, practical business sense, and the ability to grow and motivate teams.”
  • Barbara Messing, CMO at TripAdvisor
    Messing has played a key role in TripAdvisor’s exceptional 34 percent revenue growth in the past year by implementing a number of key marketing initiatives. “Through [Messing’s] leadership, TripAdvisor has doubled their membership numbers in two years [and] has increased rate of content collection by 400 percent.”
  • Brian Harrington, CMO at Zipcar
    Harrigton has helped Zipcar disrupt the rental car industry with innovative marketing and branding. “[Harrington] has been the leading force behind many creative marketing campaigns that have gone above and beyond anything that Zipcar has done before.”


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