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MARC USA | Pittsburgh
Jason Russo, President, Boston & MARC USA | Results: Digital
Jason’s colleagues and clients will both tell you he thrives on results. That’s why when he formed a company, he named it “Results:Digital.” He really gets a charge from connecting audiences and brands in ways that get the most value out of every dollar spent. They’ll also tell you about his high energy and his passion for delivering great customer service and smart solutions on the tightest of timelines.

Today Jason leads MARC USA’s Boston office and our digital media practice housed there. With 17 years of expertise in new customer generation, conversion, optimization and ecommerce, Jason is the guy you want on your team in the ever-evolving digital media landscape. But when clients talk about Jason, they talk about much more than results. Time and again, you’ll hear that Jason has a special talent for turning clients into trusted partners. Whether it’s for retail brands like Payless ShoeSource and Rite Aid or a range of products and services for brands like Comcast, Novo Nordisk and Unysis, Jason leads performance-driven digital media solutions that deliver results across the spectrum from discovery to acquisition to activation. And when he’s not on the job, he’s still active – snowboarding, racing fast cars or teaching a new sport to his young children.
Bryan Hadlock, EVP/Chief Creative Officer
As a scuba diver and a pilot, Bryan loves thrills and calculated risk, but his biggest rush comes from creating seamlessly integrated campaigns that define brands long-term while propelling immediate results.

Bryan is a stickler for information and frequently goes into the field to obtain hands-on product experience. He prides himself on strategy-based creative, building on the radical insights his colleagues uncover to find the sweet spot in each client’s message. He’s known for adding a unique, often humorous, touch to make it truly memorable.

With experience across a wide range of categories from financial services, gaming, health care and sports to tourism, home products, fashion and QSR, Bryan consistently move consumers to action with compelling, results-driven campaigns. He holds himself to a high standard: “It doesn’t matter what it is. By the time I learn it inside and out, I can tell a story that will sell it.”
Chris Heitmann, EVP/Chief Innovation Officer
Is it an occupational hazard for interactive leaders to be a bit schizophrenic? Or is it just Chris? Start him on the topic of interactive behavior, ROI and attribution and you’ll think you’re in the presence of a hard core left brain. But, just when you’ve got him pegged, he jumps in with a brilliantly intuitive idea for a new kind of interactive experience — one that complements our brand’s creative direction perfectly.

Like any interactive guy worth his salt, he’s created and sold lots of companies (Sony Music bought one of them) where he was in charge of digital marketing for his clients — including Comcast, Disney, Chrysler and Liberty Mutual Insurance. Today his whole brain thinking is creating magic for the full range of MARC USA clients.
Karen Leitze, EVP/Director of Research & Strategic Planning
Karen is that ideal strategic partner who’s driven to find the truth behind why people behave as they do. She is the architect of our “whole brain” strategic process and experience architecture. She tracked the advancements academia was making in understanding how the brain makes decisions and then built a proprietary research system that applies that thinking to brand positioning. And, she’s the one who developed our alliance with Carnegie Mellon University so we could partner with them on Behavioral Economics and big data analytics using their bleeding-edge capabilities.

But lest you think she just sits in her office thinking deep thoughts, check out her shelf of industry awards for all the game-changing brand positionings she’s developed across a wide range of categories. She brings innovation after innovation to the agency and our clients, always selling them in through force of reason not through force of will.
Jerry Thompson, EVP/Public Relations Director
While new to MARC, it already feels like Jerry’s a member of the team. Maybe it’s his experience as a college quarterback that makes him both confident leader and true team player. Colleagues and clients praise him as a fast learner and creative thinker – the first guy they turn to for guidance. Jerry quickly gets to the heart of any matter – developing messages that make a difference. And there’s no one else you¹d rather have on your team in a crisis. Just ask the folks at Florida Tourism. His work after the Gulf oil spill not only won back the hearts and minds of tourists, but also a major national award – just one of many on his shelf.

Name an industry or issue, and Jerry likely has an insightful story from his years at Burson-Marsteller and Ketchum on brands like Home Depot, Rust-Oleum, Olympic Paint, Delta Air Lines, Miller Brewing, Heinz, StarKist plus tech and energy companies. And, that storytelling ability helps him create powerful content for his clients’ brands.
Nancy Roth, SVP/Media Director
Nancy’s wicked sense of humor belies her well-honed strategic skills and even sharper negotiating prowess. She’s nobody’s fool, which is a really important trait in an industry where new interactive media platforms emerge seemingly every hour and half won’t last past 5pm. She’s really good at sniffing out the big opportunities from the big talk – and she always treats her clients’ money like her own.

Her portfolio ranges from food to footwear to pharmacy, from hardware to entertainment to telecomm. She’s a pro at building fully integrated plans with a serious dose of creativity for clients like Payless ShoeSource, Rite Aid, Cooper Tire, T.G.I. Friday’s, CiCi’s Restaurants, NBC Universal, Supercuts, Famous Footwear, True Value Hardware, Jiffy-Lube, Skil Power Tools and more. Prior to joining MARC USA, she directed media strategy at Starcom MediaVest Group’s Spark Communications for accounts with $80+ million budgets – giving her that perfect combination of big agency chops and entrepreneurial spirit.
Sharon Aulicino, EVP/Chief Brand Development Officer
Look up “small but mighty” on Wikipedia and you’ll find Sharon’s bio. She may be petite, but she is a visionary force to be reckoned with – spearheading many of MARC USA’s most effective retail transformations including the Rite Aid repositioning that has Wall Street singing its praises for the dramatic turnaround. Her experience runs deep in retail, service, restaurants and food brands. In addition to Rite Aid, Mellon Financial Services, Capital BlueCross and Pennsylvania Lottery, her experience includes Checkers and Krystal Restaurants, Eat ‘n Park and Alouette Cheese.

Sharon has a firm grasp on the balance between establishing fundamental, long term brand relevance and short term sales. A highly creative promotional thinker as well as insightful strategist, Sharon is able to tap popular culture to come up with programs that bridge the two worlds and inspire consumers to take action. And her knowledge of new technology enables her to create some of the agency’s most effective marketing innovations to drive client business.
David Shaw, SVP/Director of Client Service, Pittsburgh
David’s a guy who readily sees the big picture and big opportunity for any brand he touches. From leading global strategy for Lowe’s, Pizza Hut and Visa to building awareness for global charity World Vision or guiding innovations that keep Rite Aid ahead of it competition, his work generates passion and results. His wide-ranging experience covers home products and home improvement, retail, QSR, CPG, financial services, travel and tourism, entertainment and telecommunications.

The industry and his colleagues have consistently honored David’s work as demonstrated by multiple Effie’s. He was early to the game in digital – and he loves to bring big brand ideas to life across all touch points. Whether it’s a movie tie-in or an effort with a national sports league, David knows how to create sponsorships and partnerships that embed his clients’ brands into his targets’ world. At MARC USA, he coaches all Pittsburgh account staff and serves as senior account representative. But at the end of the day, what David loves most is the smile he brings to a child’s face – sharing a new adventure with one of his own three or the child he sponsors in a Peruvian village. That’s David’s world vision.