Meet Marissa - a Long Island native, she graduated from the University of Florida and quickly started her career in the media industry. After working for several years at Vox Media and Forbes, Marissa pivoted to the world of advertising technology. As the leader of demand sales initiatives for the Marketing team at Vistar Media, her core focus is to make sure we provide our direct sales team with the right tools to meet their clients’ needs. When she’s not busy pushing out a new pitch deck, case study or marketing campaign, you’ll likely find Marissa picking her next travel destination – over a plate of soup dumplings. Recently, we sat down with Marissa to learn more about her role and experiences since joining Vistar.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I think my favorite fun fact would have to be that I was a nationally-ranked tennis player growing up. As a teenager, I trained with my coach nearly every day after school, took mental training courses and traveled the country competing. In high school, I went to the state championship tournament twice — earning “All-State” credentials and my (goofy) picture hanging on the wall, still to this day. Most people meet me and have no idea that I’m actually pretty athletic!
What is the most interesting part of your job?
As an emerging channel, programmatic digital out-of-home currently sits at an interesting intersection within the advertising ecosystem. With the wide array of team structures that exists, we get to educate and work with several different brand and agency customers, including digital, programmatic and out-of-home teams. It’s been so fun getting to learn the ins and outs of each group — diving into the needs, pain points and interests — of all of our customers in order to service each of them in the best way possible.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Making memories is extremely important to me and surfaces in nearly everything I do. I travel a ton and enjoy seeking out new recipes, restaurants, shows and activities. I also spend a lot of time with my family (I’m so lucky they live nearby!), and I strive to volunteer and give back to the community as much as I can.
You’re on the board of an organization called the Lauren Nicole Marcus Foundation - can you tell us a bit about that?
So glad you asked! The Lauren Nicole Marcus Foundation is near and dear to my heart, as it was established in honor of my best friend from college who sadly passed away in a tragic traffic accident six years ago. Through the organization, we aspire to keep Lauren’s legacy alive by funding scholarships at each of the schools she attended as well as through the establishment and growth of our flagship program, L.A.U.R.E.N.’s Camp. L.A.U.R.E.N.’s Camp is an annual sleep-away summer camp program that focuses on several of the core values that Lauren embodied: Learning to Accept, Understand, and Respect Each other No matter what. More information about our efforts can be found here!
What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
French Polynesia, hands down. My parents took my younger brother and I on a once-in-a-lifetime trip through all of the French Polynesian islands, starting in Tahiti and sailing through Bora Bora, Mo'orea, Raiatea and a few others. For the first and only time in my life, it really felt like I was in a parallel universe — the colors there are truly out of this world.
Since starting at Vistar, how has your view on out-of-home changed?
Admittedly, I really didn’t know too much about out-of-home before starting here. My entire career thus far had been in digital media, and out-of-home wasn’t a medium I really ever thought about — which is INSANE to me now, knowing how ubiquitous it is and how advanced the industry has become. It’s both challenging and inspiring to work in such a rapidly evolving medium.
Tell us about the best team event you’ve attended.
Easy! Last Q4, we were really feeling the end-of-year stress, so our amazing boss treated us to rose petal pedicures followed by delectable dim sum. I’m slightly infatuated with soup dumplings (and Asian food in general), so this outing undoubtedly ranks number one for me.
What is one thing you wish you would have known prior to joining Vistar?
Not much, honestly — the entire interview process was extremely pleasant, and I had the opportunity to meet with several members of the leadership team prior to taking the position. After diving into company specifics, I was pretty sold.
I believe that, as a marketer, it’s essential to work for a company whose product(s) you truly believe in. It’s been beyond amazing to see both the education and value that Vistar is bringing to the entire out-of-home ecosystem, and I’m so excited to be a part of that.
Interested in working for Vistar?