What do you do for your day job?
After an amazing run working with Orange Effect Foundation founders Joe and Pam Pulizzi at the Content Marketing Institute, I am now working with OEF supporter and friend Paul Roetzer at the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute. Our mission is to make smarter technology—AI-powered—more understandable and accessible to marketers.
Right now we’re gearing up for our big event, MAICON (Marketing AI Conference) in August!
What do you do for fun?
I love being on my bike! Dating back to the 80s when I would go for long rides in the Cleveland Metroparks with a backpack filled with water, a book and a blanket, I’ve always loved riding. As recent empty nesters, my husband and I have enjoyed bike trips to different Cleveland Metroparks locations, bike paths in other parts of Ohio, and more. We have a wish list planned with some friends for this summer and fall.
We’ve also been able to travel a bit, and on one of our trips to San Diego a few years ago I purchased a National Parks passport book. So aside from wanting to see every Major League Baseball park, we’re also seeing how many align with getting a stamp in my passport book!
Tell us about one of your role models or unsung heroes from childhood.
One of my first role models was my grandfather, Andrew Kowalski. Papa to us kids, he was the absolute greatest man. He lived a life of service every single day of his life.
A carpenter by trade, Papa was also a World War II veteran. He was an active member of many service organizations, ran the clothing ministry at our church, collected used items, held sales, and donated proceeds to the church. He taught us to find beauty in the small things, have gratitude for everything and everyone, and give back at every possible opportunity. I could go on for days! He was always there for us, and so proud of his children and grandchildren.
He passed away in 1998 when my oldest son was three months old. We talk about him a lot, and strive to say, “I did a Papa thing today” to carry on his amazing legacy.
One recent memory is that I came upon my old portfolio from college. It included art and design projects, including a copy of a magazine I helped publish during a college internship. It was a trade publication in the information systems industry—and my grandfather was certainly not the target audience. I turned over the magazine, and sure enough, the magazine label said, “Andrew Kowalski” with his Cleveland Hts. mailing address. I just laughed. Of course he subscribed!
What is your favorite animal and why?
Owls! I can trace that back to the Lakewood Library growing up and posters and bookmarks they had in the children’s section. I love the symbolism of knowledge and intuition. I love learning new things, and oftentimes have my nose in a book.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wasn’t one of those kids who knew at an early age that they wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, or astronaut. I liked art, I liked math, I liked sports. I liked helping my dad with our taxes every April, but college taught me that accounting was not my strength! Being an architect, a nutritionist, and a librarian are all other career paths I’ve considered.