2023 Women of Excellence, Business Excellence

Profiles of Business Excellence winners Melissa Berger, Colleen DeVos, Meghan Howard, Kristin Issler, Jaclyn Nix, Robyn Petroski, Trina Rizzo, Sejal Sheth, Angie Smith, Christine Wanta and Patricia M. Ziegler.

Melissa Berger

Executive Vice President of National Strategic Growth and Solutions

Melissa Berger continues to have a significant impact on Digitas’ growth and development. Berger and her team created a proprietary tool called Connect IQ that assesses a brand’s presentation and its connections to consumers’ lives. By evaluating four categories — intimacy, resonance, availability and utility — it reveals untouched revenue for brands compared to the competition. Cross-functional teams assess more than 60 pieces of criteria. The teams identify any missed connection opportunities against Digitas’ financial model to determine market share gaps and revenue opportunities, and create a roadmap with a path to action for brand evolution.

Under Berger’s leadership, more than 17 Connect IQ studies have been presented to clients across industries, which translates to a prospect-to-pitch rate of 63%. Connect IQ has been cited as an industry-leading competitive assessment tool. 

Berger is also charged with helping the agency’s cross-capability teams develop proprietary growth tools and strategies across capabilities. She has co-led Publicis Groupe’s CRM Center of Excellence — a collective of individuals from agencies across Digitas’ holding company that creates storytelling, packaging, products and growth strategies for Publicis.

She has more than 20 years of experience in multichannel marketing and strategy, including CRM, digital, marketing technology, customer segmentation and strategic planning. A member of the Digitas North America team for nearly seven years, she assumed her current post as executive vice president of national strategic growth and solutions in early 2022.


Colleen DeVos

Executive Vice President, Account Director
Arc Worldwide

Colleen DeVos joined Arc Worldwide in early 2016 as part of the Epsilon acquisition and became instrumental in integrating the more than 200 Epsilon employees across five markets into the business. She built the team she now leads for Kraft Heinz, as well as the Power of One model composed of Arc Worldwide, SaatchiX and Starcom, supporting Kraft Heinz in the strategic development and execution of omnichannel plans across more than 50 brands and all classes of trade. 

In 2021, Heinz Art of the Burger, an award-winning program that reframed summer grilling, delivered double-digit growth. It also became the single largest retail execution in the CPG brand’s history. This year, Kraft Heinz launched its first-ever shoppable, live TikTok cooking program through a partnership with TikTok and Gopuff. More than 125,000 people joined the TikTok live, Gopuff sold out of products, and overall Kraft sales were up 10% during the five-day promotional period. Product sales were up 7% for the featured products. DeVos’ work has led to 60% growth in agency revenue on Kraft Heinz over the past three years. 

In 2022, DeVos also led Hewlett-Packard’s first-ever retail activation, Plant a Tree with HP. She was invited to speak at HP’s company-wide sustainable impact summit this year because of the work she led to influence HP’s retail go-to-market strategy for sustainable impact.

DeVos, who assumed her current post as executive vice president, account director in June, has more than 25 years of experience working in commerce marketing from the agency side, effectively helping clients transform their commerce capabilities.


Meghan Howard

Chief Revenue Officer

Meghan Howard is responsible for Chicory’s growth plans and revenue operations, overseeing the sales, account management, strategic partnerships and marketing teams. Since joining the company in late 2018 as vice president of sales, she has grown the sales and account management teams while also increasing revenue by nearly 10 times.

As part of her growth plans, Howard also designed and successfully implemented a Sales Planner team, which helps create strategies to reach potential customers and drive more sales. During this time, Chicory reached its highest annual revenue year to date under her leadership and has been honored by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation and the Northeast.

Howard developed sales strategies for two new Chicory products over the past six months. Applying her customer-centric, audience-driven approach, she dedicated specific sellers and resources to each product to gain traction. As a result of her efforts, both products are entering new phases of marketability and Chicory has added several new clients to its roster.

Howard was promoted to her current position as chief marketing officer in January 2023, making her the first woman to join Chicory’s C-suite. In May, she added both the strategic partnerships and marketing teams under her umbrella. She spent more than 15 years at Valassis Digital in a variety of roles before joining Chicory.


Kristin Issler

Executive Vice President, Client Leadership
The Mars Agency

Kristin Issler was instrumental in gaining the Mars Inc. business for The Mars Agency in 2020, including the Mars Wrigley, Mars Petcare, Mars Food and Mars Wrigley ice cream brands. It was the height of the pandemic and she set up an agency support model, hiring 100 new team members and seamlessly transitioning the client’s portfolio from the previous agency. Her work led to a swift expansion into Canada as well as e-commerce operations.

More recently, Issler helped secure the shopper marketing business at Anheuser-Busch, building out a still-growing support team of 25 positions and extending the agency’s responsibilities into aspects of the brewer’s trade promotion activity. She also leads the BlueTriton business, making her overall portfolio represent approximately 30% of the agency’s total business.

Serving as executive vice president, client leadership since she joined in October 2017, Issler’s responsibilities have helped foster the cultural environment that recently earned the agency “Best Places to Work” honors from both Ad Age and Inc. She actively contributes to Mars Wrigley’s global efforts in conjunction with the international team. As a member of the Global Executive Leadership Team, she is instrumental in helping guide the agency’s overall strategic direction while personifying its standards and best practices beyond client leadership to scoping, financial management, reporting and internal relationship-building.

Issler recently added WeLead, an initiative dedicated to growing and developing talent and leadership skills across the agency with a particular focus on women and DEI, to her work. She spent nearly nine years at Catapult prior to joining The Mars Agency, and more than five years at Dexter Shoe Co.


Jaclyn Nix

Executive Vice President, Media Sales and Operations

As head of media business for Mi9 Retail until she joined CitrusAd in May 2020, Jaclyn Nix managed Mi9’s media sales business, was responsible for new business development and partnerships, and led the integration of CitrusAd into Mi9’s retailer software, ultimately positioning her to help launch CitrusAd U.S.

Named senior vice president, media sales and operations, when she joined in 2020, Nix was instrumental in helping facilitate the transition of what was formerly the Mi9/MyWebGrocer grocery media network to what is now GroceryOne. She unites retailers on the GroceryOne Retail Media Hub, giving CPG companies one platform to seamlessly access performance-based media and track sales in real time. 

Her contributions have led to business expansion, helping brands reach more than 15,000 stores and $330 billion in retail sales. She and her team utilize the platform’s analytics to optimize retail media campaigns with insights into keyword performance, ROAS and more. She has not only helped build and grow GroceryOne, but has advanced key retail media networks, including Target’s Roundel, Gopuff and others, growing revenue year over year for the past three years.

Promoted to her current post in November 2021, Nix supports sales and operations teams to drive top-line revenue and cost efficiencies both internally and for CitrusAd’s retailer partners. CitrusAd’s rapid expansion required her to build out and mentor sales teams, and she has successfully led both her team and key retailers to see 500%-1,000% year-over-year quarterly growth.


Robyn Petroski

Director, Shopper Merchandising Solutions and Point of Sale
Mondelez International

Robyn Petroski started her tenure at Mondelez as a merchandising manager in 2012. She had spent more than 15 years in the filled POS business at Kraft Foods, Cadbury Adams, Coty Prestige and Unilever Cosmetics, among others. In April 2022, she was tapped to assume leadership of the entire POS business, including filled, permanent, temporary and corrugate, and was promoted to director of shopper merchandising solutions.

Over the past year, Petroski has made a demonstrable impact on the Mondelez business. She manages a $60 million budget and has grown her team from three to 10. She has driven $5.3 million in cost savings, beating target by 425%, and drove waste down to 2%. She has also reduced SKUs by 17% and executed a $100 million request for proposal, securing $7 million in savings.

Petroski was instrumental in developing a POS structure that has saved 5,000 direct-store-delivery labor hours annually, which helped reduce cost more than 8% and has been adopted as the global Mondelez design.

She has also developed a new process with the sales team, which now has tools to manage the budget and understand the P&L impact. Her guidance driving innovation in the team has secured an incremental $10 million budget as well as tests at several major retailers. A digital endcap test at Walmart drove an incremental sales lift of 5.4% and resulted in a rollout of the digital endcaps to 200 stores.


Trina Rizzo

Chief Revenue Officer

Trina Rizzo’s more than 20 years of sales experience has spanned from publisher at Conde Nast to technology firms Travelzoo and MaxPoint. Leading and mentoring teams with an appetite for helping build a company’s revenue from the ground up, her passion for the ad-tech industry led her to InMarket, which she joined in August 2017 to head up its sales efforts.

In fewer than five years, she was promoted three times, ultimately being named to her current post of chief revenue officer and playing a pivotal role in the company’s exponential growth to more than $100 million annually. She has rapidly expanded the InMarket sales team and training program across the media, measurement and programmatic disciplines, and added new sales functions — including sales architects and vertical market practice leaders across CPG, adult beverages, retail, pharma and dining — to support growth.

Rizzo’s focus on key accounts and creative program development include the creation of new tentpole events, immersive creative and insights packages, such as lapsed/lost, LTV (Lifetime Value) and Journeys, which allow brands to connect with consumers by leveraging InMarket’s unique intent, location and transactional data. Her ability to partner with clients and work collaboratively with InMarket’s internal creative team has resulted in a record number of awards for digital marketing excellence across a variety of categories.

InMarket was ranked among the fastest-growing technology companies in North America on the Deloitte Technology 500 list for the past two consecutive years, achieving 483% growth over the measured period.


Sejal Sheth

Former Vice President, E-Commerce
GE Lighting, a Savant Co.

Sejal Sheth leveraged 19 years of classical CPG sales and marketing experience to help GE Lighting drive considerable incremental growth in its digital sales channels. After spending nearly 15 years at J.M. Smucker, she joined GE Lighting in October 2020 and was its vice president of e-commerce until August of this year.

Sheth was recruited by GE Lighting to create, define and execute a long-term vision, strategy and roadmap for accelerating online sales as well as omnichannel sales by enabling critical capabilities. Her leadership helped grow the company’s eIQ and drove a digital-first mindset within fulfillment, innovation, marketing and sales. She leveraged customer insights to drive audience targeting strategies and promotional focus that attracted customers at the right points of entry. As a result, ROI from media partnerships improved by four times.

Sheth recently led a co-marketing effort with Cync and Amazon that sold through in two weeks — which was three weeks ahead of the forecast — and the campaign was picked up for a spot during “Thursday Night Football.”

While at Smucker’s, first in category and shopper insights and then e-commerce sales, Sheth was instrumental in driving growth capabilities within category management, shopper marketing and e-commerce.

Sheth now serves as vice president, digital commerce and media, at retail growth agency Harvest Group. 


Angie Smith

Director, E-Commerce Center of Excellence
Campbell Soup Co.

Angie Smith joined Campbell Soup Co. in July 2021 as the senior team lead for its E-Commerce Center of Excellence. Since then, she has developed tools and capabilities that have resulted in this fiscal year reporting a 22% year-over-year increase in e-commerce sales, with unit growth up 6%, share gains at more than one full point, digital penetration of 10.2% percent, and digital shelf health up eight points year over year.

Smith’s work has included leveraging insights and market data to develop a multi-year e-commerce capabilities roadmap and investment approach that aligns with a three-year strategic glide path. She has also conducted marketplace assessments and benchmarking for company performance assessments in e-commerce, opportunities versus peer competitors, and cross-category best-in-class e-commerce suppliers.

Named to her current post of director of e-commerce this past July, Smith has also led strategic initiatives and piloted tests-and-learns with new partners and capabilities, which drove optimizations on investments in retail media, content development, ratings and reviews syndication, and digital shelf KPIs. She also set the groundwork for a new way of looking at e-commerce share of the digital shelf, with SKU segmentation and keyword optimization at the center of the strategy.

Focusing on e-commerce measurement, she and her team are utilizing new data sources (such as Profitero, Luminate, EMI, etc.) to more accurately present the impact of their work and the investment in the business. She is looking toward strategic development, capabilities advancement and future iterations of Campbell Snacks’ e-commerce roadmap in the coming year.


Christine Wanta

Enterprise Shopper Marketing Stewardship Capability Leader
Procter & Gamble

An eight-year veteran of Procter & Gamble (P&G), Christine Wanta took on a newly created role last year as the company’s stewardship leader for brand activity across retailers. She has since led the establishment and execution of new stewardship standards across the shopper marketing organization to mitigate financial, information security and reputational risks that are part of the current business landscape.

Wanta was formerly a customer team lead administrator, and once in her new role, she designed and implemented an organizational structure to establish clear stewardship roles and responsibilities. She also led a network of 25 brand activity stewardship managers to gain insights on best practices that were shared across the organization and to deliver continuous access to the latest stewardship policies and guidance. Her Stewardship Guide — which helps the more than 120 shopper marketers understand and implement standards and processes regardless of experience level — has become a consistent and effective resource for upskilling and training stewardship across customer teams. Additionally, she designed a “Health Check” process and executed more than 30 sessions to provide one-on-one support for each team. 

Wanta’s improvements to customer team stewardship are critical to P&G’s long-term success and have mitigated risk and protected value leakage for its more than $500 million in brand activity investments.


Patricia M. Ziegler 

Former Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and Business Unit Lead
Scotts Miracle-Gro

When Patricia Ziegler was named senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Scotts Miracle-Gro in May 2022, she began a reorganization of the marketing department to establish a flatter and leaner team to empower its associates, foster collaboration and shorten decision-making time.

She led the spring 2023 lawn and garden season efforts with a first-ever kickoff program designed to drive massive impact and achieve the company’s business goals. Working with agency partners, the team launched a “Daylawn Savings Event” that gave consumers the biggest promotional deals of the season all tied around daylight savings. The concept of “more daylight, more savings” became a rallying cry for the company, and retail partners leaned in to activate with Scotts.

The company achieved nearly all of its stretch goals and was able to load inventory into retail stores earlier than ever before, securing nearly double the floor space. A dedicated media plan helped drive traffic and early-season awareness for the category despite challenging weather in the northern states, and early breaking markets in the Deep South saw massive POS lifts on the promotional SKUs. The event created an immeasurable amount of internal buzz and mojo at the company, which inspired and motivated the entire organization.

Ziegler also oversaw the launch of two new advertising campaigns for the company’s biggest brands — “Scott for Scotts” for the Scotts brand, and “All You Need to Know to Gro” for the Miracle-Gro brand.