my resume

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Kirk R Gray | @kirkrgray | | | 305.985.1974

Qualifications Summary

A highly creative and analytical subject matter expert and strategist with fifteen+ years of experience in diverse product and service enterprises; who innovates and executes initiatives to elevate corporate profiles, products and services while realizing exceptional profits and savings through winning email marketing programs.
  • Specializing in creating and driving winning email marketing/outbound email communications programs, advertising, and promotional programs.
  • Identify and maximize opportunities to expand role of assignment.
  • Direct, focus, and motivate teams to surpass enterprise targets.
  • Expertise in business development, operations direction, policy development and improvement, system management, program and project management, sales, email marketing, campaign and account management, fiscal oversight, and customer engagement.
  • Securing and optimizing key business relationships and strategic alliances.
  • Collaborate with external and internal stakeholders to achieve corporate mission and project goals with an eye towards branding and human-first plans.
Key Competencies
email marketing strategy • campaign design and optimization • mobile-friendly and adaptive/responsive html coding • market segmentation & expansion strategy • corporate leadership • business development • b2b & b2c • client/member/customer retention, acquisition, & engagement • revenue generation & savings • analysis • forecasting • budget control • reporting • creative initiatives • goal setting • performance management • engagement • web design & improvement • publication development & production • database management (CRM) • benchmarking • communications • presentations • vendor management • streamlining • problem solving • sales team empowerment & equipment • deliverability issues & optimization

Professional Experience

SAE Institute
Miami, Florida October 2014 - present
Global higher education provider that specializes in audio technology and music business diplomas and degrees for students who may not typically enroll in higher education

Email Marketing Manager: responsible for the day to day operations of Marketo including student recruitment campaigns, event marketing, student communications, student retention, as well as campaign management and lead management within Marketo
  • Implemented a welcome series for new prospects
  • Established a communication strategy for delivering messages to prospects, students and alumni
  • Executed on going successful campaigns to promote additional awareness of the school to current students and alumni
  • Managed the communication strategies for not only SAE Institute but an additional brand/school owned by SAE Institute, Ex'pression College
  • Simplified the communication flow through the use of dynamic content and triggered messaging
  • Established global best practices for email ("physical size", layouts, adaptive/responsive strategies, and a mix of mobile friendly and mobile first templates)
  • Developed landing page strategy and policy in regards to where landing pages should sit - Marketo for ppc versus on our server for organic search and grass-roots campaigns
Major Accomplishments:
  • Worked to launch, design, and refine the implementation of Marketo, not just within the United States but across the globe
  • Streamlined the number of forms used within Marketo by using Google Analytic parameters to pass information to forms and limit the number of fields a prospect needs to submit resulting in greater response rates, less confusion within the tool, and in-line with the ppc accounts and Google Adwords
American Public University System
Manassas, Virginia June 2012 - September 2014
Online higher education provider primarily serving the armed forces, but also the civilian sector, composed of two institutions - American Military University and American Public University

Interactive Marketing Manager, Email: directly responsible for the day to day email operations of student recruitment campaigns, event marketing, student communications, student retention, and other types of campaigns for one of the nation’s premier online educators
  • Developed new email work flows within ExactTarget and Marketo platforms
  • Implemented responsive templates for student recruitment and retention campaigns
  • Established a highly successful newsletter campaign for a series of blogs operated by the university to cross promote awareness and to drive student applications through non-conventional channels
  • Instrumental in developing the student life-cycle email communication flow – serving as lead for email best practices, deliverability, and for communication optimization
  • Designed (both creative design and html coding), developed, and executed stand-a-lone emails for the marketing/student outreach programs as well as the day-to-day operations of ExactTarget for the university
  • Collaborated with the university's creative design unit for best practices in email production, design, and coding - as well as hand-coding from psd design files for deployment
  • Served as a primary point of contact for the university's communication audit committee while developing university-wide usage, design, and best practice guidelines for our primary form of communication - email
Major Accomplishments:
  • Developed re-engagement campaigns for dis-enrolled students that resulted in a 75% increase in re-enrolled students
  • Developed engagement campaign, in addition to the welcome/nurture series, targeting applied but not enrolled students resulting in an average 300% increase in course registrations
Webs, Inc. (acquired by Vistaprint)
Silver Spring, Maryland 2011 – June 2012
Web hosting company specializing in templated website design and custom Facebook pages for micro- and small-business

Email Marketing Manager: re-launched and streamlined email communications – life-cycle, sale communications, newsletters, and product releases - to Webs’ and Pagemodo customers.
  • Developed (creative and coding) email templates/communications after considerable a/b testing for both of the Webs’ brands, that focused on best practices and audience specific tactics that resulted in significant conversion gains from “freemium” products to paid subscriptions
  • Content expert for all newsletters and customer communications, including blog posts, marketing creative and webinar delivery
  • Market research of competitor life cycle emails, promotions and other communications
  • Developed a “customer touch” strategy to reduce the number of emails Webs’ customers received, resulting while streamlining social media efforts/duplication
  • Contributed to social networking sites – Facebook, Google+, Twitter – and strategy improving performance while escalating complaints, concerns and suggestions, and developed damage control tactics
  • Designed marketing campaign assets – content, creative design, layout and coding – along with performance analytics, and cross promotion
  • Strengthened vendor relations and contracts
  • Contributed to SEO and SEM tactics for Webs – keywords, creative design, advisory
Major Accomplishments:
  • Launched new product life cycle email campaign for Pagemodo
  • Developed winning campaigns that resulted in the two highest revenue generating days of 2011 in the course of three months (Monster Worldwide, Inc.)
McLean, Virginia 2009 – 2011
Online member community connecting service members to benefits, career & education opportunities, and each other

e-Marketing Specialist, Member Communications: outstanding performance through development and drive of email to members, optimizing open rates, as well as managing of newsletter communications program that uses a combination of twenty-six (26) different newsletter segments to a membership of more than 10 million members
  • Surpassed goals for insurance, education, and VA Loan lead revenue through the optimized creative, new “outside of the box ad placements” and developing best practices
  • Key contact for email monitoring system/consultant, ReturnPath, resulting in resolution of numerous and wide-ranging issues, implementation of new tracking procedures, data procurement, and new optimization methods
  • Built email with in-house content management system, editing html as required
  • Scheduled client and house advertisements/promos using Google’s DoubleClick (aka dfp for publishers or dart)
  • Liaison for individual client contacts optimizing client creative for a “military voice” and best practices to overcome deliverability challenges for a military-based audience
  • Interfaced with multiple stakeholders - sales, content, news, advertising, ad-operations, social media and video teams to communicate breaking news stories, web content, and key military events
  • Interfaced directly with Divisional V.P. as well as content managers and senior editorial staff to discuss and report on marketing initiatives as well as develop new product offerings and strategy
Major Accomplishments:
  • New ad placements and best practices to drive education lead traffic/volume resulting in an increase of quality leads sold to educational institutions
  • Designed new newsletter templates resulting in a 30% increase to website traffic, 90% reader engagement, and increased revenue
  • Worked with ReturnPath in the design and development of their campaign tracking technology resulting in better member insight – doubling the number of mobile readers from 13% to 26% in less than a year, resulting in new revenue streams for client to target those members
Monster Government Solutions (Monster Worldwide, Inc.)
McLean, Virginia 2008 - 2009
Provider of recruitment solutions to employers in government and education sectors

Marketing Manager: participated in creation of high-impact marketing strategies for federal, state, local, and education verticals. Drove policy and creative development of winning e-marketing program that included execution of vertical-specific campaigns, email blasts, and campaign landing/splash webpages; using client database of more than 50,000 names. Designed e-campaign pieces for webinars, as well as events, and executive round tables; drafted fresh collateral for product and service offerings and provided CRM (Salesforce) maintenance and support. Worked across all business units - federal, state and local government, and education sales teams as well as corporate marketing and business groups for email list development and growth strategies.

Major Accomplishment:
  • Re-launched and managed website, that included web-lead generation capabilities, improved user experience, and further site enhancements to include optimization and alignment of weekly email campaigns designed to build brand awareness for Monster Government Solutions and position the unit as a thought leader.
College Board
Reston, Virginia and Washington, DC 2001 – 2008
Not-for-profit membership association providing college readiness programs and services to the education sector and students worldwide

Marketing Associate, Higher Education Marketing (2005 – 2008): demonstrated exceptional leadership through execution of sales, marketing, and data management programs while controlling annual (departmental) budget of $250K. Optimized new client announcement program. Oversaw collateral inventories and fulfillment for 6 regional offices, sales representatives, multiple national conferences and trade shows, and contributed to collateral development. Developed multimedia software demonstrations, engaged in large-scale marketing campaigns, performed creative design for internal campaigns, and tracked and reported campaign metrics.

Major Accomplishment:
  • Conducted a CRM data cleansing project, which included data-verification and input resulting in significant system improvement, policy and procedure development, more effective customer contact tracking capability, general corporate adoption, as well as improved opportunity discovery and significant cost savings
Administrative Associate, Office of International Education (2001 – 2005): provided administrative and logistical support for sponsored conferences and seminars and Department of State sponsored adviser-training programs while managing budget in excess of $2mil. Developed marketing outlets, designed and produced marketing materials and PowerPoint presentations, and participated in production of online and print publications.

Leadership Experience

The Disney Store, Part Time Lead (part time assistant manager):
responsible for store opening, closing procedures, driving sales while delivering the Disney experience, lead a sales team of 3 – 10 cast members during the course of a sales day (1996 – 2001)

Adams National Bank, Assistant Branch Manager:
driving customer relationship, new accounts, cross-sell of bank products, lead a team of 3 tellers and customer service representatives (1998 -2000)

Fauquier National Bank, Sales Representative:
driving customer relationships, new accounts, cross-sell of bank products, customer service, managed a team of 14 tellers and 4 customer service representatives (1994 – 1996)

Condo Associations:Cita50 Condo, President (2013 – 2014)Celsius Condo, President (2007 – 2008)Potomac Place, Treasurer (2006 – 2007)Carrollsburg a Condo, Covenants Committee (2005)


B.S., Business Management & Marketing:
University of Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona (2007)

Digital Design Diploma:
Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2010)

Technical Skills

Microsoft: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook
Adobe: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat
html email coding: conventional, mobile-friendly, and responsive
Browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Chrome
Social Media: Twitter, Facebook
Operating Environments: Personal Computer and Macintosh
Certification: ExactTarget