Often, seeing the success of another organization is what inspires us to raise the bar
So here are some case studies of my past work for you to browse.
Do you see yourself in any of the scenarios below? If so, I would love to help you re-establish vision, operationalize your goals, recruit and develop your firecracker team, and implement standard operating procedures that secure a passionate, profitable future.
US Open / USTA
The United States Tennis Association needed a broader dimension to the US Open brand and wanted to use unique projects, events, and programs to substantially increase media coverage, draw a more diverse audience, secure new community partnerships, cement brand innovation, and increase social responsibility.
Rita was brought in, and under her leadership, the USTA executed the first-ever groundbreaking environmental initiative integrating measurable strategies throughout all lines of business from the innovative waste-management programs, to securing Alec Baldwin as the US Open Green celebrity spokesperson, to creating PSAs with Billie Jean King and Venus Williams. The USTA brand was greatly extended in both domestic and international lifestyle, food, entertainment, and media outlets. Additionally, sponsor partnerships with Evian, Mercedes Benz, and many others were amplified with aligned, innovative activation.
This award-winning green strategy drove unprecedented changes in all aspects of the US Open operations and continues to perform based on this initial roadmap design.
Tributes to tennis icons were a regular staple during the US Open tennis event. To celebrate Althea Gibson’s historic 50th Anniversary win at the US Open, Rita created a completely new and extraordinary event to acknowledge Gibson’s achievement through the celebration of modern-day black female pioneers, appropriately named “African-American Female Firsts” including such luminaries as Aretha Franklin, Jackie Joyner Kersey, Phylicia Rashad, Mae Jemison, etc., resulting in historic attendance and international media coverage of this special Opening Night celebration.
City of Austin
Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The City of Austin, through a unique partnership with the Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, wanted to accelerate association travel and tourism revenue in the Hispanic market. But how? Austin was, at the time, well behind other Texas cities in Hispanic tourism, let alone a national contender.
Rita was brought in. She designed a comprehensive public relations, marketing, and media campaign, achieving 110 percent of program goals with a local economic impact of more than $10 million.
But more importantly, in the cities where Rita campaigned, the perception of Austin quickly evolved. Groundwork was laid for Austin to later become a hotbed of tech interest, cool factor, and surging population growth.
BBVA USA faced a situation in 2014 a bank never wants to experience: A regulatory compliance crisis.
Rita was recruited as a key member of the national team tasked with course correcting the “Needs to Improve” CRA rating to “Satisfactory” in less than 18 months.
To achieve this monumental charge, a complete overhaul to the Corporate Citizen division was required to support key CSR programs including realigning division infrastructure, streamlining operational systems and modernizing tools resulting in improved individual, team, and departmental efficiency and performance. Community giving, employee giving and employee volunteerism programs were then poised for the necessary rapid growth and expansion needed to meet required goals within the accelerated timeline and shift the CRA rating.
The key here, however, was to cross-pollinate these efforts with marketing and communications stakeholders. The internal CSR initiatives being executed were a brand reputation opportunity; by breaking silos and involving multiple departments of the team, the use of storytelling and key stakeholder engagement produced multi-departmental improvements in perception and engagement.
American Heart Association
When heart disease and stroke significantly increased in the Hispanic and African-American communities across Texas, the American Heart Association Texas Affiliate needed a strong, cohesive response to generate awareness, increase education, and influence behavior change.
Rita was tapped to re-engineer the statewide health disparities division. She designed a community response in ten markets throughout Texas, launching a sustainable strategy through the development of local Task Forces, special events, and a data-focused infrastructure.
Rita developed an integrated marketing communications strategy, including direct mail, large-scale events, branding, collateral development, multicultural programs, and a PSA campaign. The overarching strategy was so thorough it was later tapped as a standard operating procedure for the American Heart Association’s national models.
Urban Resource Institute
This New York City nonprofit organization separated from its affiliate parent organization after 30 years, resulting in an urgent need for independent strategy. While the Urban Resource Institute was a stable organization with a stellar reputation serving vulnerable populations, it had very limited visibility and an immediate need to diversify revenue and shift away from dependency on government funding.
Rita entered the picture and developed the first integrated marketing and communications strategy, launching a comprehensive plan complete with re-brand, marketing material, digital/social media channel strategy, corporate communications, and media outreach.
Rita immediately implemented sponsorship initiatives to leverage corporate responsibility and employee engagement program needs in corporate partners, resulting in first-time and multi-year funding from BBVA, Purina, and AVON, among others.
To increase brand awareness and position the Urban Resource Institute as a national thought leader, a new and innovative program was developed and launched to respond to the unmet need of domestic violence victims with pets in New York City, People and Animals Living Safely (PALS), achieving placement in tier one outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WNYC and The Associated Press, along with local affiliates: ABC, CBS, FOX, Daily News, Telemundo, NY1 Noticias, and others.
To keep pace with this new standard of visibility, a marketing-communications-integrated work culture was developed and retained after Rita’s exit.