Lea-Ann W. Berst develops marketing strategies and puts them into action. Maybe it’s the challenge, or perhaps it’s the good feeling she gets when working in partnership with clients – but Lea-Ann enjoys being part of a team dedicated to building successful marketing approaches that integrate with company-wide initiatives.
It all started with ambition and a sense of adventure
Even as a little girl, Lea-Ann wanted to figure out how to build a business. In a single year, she worked three jobs while attending middle school. She mowed lawns with a push mower, delivered newspapers, and walked dogs for pet owners who worked during the day.
She was hungry for knowledge too. When the Alaskan Iditarod was announced she wanted to see it for herself and understand how the dogs were harnessed. Too young to drive, she walked to the nearest part of the race and watched team after team go by. She loved the determination and drive of the sled dogs she saw.
Early 1970’s Picture: Iditarod sled dog race. A musher passing by Lea-Ann (in Ft. Richardson, Alaska).
“As a kid, I took my jobs very seriously; realizing the importance for being responsible and dependable.”
More than 25 years later, she still lives by those same ideals: build, learn and enjoy.
An Entrepreneur grows up
After college, Lea-Ann worked for some of the world’s most well-known consumer products and commercial enterprise companies, including IBM, Memorex Telex, Champion Products, and Marvel Comics Group.
Her corporate career was exciting. As a marketer who traveled the globe, Lea-Ann conducted marketing research, met with local teams to learn about their unique challenges and accomplishments, and represented the corporate brand at customer meetings, conferences and trade shows. She just loved what she was doing.
“After years of advancing my career in corporate, I wanted more.”
Lea-Ann searched for the ‘what’s next’ in my life. After deep thought of what makes her happy and how she can help others, she ended up launching a consulting firm. Lea-Ann wanted to help others learn how to market effectively.
Sleddogg Marketing is born
Lea-Ann applied her brand-building and product management experience when she founded Sleddogg Marketing, LLC. Today, organizations in the U.S. and around the globe bring her on board when they need a more proactive approach for dealing with competition.
In her own words
In the beginning
Sleddogg was started early in 2002 as a result of a phone conversation with my Dad. I had just walked in the door of my home after a long day of sitting with the leadership team of a small tech business. I had recently left my corporate job to do some soul-searching. I had loads of experience, but I also had time on my hands. So, as a favor to a friend – I sat down with a team of experienced tech guru’s to help them re-capture their mojo after the Dot-Com Bubble burst.
I was exhausted. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be…I had to always be “on.” I loved it. I felt appreciated and valued. I wanted to do it again.
As I walked in the living room I grabbed the remote and flicked on the TV. The Iditarod was on. I said to my Dad, “I feel like one of those sled dogs!”
Crashing onto the couch, I spoke with my Dad about why I wanted to develop a business case for Sleddogg Marketing — a consulting firm that would show organizations how to (re)engage and connect with their customers.
Marketing is a science — so, to many, it’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time. It’s data-driven, and full of experience-oriented insights that are complicated with pattern recognition and modeled approaches. When marketing is done right, we end up with a plan for controlled experiments that are coupled with curiosity and openness to learning.
It can be a bit confusing too.
It was for me when I first started out over 20 years ago. But I got better at it over time. I started Sleddogg so that I can help bring a little bit of zen to the chaos of marketing. My goal was to leave each customer with the confidence they needed to overcome the chaos.
Fast forward to today
I’ve spent the last 15 years working with clients to develop implementation activities that utilize existing organizational strengths. I totally get it — we all need to find ways to do more with fewer resources. Coupled with the latest marketing trends for relevance, context, and effective delivery, I help my clients create brand-building experiences and promotional programs that utilize an overall marketing mix within digital and traditional environments.
Serving as a Partner with her clients
Today, her clients come from all types of industries: technology, e-learning, retail, events management, health & wellness, Olympic, sustainability, and college preparatory schools. Using current marketing management principles and methodologies, Lea-Ann helps her clients promote past successes and leverage their strengths when activating effective marketing plans.
Lea-Ann promotes advanced education and enjoys making documentary films that impact positive forward momentum. She is currently writing and producing Pioneers in Skirts – an inspiring story of young women with pioneering ambitions for their careers — and the obstacles that get in their way.
Lea-Ann also regularly contributes to non-profit boards and consults with senior executive teams of industry groups. She is an invited guest lecturer and has participated as a judge for international marketing award programs.
Known for being a dynamic and outstanding leader, Lea-Ann has an established track record of significant accomplishments in business and community service. She received the Triangle Business Journal’s Women in Business award, two Society of Technical Communication Awards for marketing deliverables targeted to a technical community, and two very prestigious IBM Division Awards of Excellence for her achievements in leadership and marketing.