Through this digital experience, you will find Greenhouse Partners’ response to the Strategic Communications Proposal Guidelines for the National Center for Women & Information Technology. The site contains a brief introduction to our firm, some perspective on what we see as significant opportunities for NCWIT’s brand moving forward, a sampling of relevant work, our recommended approach to completing the desired scope of work (including some directional ideas about how we might evolve some specific communications), and a recommended budget and timeline for this work.
In addition, this document is meant to not only provide a direct response to the Proposal Guidelines, but also provide perspective on how we think and act. We have only scratched the surface of our exploration of your organization and brand, so these ideas are preliminary in nature, but we believe that the best way to evaluate a potential partner is to get a sense of their actual ideas—not just their approach.
Before you navigate away from this starting point, we want you to know that in many ways we believe the last 16 years has made Greenhouse Partners ideally positioned to help NCWIT take its brand to the next level.
Put simply, we were made for this partnership. Thank you in advance for your consideration and if there is anything we can do to help you in your evaluation process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
This complexity is why firms like ours exist—to help individuals and organizations manage their Whole Brand to achieve their desired outcomes.
There are two keys to driving intentional and positive evolution of brands:
Every brand has its own story. The great brands have an authentic, connected, lasting story—the essentials of that story should never change, no matter what happens around you.
Here’s the thing.
The marketplace is very crowded. And getting more crowded by the minute. Brands have to work harder than ever before to find their way into the hearts and minds of customers. Every minute of every day, in every possible way, these fine folks are on the receiving end of a category 5 information hurricane. They’ve become numb.
Which brings us to our creative philosophy:
Make people care about you.
Simple concept. Harder to make it happen. Here’s how we get there:
Inspire with truth to create actionable intelligence.
Where others simply inform, we inspire.
Where others seek only answers to questions, we seek the underlying truth.
Where others stop at the results, we go beyond to deliver actionable intelligence.
While facts, figures, data, and information are the foundation of research, we use these as a springboard rather than an endpoint. What we are truly interested in and continuously pursue is insight—truth that has yet to be uncovered or expressed. It is this insight that, in turn, enables us to deliver meaningful and actionable intelligence for all the brands we touch.
With our relentless desire to uncover truth, we remain methodologically agnostic and design approaches that will deepen our understanding and broaden our perspective. We have no prescribed formula for developing methodology. Instead, we derive all of our methodology from one simple overarching question, “Will it provide us with relevantly compelling results?” And we have a keen sense of what is compelling because, while we remain objective researchers, we are responsible for the strategic and creative actions that are driven by those results.
Let’s face it, in the world of research everyone has access to the same information. It’s what we do with this information that truly differentiates us.
GREENHOUSE PARTNERS PROVIDES AN APPROACH THAT
RESULTS IN THE RIGHT BRAND PROMISE BEING MADE AND KEPT.
AND A STAKEHOLDER EXPERIENCE
THAT RESULTS IN CONTAGIOUS LOYALISTS.
ULTIMATELY WE DELIVER IDEAS AND SOLUTIONS THAT MATTER —
Pete’s career has been framed by strengths in the areas of entrepreneurialism, people and thought leadership, creativity, positivity, resiliency, and decision-making. He has high expectations for people and results in all endeavors. An entrepreneur his entire career, he has been a part of starting seven businesses.
As the founder of Greenhouse Partners in 2001, Pete instituted a “Whole Brand” model that is even more relevant to growing great, lasting brands and companies today than at the firm’s inception. As well, his values-driven approach to people and culture remains the bedrock of Greenhouse’s own brand. Clients include; The Coca-Cola Company, The University Of Colorado, Charter Communications, BACARDI Mixers, RMB Capital, Crescent Communities, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and many others.
In 2005 Pete started Greenhouse Scholars—a nonprofit 501(c)3 that provides a Whole Person leadership, personal, and financial support program to under-resourced, high-performing, inspiring young people going to college. Essentially, Greenhouse Scholars is creating huge leverage by working with relentless leaders and role models who are in-turn impacting thousands of low income communities and thousands of young people who are being motivated to follow in their footsteps.
Pete’s latest endeavor is The18.com—emanating from his passion for sports, and his first-hand experience of the explosive growth of soccer as the dad of four high school and college soccer players. The18 is a digital content and commerce engine targeting millennial soccer enthusiasts in the U.S. and globally. Through a multi-platform distributed content model, The18 provides relevant, timely and entertaining news, soccer gear, premium content, and the daily soccer happenings in social media. At its core is the desire to create the most entertaining and viral soccer content in the world. The18 has over 5M content engagements a month, and is growing its loyal following at a rate of over 25% per month.
Pete is also a founder and owner of a microbrewery in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico. Baja Brewing’s flagship brand—Cabotella—is distributed across Mexico as well as the southern and western United States.
Prior to founding Greenhouse Partners, Greenhouse Scholars, and The18, Pete joined the Integer Group during its first year of operations—eventually serving as Executive Vice President and an Officer. Integer is a global powerhouse in promotional, retail, and shopper marketing. Previously, he was a Director for Wunderman Cato Johnson, a sports marketing division of Young and Rubicam. Early in his career, with two others, he started a ski industry product manufacturing and marketing company. Pete also has an investment background, having spent four years as a Treasury Bond Trader at the Chicago Board of Trade.
Pete is a past member of Y.P.O., and serves on several boards, including The Baja Brewing Company and The Leeds School of Business. An avid traveler, he has spent time in over twenty countries and most all of the United States. Pete lives in Boulder with his amazing wife and four equally amazing daughters. He spends most of his free time watching his girls compete in soccer and basketball across the state and country. Occasionally, he can be found fly fishing, snowboarding, and running and biking the mountain trails around Boulder.
TJ is one of those fortunate people who always knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. Luckier still that he has been able to do it for over three decades for companies of all shapes and sizes, from global giants to boot-strap start-ups. As CCO, TJ ultimately drives the creative vision for the firm and has day-to-day input across all of Greenhouse Partners’ clients.
Prior to joining Greenhouse, TJ served as Vice President, International Creative Director for the restaurant brand Planet Hollywood where he was responsible for creating and implementing every visual communication for the world-famous chain and its subsidiaries. Before Planet Hollywood, TJ served as creative director at The Integer Group, and led the charge for all new products for The Coors Brewing Company, as well as significant stints on the Coors, Coors Light, Killian’s, Keystone, Herman Joseph’s, and Steinlager brands
TJ graduated first in his class at the renowned Art Institute schools, receiving honors for the highest rated graduating portfolio in the institution’s history. And in an industry where the proof is in the performance, he has collected over one hundred local, national, and international creative awards. He is also a published photographer and card-carrying sports car geek.
Late most evenings, when most people have had the good sense to retire, TJ can be found tweaking an idea to the nth degree to make sure it meets Greenhouse’s high bar. Yet, as relentless as he has been in his professional endeavors, he will be the first to tell you that there is absolutely nothing more important to him than his family. “When people ask me where my inspiration comes from, my answer is simple. Everything I do starts and ends with making my wife and daughter proud.”
Keith’s career has been driven by his passion to be around great thinking. Curious, analytical and strategic by nature, Keith is happiest looking for insights and inspiration from the information at hand and finding compelling ways to tell the story that brings the information to life. Keith loves the passion and meritocracy of entrepreneurial environments, having been employee #2 and employee #3 during his career, eventually becoming Partner at Greenhouse Partners.
During his time at Greenhouse, Keith has been a driver of the firm’s research, analysis and brand strategy work products. His expertise includes designing and managing qualitative and quantitative research, data analysis and insight generation, greater purpose development (vision, values, mission), brand positioning, and brand portfolio strategy. In these areas he has led a multitude of successful assignments for clients including The Coca-Cola Company, Charter Communications, Playground – An Intrawest Company, Quintess, RMB, and The PGA TOUR. Keith also was the primary developer of a propriety brand strategy workshop model.
Keith has been a key leader of Greenhouse’s innovation efforts, designing innovation processes, ideation methodologies, and running product development projects for The Coca-Cola Company, MillerCoors, Ball Corporation, and Evergreen Innovation Partners. Keith has also led numerous client teams for Greenhouse, including Fanta, Coca-Cola Foodservice, RMB, MillerCoors, Quintess, and Playground.
Keith graduated from Harvard University with honors in Economics. While at Harvard, Keith was an Editor at the Harvard Crimson the University’s daily newspaper. While there, Keith developed his appreciation for high-performing, high-stress, late-night organizational cultures and the passion for writing that continues to annoy Greenhouse’s copywriters on a daily basis.
When away from the office, Keith spends most of his time being amazed by the wit, wisdom, and wonder of his two precocious young daughters. A card-carrying foodie and passionate golfer, Keith tries to carve out time to enjoy Denver’s growing restaurant scene with his wife (rarely) and play 18 holes (rarer still) whenever possible. A native of Massachusetts, Keith also devotes a fair amount of brain space to the ups and downs of his hometown sports teams.
University of Colorado, Mission Hill Family Estates, 2900 Brighton, The18.com, Hershey's (including Ice Breakers, Twizzlers, and BreathSavers), Kraft brands (including Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Velveeta, JELL-O, A.1. Steak Sauce, belVita, Triscuit, Grey Poupon, and Cracker Barrel), Dolby Voice, Lays Kettle Cooked Chips, Fruit of the Loom, MetLife, Papa's Pilar Rum, Curvation, Bing, Vassarette, Vanity Fair, Elitch Gardens, and others.
Prior to Greenhouse
Jillian got her start in marketing at Elitch Gardens, restocking brochures around the park, answering emails from park visitors, doing focus groups, and hanging out with Jason Derulo that one time. She found a passion in social media, influencer marketing, and writing - where she started to grow her career at a website development firm in Denver. Jillian pursued social and digital media strategy at Crispin Porter and Bogusky, working on big projects in little amounts of time. She found another passion in research and consumer insights and recently found herself joining the Greenhouse team in Boulder to do all of the above.
In the last several years, Jillian was brought on to launch a non-profit organization, Personal Ink, to help run the local event planning, social, and website design.
BA, Minor in Music — Colorado State University
A few notes
A Florida native, Jillian and her family drove out to Colorado to ski more - on the way out, her grandma read all of the billboards, seriously, all of them. She really became an official Coloradoan when she started hiking 14ers, mountain biking, rock climbing, and cycling - there may have even been a few triathlons in there. After working hours, you'll find her doing pottery and getting competitive playing rec league softball.
University of Colorado, Spectrum Business, RMB Capital, BACARDI Mixers, David Weekley Homes, Vail Resorts, The Lincoln Motor Company, General Motors, United States Postal Service, and others.
Prior to Greenhouse
Lauren has a diverse background in marketing. Before she joined Greenhouse as a Strategy Associate, she worked in marketing analytics at Vail Resorts and Team Detroit, managed social media for large brands such as General Motors, and supported a number of brands as an account coordinator at Campbell Ewald, where she began her career.
BA — Howard University
A few notes
A Detroit native, Lauren is passionate about the economic, social, and cultural dynamics that affect disadvantaged groups. It is Greenhouse Partner’s work with Greenhouse Scholars that attracted her to join the Greenhouse team. When not at work, she’s usually out on the town trying new restaurants or lounging and catching up on her favorite TV shows.
Shawn is an award-winning public relations executive with more than 20 years of experience in PR strategy, corporate communications, media relations, crisis communications and reputation management, with a long track record of successfully elevating visibility, brand awareness and media presence for both public and private companies, as well as major educational institutions.
RMB Capital, University of Colorado, The18.com, Greenhouse Scholars, Guaranteed Rate, Morningstar, DePaul University, Motorola, Verio, Ampersand Medical, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, CIBA Vision, Roche Diagnostics, Maxim Pharmaceuticals, along with several professional medical associations.
Key Media Relationships
National Tech: (Mashable, TechCrunch, CNET, The Verge, etc.)
Startup/Entrepreneur: (Inc., Fast Company, Venture Beat, Built In network, etc.)
Business and Financial: (Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, MarketWatch, Money, etc.)
Consumer: (Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Denver Post, local broadcast)
Prior to Greenhouse
Before joining Greenhouse, Shawn was vice president of corporate communications for Guaranteed Rate, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing mortgage companies. Prior to that, he headed up media relations for both the software division and events at Morningstar, a global investment research firm with operations in 27 countries. He previously spent nearly eight years as a media relations specialist at DePaul University, where he headed PR for the College of Computing and Digital Media. He began his career in PR with tenures at both large and boutique agencies in Chicago, focused on clients in the healthcare and tech sectors.
M.A. — DePaul University and BA — Ball State University
A few notes
A native of northwest Indiana, Shawn has lived in Chicago for more than two decades. He enjoys cooking, running, music, the Cubs, and exploring everything his great city has to offer. He and his wife spend most weekends attending their sons’ baseball games, plays, saxophone recitals and choir concert
University of Colorado, Spectrum Business, BACARDI Mixers, Colorado Tourism Office, Visit Denver, The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Village Inn, American Crew, Crescent Communities.
Prior to Greenhouse
Kelsey’s previous experience includes working five years at Karsh Hagan, a full service ad agency in Denver. During her time there, she was part of the pitch that won the agency the Colorado Tourism Office account and brought the business back to the state of Colorado. In addition to working closely with various tourism organizations throughout the state because of that account, Kelsey also worked on Visit Denver Tourism. For all 5 years of her time on the account, Denver Tourism continued to show increasing tourism revenue dollars.
BS Advertising — University of Colorado-Boulder
A few notes
Kelsey is originally from Louisiana so her main interests are food, food and food. She even named her Corgi Gumbeaux so he would be an honorary Cajun. Cooking is a passion of Kelsey’s and is her outlet for creativity outside of working in a creative industry. She is also passionate about animals and when not designing or cooking, can be found watching endless amounts of puppy videos.
University of Colorado, The18.com, BACARDI Mixers, Odwalla, RMB Capital, Charter Business, Greenhouse Scholars, American Express Open, Microsoft Windows 8, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows Phone 8, Dominos, Old Navy, Coke Zero, Hulu, Arby’s, Best Buy, Bing, Papa’s Pilar Rum, Angel’s Envy, Applebee’s, Fruit of the Loom, Grey Poupon, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Burger King, Under Armor, Russian Standard Vodka, Webroot.
Prior to Greenhouse
Before coming to Greenhouse, Elliott worked at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and TDA_Boulder in media. After showing his creative side, he switched to a role as a digital artist at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, working many late nights on several Fortune 100 brands. Additionally, Elliott has freelanced as a photographer and designer for large publications and local Colorado businesses.
BA — The University of Oregon
A few notes
When Elliott isn’t concepting and designing, he can usually be found behind the lens, behind the brew kettle, or at the keyboard with his bluegrass band.
Nike, Lululemon, Ruffwear, Deuter, ORTOVOX, Travel Oregon, Lexus, The Ritz-Carlton
Prior to Greenhouse
Kristen has a diverse background in advertising and copywriting on both sides of the aisle — agency and internal brand. Before joining Greenhouse Partners as a copywriter, she worked as a freelance copywriter for Lululemon and Lululemon's Elite Men's Ambassador Team; managed social media for large brands such as Nike, Deuter, and Travel Oregon; and supported a number of categories throughout Nike, Inc. such as Nike+RunClub, Nike Women, Global Football, and Men's Training.
BA — The University of Oregon
A few notes
Armed with a smartphone, running shoes, and a life partner who resembles a wolf, Kristen is a dog-loving, mountain climbing, do-good enthusiast who happens to go on a lot of adventures. As a dedicated dirt junkie, Kristen is passionate about trail running, outdoor advocacy, and empowering women through the Outdoor Women's Alliance. When she's not writing at a desk you can find her atop one of Colorado's 14ers, catching sunset with her wolf dog, or fueling her next adventure with cold brew coffee and lots of snacks.
Caleb is a full stack developer who prefers working in Drupal, but you won’t hear him complaining about Wordpress, Expression Engine, Joomla and most every known CMS.
The18.com, BACARDI Mixers, RMB Capital, Spectrum Business, Isonas, Crescent Communities, Baja Brewing Company, Maxwell Forest, Greenhouse Scholars, Pro1, Trinity University, Sharper Agent, Vista Solutions, Madwire Media, Yes Stores!, A+Angels and more.
Prior to Greenhouse
Caleb has worked at Madwire Media, The Sharper Agent, and as a freelance developer. He’s developed a number of websites ranging from Small Business to eCommerce to large Enterprise.
BA — Art Institute of Colorado
A few notes
Caleb loves to take advantage of the outdoors. Whenever he gets the chance he likes to go hiking, fishing, and camping. He’s also a great musician and Disc Jockey.
University of Colorado, Greenhouse Scholars, The18.com, RMB Capital, Xerox, Disney, Coors, TomTom, Denver International Airport, Booking.com, Google Sketchup, Next Generation Learning, Educause.
Prior to Greenhouse
Dean arrived at Greenhouse Partners with more than 20 years of experience in web development and marketing communications. He has a history of building high-performance websites, with a focus on creating dynamic and intuitive user experiences. Dean is passionate about open source technology and he likes all things new and shiny.
BA — Art Center College of Design, Pasadena (CA)
A few notes
Drupal is the preferred development framework for our team. When we were creating The18.com website from scratch and could choose any platform, we built it in Drupal. We also have worked extensively with a large team of other developers on CU.edu — a complex multi-site system built in Drupal. Our team has spent time looking at the code for the NCWIT sites and have no concerns about working with the Drupal foundation that is in place.
For additional context, our team has experience with the following technical areas:
University of Colorado
Ken McConnellogue — Vice President for Communication
303.860.5626 | Ken.McConnellogue@cu.edu
We have been CU’s agency-of-record since 2013. Our relationship has included research, brand strategy, media, conceptual creative, and all execution (from broadcast to print to outdoor to website to display to search to social).
RMB Capital Management
Fred Paulman — President
312.993.5820 | email@example.com
We have been RMB’s agency-of-record since their founding in 2005. We are the single partner for all things brand and marketing, including research, strategy, internal communications, media, public relations, and all creative execution across channel.
Coca-Cola / BACARDI Mixers
Jackie Hroch — Senior Brand Activation Manager
281.302.4206 | firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been BACARDI Mixer’s lead agency since 2002. We lead the agency teams and are accountable for research, brand strategy, and all creative.
The following pages bring to life a few of our initial ideas about opportunities for building NCWIT’s brand in the coming years. Obviously these ideas are only reflective of our initial dive into the brand and the organization, and do not reflect the breadth or depth of the ideas that would come if we have a chance to work together. However, they should provide some valuable insight into how we think about opportunities for our clients in general, and NCWIT in particular.
Importantly, although we don’t speak to them here, we are aligned with two of the primary drivers highlighted in the Proposal Guidelines — evolving our digital platforms to more effectively tell inspiring stories and creating a more interactive experience through our educational resources.
With a compelling story, impactful creative, and minimal spend in promotion, The18’s Beauty is a Beast campaign achieved an impressive impact from a largely unknown brand:
Find a big, easily understood idea that uses a wave of momentum and will inspire people to spread the word for us.
The following pages provide a small sampling of work for a few clients that demonstrate our ability to be great partners to NCWIT in your efforts to increase the brand’s impact and reach.
In a attempt to demonstrate both breadth and depth, we have used a variety of approaches to give NCWIT appropriate context on our relevant experience:
We are more than happy to provide additional context in any area that might be helpful.
While we might be a bit biased, we think that Greenhouse Scholars is one of the most innovative and results-driving organizations impacting higher education today. A sister company launched in 2005, Greenhouse Scholars is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting high-achieving, under-resourced young adults.
Greenhouse Partners has been involved, literally, since before “Day 1” of the organization, helping to develop the initial idea for the organization, driving the development and evolution of the brand strategy, and impacting every single marketing touchpoint across the organization’s numerous stakeholder groups: students, high school counselors and administrators, donors, etc.
Effectively communicating with these very distinct stakeholder groups — each with its own “call to action” to grow the brand — with limited budget represents the primary challenge for our work with the organization. Our success has been driven by an ability to create an emotional connection for an overarching story and then delivering very targeted efforts for specific audiences.
As one example, we have recruited and retained a network of mentors for our Scholars across the United States. Using a hyper-targeted approach that activated social networks, we have found the most qualified professionals, in the right geographies and vocations, so that we can match each Scholar with the right demographic and psychographic mentor. This has resulted in more successful relationships — and ultimately better performance and results for our Scholars.
As highlighted in our introduction letter, our familial relationship to Greenhouse Scholars represents a unique opportunity for NCWIT to leverage the knowledge gained from that organization’s day-in-day-out focus on creating a great, growing, well-funded, non-profit brand — particularly in the areas of fundraising and building a community of support.
From a first class of three incoming freshman, all based in Colorado, Greenhouse Scholars has grown significantly since its inception. The organization now operates in four states (Colorado, Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina) and has more than 200 Scholars engaging with the program.
We know our Scholars extremely well. Our Greenhouse Partners team has developed a proprietary tracking study to ensure we are following our Scholars not just through their college experience, but we are able to measure the impact they are making on the world throughout the rest of their lives. The statistics on our Scholars are impressive:
The University of Colorado system, led by President Bruce Benson and made up of four distinct campuses (Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and the Anschutz Medical Campus) wanted to create its first-ever systemwide marketing campaign. Driven by continued decreases in state funding and a more competitive higher education environment, the primary objective was to increase awareness and understanding of the University system for Colorado citizens.
The partnership has included:
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO A LINE
LONG FORM WEB VIDEO
FIRST GENERATION STUDENT WEB VIDEO
The18 partnered with professional female athletes to release a campaign to promote women’s soccer in conjunction with the 2015 Women’s World Cup – including multiple videos and articles.
With our core values of Collaboration and Entrepreneurial Spirit as drivers, we always view the definition of scope of work as a collaborative process. The following pages outline our initial view for achieving the desired results outlined in NCWIT’s project guidelines. However, if we have the opportunity to move forward, we anticipate working with your team to evolve this process in order to ensure that we are maximizing the value of the available time and budget.
In addition, we always recommend maintaining flexibility associated with the deliverables and budget associated with tactical execution until we have completed a situation assessment, creative concepting, and communication planning exercise. There are two primary reasons:
First and foremost, we are collaborative and flexible in our approach to aligning scope, budget, and timing with our clients. This is typically a collaborative process in which this initial perspective represents a starting point for the conversation.
Additionally, the budget highlighted here is directly related to the process highlighted in the previous section of our response. To the extent that we have made any incorrect assumptions or different areas become prioritized, the associated budget and timing would change.
Importantly, the following page highlights a specific recommendation about how we would recommend prioritizing the evolution to NCWIT’s websites.
While Greenhouse Partners has committed the bulk of our philanthropic investment into our sister organization Greenhouse Scholars, we would be excited to provide a donation of 8% of our fees to NCWIT and, if desired, produce production-ready files for one of your events pro-bono.
In considering our recommended process and the creation of our budget, we have made a set of assumptions that provide important context. To the extent that our true approach significantly varies from our key assumptions, there will be potential cost implications.
Please note that all services will be provided by Greenhouse Partners with the exception of two areas where we will recommend a partner based on the requirements of the assignment: