Katie Parlin, our newest Account Executive, comes to CSG with amazing credentials and, even better, a boat!

She and her husband spend most weekends on their power boat relaxing and exploring Chesapeake’s waterways and history-rich towns while keeping a sharp eye on their toddler son. She is a Cum Laude graduate of SUNY Oswego, where she studied graphic design, and a graduate of the master’s program in Business Administration at the University of Washington. She has 10+ years of experience in integrated marketing campaigns, brand management, cross-functional communication and multidisciplinary teamwork – she’s ready to cruise right into the CSG waters.

Q: How did marketing become your career choice?

A: I enjoy finding the balance between creativity and analytics. I began as a graphic designer for more than 10 years, which emphasized creativity. But I also love the problem sets marketing brings to the forefront of a project, and how analytics and data can be used to create solutions. I love learning about different markets and audiences and figuring out how to create mutual benefits for the two.

Q: What drew you to CSG?  

A: I liked the company culture and I knew I wanted to work for a smaller business where it’s work hard, play hard. I’m the type of person who likes to dive in and get my hands dirty. I find that smaller businesses appreciate this mentality. As a business-minded creative, I prefer an environment where initiative and creativity are part of the culture and not the exception.

Q: What would your personal keywords be?

A: You can find me under “planner,” “sarcasm” and “laughter.” And I love, love, love music, especially outdoor music festivals. Before having our son, my husband and I would make vacations out of music festivals; we’ve been known to travel pretty far for them. One year we flew to the Dominican Republic for a small, intimate show. Other, non-music inspired travel has included Hawaii, Mexico, and three amazing weeks in Italy!

Q: What do you do to spark the creative side?

A: There’s so much to keep up with in the marketing world, so to stay at the forefront of my craft I’m constantly reading articles, blogs, and studies. Litmus, the industry leader in email marketing, is a blog I follow. They offer incredible insight for all things email. I also follow Marketing Charts, a website known for their trustworthy research and analysis on marketing trends. Another favorite place to get ideas is HGTV, especially Fixer Upper. My husband and I enjoy home design and remodeling, and I find a lot of inspiration there as well.

Q: I understand you have a fun, exercise pastime. What is it?

A: You must mean the hula hoop.

Q: Oh, now I’m really impressed – I haven’t been able to keep one up since I was about 10. How do you manage?

A: Most people think they have to really gyrate, but that’s not true. You need to be much more Zen – to be one with the hula hoop [chuckle]. My toddler son even has his own mini-hoop! [K: I haven’t seen one yet in the office, but I understand she’s been known to bust one out on lunch breaks every now and then.]

Q: What do you think might be the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

A: Paragliding, hands down. Running down the side of the mountain to launch was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but the worst part was the waiting beforehand. Waiting for a large enough gust of wind to come through and swoop us airborne! The flight was in tandem with an instructor, who did a few trick maneuvers with me, too!

Well, welcome aboard, Katie. We’re glad you’ve joined the CSG crew – not much paragliding, but a few trick maneuvers may be on the horizon.