THE PROCESS: Two new inductees will be added to the MARKETING IMMORTALS pantheon each issue. The Sept/Oct. 2013 through May/June 2014 inductees will be recognized at THE EVENT on May 21, where the 2013 MARKETING Award winners will be revealed. The inductees are introduced with a biography outlining the highlights of their careers in some aspect of the marketing communications realm. Their career commentaries, which are the heart of the IMMORTALS concept, appear on the marketing immortals.com website, along with those of the other 34 members already enshrined. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jann Blackbourn’s sales career began as a teenager selling Seafair pins in downtown Seattle to businessmen in the financial district. After graduation from Roosevelt High School, she went on to the University of Washington, putting herself through college with a job (sales of course) in women’s clothing at the University Bookstore.
As a 1974 graduate in Art Education, rather than accepting an assistant buyer position in cosmetics at the Bookstore, she joined Washington Transit Advertising (WTA) for what she thought would be something to do until she found a job in education. That “something to do” turned into a successful 27-year career in transit advertising. In 1975, she married Steve, her college sweetheart, and in 1984 son Ryan was born.
In 1986, Jann teamed with her co-worker and close friend Sue Bolduc to purchase WTA from Bob Morgan and John Backstrom. Together they grew WTA into the largest women-owned media company in the state, with offices in Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane. And, while setting advertising revenue records for 12 Washington State transit agencies, they never forgot to give back to the local community.
At the urging of their friend and advisor Bob Gogerty of Gogerty Marriott, they formalized their community giving by developing “WTA Cares.” It was founded on the philosophy of always seeking ways to partner with community service agencies. In addition to dedicating personal time and resources, they encouraged everyone on the WTA team to reach out and make a difference as well.
As a result, during the course of their business careers, they received the Seattle Mayor’s Small Business Award, the Marketing & Media Hall of Fame Honor and the King County Office of Minority/Women Business & Compliance Award. Jann also received the Big Brothers of King County Media Service Award, YMCA Woman of Distinction, the National AAF/AD2 Lifetime Membership Award, the Big Sisters Entrepreneur Role Model of the Year and the Corporate Volunteer of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. Of course, their biggest reward came from seeing the impact of WTA Cares in the community. In 1998, at the age of 46, Jann and Sue sold WTA to Viacom/CBS, where Jann remained as vice president, NW regional manager for the CBS Outdoor Division.
Since Jann’s retirement from the advertising industry in 2001, she continues to give back to the community and serves on numerous boards and civic organizations. And as life is a full circle, she’s back at the UW, this time serving on the UW Alumni Association Board of Trustees. She enjoys spending time between their homes in Seattle and Whidbey Island. Their son and daughter-in-law, who live in the Seattle area and are both enjoying successful careers, will be welcoming a baby girl to the family in December.
See Jann Blackbourn’s commentary at www.marketingimmortals.com in the Direct Marketing section.
He has spoken all over the world on strategic planning, brand development and design integration and brand and story development for retail identity. His focus is fulfilling emotional and holistic sensory content in dimensional marketing to international audiences.
GIRVIN’s client attention is on captivation: strategy and personality, identity in retail and brand environments, entertainment design and integrated experience.
Past and present clients include Apple, Ameristar Casinos, Boyd Resorts, Bloomingdale’s, Disney, Johnson & Johnson, Kerzner, Leviev, LG/Seoul, L’Oreal, MCG/Mirage, Microsoft, Millennium Retailing/Tokyo, Nordstrom, Paramount Studios, Procter & Gamble, Warner Brothers and Wynn.
He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Design Management Institute, Japanese Graphic Design Association, Industrial Designers Society of America, Luxury Marketing Council, Society for Environmental Graphic Designers and the Type Directors Club/Tokyo.
See Tim Girvin’s commentary at www.marketingimmortals.com in the Design section.