CMO Smart 2019

Thursday, 03 October 2019 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm Morningstar, 22. W. Washington, 7th Floor, Chicago, IL 60602

Creativity & Science: Achieving the ultimate balance at the highest levels

In a highly-automated, analytics- and AI-driven world, marketers must find a way to balance the increasingly complex science side of the business with ever-essential creativity.

AMA Chicago invites you to an exclusive evening of insights, tactics and lessons learned from top CMOs from across Chicago. Moderated by author Nancie McDonnell Ruder, a panel will have a lively and insightful conversation on the imperative skills that today’s high-performing marketers need to hone and build.

You’ll participate in a hands-on assessment to pinpoint where your mindset and skillset fall on the Art & Science continuum. Throughout the evening, you’ll learn how to find the right balance of art and science in your career and on your teams to drive innovation, performance and achievement, today.


  • Kim Feil

    CMO, Aspire

    Kim Feil is Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer of Aspire Healthy Energy Drinks, an international brand reinventing energy for adults with all natural caffeine and vitamins for everyday use. Following a 32-year public company career as CMO of OfficeMax, Walgreens, Sara Lee, Kimberly-Clark; CEO/President of divisions of Information Resources, Inc., and executive roles with Dr Pepper/7UP, Kim now draws on her transformation experiences as a manufacturer, retailer and insights provider to grow venture-backed companies and brands. Kim serves on the boards of Aspire, PowerReviews, Naturally Chicago and The CMO Club. She advises retail AI tech company Rubikloud and is a mentor for the Silicon Valley Plug & Play tech accelerator. She is a past board member of Roundy’s grocery retailer and On the Border Cantina Restaurants. Kim has been named a “Woman to Watch” by Ad Age, Crain’s Chicago Business, Consumer Goods & Technology, and Diversity Journal magazines and recognized by Advertising Women of New York for “Changing the Game.” She is inducted in the In-Store Marketing Institute Hall of Fame and has led creation of campaigns that have earned the Effie, Grand Reggie and Oracle World Congress Retailer awards. A passionate advocate for marketing, mentoring women and of the American Heart Association, she is The CMO Club Chicago chapter president, The Network of Executive Women national board nominating team leader, and serves on the Chicago Go Red for Women campaign executive leader team, where she was Chair twice. She is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. Kim holds a BA in English, a BFA in Journalism and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

  • Jason Wadler


    Jason leads JiMMYBAR! with Jim Simon, his childhood friend, after being the company’s initial investor and board member. Prior to joining JiMMYBAR in 2018, Jason was Executive Vice President of Leapfrog Online and Chair of the Leapfrog Marketing Institute, where he worked with the co-founders to build Leapfrog from a startup into one of the largest performance marketing agencies in the country. Leapfrog was acquired by Dentsu in 2017 and is integrated into their IProspect division. Jason has 30 years of corporate strategy and marketing expertise, having held senior-level roles at Discover Financial Services, Ameritech/AT&T, MediaOne/Comcast and Townsend Agency. He has been a featured speaker at Nosh, Digiday, the CMO Collective and the CMO Forum, and has contributed to publications including Forbes, The Economist and Advertising Age. Jason is an active adviser and board member for a number of Chicago-based companies and non-profits including the Dean’s Advisory Board at the IU Media School (his alma mater), and is past board president for the Vasculitis Foundation. Jason has an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and has completed post-graduate work at University of Chicago and DePaul University.

  • Heather Malenshek

    CMO, Harley-Davidson

    As Chief Marketing Officer, Heather Malenshek is responsible for leading all aspects of the Marketing function including global and regional marketing plans, marketing strategy, content strategy and creation, consumer experiences, community, agency management, advertising and promotions, marketing communications, CRM and global brand management. Prior to joining Harley-Davidson in 2014 she led a 300-person, award-winning global team which ran the global business for Mars Inc. for DDB Worldwide and Omnicom, was the head of global strategic planning on a wide variety of categories and brands such as Jeep, Budweiser, Capital One, Bristol-Myers Squibb. She started her career in marketing working for QANTAS Airways and British Airways in global brand management and leisure brand marketing roles. Malenshek earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Aberdeen University in Scotland. She’s ridden motorcycle since she was 12 years old and is currently the proud owner of a Fat Boy, a CVO Road Glide and an Ultra Tri Glide.

  • Marc Lapides

    Founding Team Member, Marketing & Sales, PathSpot

  • Amy Gibby

    Global Director, Consumer Connections at RB

  • Nancie McDonnell Ruder – Moderator

    Founder, Noetic Consultants

    Nancie McDonnell Ruder wrote Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill: How Senior Marketers Scale the Heights Through Art and Science to satisfy her deep curiosity and offer senior marketers a fresh take on maximizing their potential. Featuring interviews with more than 50 of some of the world’s best marketers, Nancie identifies and shares the “secret sauce” that fuels success in today’s complicated landscape. She offers insight, wisdom and concrete tools straight from the “Jacks” and “Jills” and her own 25-year career, which began at the Leo Burnett Company where she worked with Procter & Gamble, Eli Lilly, The Gap, Lexmark Computers and Hoerchst Marion Rousseau. In 2002, Nancie founded Noetic Consultants, whose clients have included Samsung, PepsiCo, Nike, Marriott, Mayo Clinic and Discovery, Inc. Nancie serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, her undergraduate alma mater, and is the creator of the Noetic Art & Science Assessment™.


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