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On the Rise: Camilla Jesko

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Camilla Jesko

Marketing Manager - Proprietary Brands | American Tire Distributors Inc. | Age: 31


What was your first job in the industry? 

My first job in the industry was a marketing internship with Hercules.

What attracted you to the industry?

Growing up around the Findlay community, being from Carey, Ohio myself, led me to having a lot of friends and family that were a part of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. I always had an interest in the tire industry from learning and seeing all that the tire industry had to offer across a wide range of specialties, including marketing.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? 

The biggest challenge that I have faced in my career is the ever-changing market and requirements; from social media trends, to market initiatives, and even COVID-19 restrictions that changed our event strategy. Many challenges have occurred that have allowed me and my team to always have a reason to collaborate and update our strategy to help our dealers the best we can to grow their business with our proprietary brands at ATD.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career? 

The biggest influence on my career would have to be Josh Simpson, senior vice president of proprietary brands at ATD. Josh and the Hercules team gave a recent college graduate a marketing internship in 2012 without knowing what it would turn out to be. Here we are nine years later, and Josh is always encouraging me and providing positive leadership that I am very thankful for as my career continues within the industry.

What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry? 

One of my biggest accomplishments in the industry has been providing Hercules (with) an ever-growing social media presence across many channels. Nine years ago, during my internship, social media was really just starting to pick up and I had the responsibility to provide Hercules with social media channels for our dealers and potential consumers that would be interested in our products, partnerships and sponsorships. Today social media is one of the biggest-growing segments for advertising and creating relationships. From Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and now even TikTok, creating a following and having real-life interactions with our consumers and dealers has been a huge accomplishment that I work on growing every single day.

Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?

A day in the office, or in my case at home, is never the same. Every day I am checking all our social media pages by replying to comments and submitting content to go out daily.  Fortunately, I get to work with many of our sponsorships, as well as our marketing activation truck and trailer team. Daily tasks are completed to make sure we’re utilizing our partnerships and event activation through social media, sweepstakes, and building new relationships for the future. Also, I keep track of our Hercules Power Outlet online store from reordering materials, to preparing literature and working closely with our partners to make sure orders are being fulfilled. Then there’s always meetings for new initiatives and future projects. A day in the life of this marketing manager is always unpredictable and exciting because each day is new and I’m not sure what I’ll get to be a part of next.

What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

Tell us about your family.

Family is my top priority. They are my rocks and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. My dad is my number one fan. He’s the biggest supporter and even helps with Hercules events in his spare time. My late mother was the kindest soul you would have ever met. I strive to be like her every day and continue to live her legacy. My stepfather is always on hand with dad jokes whenever you need them!

I’m lucky enough to have a little sister that I can call my best friend. When I told her about being nominated for this program, she was nothing but excited and immediately started asking tons of questions of how she could help. I’m fortunate enough to have a large family that remains close and I’m grateful for that.

What did you learn about yourself in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Professionally during the pandemic, I learned that technology is such a great tool. Over the years I’ve been used to working with my team remotely, with me being in Findlay, Ohio and most of my direct team being in Huntersville, N.C. Now with the ability to adopt so many new tools, I’ve been able to find more ways to be collaborative, stay in touch with my co-workers all across the country and even stay in touch with my family remotely.

Personally, I learned that I missed live music more than I ever thought I would.

Name a talent you wish you had.

I wish I was talented in art. I’ve always fascinated over those who have such an artistic gift. I am not a great artist by any means, but I can make a pretty good stick figure.  Case in point, I’ll leave the art to the real, true artists.

How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?

When I’ve had a stressful day, I really enjoy taking time to listen to some great music and take a long walk with my dog, Moose.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Know Your Value by Mika Brzezinski

If you won an Olympic gold medal, how would you have earned it? (You can make up a sport.)

Miniature golf. You may never find me on a golf course, but I can putt through a windmill pretty well!

What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?

I think the biggest issue facing the tire industry today is being unable to predict the future. With COVID-19 still a big topic in the United States and throughout the world — causing restrictions, plus a higher tire demand and even the lack of shipping containers — there can be a lot of uncertainty.  Uncertainty is hard and so is knowing what challenge may be coming next.

What advice would you give to tire dealers who are desperate to find good employees?

I would suggest making sure that your potential candidates are easily able to know about your culture, policies, and your specific contributions as an employer. By laying these out for your potential candidates they will have a clear definition of the job and how they will expect to be treated. In today’s day and age, it is important for a good employee to know what they are walking into on day one so that they will stay for many years to come.

What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?

Overall, I see myself living a long, happy life surrounded by those I love and those who push me every day to become a better version of myself.

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