Jared Falkner, 26
Client Services Manager, Vive Marketing
Jared Falkner earned his associate degree from Waukesha (Wis.) County Technical College in criminal justice and worked for the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office for two years before realizing that career path wasn't right for him. He enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he double majored in marketing and logistics, materials and supply chain management.
"I think a major career highlight for me was reeducating myself in a completely different field than my initial career path. … Changing career paths was one of the best decisions I have personally and professionally made, which makes this opportunity even sweeter," he said.
Since changing career paths, Falkner joined Milwaukee-based Vive Marketing, where he has held positions as business development lead, marketing and SEO specialist and now client services manager.
"My first plastics-related job is working at Vive Marketing, supporting plastics manufacturers with their specific marketing needs," he said. "I was interested in this job because manufacturing isn't sexy to individuals my age. Typically, you see marketers coming out of college working in retail, sports or other fields that you may say are 'more glamorous.' I found a passion working for Vive and the industries we represent."
Falkner's current challenge at work is keeping up with algorithm updates and changes to search engines, especially Google. "I am responsible for the majority of Vive's digital marketing channels and all of our clients' search engine optimization and pay-per-click campaigns," he said.
"The digital advertising landscape interests me the most," Falkner said. "Every day there are new ways to advertise, brand yourself and emerge ahead of the competition. Most of the time, it's the innovative nature of a business's digital marketing deliverables such as video, interactive opportunities and new ways to deliver a message. I am consistently keeping up with all social channels, establishing what I believe to be our clients' best option when it comes to social media engagement and efforts."
Falkner was nominated by Vive President and owner Teresa Schell.
"Jared Falkner plays an instrumental role in the plastics community and professional arena with his knowledge of digital marketing and strong relational proficiencies. His skills and personal attributes as a young leader are so needed in the plastics industry as we search for future leaders that can help owners grow their business and pioneer communication solutions from the latest trends," Schell said.
Asked who he looks up to, Falkner named Schell. "It's an easy one," he said.
"I am greatly appreciative of her and her belief in me. Coming from a background in criminal justice, I wasn't sure I would be given the opportunity as quickly as I was in my new respected field," he said. "Teresa has done so much to encourage personal and professional growth and is setting me up for a successful career."
Q: If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Falkner: If I was a CEO of a company, I would focus on all sustainability efforts. First and foremost, I would position myself as a contributor to society and someone who works on putting cleanliness and the environment first. I would make certain whatever facility I am operating in is properly optimized for environmental best practices (i.e., packaging, paper usage, lighting, recycling, energy, etc.).
Additionally, I would make sure my company has alternatives to plastic usage. Whatever supplies or office necessities [are] required for operating effectively, I would focus on alternatives to be as environmentally healthy as possible.
Q: What steps have you taken to advance in your career?
Falkner: I think attending events will have a substantial impact on advancing my career, both professionally and personally. I just returned from the Precision Metalforming Association's Forming our Future Conference in Key Largo, Fla.
The Waukesha County Business Alliance Youth Leadership Program beginning in Spring 2022 will focus on key areas of professional and personal development.
I signed up for the annual MAPP YP Leadership Experience and am waiting on a reply from their team.
Besides attending leadership conferences or joining groups, I actively find allocated time to learn more about my craft. I have taken multiple Google Suite courses to better optimize my skillsets in Google Analytics, Google Ads and Google Search Console. This is supplemented by multiple SEO/SEM courses similar to the ones SEMrush conducts.
Lastly, I attend and am always on the lookout for networking opportunities. I find great value in NEWaukee, which is a networking organization founded in Milwaukee. If I'm not networking virtually, I'm conversing with industry peers who are smarter than I am.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Falkner: I was once told, "Your life isn't yours if you always care what others think." This is quite impactful and makes a great deal of sense. It's easy to get caught up with what others think of your clothes, car, body and/or accomplishments. If you're always worried about those things, you won't be your best you.