Executive Marketing Positions

  • Vice President Marketing, Brand Strategy - DeVry University
  • Vice President Marketing - Prestone Products
  • Director, Economy Brands - MillerCoors
  • Vice President Marketing, Dairy Snacks - ConAgra Foods
  • Director New Products - Jim Beam Brands Worldwide

Education

  • MBA, Thesis on Strategic Planning for New Products, Loyola University of Chicago
  • BS Business Management, Marketing, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

Specialties

  • Growth strategies and business turnarounds
  • P&L growth – topline and profit improvement
  • Repositioning and differentiation
  • Consumer + customer insights, decision journey and segmentation
  • Impactful support plans including digital, social
  • Innovation processes and products that drive incremental business
  • Change leadership, optimizing organizations in transition

How Sharon Can Grow Your Business

  • Improve topline revenue
  • Strengthen strategic planning process to improve plans, alignment, and implementation
  • Drive stronger differentiation and positioning effectiveness
  • Uncover unmet needs from customers, and position your product/service to better meet those needs
  • Enter new segments, appeal to new customers/consumers
  • Revitalize ‘mature’ business with game changing plans
  • Strengthen financial results
  • Accelerate and improve results from launch of new and improved products/ services
  • Improve team performance during times of organization transition, change leadership

Success Stories

  • Turned around retail antifreeze business, growing total revenue and EBITDA. Reversed unit decline into growth, with changes in pricing, promotion, merchandising, and communications. Repositioned brand and secured customer support within 90 days.
  • Developed line of products for B2B Heavy Duty Trucking industry, launching in 6 months. Established business, and won Frost & Sullivan Heavy Duty Innovation of the Year.
  • Developed game changing, winning promotions for product in highly competitive beer category, resulting in record customer support during peak periods that drove strong share growth for brand, and incremental sales for retailer. New programs for Miller High Life included highly successful SuperBowl and Veterans’ promotions.
  • Achieved net sales and share growth by reinvigorating brand with repositioning, new packaging, innovation, in-store and consumer communications based on consumer insight update, and implementing game changing in store initiatives that secured year round display support from key retailers.
  • Doubled net sales and profit over 4 years and drove share on product line by broadening target, identifying barrier to trial with consumers and leveraging insights to reposition brand and drive innovation.
  • As Innovation lead, developed and launched range of new entries driving annual revenues of over $80M, all with significantly higher profitability than company average. Established innovation process and developed plans to achieve company goals.
  • Developed program roadmap for College, launching two specializations to fast track offerings to appeal to prospective students. These became two of the most popular specializations in the College.

Sharon McLenahan Biography

Sharon’s Marketing career has been defined by taking established brands and businesses that others might consider ‘mature’ and finding new ways to revitalize and drive growth. In case after case, Sharon has demonstrated skill at leveraging the key assets of each company (its brands/products, people and organization) in collaboration with a cross functional team to improve topline and bottom line results.  As a general management marketer, her impact sets up businesses for short term gain while establishing a foundation for long term growth, impacting revenue and improving profitability. 

Sharon’s skill development was built at highly competitive Blue Chip Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies in food (Nestles, Kraft and ConAgra) and beverage alcohol (Jim Beam Brands and MillerCoors). Learning and applying Marketing discipline and practice to successfully drive strong growth against a wide range of companies and industries, Sharon has demonstrated the ability to bring new, game-changing thought to differentiate and build businesses and brands. She then had success applying those approaches to Automotive (Prestone) and Higher Ed (DeVry) that had not previously seen this type of Marketing approach. The success demonstrated her ability to translate the classic marketing principles to new environments and industries. By applying creativity and resourcefulness, Sharon has been able to drive growth across businesses, despite being outspent by competition. 

In addition to building established brands, Sharon has driven growth through innovation and bringing companies into new areas. Sharon has successfully built new product development processes that assure efficient development, prioritization, rigor and alignment to improve success rate. Notable innovations included diversifying the portfolio of Jim Beam Brands to bring them into wine, working closely with R&D to introduce the first new flavors in several categories, bringing Prestone into the Heavy Duty Truck field, and expanding product offerings at DeVry University to capture new prospect interests. 

Leveraging insights has been a critical part of improving the understanding of the consumer, customer, and competition. This insight is applied toward developing cross functional understanding and translating the insights to more effective strategies, plans, and communications. 

In addition to driving positive results on her businesses, Sharon has also led many initiatives to strengthen employee and team engagement. As a leader in several companies that were going through challenging transitions (mergers, consolidations, acquisitions, etc.) Sharon took lead in launching and championing mentoring programs, programs to improve women’s retention and recruitment, and EAP (Employee Affiliation Programs). She also led identification of best practices and process optimization to optimize organizational results. 

Sharon now brings her broad and deep experience to apply to your business needs. With a highly collaborative approach, Sharon will partner with you to truly understand your vision, assets and challenges, and work to find a clearer path to leverage your business strengths for better results, laying a foundation for short term results and long term growth.