A seasoned marketing executive with experience in building and motivating teams, establishing clear road maps for success and supporting team members in achieving their goals, has joined Bishop O’Dowd High School as the director of marketing. Susan Andres replaces Nicki Shaw who departed her position this summer.
Andres’ experience will be significant as O’Dowd prepares to launch the next phase of a master plan that includes the purchasing of the adjacent 20-acre Seneca Reservoir site. The current plan is to relocate an athletic field on the site to gain additional space for new facilities on campus.
“Susan’s 25 year marketing background mixes her innovative non-profit marketing experience with her high level corporate marketing background. She shares O’Dowd’s core values and knows our challenges in this rapidly evolving market. She will add her voice to telling the story of O’Dowd’s authentically diverse, academically excellent, high character graduates,” O’Dowd President Steve Phelps said.
Andres is impressed by O’Dowd’s strengths on all fronts – academic, the arts, athletics, and the school’s focus on the moral development of its students.
Her immediate goals at O’Dowd are “to achieve a powerful and differentiating understanding of and appreciation for what O’Dowd delivers to its students and families and the world at large amongst current and potential stakeholders so that they can benefit from this knowledge and, of course, to support strong registration and fundraising numbers.”
Andres holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University. “It was a cross-disciplinary major that included studies in economics, political science, psychology, fine arts and other fascinating areas,” she said.
She most recently ran her own marketing consultancy, serving as a brand and marketing strategy consultant directly with and embedded with design agencies for leading local non-profits and sustainability-minded brands including the Nature Conservancy, WildCare, Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility, Habitot Children’s Museum, Environmental Forum of Marin and Stanford Summer Session.
Andres previously held executive leadership and consulting positions with leading for- and non-profits. After spending 10 years in the advertising world managing and directing accounts at agencies like Foote, Cone & Belding and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, she transitioned to the non-profit world where she served at the director level at The Marine Mammal Center and The Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association.
“Major achievements at all of my prior positions were to take brands to the next level of capacity and growth, from Levi’s Jeans for Women to The Nature Conservancy’s marine program,” she said.
Andres was initially drawn to marketing because it draws on her keen interest in merging strategy and creativity. “It can also be a powerful force for positive change when applied in the environmental and social arena,” she said.
A company or organization that is not brand and marketing focused is missing out on opportunities to achieve full capacity to deliver against its mission and goals, Andres said. “A powerful brand strategy sets the tone and content for shaping how the brand will be perceived and responded to and ultimately engaged with, and a marketing strategy is the delivery mechanism for getting this information out to key audiences and stakeholders,” she said.
Andres says the most rewarding aspect of marketing is unifying the organization under one powerful and differentiating connection with current and potential stakeholders that benefits both the brand and its stakeholders. “It’s a continuous circle not a one-way conversation and when that loop is created – both internally and externally – the potential for mutual benefit is unlimited,” she said.