We’re excited to introduce some recent additions to our growing team and their thoughts on courage and growth mindsets.

Alex Reed, Associate
Alex brings a strong background in food business and brand management to The Garage Group team along with an innate growth mindset that has not only driven her success, but those around her as well.

Leveraging her experience most recently in Innovation at T. Marzetti, where she won Marketing Rookie of the Year, Alex has built her career on a philosophy of building credibility and trust by delivering on her commitments and backing up her words with action.

What are you most proud of professionally up to this point in your life?
I would say that I am mostly proud of my professional journey, and the experiences I’ve learned along the way. I have had the opportunity to make an impact and unlock growth at large and small businesses.

Marissa Wilbur, Associate
With the ability to act on consumer behavior trends through connecting robust consumer insights and merchandising context, Marissa brings a strong focus on data-driven strategies to The Garage Group.

Marissa’s years of experience linking merchandising strategy with media and digital activation platforms in the Grocery, HBC, and Natural Foods space; and most recently with Kroger in the data analytics and marketing division, make her an invaluable team member and dedicated resource for our clients.

What is one way you believe we can all operate more courageously?
One way I believe we can all operate more courageously is by not being afraid to say, “I don’t know”. I think there’s an assumption or belief that we are expected to know anything we’re tasked with or asked to do and not knowing is a failure or a weakness. If we reframed that perception from something we lack to instead, an opportunity to courageously learn something new, it would change so much. The more unknown spaces we put ourselves in, the more we will grow, learn, and adapt. Let’s get excited about the things we don’t know and be willing to step into those unknown places – an adventure awaits!

Chi Pham, Associate
As a fiercely independent and markedly innovative risk taker, Chi has lived across the US to take advantage of opportunities and experiences presented to her after leaving her native Vietnam as a teenager.

With experience in research methodologies, ideation, strategy, and implementation, Chi’s passion for innovation fuels her work as she considers it to be the best approach to creating values for consumers and clients.

Chi is a winner of the Ohio International Consortium’s Outstanding International Student Award, which recognizes students who have become assets to the State of Ohio. Her philosophy of “Fail Forward” drives her to consistently strive for excellence in all she pursues.

How do you apply your entrepreneurial mindset/start-up thinking to your personal life?
My entrepreneurial mindset has taught me to be unafraid of changes and to embrace pivots. As great as having a plan is, most of the time, reality doesn’t play out that way. And that’s completely fine, because challenges are opportunities to learn and improve and courageous pivots always redirect me to better outcomes than my original plan. I have learned to enjoy pivots and to be flexible with my approach, in order to make the best out of any situation. When you are comfortable operating with a mindset of embracing the uncertainty and challenges, life becomes more exciting and dare I say, rewarding!

Cassandra Yersky, Lean Research Coordinator
A proud University of Cincinnati Bearcat, Cass is always on the lookout for new ventures – whether that be an innovative product idea, interesting business opportunity, or a delicious new dessert recipe.

Cass joins The Garage Group following her tenure at Live Well where she conducted sprints for Boeing to test product and service innovation within an airplane cabin as well as for UCGNI in developing a patient journey for brain tumor and stroke patients’ transition from in-patient to out-patient care.

Her experience in Design Thinking at UC led her to create and facilitate a graduate-level Design Thinking 101 virtual workshop, which she is still involved with today. In this workshop, students learn to elevate their solutions and keep the consumer at the center of the challenge.

What role does courage play in your work philosophy?
My work philosophy is to continually challenge myself and never be afraid to fail.

I believe that the only way you can grow is by stepping outside of your comfort zone and take on opportunities even if you do not have the experience or resources readily available. When you do this, you will be forced to learn new skills, see things from other points of view, and grow as a person. It takes courage to challenge yourself but greater courage being ok with failure. Even in failure there is progress because you’ve learned a new capability or nugget of knowledge along the way.

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