July Marketer of the Month: Jessica Kennedy, NRC Picker

Jessica Kennedy is the American Marketing Association Lincoln Chapter’s Marketer of the Month for July.

Kennedy is director of product marketing for NRC Picker, whose patient-centered quality measurement and improvement tools are used by all types and sizes of hospitals throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia.

“I am responsible for the marketing strategy and brand management for NRC Picker, the largest division of National Research Corporation,” Kennedy said. “This includes development and management of sales materials, the NRC Picker Web site, marketing and advertising campaigns, public relations, product marketing strategy, client communications and special projects.”

Born and raised in Lincoln, Kennedy holds a Master of Arts degree in marketing (2002) and Bachelor of Journalism degree in advertising and broadcasting (1997) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2007, she became a Professional Certified Marketer.

Prior to arriving at NRC Picker in September 2007, Kennedy held marketing-related positions at the Lincoln Journal Star/Journal Star Publishing, for Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Nebraska Art Association, and for Kenexa Technology, Inc. She also was assistant director of alumni relations for the Nebraska Alumni Association.

Kennedy was surprised to receive the award from the AMA Lincoln Chapter.
“I was caught off guard,” she said. “There are so many people who are doing so much for Lincoln AMA that I was surprised to be nominated and humbled to be named.”

Kennedy recalls a moment in 1999 that had a profound effect on her professional life.
“Someone handed me a photocopy of a Lincoln AMA flyer, and I’ve been hooked ever since,” she said. “In my decade of membership, I’ve found the programming and education consistently high quality and relevant to my work, the leadership opportunities unparalleled and the network I’ve grown to be priceless. Without question, my AMA membership has been the best professional, and personal, development investment. Talk to me for just a minute about the AMA, the Lincoln chapter and marketing and you’ll know that I’m a total AMA brand lover.”

Despite an undergraduate degree in journalism, Kennedy has settled on a career in marketing.
“I could not not be a marketer,” Kennedy said. “I love it. I was a journalism major in college and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t see it as a lifelong career. Then out of nowhere, I learned about this marvelous thing called marketing. It was big, it was strategic, it was creative, it made things happen, the people were interesting. I was hooked. I still love marketing all these years later because it serves such an important organization function. We are advocates for clients and prospects within our organizations.”

Kennedy’s resume is extensive. She has a wealth of experience in professional organizations, including serving as past president of AMA’s Lincoln Chapter; marketing chair for Tour de Lincoln, Lincoln Arts Council; and past president of Lincoln Community Playhouse Board of Trustees. Her community service also is impressive. She has been a Matt Talbot Kitchen volunteer and team captain since 1993, was a member of the Downtown Master Plan Steering Committee and the Downtown Lincoln Association Marketing Committee.

Kennedy’s continued service to the AMA extends into 2009 by serving on the National AMA Professional Chapters Council (PCC). The PCC represents leaders of the AMA nationwide that are selected for their expertise in the field of marketing.

Kennedy has been involved in independent consulting. She also has performed voice work for various clients, and has taught courses at area colleges and universities.

She is a 2007 Lincoln 40 Under 40 Award winner and was named AMA Lincoln’s Marketer of the Year in 2005.

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