WENDY MARQUARDT: Exec VP-director of client services, Zenith Media Services

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It's appropriate that Wendy Marquardt's media career often centers around telecommunication accounts: she has a knack for connecting with clients.

"Everybody who works with her looks up to her, respects her and likes her," says Bill McCarron, executive director at Bell Atlantic Corp. He deems Ms. Marquardt a "true extension of our client organization."

Ms. Marquardt, 48, exec VP-director of client services at Zenith Media Services, New York, first wowed the Bell Atlantic team during Zenith's pitch for its consolidated account.

"Wendy is a dynamic, incredible presenter," says Mr. McCarron. "The pitch was the single best media presentation most of us had ever seen."

Ms. Marquardt's strong background in telecommunications also helped to win over the 14-person Bell Atlantic selection committee. During her career, she's worked with SBC Communications, Motorola and Ameritech Corp.

"Telecom has kind of been my stock in trade over the last 10 years," says Ms. Marquardt. "It's a terribly exciting category to be a part of."

In addition to servicing telecom accounts, Ms. Marquardt also has worked with a laundry list of blue chip clients, including M&M/Mars, Quaker Oats Co. and Allied Domecq Spirits.

She credits one simple skill to a successful client-agency relationship: listening.

"An important part of my job is listening to what is going on," says Ms. Marquardt, adding that she also tries to live by the golden rule: "Treat people as you want to be treated."

Zenith CEO Rich Hamilton says Ms. Marquardt's vivacious personality is extremely attractive to marketers.

"She's a great people person," he says. "Wendy is very astute in understanding what a client needs."

However, he adds that Ms. Marquardt has another people-pleasing skill that many in the industry don't know about. "She makes the best apple pie in the world," he says.

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