ANA 2010

10 Fun Facts About ANA Presenters

You'll Never Guess Who Used to Be a Gravedigger -- or a Rock Star

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NEW YORK ( -- Call it getting to know the CMO.

Marilyn Mersereau
Marilyn Mersereau Credit: Clarion Pictures
Careful listeners at the Association of National Advertisers' annual meeting gleaned a lot of personal information about the speakers from both the podium and ANA's Twitter feed, @ANAMarketers. Many marketers shared information about their pets: Procter & Gamble's global marketing officer, Marc Pritchard, who was a competitive trampoliner in high school, owns a dog dubbed Daisy. Kellogg VP-Global Chief Marketing Officer Mark Baynes has a tortoise named Charlie, while Marilyn Mersereau, senior VP-corporate marketing at Cisco, has a cat and two dogs, yellow labs named Wellie and Abby. Coca-Cola Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Joe Tripodi, who has lived in 21 cities, these days comes home to a dog of his own, Chester. His pup might not be as cute as Ms. Mersereau's canines, he said, but added slyly, "my brand is bigger than hers."

Here are some other fun facts learned at the event:

  • John Caron, chief marketing officer at Darden Restaurants, was a rafting guide on the Colorado River just after college.
  • Candace Matthews, CMO at Amway, has an undergraduate degree in metallurgic engineering.
  • Ralph Santana, senior VP-CMO of Samsung, is an avid bullfighting fan.
  • Jim Speros, exec VP-chief marketing officer at Fidelity Investments, was once in a rock band and played nightclubs in New York (he specified to the ANA Twitter feed that was when he had a lot more hair).
  • Laura Desmond, Starcom MediaVest CEO of the Americas, said she once blew up a service station while driving over a gas pump at the age of 16.
  • Geico CEO Ted Ward used to be a drug and alcohol parole officer.
  • Graciela Eleta
    Graciela Eleta Credit: Clarion Pictures
  • John Adams, chairman-CEO of the Martin Agency, once toiled as a gravedigger.
  • Howard Friedman, senior VP-marketing at Kraft, made 52 parachute jumps throughout his military career.
  • Graciela Eleta, Univision's senior VP-brand solutions, is a certified scuba diver.
  • Erin Nelson, former senior VP-CMO at Dell, owns a shop for children called Baby Coco in Austin.

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