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Gardenia Willoughby

Director of Marketing & Experiences

Gardenia Willoughby Photo

With almost 20 years of experience in digital marketing, technology, and innovation, Gardenia leads the development of strategy and experiences that transform businesses. A champion for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Gardenia combines her passion for process, curiosity for culture, and operational acumen to spearhead key project initiatives and oversee the entire creative, UX, and design teams.  

Gardenia specializes in operational leadership, planning, and process development for the large-scale projects that turn strategic ideas into products and campaigns that people use and love. A leader for both client initiatives and internal projects that make work work better, Gardenia is the go-to person when things need to get done. 

Gardenia has a long history of delivering products, experiences, and strategic thinking to market. Some of Gardenia’s achievements include the first major redesign of The Weather Channel app; the biggest digital-first launch of a new Coach brand; and building jet.com, the ecommerce platform that first threatened Amazon, then solidified and expanded Walmart’s ecommerce capabilities following its $3.3bn acquisition. Gardenia has also reimagined (and prototyped) the future of American Express, supported the double-digit expansion of the largest charter school network in New York City, and helped create new beverages (and new-to-world beverage categories) for Bud Light. 

A world citizen since birth, Gardenia has lived all over the U.S., but primarily grew up on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in southeast Montana, which she calls her official hometownDespite early interest in Chemical Engineering, Gardenia graduated from Montana State University Bozeman with her BA in Human Development, which is paired with her Master of Science in Multimedia from London Metropolitan University. Using these combined educational experiences, Gardenia began her career as a project manager with just enough knowledge of technology, design, and strategy to become a truly empathetic learner and leader. Gardenia lives in Colorado with her son.  

 

Challenges Taken On Recently

  • Creative Syncopation: an internal initiative designed to inspire Vivaldi’s creative team
  • Career Management: streamlining Vivaldi’s employee review and mentorship processes to support all employees
  • Global DEI: leading efforts in education and embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in all the company’s day-to-day activities