July 19, 2013

Sara-Beth Donovan

Sara-Beth Donovan

Age: 38

Title: Vice President / Director of Media

Company: Mintz + Hoke

Town where you work: Avon

Town where you live: West Hartford

College: University of Connecticut

What I do for fun: Touring vineyards is one of my favorite activities. There are many great hidden gems in Connecticut and New York.

Friends/Family that influence me: Foremost is my husband who is my biggest supporter yet challenges me when that is exactly what I need.

My Charity/Cause: The ASPCA – we are their voice!

My Passion, Hobby or Special Talent: Getting outside and exercising is always at the top of my list; it keeps everything else on track.

'Anytime I have not listened to my first instinct I have regretted it.'

What do you do?

As media director at Mintz + Hoke and Mintz + Hoke Media Only, I lead a team of media planners and buyers who make sure every invested client dollar is placed as if it was their own. Maximizing targeted media programs that exceed the goals of our clients is core to all we do.

Our Media Only product allows us to serve as the lead media partner for several premier national advertising agencies as well. Our strategic insights have led to our role as media partner for agencies such as Y&R, KBP, and PI&C to name a few.

I've never met a team of professionals who truly love the work they do more than the media mavens at Mintz + Hoke. The opportunity to collaborate with them and our many agency partners only makes me better.

Please describe your career path.

Let's just say that in college I didn't even know the job I have today existed. I was set on becoming a psychologist. That all changed one fateful day when I accepted a job as advertising director at the Daily Campus, UConn's school newspaper. From that point on I've never left advertising.

Immediately following college I was so very fortunate to work for a great agency and I learned all I know from some of the most talent media pros in this market. My career progressed pretty quickly through a variety of media roles and agencies. Once given the opportunity to lead the media team at Mintz + Hoke I jumped at the chance.

What's been your biggest challenge professionally?

Shifting roles from practitioner to manager was initially very challenging. When you are passionate about what you do it is very hard to let go, yet I quickly realized I was doing both myself and my team a disservice by trying to be remain the day-to-day practitioner of all things media.

Once I started to step back a bit from the day to day I was able to bring more strategic insights to our clients. It also gave my team the opportunity to have a stronger voice in the media process. You can get too close to the details sometimes. A little distance brings clarity and perspective. Striking that balance has been a key in my current role.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Ending up in my current role was the natural progression of a 15-year career. What's next is not nearly as obvious. I plan to continue to surround myself with smart, talented people, which always leads to new opportunities- that excites me!

What is the best advice you received?

Never second-guess myself. Anytime I have not listened to my first instinct I have regretted it.

How are you involved in your community?

I focus my energy on developing young talent. Our market is ripe for the next generation of media professionals. I have not done my job if I am not investing time in their development. I would not be the professional I am today had it not been for a few key people who always gave their time and support to me.

Meet the 2013 Winners

Anthony G. Barrett

Joe Bierbaum

Matthew R. Boehm

Mario J. Bruno

Matthew Carbray

Raymond Cocozza

Maria Conlon

Dawn Crayco

Christopher Davis

Marc A. DiBella

Derek Donofrio

Sara-Beth Donovan

Brandon Dufour

Brandon M. Frame

Meghan Freed

Emily A. Gianquinto

Alyssa Goduti

Terese Guerrero

Melissa Harris

Tauheedah Jackson

Michael J. Kolosky

Julie Krug

Carolyn Kuan

Heather Lombardi

Jeremy Lowe

Concetta Maratta

Michael Mascaro

Brian Mauriello

Paul Mounds Jr.

Reem Nouh

Nathan Quesnel

Josh Reese

Jennifer Rizzotti

Carrie L. Rocha

Kendrick Trevor Roundtree Sr.

Shaun Sheridan

R. Scott Slifka

Jack Soos

Caitlin Thayer

Julia E. Wayner

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