Women in Print: Renee M. Berger, Western States Envelope & Label
RENEE M. BERGER
Western States Envelope & Label, Butler, Wis.
Years of experience: 37
How she got her start: The first stop on my career path was at my hometown newspaper. I then worked briefly as a graphic designer for Western States Envelope & Label (WSE&L), left to work for an employee benefit organization, a label company and circled back to WSE&L about 10 years later.
What she loves most about the industry: I enjoy the challenges of marketing and the dramatic shifts and changes needed to understand and report the return on investment they create. I also enjoy working with interns and WSE&L employees to achieve optimum results.
An average day: In addition to marketing manager, I’m also the creative director and brand champion responsible for designing and coordinating all things marketing for five divisions. There’s really no typical day for me; it’s extremely fast-paced and we’re always trying to do more each day to create opportunities for our 37 outside sales reps, our customers and our internal customers. Many missing pieces need to be aligned in our industry, but it’s all about keeping pace and effectively marketing the exciting developments and unique opportunities coming our way.
Her proudest career achievements: I’m most proud of working with the talented folks here at WSE&L who produce outstanding results daily. For example, thanks to their efforts, we saw a 125 percent increase in inbound marketing leads when we implemented online strategies combined with direct mail. A good example of that would be our “Inside the Envelope & Label” quarterly newsletter.
On working in a traditionally male-dominated industry: I’ll admit that women do face obstacles in this male-dominated industry, but collaboration is critical. I’ve always worked alongside the good ol’ boys and the good ol’ girls. There are challenges with every job—I don’t think the print industry is an exception. Her job advice to women: Go for it! Printing is changing and the opportunities for women to excel are immense.
I think the marketing side and opportunities alone would be enough to keep you interested.
Who she turns to for career advice: Many women in my world since day one have inspired and mentored me; I’m thankful they were and still are a part of my life. Women like Inez Nastal of Weber Printing Company, Deborah Corn of Print Media Centr and Sandy Hubbard of Helping Print Thrive, Julie Shaffer of Printing Industries of America (PIA) and former PIA Executive Mary Garnett, to name a few.
When she’s off the clock: Outside of the industry, I enjoy doing art, pro bono work of giving back to the community and photography. I also have a beautiful two-year-old granddaughter and that keeps life full, fun and plenty busy—just like I like it.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.