The Minds Behind The Matters

We know Houston businesses are looking for the latest industry scoop – but you want to hear it from the most credible sources with marketing, sales and advertising experience in Houston. Here’s your chance to learn more about the minds behind Houston Marketing Matters.

Each of our writers were hired for a specific trait, capability or area of expertise that cumulatively gives us the ability to provide Houston businesses with resources as well as the marketing and sales intelligence they need to make effective decisions.

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Mark Krieschen

Mark Krieschen

Vice President/General Manager

Strategic. Perceptive. Leader.
It’s a big deal when the boss wants to be a part of our marketing matters conversation since he’s got the weight of the CMG Houston world on his shoulders. As the head of day-to-day operations for our media assets, Mark is ultimately responsible for three core radio products, all digital platforms and not to mention managing the variety of personalities, world views, and career backgrounds that encompass his leadership team across marketing, programming, sales, IT and accounting. Establishing consistent communication opportunities gives Mark a micro-level view of what’s going on across the business so he may support with a macro-level managerial style. He knows he can’t do it all on his own – but he surrounds himself with talented individuals with focused skillsets and the type of business integrity that he knows he can trust to help CMG maintain a competitive edge. Bottom line, Mark has a pulse on his business at all times.

We appreciate his inquisitive style and ability to push us to achieve new career goals with the kinds of “what ifs” we need. We also respect him for his nearly 30 years of media experience, successfully climbing a mountain of a career that only an elite few boast. With that comes the expert-level sales and media knowledge, from talent recruitment to customer service, radio content to digital creative, and even the rare understanding that sales and marketing are truly two different disciplines. He’s accomplished a lot. So when Mark participates in a team meeting with a client, or gives us some valuable insights from his perspective, we’re pretty stoked.

Anne Marie Benard

Anne Marie Benard

Director of Integrated Marketing

Intelligent. Eloquent. Ambitious.
Every day this resident marketer is charged with the necessary task of bridging the gap between the disciplines of sales and marketing. Fortunately for Anne Marie, she possesses the qualities required of anyone looking to combine these theories - experience, passion, conviction and the pursuit of happy sales/marketing equilibrium. And she has a solid client-side marketing roster to boot. Anne Marie served as a business analyst, marketing specialist and interactive project manager for a major North American retailer. She then moved her Midwest work ethic south and deep in the heart of Texas, where she managed sponsorship negotiations, event activation strategies and special marketing projects on behalf of a large energy company.

It’s this extensive client side familiarity and acumen that enables her to see a business’s marketing potential from a 360 degree lens; a true resource to any sales organization. So in addition to consulting with sellers on making effective presentations, she develops sales tools and processes that combine the marketing themes of finesse, communication and creativity with the critical sales themes of integrity, continuity and flexibility. And being the game-changer in any company is never too easy. Fortunately, she’s still got a tight knit club of local and regional marketing contacts in her arsenal to bounce new ideas and theories off of. More importantly, she uses her allegiances to build the type of relationships and networking opportunities that maximize her marketing intelligence and gift of words.

Bill Tatar

Bill Tatar

Director of Promotions and Digital Content

Handy. Imaginative. Unique.
This out-of-box thinker is a true (web) utility asset to CMG Houston and Houston businesses alike. Bill is the yin to our yang. His ability to learn the latest and greatest best practices associated with social and digital media makes him the kind of guy you want in any brainstorm or planning session. Perhaps it’s his 10 years with CMG and having learned a thing or two about the intricacies of effective digital marketing? Or maybe he’s gleaned all things positive and productive from his previous experiences as a Promotions Marketing Manager, where fast and clever thinking is key? Either way, Bill has a knack for surprising and delighting Houston consumers with cunning digital and social tactics executed on behalf of CMG Houston’s radio stations and Houston businesses alike.

And his calculated risks are worth it because Houston consumers respond. We’re proud to have him on our blogging staff because of his position on why marketing matters; it’s the opportunity Houston businesses have to proactively control how their brands are perceived. We couldn’t agree more.

Johnny Chiang

Johnny Chiang

Director of Operations

Esteemed. Accomplished. Competitive.
As the purveyor of music, content and voice talent for all three of our top-performing Houston radio products, Johnny has the colossal task of making sure we’ve got as many Houstonians tuning in to our stations as possible. We can factually say that he’s one of the best at what he does. With numerous awards under his regime, he’s nationally acclaimed for possessing the ability optimize a radio station and ensure its positioned for success not only with listeners – but also with advertisers.

His outstanding skillsets not only make him one-of-a-kind, but also enable us to tap into a layer of wisdom that only experts like Johnny can provide. Yes, this former News Writer, Morning Show Producer, Music Director, Program Director is now our Operations Manager. Johnny has the background to provide informed insights on anything from celebrity endorsements and radio content to creating harmony between sales, marketing and programming. Combine all of the above with his passion for creating workplace efficiencies, building effective work relationships and maintaining a healthy fear of failure…Johnny is on that perpetual path to success. When he speaks, writes, blogs…we listen. (You should too.)

Kevin Epps

Kevin Epps

Account Manager

Intelligent. Clever. Trustworthy.
Kevin is an account manager for CMG Houston. He utilizes his 13 years of media sales and marketing experience to create the kinds of effective marketing plans and media campaigns that woo Houston businesses. In other words – he’s been around the block enough to know what will make them money. Kevin’s diverse career roots also include sports marketing, which enables him to efficiently maneuver through business negotiations and agreements for the benefit of any teams (aka: Houston businesses.)

An on-going love affair with the arts of communication and journalism also elevate his ability to connect with clients. He knows how to talk the talk. And what’s even better? He can also walk the walk. His top talents include uncovering creative solutions to Houston businesses’ key marketing challenges and building tactical digital marketing solutions that work.

Laura Filippone

Laura Filippone

Account Manager

Smart. Confident. Accomplished.
If we were ever going to pick an official captain for our media sales team, Laura would top our roster of qualified candidates. Her broad range of knowledge on the variety of industries makes her a smart player to have playing for CMG Houston at all times. Additionally, Laura’s business acumen and experience in Houston media gives her that rare, exceptionally-high level of confidence needed to approach clients with the type of advertising solutions they can’t say ‘no’ to. Quite frankly – she’s a varsity player. And her credibility comes from more than just an assertive and intelligent personality. She started from the ground up as a rookie in media sales and is the perfect example of how the perfect mix of time, effort and natural talent can cultivate a real-deal sales professional like Laura.

So it may come as no surprise that as good as this seasoned veteran is at acquiring new business, her client retention rates hinge on her detail-oriented, results-driven mantra: “…you can have the #1 station and the best idea, but if you can’t properly execute the plan, you lose.” We couldn’t agree more.