The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 8, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Nov. 12.
Next up is Marketing Executive of the Year (Large Company) finalist Joy Jarrett, who’s chief marketing officer at Guidehouse. Here, she talks success, future focus areas and rule-breaking as an industry leader.
What key achievements did you have in 2019/2020?
I would have to say that 2019/2020 has been filled with new and challenging achievements. In October 2019, we acquired a commercial consulting firm equal in size to ours, but with significantly more staff and global locations to support. As we were integrating teams, processes and organizations, the pandemic took center stage, and we pivoted our marketing efforts to focus on cross-sector, CARES Act-relevant market growth, which benefited both commercial and public sectors with new business wins and strengthened client confidence.
We supported aggressive hiring efforts, onboarding over 150 new colleagues each month, and successfully completed our 2020 intern program. Internally, we created a “People First” strategy to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of all our colleagues, which included personalized care packages to those impacted with COVID, weekly leadership chats, Guidehouse 2 Guidehouse bimonthly series to inspire learning, teaming and collaboration, and focused on creating a culture of inclusion and belonging for all.
Most recently, we were designated a Great Place To Work by our people, a proud moment to know that what we are doing really is impacting all our people in a positive manner.
What has made you successful in your current role?
I would have to say my collaborative spirit, creative and innovative approach to problem-solving, and my desire to make Guidehouse the best it can be — both internally through our programs, communications and culture enhancing elements, and externally as a brand you are proud to represent.
My father once said to me, “You can make a difference wherever you are,” and I try to live that each day in all that I do here and with the lives I get to touch through this work.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
I think the inflection point in my career was when I was working for the 1996 Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games in sponsor and crisis communications, and I realized that if I wanted to have a meaningful career, I needed to get out of my comfort zone. So I started saying internally, “Leap and the net will appear,” when I was presented with opportunities that I felt were too beyond my own perception, and then everything changed!
My career took off, not so much because of things I was saying, but more because I was showing up with a “can do” attitude to bring impactful value. I still live pushing to new heights.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
There are so many things about Guidehouse and our organization that I am honored to support and proud to be a part of. We are a very young company, although we have deep expertise and credibility in the marketplace from our previous PwC and Navigant (acquired firm) legacy. Our leadership team are some of the most intelligent, empathetic, entrepreneurial and inspiring people I have ever worked with.
And our People First programs, which supported our people during COVID, will always be some of our greatest work because it embodies our values of respect, integrity, innovation, stewardship and excellence where it matters most — with our people.
What are your primary focuses areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
October marked our first year as a combined commercial and public consultancy platform, with over 8,000 colleagues in more than 50 locations globally to position us as one of the fastest-growing consulting firms.
Our focus areas moving forward will be threefold: to grow our brand awareness and generate demand as the consultancy platform of choice for transformation through the services, digital innovation and solutions we offer; to strengthen our culture through our People First commitments; and to help our clients achieve their toughest challenges so together we thrive and create a brighter future for all.
Challenges of today are more complex than ever, and they require commercial and public partnerships to move these crippling issues forward. That’s exactly what Guidehouse is great at delivering results that advance your mission forward.