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Archive for the ‘RISING STARS’ Category

Gary Kelly

March 14th, 2012 by admin

“Our people are our single greatest strength and most enduring long-term competitive advantage,” says Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines CEO.  Gary Kelly became CEO in 2009 and has quickly made Southwest Airlines a brand to be reckoned with.  The people-focused culture, for both employees and customers, make Southwest Airlines a go-to choice for employment and for flying. No change penalties, bags fly free, low-cost airfares, open seating, and excellent customer service make the Southwest brand unique and compelling.

Jay S. Walker

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Even though the American economy struggles, people are still finding the time and money to travel., founded by Jay S. Walker, is now the best thing that could happen to frequent travelers. This site allows for people to search for discounted travel related to items such as, airfare and hotel rooms. People are going to more exotic and more expensive places for less. The television commercials are unique and include’s spokesperson William Schatner, helping watchers remember the next time they look to travel. The sites popularity is rising, along with its brand awareness, making Walker an on-the-rise Brand Champion.

Julie Flakstad

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Every woman is looking for next, hottest craze to add to her portfolio of trends. This specific trend has given the opportunity to kick back, relax, and not worry about the most stressful part of their morning routine, hair. Blow, New York’s premier blow dry bar has caught the eye of many women, not only in New York, but all over the nation. As these salons make their claim to fame, Blow New York is famous due to their in-house Brand Champion, Julie Flakstad. With an MBA from the Columbia Business School and an immense industry background with previous positions at IBM and American Express, Flakstad has taken Blow’s popularity out of this world. Her knowledge has allowed this company to blossom and become the next fad for women today.

Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr.

March 14th, 2012 by admin

All airlines have something different to offer; drink vouchers, no baggage fees, honey roasted peanuts, but Allegiant Airlines has broken through the clutter. Adding new destinations to this low-cost airfare company has given Allegiant Airlines a foot up into the rankings of big airlines. CEO Maurice J. Gallagher has taken good care of this company while it grows. With his extensive background in investment, he has founded companies such as Mpower Communications Corp. and played a hand in the beginning of ValuJet Airlines. Big airlines better watch their backs, underdogs are known to win the race.

Andrew Mason

March 14th, 2012 by admin has allowed consumers to indulge in eateries and activities at great discounts. Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, formulated the idea to partner with companies who would offer an online deal-of-the-day, giving those on a budget the opportunity to take advantage. Groupon’s revenue and registered users continue to rise.  Mason’s leadership style may be seen as unconventional but he is committed to the company brand.

Tim Westergren

March 14th, 2012 by admin

By searching one artist’s name, an entire Pandora radio station can be built for any listener.  Founded by Tim Westergren and two others, Pandora has revolutionized the way consumers listen to music through the Music Genome Project, a mathematical algorithm that organizes common music. Westergren’s “know-your-audience” style of business operations has his company dialed in with his customers.

Carrie Rezabek

March 14th, 2012 by admin

A new craze in working out includes a ballet bar, Pilates, and free weights. Founded by Carrie Rezabek, constantly evolving Pure Barre is toning and shaping bodies everywhere. Rezabek’s background is in choreography and as a dance teacher.  Expanding the Pure Barre brand to more than 70 studios nationwide, Rezabek’s methods target specific areas for strength and flexibility training.

Mark Pincus

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Anyone who has a smart phone is familiar with Zynga, the social online gaming company. Zynga, founded by Mark Pincus, allows users to play games such as Hanging and Words with Friends on mobile devices and social networks.  It allows you to find friends with the application through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Mark has led various startups through a success path confirming his ability to champion the brand.


David Karp

March 14th, 2012 by admin

David Karp is the founder of Tumblr, a microblogging site. The 25-year-old Karp created the site where bloggers can post text, photos, and even video to their “Tumbleblog.” There are many sites allowing people to blog their thoughts and interests, but the appeal of Tumblr is how easy it is to use.   Within two weeks of launch, the service had two employees and 75,000 users.  Today, it has more than 80 employees and three million users.  Karp’s entrepreneurial ways make him part of an exclusive twenty-something club that have launched multi-million dollar companies.

Marc Benioff

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Marc Benioff launched his career as an innovative tech entrepreneur at an early age, starting his first company creating Atari system videogames when he was fifteen. Since then, he has not slowed down. Prior to founding, Benioff worked for the Oracle Corporation, being named the company’s Rookie of the Year, and going on to become vice president at age 26. This Brand Champion started Salesforce out of a rented apartment in 1999, championing “the end of software”, and declaring the company’s mission to take traditional software online. Since then, he has been credited with turning the software industry on its head by using the internet to revamp the way software programs are designed and distributed. After being named by Barron’s as one of the “Top 25 Most Effective Philanthropists”, it now seems clear that this up-and-coming Brand Champion has a heart as big as his vision.


March 14th, 2012 by admin

For anyone who watched the 2012 Grammy Awards, one name most likely sticks out above the rest: Adele. The twenty-three year old contralto from Tottenham, England, won six Grammys, matching Beyonce for the most ever awarded to a female artist. Adele first entered the spotlight in 2008 with her debut album, 19, which was released to much commercial and critical success, including being certified four times platinum in the UK. However, it wasn’t until the 2011 release of her second album, 21, that she began her domination of the United States, and truly became a Brand Champion. In spite of rumors that suggested she would be taking a multi-year hiatus from music, this rising star recently announced on her website that she will be returning to the studio to record her third album very soon, which is good news for music lovers everywhere.

Aaron Patzer

March 14th, 2012 by admin

After becoming frustrated with the amount of time it took to organize his personal finances using traditional computer-based programs, Aaron Patzer decided to take action. In 2005, Patzer quit his day job and spent the next several months building a database and designing an interface for his new concept. was founded in March 2006, and launched a year and a half later, providing a free, web-based, money-management tool that automatically culls personal financial data, and provides users with an easy-to-digest analysis of their spending habits and behaviors. was purchased by Intuit in 2009 for $170 million, bringing Patzer on board as Vice President of Product Innovation. currently claims more than 3.5 million users, and its founder has been named as one of Inc. Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30”, securing this Brand Champion’s position as a rising star.

About The List

A company's greatest asset is its brand. An individual’s greatest asset is character or image (a personal brand). But without a true Brand Champion leading the cause, brand success (for a company, product or person) can be elusive. The Brand Iron BC 100 list is comprised of individuals who truly understand and embrace the power of a brand (our Brand Chumps list is comprised of those who clearly don’t). Whether leaders of an organization or individuals managing their personal brand, they take responsibility for developing a brand that exudes success. Each month our staff will recognize a notable Brand Champion. Each year we will announce our BC 100 list. Whether you agree or disagree, we invite you to share your opinions. And feel free to nominate anyone you feel deserves to be part of the list.

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