Spotlighting SVP Strategic Planning Jen Gruber
Why do you love working with Jen?
Let me count the ways! Not only is she a genius when it comes to analytics, but she also has a heart of gold and a knack for saying the perfect thing at the perfect time. Seriously, she's like the data whisperer who knows exactly how to make everyone feel valued and heard. It's a pleasure to be around her positive energy and endless empathy.
—Kelly Ravestijn, SVP Strategic Planning
When Jen is presented with something new and different, you can feel her get energized and see the gears turn in her head. It is easy for someone with decades of tenure at one place to rely on how things used to be done, but not for Jen. She likes to invent and reinvent.
—Victor Lee, President
Jen brings everything to the table that an employee could look for in a manager. Her knowledge and enthusiasm for analytics make her our team’s go-to person. She leads by example and isn't afraid to get into the weeds.
—Chris Neuteboom, Sr. Data Analyst
Jen fosters an open line of communication and encourages input, so everyone feels appreciated and heard. She is generous with her time and always makes herself available to bounce ideas and offer help. Her passion for work is contagious, and as a result the entire team shares her attitude.
—Stephanie Rogers, SVP Media
What’s something Jen does better than anyone else?
She understands that not everything is as easy as right or wrong. She is willing to push the boundaries of expectations to create really thoughtful perspectives and push our clients to break out of expected norms.
Jen's superpower lies in her ability to see data through a different lens. She's like a magician who can extract hidden insights and opportunities from a sea of numbers. It's mind-blowing! While the rest of us are scratching our heads, she's already cooking up ideas that take our analytics game to a whole new level.
She has shifted the collective thinking from pure measurement to insights and strategy. She sees beyond data points to drive key insights and paint a clear picture for clients. Her extensive knowledge of data tools/methodologies coupled with her history with sales/analytics brings tremendous strategic acumen to our commerce analytics practice.
She pushes, seeks ways to make us better, and never just checks the box. She wants to make her team more well-rounded so constantly looks to highlight the strengths and passions of her people.
—Patrick Laros, Sr. Director Strategic Planning
How does Jen make you better at your job?
Jen challenges us to be the best at what we do. Her trust in her team’s abilities coupled with her leadership skills instills confidence in us to give it our all and be the best we can be!
I know that if anyone has a crazy hypothesis or perspective, Jen won't try to put that fire out. The crazier the task, the more energy she puts into it and that type of energy is infectious, but more importantly it’s what drives our engine at AUC.
Jen has been a game-changer for me. Her unique perspective and out-of-the-box thinking have been a breath of fresh air. She's pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace new possibilities. I've learned so much from her: from tackling challenges with a fresh mindset to embracing collaboration and new ways of presenting our work. She's made me a better professional, no doubt about it, but also a better person with her vulnerability and partnership.
How does Jen make AUC better?
Jen's business savvy, problem solving ability, and people skills make a huge, positive impact. She is constantly innovating around ways to look at the business, define new methodologies, and think outside the box.
Having a lot of tenure at AUC but not tethered by it. Willing to change, pivot and adjust to everyday challenges and doing so with an attitude and heart of "can do" vs "can't do."
Jen is continuously raising the bar on capabilities and skillsets we offer. We're constantly asking ourselves "what can we do better" and when we find a way, she empowers us to share and implement it.
Jen is a rockstar who’s sprinkled her magic over Advantage for 24 years! Her strategic vision and data-driven decision-making have propelled AUC to new heights. But here's the best part: she doesn't just care about numbers; she cares about people. Jen's empathy and genuine concern for others create a positive work culture where everyone thrives. She's a driving force behind our morale and camaraderie.
What’s your secret advantage at work?
Building a career while staying true to my life goals: (1) being a positive female role model in my sons’ lives, (2) making memories now because tomorrow isn't a given, and (3) creating a family environment that will make my boys want to come home and visit as adults.
What professional lesson or advice do you return to time and again?
I operate each day under the motto: “it’s about direction, not perfection.” It applies to how I approach data & analytics. It applies to how I constantly learn and grow, how I manage my team, and how I view overall business growth.
What do you love most about working in commerce?
I LOVE that every day is different. Each brand, retailer and situation is unique, creating new questions to answer, new opportunities to uncover, and new stories to tell. I LOVE the humanity of the data (thank you Kelly Ravestijn). We are all part of the data set and what we see and do contributes to the story the data will tell. I LOVE that I work with FMCG. As I tell my friends, toilet paper and pasta may not be sexy, but you can't live without them!
What about your life today would make your younger self proud?
That my older self has discovered personal and professional lives can work together and drive mutual success. I learned that professional goals don't have to just be about titles or salary, but instead can be much more holistic and personal. My younger self would be proud that I set my goals personally and let my professional self enable those goals.
Favorite thing to do when you’re not working
Watching my boys play hockey. I love watching them participate in something they are so passionate about. It's become a family affair as the whole family plays a role in the hockey community. I love the families we've grown close to. I have even grown nose blind to the smell of hockey equipment.