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Meet Kelly Stark of Forward Vision Marketing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Stark.

Kelly, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I actually started as a chemical engineer at Texas Instruments in 1995 and was one of the few female semiconductor process engineers at Micron and Texas Instruments. I went to SMU Cox School of Business for my MBA and fell in love with marketing. I enjoy marketing technology products and services because I could utilize both sides of my brain to understand the science behind the technology and how it solves the customers’ problems as well as creatively on how to market the product.

My first marketing job was at Texas Instruments RFID Group and was part of a team to create an online sample store to make it easier for customers to purchase TI components and design it into their product. In the year 2000, I received a lot of negative feedback that no engineer was going to use their credit card number on the internet.. Well, we grew that little online e-store to several million dollars and revolutionized the way TI considered marketing.

I left TI in 2006 to take care of my newborn twins and that led to working for myself. I started marketing strategy consulting firm but then formed a team of graphic designers, PR, content writers, SEO, AdWords experts to for Forward Vision Marketing, LLC in 2012.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I didn’t set out to form my own business. After taking some time to take care of my twins, I interviewed at high technology corporations but struggled to find a job. I truly believe that employers were hesitant to hire me because I was a mom of young twins. I was able to connect with past colleagues and provide marketing consulting and organically began to grow my business.

I realized that I had stumbled upon a niche area by providing full service marketing to small to midsize technology that is underserved in marketing firms. I started to form a team of other professionals to help with web design, graphics, press relations, search engine optimization, social media, marketing and sales strategy and everyone on the team specializes in technology B2B marketing.

We also found ourselves serving a high percentage of foreign-based technology companies looking to market to the US. We have several clients from China, Japan and Germany that needed a US marketing presence and we have all the services to help them. We are also part of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce International Concierge Team to help foreign based businesses build in North Texas.

Please tell us about Forward Vision Marketing.
Forward Vision Marketing is a full-service marketing agency focused on supporting technology B2B businesses. We specialize in providing a full marketing strategy for our clients and then supporting them with the best marketing tactics to achieve their goal. We try to tell prospects that there’s no way that one person can be an expert on all the different marketing tactics needed to support a business. (See the Forward Vision Marketing Map).

Forward Vision Marketing has experts in each of those key areas to help support our clients and therefore we typically setup a monthly retainer where we customize each month the types of activities to reach their goals.

We are very proud that Fujitsu Network Communications recently selected us as their marketing communications agency… Fujitsu Network Communications wanted experienced marketing professionals that understood their business and could also support their marketing efforts in press relations, trade show support, crisis communications, social media, email marketing and more.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I grew up at the birth of encouraging STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers for females. I remember my seventh grade math teacher selecting me to attend a camp for engineering at the local university. I had no idea what engineers did since my dad was a music teacher and my mom was an art teacher. However, I was encouraged by so many great teachers that I could become an engineer and so set my mind to pursue chemical engineering and followed through.

Therefore, I want to give back to today’s youth and motivate other girls to believe in themselves. According to the “Annual Review of Sociology,” the conventional notions that men outperform women in science and math are imposed from very early on in education. For many young women, this results in issues like test anxiety or poor self-esteem in STEM-focused courses. I am part of the Tech Titans committee that connects young students in the North Texas school districts and STEM industry professionals by providing volunteers in schools on STEM subjects. This resource allows students to develop lasting relationships with professionals and local companies in the Metroplex as the demand for STEM jobs are expected to total 758,000 in Texas by 2018. I love that my passion to help girls explore technology careers collaborates with my technology marketing business.

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