A high-energy, results-oriented marketing leader, Melissa Puls is the Chief Marketing Officer at Progress, and the third woman
in our series highlighting the Women of Progress. Melissa has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing and business development in the high-technology industry. She carries a pedigree of developing successful marketing programs that deliver bottom line results for companies such as Iron Mountain and Infor.
Why is Melissa so successful? That’s an easy question to answer—marketing is in her blood. Her mother was one of the first female
Progress Chief Marketing Officer, Melissa Puls
VPs of Marketing at a software company, dating back some 25 years—a true trailblazer in her own right. Melissa took much of what she learned from her mother and lives by her example today, especially her family-first attitude.
For example, Melissa recognized early in her career the importance of doing what’s best, personally and professionally. This included taking a big risk by stepping down from a high-demand job to move closer to the ocean, where she wanted to raise her children and fulfill her love of surfing.
Melissa encourages the idea of personal/professional “blending.” The understanding that the two halves of someone’s life are not completely separate unto themselves, but rather, people need flexibility to be productive by whatever means works for them. It’s no longer about work/life balance, but work/life blending.
For her, that means attending her son’s basketball games or her daughter’s gymnastics meets, while at the same time, knowing that after the kids go to bed, she needs to take a few hours to ensure her team’s deliverables are on track. It’s a fine line that many of us struggle with each and every day.
Living by this mantra brought Melissa to Progress, and in less than a year, she’s already made her presence known. Melissa has spearheaded the realignment of the marketing organization with the appointments of Tom Berger, Vice President, Digital Marketing; KC Lincoln, Vice President, Demand Generation and Anil Prasad, Vice President, Corporate Communications, adding to her strong team of Progress leaders.
Melissa wanted to ensure that her team feels empowered at every level. She has a team of experts in their fields and understands that the best leaders know when to let their teams run independently while still keeping them accountable. In addition to strategic hires, Melissa has also brought to bear a series of marketing-related projects around branding, demand creation and digital marketing that has already made an impact across the organization and within the markets Progress serves.
The newly-formed marketing team, under her tutelage, is that of a goals driven, process oriented organization with a passion for the Progress business that carries across everything they do. In her short tenure, Melissa has pushed the envelope to drive the right kind of visibility for Progress and has challenged everyone she works with to “think bigger, be more and do more.”
Melissa carries with her an exuberance and zeal that is nothing short of contagious. That is why today we want to recognize her as a Woman of Progress and acknowledge her contributions as a fearless, passionate leader.
Erica McShane has more than 20 years of experience in high-tech public relations and corporate communications. With a focus on building awareness across the media, analyst and influencer communities, she has worked with all kinds of businesses—from startup to global tech giants—to build visibility, credibility and market awareness within the business, trade and online media. At Progress, Erica and her team are responsible for the company's global PR efforts, analyst relations, social media, content, customer programs as well as internal communications and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
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