A Grounded View from the Top

Beth-Ann (Malinowski) Eason ’89 learned early in her career that success comes from believing in and pursuing great ideas. She maintained that philosophy from her entry job as an events planner at the Manhattan Yacht Club to her recruitment as the first global president at Innovid, a data-driven video marketing company with offices on three continents.

After earning a Lehigh degree in marketing with a minor in speech and social relations, Eason got her professional feet wet in magazine print advertising. Through positions at companies that included Yahoo! and Martha Stewart, she honed her skills recognizing and launching revenue-enhancing initiatives and turn-around strategies for top-market brands. During her journey, she saw technology in the media industry explode.

“Marketing and advertising, which used to be art, is really turning into a science,” she said. “Media, which used to be sold between two people, is being streamlined and enhanced by technology. Data is being used to personalize video messages—for example, to those who have a cat in a house instead of a dog.”  

Eason, whose prior position was senior vice president, head of digital development, of the international media company Condé Nast, said cross-pollinating different skills is critical in today’s workforce. She is a huge proponent of interdisciplinary learning and said it is “my favorite thing about the direction of Lehigh and its academics.” Supporting that conviction, she spoke about different aspects of data and the media at Lehigh’s Data X Symposium in 2016.

“The idea that you can bring an engineering student into a liberal arts or business college gives that person a much different skill set and grasp of understanding of how to be successful in an increasingly complex work environment,” she said.

While at Condé Nast, Eason hosted Lehigh marketing students, and she and other executives discussed different roles that exist within media companies.

“Helping them understand what you might do in a media organization was our primary objective, for example … editorial, advertising and marketing to both consumers and advertisers. We walked them through the many paths they could take,” she explained.

As a woman who has broken the corporate glass ceiling, Eason offers this advice on landing the next job: be excellent at follow-up, clear with what you want and realize early that your work does not speak for itself, you do.  When interviewing, she said, be ready to have at least two stories that discuss your strengths. She recommended using the C.A.R. approach: Provide a challenge faced, the action taken, and the result that came from it.

“It is really valuable to share results,” she said. “It shows you can deliver in a real-life situation.”

Eason, who as an undergraduate at Lehigh was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and the marketing honor society Lambda Mu Sigma, said that because of Lehigh’s rigorous academics, its graduates have a very strong work ethic and are well-prepared and trained in their area of expertise.

Recruited for the majority of positions she accepted during her career, the rising professional was asked in 2008 to be a co-founder of W.O.M.E.N. in America, a mentoring group of executive female leaders. Eason, vice president of the executive board, said the group’s focus is to educate and create a network for high-achieving young women to develop and advance their careers. The group has expanded to more than 150 members with a new class of mentees accepted every two years into an 18-month professional development program.

Eason has been recognized by her peers with several top professional accolades, including being inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement, an honor awarded to only seven professionals per year under age 40.

“Being recognized by them was so meaningful. It was a real honor,” she said. “I cried.”

Story by Dawn Thren