It’s time once again for my annual Short List of Rising Email Stars.  In previous years client side email marketers have been acknowledged in even numbered years and the vendor side in odd.  As always the line between rising stars and veterans is seven years.  This year’s list is different with both client and vendor side email marketers together. 

And so, without further gilding the lily,

And with no more ado,

I give to you my 2014 list of rising email stars….

Jay Jhun, Vice President of Strategic Services at BrightWave Marketing; 6.5 years – I think that Jay has been waiting for this for a couple of years.  Hey!  I’m not easy!  I met Jay on the Twitter before meeting him IRL.  He looks just like his photo only taller and three-dimensional.  And speaking of dimension, Jay’s experience in the email industry is full of it!  Grounded on the agency side of email, Jay has had the opportunity to work with a variety of name-brand companies allowing him to experience email across multiple verticals.  Jay doesn’t just share his knowledge and experience of email with clients, if you’re lucky you can hear him speak at regional and national email industry events, too!

Ashley Deas, Digital Marketing Manager at BlueHornet; 3.5 years – Ashley is another that I first met on the Twitter, even though I’m no stranger to the folks at BlueHornet.  Not only is she one of the sharpest dresser’s you’ll every meet, she’s incredibly sharp when it comes to email and the email industry – and not just email, but since this is about email marketers I won’t go there….  But don’t let her pretty face fool you, Ashley can design with one hand and write HTML with the other all while pivoting reporting tables with her toes.  Yes; she’s that good!  Package all of that experience and more, let her loose at a leading ESP and watch out!

Matt Byrd, Senior Email Marketing Manager at Litmus; 3 years – I don’t care much for snow or high altitudes, so don’t be surprised if you never see me at EIS in Park City; but I’ve got friends that go.  And after – no, during – last year’s EIS I start getting DMs and texts and emails all saying, “OMG, OMG, OMG, you’ve got to see Matt Byrd! This guy’s a great speaker that really knows his email!”  Since it takes a lot to make these manly-men friends squeal like little girls I knew that they must be on to something.  Looking a little deeper I couldn’t help but see the incredible advancements in email Matt had made while he was at Wedding Wire, which reminded me a little of me, so here we are….

Jill Chernin, Senior Manager, Retention Marketing at; 5.5 years – I met Jill this year at the Email Evolution Conference in Miami.  After about two minutes we were talking the geeky side of email; I mean the real geeky technical side of email; deep integrations and all that goes with it.  The next day we both had our laptops out playing with some real-time integration web services APIs.  But it doesn’t stop there; Jill isn’t just a techno-geek, she’s also got a head for analysis and how to package it all into timely content that drives results.  Jill can go as far as she wants in email as a programmer, an analyst, a content developer, or as a Director of all three.  Keep your eyes on this one!

Andrew Harner, Email Production Manager at Alibris; 3.5 years – Andrew is another email uber-geek that I got to know, this time at Marketing Sherpa’s Email Summit in Las Vegas.  I know, I know; what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but we’re talking email here, so it’s cool.  From his mad coding skills to his ability to juggle multiple platforms and priorities, Andrew seems to truly relish all things email and digital marketing.  He can edit copy; he can edit graphics; he can edit code – and probably all in his sleep – making him an incredible asset to his company and to the email industry as a whole.  It’s great to see talented people like Andrew as a part of the email industry.

Kelly Haggard, Email Programs Manager at Experian Consumer Direct; 4.7 years – I’ve known Kelly for probably half the time that she’s been focused on email marketing.  Even though we both live in the OC, and even though she works at my alma mater, and even though I’ve seen her at regional Silverpop events, or annually at Marketing Sherpa’s Email Summit, or at the Experian Christmas – I mean “holiday” – party, she’s just now making it on my annual Short List of Rising Email Stars.  Like I said before, I’m not easy!  Having years ago worked at the same company myself, as a one-man department and later as a consultant, I know that anyone in email at ECD has been tempered by fire and has earned their place on this list.