Senior Vice President, Promotions Marketing • Nickelodeon • New York , N.Y.
Brenda Freeman has earned the praise of two very hard-to-impress critics, her children, Blair, 10, and Troy, 7. “They think my job is really cool,” she says. “They inspire me to strive to be a better person.”
As the senior vice president of promotions marketing at Nick-elodeon, a subsidiary of MTV Networks, Freeman oversees the development of promotional opportunities for all Nickelodeon-branded assets, including the company’s movies, magazines, hotel, three cable networks and promotional licensed products for programs such as SpongeBob Squarepants and Blue’s Clues. When the company acquires new lines, Freeman’s job is to create promotional packages that highlight those lines, using the leveraging power of the Nickelodeon name.
It’s challenging work, but clearly she gets by. “My parents instilled in me and my siblings that there are no limits to what we could achieve with a good education, hard work and supportive relationships,” she says.
Freeman received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park and began her career as a thermal design engineer. She returned to the University of Maryland to obtain an M.B.A in finance and marketing and went on to hold marketing positions at Mobil Oil Corp. and Pepsico Inc. She later joined ABC Radio Networks as executive director of marketing for the company’s urban category. In 2002, she joined MTV Networks, initially serving as vice president of marketing before transitioning into her current position.
Nickelodeon is a youth-driven company and Freeman has adopted the philosophy of working hard and playing hard. Indeed, she is proud of her ability to balance her personal and professional lives, an ability she attributes to “being organized, focused, delegating a lot and not worrying about the little stuff.”
She advises young professionals to be comfortable with their own style and abilities. “Don’t be afraid to play up your strengths,” she says. “That’s how you get ahead.”