Sue Reninger: Founder & Managing Partner, RMD Advertising

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Bio:

Since founding RMD Advertising in 1992, Sue has been responsible for the complete strategy and direction of RMD’s Columbus-based flagship office. Sue knows what it takes to successfully market and grow an emerging food business. As Managing Partner of RMD, she works with clients such as Rudolph Foods, Tandoor Chef, Bil-Jac Dog Food, Little Caesars Fundraising Pizza Kits, Graeter’s Ice Cream and NestFresh Eggs to develop new strategies for their businesses and distinctive brands. Her talent as a manager and leader has given rise to RMD’s employee focused culture, which has at its core a creative and engaging environment. Sue is the past President of the American Marketing Association, where during her tenure as President earned the prestigious honor of being named the International Chapter of the Year. She is a past Advisory Board member of the International AMA's Chapter Council, past member of the Board of Directors of Central Ohio’s Alzheimer’s Association, as well as past member of Communities In Schools and the Hunger Food Alliance. She has been honored with the prestigious NAWBO Visionary Award and Marketer of the Year from the American Marketing Association.

What do I do best?

I am best at discerning a way for food brands that are challenging the status quo in the grocery or restaurant categories to make strong connections with consumers faster and more indelibly than anyone else. This is paired with my dedication to helping consumers get closer to those brands – and brands closer to those consumers. At RMD, we execute these tactics seamlessly and never fail. We do so by leveraging the passion we have for telling a brand story and introducing it to consumers.

As marketers, we have the responsibility of shaping that story into something authentic that resonates with shoppers who are simply trying to find solutions for their lives. Whether they’re looking for ways to feed a picky eater, ways to bring both convenience and health to their busy lunchtime routines or ways to feed their family on a budget, each of the challenger food brands we work with rely on the messaging we share to position themselves in an accurate light.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Above all, I’m tenacious. RMD Advertising has also taken on this characteristic. We don’t fail, and we won’t quit. It’s this persistence that’s necessary in our industry, as well as one that’s necessary in the challenger food category. Paired with my drive to promote a nimble agency, grit and tenacity have helped me to achieve the success I have today. When I end the day and I feel like I’ve honestly made a difference and have helped someone.

What are my aspirations?

I envision RMD’s growth as one of double digits, in regards to both revenue and company size. We’re well on our way to becoming known as the agency for challenger food brands, which is a niche category that is served only by a select number of elite agencies. I want to be known as the go-to agency for challenger food brands, and I want RMD to be held has a no-nonsense agency that rolls up its sleeves and consistently wins with stellar results in the food space.

Personally, my aspirations are to strengthen my faith every day. I want to work to strengthen my body and mind every day. I want to cultivate stronger relationships with family and friends every day. Above all, I want to make a difference that I can be proud of at the end of the day.

My Biggest Success?

Aside from helping to shape my family and raise three healthy daughters, I’m proud to have been the co-founder of a 501c(3) charity, Wagons Ho Ho Ho.

Ten years ago, RMD Advertising dreamed big. As an agency, we took the first step in what would become the company’s largest charitable initiative. It all stemmed from a simple desire: to give our clients a holiday gift that would stand out from the typical corporate gift.

So, the agency took the money earmarked for client gifts and bought 25 red wagons, filled each with food and distributed them throughout the community to families in dire need.

Wagons Ho Ho Ho began with that simple mission in mind. But in true RMD ambition, we’ve grown since that first year. This year, we called on the Central Ohio community to help us build and distribute 1,250 wagons, all assembled in one day. Once again, we filled each one with enough food to feed a family of four Christmas dinner, and over 600 volunteers were responsible for helping make that happen.

My Most Challenging Moment?

One of the most challenging moments I’ve had to face in my lifetime is making the difficult decision to say goodbye to my child. She was stubbornly tied to the thought that she could live on her own and without her family while still not emotionally nor financially ready to do so, due to some emotional and physical challenges that occurred in her first, formative years before having been adopted.

After she had spent a year of struggle away from her family and had put herself in a series of dangerous situations, I eventually made the decision to visit her in the effort to make sure she was healthy and in a safe situation, then kissed her goodbye once again.

My Motto?

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Throughout my career, I’ve learned from so many great leaders, including but not limited to my dad, Zig Ziglar, David Ogilvy and Mother Theresa. Each of these role models has contributed to my perspective on hard work and motivation, strong and effective leadership, as well as gentle kindness in the midst of all types of situations.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

My favorite places in the world include my lake house, Prague, Russia and my home in Columbus. Each has special memories attached to it that have helped to shape my view of not only the world, but also my place and experience in it. I believe the most special places on this earth help to incite a deep appreciation for where you are in the moment and cultivate a greater feeling of love.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I’m a die-hard fan of Jergens All-Purpose Face Cream (which my daughters and I jokingly refer to as “Three Ladies” Cold Cream). I’m a huge fan of specific food brands, such as Jiff Peanut Butter and Goldfish. While all of the brands we work with are marvelous (otherwise we won’t work with them), Tandoor Chef, Bil-Jac Dog Food, Southern Recipe Pork Rinds and Keystone Meats stand out.

My Current Passions?

My current passions include running, drop-to-the-floor-hard workouts and my dogs – I have three, all with distinct personalities. They include a Rottweiler, a Border Collie and a Great Pyrenees, Jelly, who you can follow on Instagram at @jelly_the_sweet.

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