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Phoenix Business Journal’s Most Admired Leaders 2024: Renee Yeager, Yeager Marketing

PHX Business Journal

Renee Yeager

Title: CEO, Yeager Marketing

What does your company/organization do? Yeager Marketing works with industry-leading B2B technology companies to produce innovative marketing strategies, cutting-edge content, and award-winning campaigns that streamline customer acquisition and accelerate growth.

How long have you worked there and in the Phoenix area? I co-founded the agency in 2009 and have worked in Phoenix for the past 28 years.

What would others describe as your greatest strength as a leader? As a leader, I think it’s essential to set a good example, empower your team while providing guidance, and always have integrity. I’ve been told I’m a kind and supportive leader who provides opportunities for people to challenge themselves, grow as professionals, and advance in their careers.

What significant challenge have you faced in your career and how did you overcome it? All leaders deal with challenges, and I’ve had my share. The biggest challenge I’ve faced in recent years is likely a common one – the pandemic. From the stress and uncertainty in the early months to the long-lasting impact of a complete shift in how people and companies work, the fallout from the pandemic is still present. The upside, however, is that it forced us to rethink our culture at the agency and find common ground on policies that work for our employees and our business. We’ve also learned to be more proactive in making hard decisions; ultimately, our company is stronger.

What was your first leadership role, and what is a lasting lesson from that experience? Early in my career, I was given the opportunity to lead our company’s international expansion. I assumed a multifaceted role including operational oversight, international team management, and revenue generation. I learned how to navigate unfamiliar business landscapes, manage diverse teams across different cultures, and effectively balance operational demands with financial objectives. This was my first experience owning the overall performance of a business and I learned that in order to grow you have to push yourself, take risks, and get comfortable in being uncomfortable.

What has been your proudest accomplishment in your career, and why? I’m most proud of the longevity of our agency. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t make it to 5 years. This year, we’ll celebrate our 15th anniversary and have dramatically grown our team, capabilities, and services. Looking back, it’s amazing to me all that we’ve accomplished.

Work-life balance is important. How do you spend your time recharging? I’ve always been an avid reader, and reading continues to be my solace from days filled with meetings. My husband and I hike our beautiful Arizona trails often, and in recent years I’ve prioritized exercise and consider my workouts critical for my physical and mental health. Spending time with family and traveling, especially with our two sons, keeps my priorities clear.

What leadership advice would you share with emerging leaders? Being a young leader can be challenging. I’m grateful to know and work with the next generation of leaders and am inspired by their hustle, smarts, and tenacity. I encourage them to keep learning and to carve out time for reflection. Embracing our ability to think creatively and thoughtfully not only shapes who we are but also guides us to uncover our passions and professional paths.

What would your colleagues be shocked to know about you? Maybe not shocking, but I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a child. I’ve started numerous times, with multiple stories over the years, and haven’t quite nailed it, yet.

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