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Four Leaders Recognized for ‘Excellence’

11 Nov 2021

Four leaders from The Mars Agency were recognized for their outstanding achievements by the Path to Purchase Institute’s Women of Excellence Awards. The awards celebrate our industry’s most talented female marketers, retailers, agency executives and solution-providers.

This year, there were 37 winners out of more than 200 nominations, with The Mars Agency capturing the most awards of any individual company.

Kelly Kachnowski, vice president of commercial development, was recognized with the Technology award; Meghan Heltne, vice president of customer development, with Business Excellence; Deanna Behrens, senior manager of customer development, with the Community Impact award; and Jen Senerius, senior director of client leadership, with Mentorship.

The Mars Agency has long fostered a culture of outstanding women in leadership. After all, the company was founded by the late Marilyn Barnett, who embodied the characteristics of a transformative female leader. Today, 68% of the agency’s employees are female, and the company continues to invest resources in developing future generations of female leaders.

“Our WE Lead initiative was established to provide all Mars employees with a foundation of understanding and respect for women in leadership,” said Jody Boorstein, CFO at The Mars Agency and co-chair of WE Lead, which includes a mentor program and multiple ways employees in the organization can share support, resources and advice. “The goal is to build a culture that empowers employees to address the distinctive communication and decision-making styles of women and provide a career-development program that prepares Mars employees for advancement at all levels, aligning with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.”

“Our mission has always been growth: growth for our clients, growth for our people and growth for our communities,” said The Mars Agency CEO Rob Rivenburgh. “These exemplary women represent every facet of that, and I’m proud that they’ve chosen Mars to build their careers.”

The winners will be honored at a virtual awards ceremony on Dec. 2, 2021, and will include impactful conversations on critical industry issues and capture how the award winners met challenges and demonstrated success.

“The Path to Purchase Institute is extremely proud to celebrate the 2021 class of Women of Excellence,” said Patrycja Malinowska, P2PI’s Director of Member Content. “We are incredibly inspired by the achievements of these talented women, who are not only accomplished leaders in their fields but also passionate supporters of the advancement of women in the workplace.”

This year’s judging panel consisted of eight WEX winners from the last two years, including The Mars Agency’s own Kandi Arrington, SVP-Customer Development, a 2020 winner in the “Relationship Builder” category.

“Insights from the Women of Excellence” will be published as a multimedia experience on in December as well as in the December print issue of Path to Purchase IQ magazine. You can also read more about our winners on

The Mars Agency congratulates all nominees and winners.


The Mars Agency is an award-winning, independently owned global commerce marketing practice with a growth-for-clients focus. With talent spanning the Americas, Europe and Asia, they create breakthrough, connected commerce solutions by balancing the smartest humanity with the latest technology. Their latest MarTech platform, Marilyn®, is the first and only end-to-end commerce marketing advisor.

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