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Strong Leaders Elevated in Key Retail Markets

2 Mar 2022

To strengthen its industry-leading retail expertise, The Mars Agency has made a series of promotions that elevate several exceptional leaders and build new resources and capabilities.

Leading the charge is Kandi Arrington, recently promoted to Group SVP for The Mars Agency customer hubs. In this role, she will continue to accelerate the agency’s vision for Connected Commerce, building growth-driving collaborations between brands and retailers. In her five years as General Manager of the agency’s office in Bentonville, Arkansas,

Arrington has served as a thought leader in the marketplace, helping clients develop winning strategies with Walmart and Sam’s Club. She brings a total of 20 years of industry experience, including direct work with retailers and a wide range of Fortune 500 brands in the CPG and tech spaces.

Arrington is admired for her ability to build meaningful connections between manufacturers and retailers while delivering unique marketing programs that satisfy the needs of shoppers. Her ability to facilitate these successful partnerships earned Arrington the “Women of Excellence” award for Relationship Building from the Path to Purchase Institute in 2020.

“My favorite thing about this role is the ability to drive more collaboration. My goal is to empower our team to lean on our Marilyn technology for the facts so that we have more time for building those important connections and business partnerships,” said Arrington.

“The work is always better when Kandi is in the room,” said Fern Grant, who heads up The Mars Agency’s Commerce Practice as EVP. “She’s a growth-minded business partner who excels at delivering connected commerce: strategic brand-building, 360-degree marketing ideas and plans across entire retailer ecosystems. I’m excited that she’s now leading all of our Customer Team activity.”

In addition to Arrington’s promotion, The Mars Agency has also enhanced its Customer Team with new capabilities and new leadership. Based upon significant business growth over the past 18 months, the agency has doubled the size of its regional grocery team and created a 13-person small-format team that covers drug, value, and convenience. This ensures the agency can deliver at every customer that matters to its clients.

To strengthen these fully integrated customer hubs, the agency is also embedding media and e-commerce specialists against each key retailer. This positions Mars to successfully plan and execute best-in-class connected experiences. To guide the integrated teams, The Mars Agency has grown its executive ranks, promoting Target team lead Meghan Heltne to Senior Vice President in Minneapolis (below, left), Victoria Van Dusen to Senior Vice President on the Walmart team in Bentonville (center), and Brian Higdon to Senior Vice President leading the agency’s growth in grocery out of Cincinnati (right).

“I’m proud we have such strong leaders and teams positioned in key retailer markets,” says Rob Rivenburgh, Global CEO at The Mars Agency. “These changes will help our clients find clarity in commerce across all classes of trade and all engagement channels.”


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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