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Woman of Excellence: Deanna Behrens

18 Nov 2021

This month, Deanna Behrens, Senior Manager, Customer Development, was named a winner in the Community Impact category of the Path to Purchase Institute’s 6th annual Women of Excellence competition. The following is a profile of the qualities and characteristics that earned her the award.

Deanna Behrens personifies The Mars Agency’s mission to make a positive impact across the “Triple Bottom Line,” which consists of our clients, our agency, and our communities.

In the short time since joining the agency in April 2019, she has made a significant impact on her clients, driven business growth for the agency, and brought her passion for service to increasingly important roles in our charitable activity — first by taking leadership of the “Start Small” committee in our Cincinnati office, and then by moving into a leadership position for the program at the corporate level.

Start Small is The Mars Agency’s community volunteer initiative, which focuses on giving back to the communities in which we live through small acts of kindness. The goal is 100% employee participation in at least one of the program’s three pillars:

  • Quarterly events hosted by local offices (team volunteer events or donation drives).
  • Martian Missions, in which employees apply for up to 160 hours of time to support a
    cause of their choice.
  • Individual Personal Volunteer Days.

During her time as Cincinnati’s Start Small leader, Behrens put the office on the map as a “best in class” example of how to give back to the community. She organized monthly give-back opportunities with organizations such as Mathew Ministries, Crayons to Computers, The Cincinnati Zoo, The DragonFly Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and many other local nonprofits. Her efforts in leading and organizing these events have benefitted hundreds of Cincinnati community members. The give-back planning model that she created in Cincinnati is now being used across all of the agency’s offices.

After serving as the Cincinnati leader for 1.5 years, Behrens was asked to take a seat on the companywide Start Small Executive Committee. In this role, she helps coordinate and plan initiatives across the entire company (15 offices and 550-plus people), working tirelessly to ensure that all office-level leads are equipped with the knowledge they need to be successful.

“Deanna is a selfless member of any community in which she participates and has a long history of giving back to others,” said Brian Higdon, SVP-Customer Development at The Mars Agency, who nominated her for the award. “She continuously looks for ways to make an impact on the community around her.”

In addition to her activity at The Mars Agency, Behrens is an active volunteer at the Cincinnati Zoo and Ohio Alleycat Resources Clinic, has volunteered at Big Brothers & Big Sisters and the St. Rita School for the Deaf, and serves as a mentor at Xavier University.

“Deanna is an extremely intelligent, hardworking, and empathetic person who always goes out of her way to lend a hand,” said Molly Alderson, Manager of Customer Development at The Mars Agency, who also nominated Behrens. “She lives out our agency’s core values and inspires others to do the same.”

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