Carrie Leach-Zelnis

Marketing wasn’t actually my first love. My childhood until college was all about music. I wrote my first song in the bathtub at 2 years old passionately entitled, “Bubbles!” I began writing more serious tunes as a young teenager and even had a few of my original songs played on local radio stations. In my later years in high school I was one of ten students accepted into the vocal music vocational program at Fort Hayes in Columbus, and in 1999 I was accepted into the conservatory of music at Bowling Green State University where I was sure I would pursue my only true passion. Music was all I could imagine doing at that time in my life, that is until my second year in college.

After a year of collegial music school, in an attempt to take advantage of all the university had to offer, I dedicated a semester to explore disciplines outside of music. It was then I discovered my ability to communicate in a visual form of art thanks to a professor who declared my work “exceptional.” I had always enjoyed art, and found pursuing graphic design would allow me to learn the skills required to create my own professional CD inserts (back when people still purchased albums) and so I dove into coursework in typography and composition. It was during this time that I fell in love with the second passion of my life on which I would base my career, visual communications, design and marketing.

Graduating with a bachelor’s of fine arts in 2003, I did what I had promised myself I would do since I was a teenager and moved across the country to Los Angeles, California. With nothing but a dream of becoming a designer/musician and my worldly goods packed in my hatchback Toyota Celica, I headed west and five days in I landed a job working in television production. 13 hour days to sleep in California defined the beginning of my career journey, but a fruitful daily 13 hours they were. Eventually, I became more dedicated to my job than elevating my music career, so I moved back to Ohio where I began pursuing marketing so that I could use my design and newly acquired video production skills and live close to family.

Over the next 15 years, I worked in an array of positions that continued to ignite the fire within while developing my professional skills in design, project management, event planning, PR, video production, brand strategy, creative direction, and account management, and loved every minute. Once certain that marketing was my desired path, I decided to go back to school to learn everything about the craft and earned my Master of Science degree in Marketing & Communications in 2008, while also working full-time, and traveling for my job. It was no easy feat, but worth every moment.

Post grad school, I earned a position as Director of Marketing for a non-profit where I got to flex my design and strategic muscles, building a brand from the ground-up. I then spent several years at a marketing agency where I was immersed in all things marketing and got to sink my teeth into research and a new appreciation for strategy. Now, I am a consultant working for agencies in multiple capacities and for individual clients, and offer a vast array of services and skills that I’ve acquired along the way.

Every work experience I have had has culminated to create a background of skillful diversity, this coupled with my intense energy, focus and zeal has earned me the title of “Rockstar” several times throughout my career. Given my musical background, this artful play on words seemed to fit my personal brand harmoniously, and so NeedARockstar was born.