Jennifer Sievertsen, Lampo Group Chief Marketing Officer
By BROOKE WANSER
In 2009, Jennifer Sievertsen moved to Middle Tennessee to take on the chief marketing role for nationally known finance guru Dave Ramsey.
Sievertsen is the chief marketing officer for the Lampo Group, the parent organization of financial coaching company Ramsey Solutions.
Named to the Nashville Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list in 2011, Sievertsen sits on the 14-member operating board of Ramsey Solutions, helping to guide the organization.
When Sievertsen started, she recalls Ramsey Solutions employed around 250 people. Now, with nearly 700 team members spread out across five locations in the Cool Springs area, the company is preparing to transition to their new Berry Farms headquarters, on track to be completed and ready for move in by August of 2019.
After growing up in South Carolina, Sievertsen received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and her master’s in marketing and strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Franklin Home Page: How did you begin with Ramsey Solutions?
Jennifer Sievertsen: I’ve been here nine years this summer. I came from working with La-Z Boy Inc., beginning in 2002. Prior to that, I had a brief stint at Newell Rubbermaid and spent a number of years with Motorola.
I relocated here for the role, I was a longtime fan of what the organization does and was looking to make a change at that point in my career. It allowed me to do all the things I love about marketing, without the extensive travel.
FHP: What is your job like, and what is your favorite part?
JS: What we do as a team changes people’s lives, and we get to hear those stories. I believe I work with some of the absolute smartest people in their field, yet we have a ton of fun doing it. It’s a great mix of inspirational work and great people to work with.
The Lampo Group is the parent company of Ramsey Solutions, so our operating board is made up of leaders from within the business. We opted for that model so that we could really scale as the business was scaling, both leadership and how we went about making decisions. It’s different than a traditional board of directors because we all work within the business. We meet weekly; as a board, we really focus on the big picture and the strategic side of what it does, and we have committees that handle the day to day tactics. We formed the board in 2012 as part of a restructuring.
We paused at the end of 2011 and 2012 and looked at where we saw the company going and created our operating board in order to grow in scale in the way that we wanted to. It was unlike a reorganization you might have at some other companies. It wasn’t because there was something massively broken, but instead because we were growing so rapidly we needed to take a new look at how we had the company structured. That was really the motivation.
FHP: What is Dave like?
JS: He’s great! When you experience this kind of growth as a business, you can’t scale quickly unless you have someone as a leader who is willing to delegate and be forward looking, and he does those things. I love the way that he sets the pace for the organization and as it relates to change. He’s a big supporter of all of his leaders and growing them as leaders, as well as growing others in the organization. We fill a lot of positions internally, which is great.
FHP: What are your lessons to women or girls in the community who want to be in positions of leadership?
JS: Be excellent in your current role. Do it with excellence, be the problem solver, be the idea generator. Once you’re doing that really well, look for opportunities to branch outside of your day-to-day role. When I see folks that are doing that, that’s really natural for them to grow into leadership roles. Do the basics really well, be that ideal team player in how you’re approaching everything.
FHP: What are you excited for in the new space?
JS: We’re such a highly collaborative company that it’s going to be fun to have everybody back together in one building.
(She noted the food service that will be available in the new space, and the camaraderie a communal lunchroom will foster.)
FHP: What motivates you?
JS: I love doing work that’s impacting people’s lives. I truly enjoy the fact that even when things are difficult; I have a cause that’s bigger than any of the road blocks that I might encounter on a day to day basis.
FHP: Are there any aspects of the local business community that inspires you?
JS: I hear so many great things about Mars [Petcare]. About how they have transitioned their company generationally and how well they take care of their team. I love that you’ve got Nissan’s headquarters here. The diversity of business that’s in the Nashville area, everything from the healthcare, both well-established companies and startups, is awesome. Diversity is the thing that excites me the most.
FHP: What do you like about living here?
JS: I love the weather! We have three children who have all played soccer, and who love our community and love our neighborhood. We’re super involved as a family.
Sievertsen’s favorite places around town:
Restaurant: Red Pony in downtown Franklin. I have always had great meals and great service there.
Caterer: Brown Bag Lunches in Cool Springs. They do a great job with service. They super-serve us!
Salon: Parlour 3 in Brentwood. They have a salon and a clothing boutique.
Park: I love Crockett Park. I find myself there frequently for sports, but it’s just a great all-around park with free summer concert series and a great bike path.
*This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.