Meet Olive & Company Director of Accounts, Jackie Nelsen

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When Jackie Nelsen walked through our doors for the first time, we quickly knew we were gaining an Olive who would bring the perfect level of experience and expertise to further enhance our accomplished accounts team. All the way from California, she brought unmatched fervor and a fresh perspective on how we could best serve our clients.

Since settling into her director of accounts role, Jackie has worked diligently to ensure open, constructive communication between each of our esteemed clients and the Olive team. An advocate for clients and a leader within our team, Jackie continues to bring new value each day. We took a few moments to catch up with Jackie and get her take on her director of accounts role, Olive’s unique culture, and favorite client moments.


What did you do prior to your time at Olive & Company?

Most recently, I was the marketing and operations manager for the Alive & Social Network, a Twin Cities podcast network. I was responsible for management of the office, all employees, the production of each show, social media marketing and promotion, and planning our monthly Southside Studio live music events, featuring regional artists.

Can you explain your director of accounts role at Olive and how it fits within the agency structure?

My role is to lead and grow Olive & Company’s relationship with each client. I am accountable for all aspects of the business relationship, including financial management, the quality of the agency’s ongoing and final deliverables, and execution of strategy. I also work on internal Olive development, including growing new business, fostering a performance-based culture, and leading the team.

What are the top traits a director of accounts needs to succeed and why?

To be successful as a director of accounts, you have to be knowledgeable about each client’s business so you can align with the client as a true marketing partner. Their success is our success. You also have to be comfortable presenting strong points of view and know when to push the boundaries on both sides of the table to get the best work and produce optimal results.

Do you have any advice for account managers looking to reach the director role?

My best advice is to be diligent in polishing your account management skills and look for opportunities to stretch yourself. Whether it’s taking on a project that involves a skill you haven’t done before or working on an industry that you don’t have any previous experience with or participating in new business. Also, don’t be afraid to ask someone to be your mentor. Mentors can be valuable in helping you see where your strengths are and also where there is room for growth in a safe environment. Find someone you respect and who is well respected and make sure to pay it forward when you’re in the same position!

How would you describe the Olive culture to someone unfamiliar with our agency?

A collaborative environment where the word teamwork truly comes to life. I’ve been fortunate to work with some really amazing people and, honestly, Olive is no different, other than the way everyone works together. It’s seamless. This shows in the work and how strongly we are recommended by past clients. We have lunch together every Tuesday and there’s always music playing in the background. We work hard, but we also enjoy each other and have a lot of fun.

Do you have any favorite client moments you’d like to share?

I was part of the pitch team at Campbell Mithun (now McCann) when we won the Minnesota Anti-Tobacco business for the State of Minnesota. It was amazing to work on the pitch and be the key account manager who worked with the client and internal teams to bring this to life. It was very successful and was for a great cause.

eHarmony is a brand near and dear to my heart. It was a relatively unknown brand when we started working on the business and it soared to the #2 spot behind Match.com with amazing unaided brand recall. We also continued to be the #1 most trusted brand for as long as we had the business.

What’s the most fun or most useful item in your office?

My favorite thing in my office is a photo of our daughter, Sophie. It’s a simple black and white picture of her looking up at the sky with innocence and wonder. It keeps me grounded and helps me maintain perspective.

What is your favorite weekend pastime?

Road trips and camping.

You used to reside in California. Name one thing you miss about California and one thing you love about Minnesota.

I miss the ocean and camping in Yosemite (It’s a big state and I miss two things!). I love having seasons again in Minnesota and it’s wonderful to live near family again (I can’t name just one!).