Meet Jennie, Our Newest Senior Account Exec
Jennie Varney has experienced sitting on both sides of the ad agency table: she’s worked for the client, and she’s been the client. Knowing the challenges of managing a brand in-house makes her an even better account executive, says the newest addition to Interrupt’s account services team. “I'm so incredibly grateful for those roles because of the better understanding I have of the client and their challenges,” Jennie said. “There is no better teacher than firsthand experience.”
After more than two decades leading client services for brands including General Motors, Bob Evans Foods, Priority Health, Neighborly and Marco’s Pizza, Jennie joins Interrupt as a senior account executive.
Here, we get to know more about what the Michigan native brings to the Interrupt team, her passion for hosting and the item she’s most looking forward to crossing off her bucket list post-pandemic.
What’s the secret sauce in your approach to managing brands?
Authenticity. It improves your relationships within the agency and with your clients. There’s so much value in transparency. Early in my career I didn’t realize that—I often felt I had to be somebody else to succeed. But I learned along the way that not only is it okay to be who you are, it’s better. I also just try to be a kind person. I know it sounds super cliché, but when I lay my head down on the pillow, I want to feel good about how I treated others. That’s just as important to me as getting the projects done and getting them done on time.
You’ve worked with brands from the automotive to the food industries. What excites you about diving into the building materials world?
I’ve always had a passion for architecture, interior design and decorating. This job brings all of that full circle because now I understand what makes a home functional, not just beautiful. It’s very cool to marry the passion for design with the performance of a home.
You’ve been a client yourself, working in-house for brands. What did it teach you?
I left agency life for three years to work in brand management. I’m so incredibly grateful I did that because I have a better understanding of the client side. I realize now why certain requests happen—in-house brand managers really have to be on their toes. When I was ready to return to the agency side, I was looking for the right fit, a place where clients are respected business partners. Interrupt is that place. The first time I walked in the door, I got a sense that this is a group of truly genuine, passionate, hardworking people, starting with the principal, Bill. I feel aligned with the vision here to go beyond the ordinary for clients and it’s great to have that sync up.
How do you spend your all-important free time?
My husband and I love to entertain. We love to be the house everyone hangs out at. We put together a killer charcuterie—we're all about the big cheese board and signature cocktails. Last summer was tough with the pandemic, so I’m looking forward to gathering again. We have six kids between us, so we joke that we’re the modern Brady Bunch. I really love spending time with my kids, they’re the best. (I’m their mom so I can say that.)
What’s on your bucket list that you haven’t gotten to experience yet?
My husband and I want to travel to Greece. Fingers crossed we can make it next summer!