It’s no secret that The Richmond MBA program attracts some of the best and brightest students from industries of finance, engineering, manufacturing and marketing.  
Kimberly Kortash GB’07 is certainly one of those bright graduates whose career has been marked by personal dedication and a serious passion for marketing.  In fact, it’s hard for her to pinpoint a time in her life when she wasn’t captivated by marketing.
“I’ve paid attention to commercials ever since I was a child,” she recalled.  
“I’m enamored with every aspect of marketing,” she said.  “I wake up every day with ideas of how to position something, plan it logistically, promote it through visuals, craft the storyline, you name it.”
Budding Career
The start of Kortash’s marketing career began during the summer before her senior year in high school when she interned with Creative Concepts of WNY, Ltd.
“Being around the energy in that firm stung me like a bee, and I knew I had to be around it,” she said.  “During my senior year of high school, I would work holidays and take advantage of any opportunity I had to learn more about that agency. I even worked for free, just so I could be a part of that environment.”
Even entering college at the State University of New York College at Buffalo didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream career; in fact, she worked full-time as a production assistant at the same firm while balancing a full load of classes.  
“I became the right hand to the vice president of the video and multimedia group, and I was able to work in every single department because it was a small agency,” she said.  As production assistant, Kortash had the opportunity to work directly with clients, do script writing, video editing, graphic design and really experience the agency from many different perspectives.
Breaking into Business
Kortash, who holds a bachelor’s of arts in broadcast communications, has spent the past 15 years of her career in many industries including manufacturing, civil engineering, healthcare, loyalty and rewards, and energy.  Six years after completing her undergraduate coursework, the self-professed ‘Type A’ marketing professional decided to dive into another challenge and was accepted into the MBA program at the University of Buffalo.
While a graduate marketing or advertising program might have seemed like a more logical fit for Kortash, she believed that a business background would diversify her resume and allow her to take her career to the next level.
“I’m a right-brained individual by nature.  Thinking creatively and pairing words and visuals together to frame a story comes easy to me,” she said. “Finance and numbers never came easily to me, and I knew that in order to be the successful marketer at the level I strived to be, I would have to better understand profit & loss statements, budgeting, pricing models, sales cycles, strategic business decisions, and so on.”
In 2004, Kortash moved to Richmond and took on the role of marketing specialist at Timmons Group, where she implemented marketing strategies for the company’s sales and communications initiatives and developed strategy for the company’s public relations and client engagement.  At the time, she had just started her MBA program at Buffalo and wanted to continue her studies in Virginia.
“For my track and where I was in my career, nine out of 10 people I asked said The Richmond MBA was the school to go to,” she said.  “I visited campus and decided I was going to see if I could get into the school.”
Kortash cites a rarely mentioned benefit when reflecting on her time the MBA program.  “The Richmond MBA fine-tuned my ability to remove or reduce emotion from a situation, and look at situations from a business perspective alone,” she said.  “It’s a skill that everyone should have in business, and unfortunately very few have it.”
Leap of Faith
After a decade and a half of establishing herself as a respected marketing professional, Kortash is embarking upon the next chapter in her career.   Next month, Kortash will be leaving her position as director of marketing communications at  a well-known software company in Washington, DC, to start her own marketing firm.  
Kortash credits The Richmond MBA program for allowing her to tap into her entrepreneurial side, and she believes she is finally ready to branch out on her own.  
Her marketing approach hinges on the simplicity of a message that is being communicated to a target audience.  “So many companies get caught up in doing presentations and trying to communicate to people through words on screen or too many words in general,” she said.  “I love simple design. I think it is the most impactful.”
Kortash’s firm will be centered on simplifying marketing messages and helping clients assert their main objective for marketing themselves, be it revenue, establishing a new market position, and so on.
On the horizon of her new business enterprise, Kortash is optimistic and hopeful about her future as a marketer.  
“I’ve done pretty much everything in my career, but I still feel like I have so much more to learn,” she said.  “It will be interesting to see me at 40 and what I’ve been able to accomplish between now and  then.”

It’s no secret that The Richmond MBA program attracts some of the best and brightest students from industries of finance, engineering, manufacturing and marketing.  

Kimberly Kortash GB’07 is certainly one of those bright graduates whose career has been marked by personal dedication and a serious passion for marketing.  In fact, it’s hard for her to pinpoint a time in her life when she wasn’t captivated by marketing.

“I’ve paid attention to commercials ever since I was a child,” she recalled.  

“I’m enamored with every aspect of marketing,” she said.  “I wake up every day with ideas of how to position something, plan it logistically, promote it through visuals, craft the storyline, you name it.”

Budding Career

The start of Kortash’s marketing career began during the summer before her senior year in high school when she interned with Creative Concepts of WNY, Ltd.

“Being around the energy in that firm stung me like a bee, and I knew I had to be around it,” she said.  “During my senior year of high school, I would work holidays and take advantage of any opportunity I had to learn more about that agency. I even worked for free, just so I could be a part of that environment.”

Even entering college at the State University of New York College at Buffalo didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream career; in fact, she worked full-time as a production assistant at the same firm while balancing a full load of classes.  

“I became the right hand to the vice president of the video and multimedia group, and I was able to work in every single department because it was a small agency,” she said.  As production assistant, Kortash had the opportunity to work directly with clients, do script writing, video editing, graphic design and really experience the agency from many different perspectives.

Breaking into Business

Kortash, who holds a bachelor’s of arts in broadcast communications, has spent the past 15 years of her career in many industries including manufacturing, civil engineering, healthcare, loyalty and rewards, and energy.  Six years after completing her undergraduate coursework, the self-professed ‘Type A’ marketing professional decided to dive into another challenge and was accepted into the MBA program at the University of Buffalo.

While a graduate marketing or advertising program might have seemed like a more logical fit for Kortash, she believed that a business background would diversify her resume and allow her to take her career to the next level.

“I’m a right-brained individual by nature.  Thinking creatively and pairing words and visuals together to frame a story comes easy to me,” she said. “Finance and numbers never came easily to me, and I knew that in order to be the successful marketer at the level I strived to be, I would have to better understand profit & loss statements, budgeting, pricing models, sales cycles, strategic business decisions, and so on.”

In 2004, Kortash moved to Richmond and took on the role of marketing specialist at Timmons Group, where she implemented marketing strategies for the company’s sales and communications initiatives and developed strategy for the company’s public relations and client engagement.  At the time, she had just started her MBA program at Buffalo and wanted to continue her studies in Virginia.

“For my track and where I was in my career, nine out of 10 people I asked said The Richmond MBA was the school to go to,” she said.  “I visited campus and decided I was going to see if I could get into the school.”

Kortash cites a rarely mentioned benefit when reflecting on her time the MBA program.  “The Richmond MBA fine-tuned my ability to remove or reduce emotion from a situation, and look at situations from a business perspective alone,” she said.  “It’s a skill that everyone should have in business, and unfortunately very few have it.”

Leap of Faith

After a decade and a half of establishing herself as a respected marketing professional, Kortash is embarking upon the next chapter in her career.   Next month, Kortash will be leaving her position as director of marketing communications at a well-known software company in Washington, DC, to start her own marketing firm.  

Kortash credits The Richmond MBA program for allowing her to tap into her entrepreneurial side, and she believes she is finally ready to branch out on her own.  

Her marketing approach hinges on the simplicity of a message that is being communicated to a target audience.  “So many companies get caught up in doing presentations and trying to communicate to people through words on screen or too many words in general,” she said.  “I love simple design. I think it is the most impactful.”

Kortash’s firm will be centered on simplifying marketing messages and helping clients assert their main objective for marketing themselves, be it revenue, establishing a new market position, and so on.

On the horizon of her new business enterprise, Kortash is optimistic and hopeful about her future as a marketer.  

“I’ve done pretty much everything in my career, but I still feel like I have so much more to learn,” she said.  “It will be interesting to see me at 40 and what I’ve been able to accomplish between now and  then.”