Educational Services of America offers children and young people the opportunity to create successful, independent futures by providing behavioral and academic support to help them reach their full potential. Cate Lewandowski is responsible for marketing, public relations, media relations and issues management, and for aligning resources efficiently and effectively to fulfill these responsibilities.

What marketing campaign outside your company do you wish you had a hand in, and why? I admire Southwest Airlines’ integrated marketing approach. Southwest delivers on its promise “to connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable and low-cost air travel.” It fulfills this promise with a personality that’s expressed in its ads, on the website and social media platforms and, most importantly, by its people. Southwest means freedom to travel, and says it with as little as one sound: “DING!”

What first got you interested in the field of marketing? I’ve always respected the power of words … and I knew from age 11 I was going to be a writer. My first job was covering the Toledo Mud Hens, a Triple A baseball team. … Through my first job after college, I was fortunate to write or be on the air in several newsrooms. … One of the toughest decisions I made was to leave what was then my dream job in journalism and accept an invitation to work in sports marketing. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

During the past year, what is your favorite project you’ve worked on, and why? We integrated the acquisition of Early Autism Project Inc. (EAP) into the ESA family within the last year. EAP had a very small digital footprint and very little collateral. … Within weeks, we updated EAP’s logo, developed a temporary website that would serve as a bridge until an extensive new site could be created, established a strong brand identity, established a social media presence for EAP and created a family of collateral to recruit staff and inform families of EAP’s services. We also created a video to help recruit therapists and updated a video about the importance of insurance coverage for autism therapy.

What one thing has you most excited about the future of marketing? The really bright, creative young people who are entering the profession. They see things through fresh eyes, they ask meaningful questions and they’re motivated to find a better way.