STEPHEN M. MIKOLAJCZAK
Obsessed with Building Brands of the Future
Throughout Stephen’s career he has built a track record of innovation. His philosophy stems from a natural curiosity to listen and carefully understand where consumers are going. Additionally, he believes in taking calculated risks, testing & learning, all while not being afraid of failure. Another undercurrent for his pursuit of innovation is partnering with and mentoring start-ups.
Beginning his career earning his BS in Marketing from Miami University followed by an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. Stephen continued building his marketing foundation in Chicago, IL working on the agency-side for brands such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Office Max. This was valuable exposure to big brands and the creative process for bringing brands to life.
Further strengthening his Branding acumen as a CPG Marketer for Nestlé, the world’s largest food & beverage company, Stephen worked on brands such as Nestlé Toll House, Libby’s Pumpkin, Carnation Milk, and Stouffer’s. Here he learned how to develop and uncover true consumer insights and leveraging these to construct and execute ownable brand strategies. Stephen’s marketing experience ranges across: Digital, CRM, Integrated Communications, Product Innovation, Shopper Marketing, and Brand Management.
Stephen was a recipient of the “Innovative Communications Award” out of 700 Marketers from Nestlé, USA for developing a word-of-mouth influencer program for the Nestlé Toll House brand. His entrepreneurial skills were then honed working in the Sporting Goods Industry for challenger brand, Mizuno. Here he oversaw the Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, and Golf brands. Stephen is now leading brand building efforts for start-up brands within IBM such as the Artificial Intelligence & Internet of Things space with IBM Watson and most recently with the distributed ledger technology of IBM Blockchain.