PPB June 2022

Jodie Schillinger is the ultimate foodie. For her, food is the essential experience—almost spiritual. She’s nearly a gastronome, she says. “My excitement does not stop peaking, andmy grocery bill can get out of hand if I amnot strategic. My only fault is that I find endless opportunities for food experiences and not enough room inmy body to house the food.” For a connoisseur like Schillinger, sheworks at the perfect place. Schillinger began her career atMaple Ridge Farms 26 years ago. Today, she’s the executive vice president. Her favorite product? Toffee. “I have a fascination with real butter…must be a Wisconsin thing,” Schillinger says. “Considering the amount of real butter used in the signature English Butter Toffee, it speaks directly to my taste buds andmy soul; it ismy temptress andmy calm.” Schillinger was first introduced to the promo industry by her mother. “Shewould come home from trade shows with an assortment of niche products, and all of us kids wouldwait with a sense of wonder to seewhat she had as she opened her suitcase.” After hermom took her to an end buyer show in high school, Schillinger says the rest was history. “I saw the energy, opportunity, and newway to look at merch as a means of communicatingwith the rest of theworld,” she says. But relationship building is what truly fascinated Schillinger. She says, “My focus withMaple Ridge Farms has always been in team building, culture and providing epic service in order to facilitate personal and professional growth for our team, community and customers. With thismindset, I knew that sales and business were two essential elements to any career path, which I needed to continue to build intomy lifelong journey of learning.” Throughout her career, Schillinger has seenmarketing adapt and elevate. “Today, marketing is no longer one streamlinedmessage for one specific demographic,” she says. “Every element of our senses needs to embrace and emanate these marketingmessages. Marketing is what we see, do, breathe, eat, hear, sleep. “We are always communicating something and need to continue to elevate theways in whichwe deliver and receive thesemessages.” With food gifts, each of your senses are engaged, Schillinger says. “Multi-sensory simplymeans that we are looking to engage all of the recipient’s senses, as this results in interactively enhancing the overall memory of the gift.” But the unforgettable gifts trigger emotions. “We are fortunate to have an option that invites the recipient to take awalk down memory lanewith a quality flavor that is unforgettable on its own,” Schillinger says. “Pair that with the multisensory factors and a logo, and the event creates a remarkable memory that will last forever.” The pandemic has changed howmany of us work, and the same is true for Schillinger and her team. “Change is our only constant,” she says. “The rate at which change is happening seems to havemultiplied as companies are shiftingworkforces that were once foundational. Knowing and embracing this is key to understanding how tomove forward rapidlywith solutions.” Schillinger says learning how to ask the right questions and listen intentionally is key to providing epic service, especially during times of change. “This is all while delivering a ‘PROMOAF’ experience for the recipients,” she says. “This approach allows us to always be solutionfocused for products and our genuine approach to relationships not onlywith our customers, but also their relationships with buyers, too.” Tomaintain great client relationships, Schillinger says to Recipients will open their gift to discover English Butter Toffee & Pecan Turtles. These popular gourmet-quality treats will set your client’s brand apart. The magnetic gift box is also highly durable and reusable. Maple Ridge Farms, Inc. / PPAI 114165, S8 / www.mapleridge.com “My focus with Maple Ridge Farms has always been in team building, culture and providing epic service in order to facilitate personal and professional growth for our team, community and customers.” –Jodie Schillinger pixelliebe / Shutterstock.com | JUNE 2022 | 71 CONNECT