Ande Burke knows Northern Arizona. During her 12 years in Flagstaff, the graduate of the Flagstaff Leadership Program Class of 2007 has earned the prestigious Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Young Professional award for service to the community and volunteer work for more than a dozen local non-profits. Burke recently left the position of marketing director at Mountain Heart Cardiovascular and Sleep Facility to start her own marketing firm, A.B. Marketing Solutions.
“I am a connector. I connect businesses one to another. I connect businesses to new clients, and I connect systems. I look at things as if it were a big map, or a big puzzle,” explained Burke, who is trained in LEAN process improvement analysis. Putting the puzzle pieces together to build something better is what interests the analyst and keeps her motivated. “I’m always looking for ‘the jazz’ – the something different,” she admitted.
“All companies can benefit from an outsider’s perspective of their business,” said Burke. An outsider like Burke who knows the Flagstaff market well can find places to influence current customers’ buying, bring to light fresh ways to attract new clientele and uncover ways to improve customer service processes. A.B. Marketing Solutions uses proven marketing strategies to maximize clients’ ROI by producing results that positively impact business goals. Burke assists in developing strategies to support new service lines, improve customer service and provide statistical tracking and analysis for data-driven decision making.
“A.B. Marketing Solutions is focused on a holistic approach to customer care,” said Burke, who uses qualitative and quantitative research to uncover trends. “For an example, a local Flagstaff restaurant might be busy on one night of the week, but not another. We don’t want to drive traffic on the busy night, but what can be done to get more people in on the slow night?” A.B. Marketing Solutions uses cost efficient data acquisition and statistical modeling techniques to analyze the needs of the restaurant as well as the needs of their customers. From there, the firm customizes ways to improve customer service and influence buying behaviors. Since Burke was raised in a restaurant family, it is not surprising that the first client for her new firm is a local restaurant, Karma Sushi. She also brings to the table business experience in construction and healthcare.
“Coupling my business experience and my marketing experience, I’m able to find fast and easy solutions for attracting and retaining new customers. Because of my in-depth knowledge of the local market, I can identify community partners that make sense for savings and cross promotions,” Burke disclosed.
Burke is passionate about finding process improvements. While working with veterans at Mountain Heart, she noticed that they were having problems with continuity of care. “They would have to wait 45 days to get back in to see their cardiologists. That’s what got me interested in the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy. I wanted to improve access to care for patients. Originally, I wanted to sit on the Veterans Advisory Commission. I had no thought of running for office,” she said. Burke graduated from the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy in November, which is similar to the Flagstaff Leadership Academy but educates and grows leaders interested in Arizona state leadership. Since becoming a Flinn-Brown fellow, she plans to run for Arizona House of Representatives, Legislative District 6 in 2018. Those LD6 positions are currently held by Sylvia Allen, Brenda Barton and Bob Thorpe.
“I want people to have the opportunity to be heathier,” said Burke. “Local economic development really helps people to gain access to healthcare.” She added, “Buying local is an important part of economic development. I think that hiring local organizations helps to keep money in the community.”
Burke earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in public policy and public management from Northern Arizona Univerisy. Her marketing firm provides business analysis, customer service concepts, community partnership opportunities, event marketing, promotions and advertising management. Customer service training and process improvement are also part of the offerings.
“So many organizations have supported me, and I’m grateful for the opportunities to stay and work in Flagstaff. I’m excited to work with new clients and help grow the local economy,” said the business connector. FBN
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My father has always told me, honesty is always the best policy. Speak the truth, even at the risk of being misquoted.
Where do you see yourself and your business five years from now?
Arizona’s challenges require servant leaders that value diversity, collaboration, education and preparation. Within the next five years, I see myself taking on a state leadership role representing Legislative District 6 at the House of Representatives and seeking additional state leadership roles on commissions that support healthcare and education here in Northern Arizona.
Locally, I plan to continue working with the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce on their Education and Workforce Development Committee and with innovative programs such as the Skills for Workplace Success program, which helps students focus on developing skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Who do you admire and why?
My parents. My life has been supported by a loving family, led by two very hardworking parents. It has been with their guidance that I have learned the importance of passion, planing and purpose. There is no greater purpose in my life than improving the quality of life of others. I am humbled by the sacrifices they have made to help me become who I am. They have shown me that hard work pays off and encouraged me to keep exploring.
What’s your favorite movie?
“Big.” Tom Hanks is simply an exceptional actor. I admit I follow him on Twitter. I have always wanted to be an adult but have not wanted to give up fun. If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life, and luckily, that has been my experience. I love marketing; I love my community; and I love helping people, so I guess this movie inspired me as a young person to be an adult, but to never forget that work can be fun.
How do you unwind?
Kayaking is by far my favorite pastime. Sunrise kayaking on Lake Mary on a winter morning with views of snow-covered pine trees, the gentle sounds of ice breaking against the boat and the heat of the sun warming my face. That’s my kind of heaven.
A.B. Marketing Solutions
PO Box 953, Flagstaff AZ 86002
By Stacey Wittig