Marketing Mentor: A Conduit for Collaboration

Mentorship and collaboration are key principles within the Marketing group at EXP. For Christina Cruz, our director of regional marketing, her career path at EXP is a direct reflection of the growth and evolution of the regional marketing function here at EXP. As her skills and teams expand, so does the reach and influence of our Marketing group across North America.

When Christina started with EXP in 2004, she was one of a handful of marketing professionals assisting the various engineering groups in Central Canada and throughout the firm. Christina had a vision for the department, how it could enhance the brand and transform the way we pursue new business. But she needed a team to make it happen.

Enter Anastasia Markevich. In 2014, Anastasia started with EXP in a slightly different capacity, a more administrative and reporting to another manager.  Where their duties overlapped, Christina would take an active role in training and developing Anastasia’s latent abilities.

“Right from our first interaction, I immediately saw her potential,” says Christina fondly. “She’s a quick learner and is able to process a lot of information quickly.”

“In many ways, Christina became my de facto manager,” Anastasia says with a smile. “She took me under her wing and trained me on everything I’m doing now. Slowly, my position transitioned to having a stronger marketing focus, and now it’s a passion we share. From the beginning, I looked up to her and viewed her as a mentor.”

A year later, Christina made the business case to formalize their reporting relationship and create the regional marketing team in Ontario, describing her efforts as the means to break down silos and become the conduit for collaboration across the company. With Anastasia’s help, they have developed the model for regional marketing teams and continue to grow in step with the company.

“In my opinion, some of Christina’s greatest traits are her compassion, professionalism and patience,” says Anastasia. “Even during tough times, she remains positive, composed and professional. I’ve not only learned much through her direct mentorship but also by observing her in different situations.”

Known for her deep understanding of the business and infectious optimism, Christina makes a habit of sharing her experience and working with the strengths of the people around her. From humble beginnings, Christina now leads the regional team in Ontario and oversees the other regional marketing teams in Canada and the US, reporting directly to President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Dvorak.

“Contributing to the evolution of our company, and our brand keeps me motivated to learn and share with my team,” says Christina. “I know I can’t do it alone so I surround myself with capable people who have different perspectives. It’s how we reach the best outcomes.”

Mentor: Christina Cruz | Director, Regional Marketing | Markham, ON
Mentee: Anastasia Markevich | Marketing Coordinator | Markham, ON

*Originally published in EXP’s Expresso: Mentorship