I’m Oana (pronounced “wanna,” like in “wanna dance?”). I’m an experienced marketer pursuing many other passions in life, such as: writing, traveling, travel and food writing, cooking food, eating food (see a pattern here?), dancing, and interesting people stories.
I was born and raised in beautiful Romania, land of Dracula, Nadia Comaneci, and sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls – if you haven’t tasted these yet, you’re seriously missing out!). I came to the US in 1997 to study at Berea College, the #1 liberal arts college in the South and a unique private college featuring an incredible tuition-free work-study education. After graduation, I received an MBA in Marketing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Duke’s online continuing education provided me with the latest and greatest information in Digital Media and Marketing. But honestly, some of the best lessons came from life and my hands-on experience as a marketer, writer, and traveler.
I love traveling and food, and I pursue both as much as possible, sharing my experiences with the readers of my travel blog GreatEscapetations.com (a play on words: Great Escape + Great Expectations). I muse about many things in my Thoughtfulicious.com blog. I ballroom dance and I am a proud mamma of three furry kids: two dogs and a cat.
If you want to know more about my creds, read on.
Are we on the same page?
As the daughter of a teacher mom and a hard-working dad, I am guided by strong values, which I followed both in my personal and my professional life:
I value honesty (even if sometimes truth might be unpleasant – the good news is that it might inspire a positive change), strong work and personal ethics, and accountability for one’s actions.
Listening is a large part of understanding, and the feedback loop is essential.
Mutual respect is vital in any relationship.
I approach every task with a “can-do”/solutions-oriented mind set; setting goals, and then tracking and measuring results are vital steps in any process.
Life is too short to forget what’s really important. A positive attitude is healthy; people perform at their best when they are happy.
It’s important to dream big and have a big picture view of things. It’s also important to develop creative solutions around inevitable hurdles.
Compassion is what makes all the difference in the world. We are all biased, but we are able to learn and love.
“Oana is extremely passionate and efficient in managing communications and marketing initiatives/campaigns. I had the pleasure of working with Oana as a member of my senior team in the Office of Admissions for about 8 months. She did an incredible job of leading our communication efforts with external constituents and assessing our overall marketing impact.”
Fabrizio D’Aloisio, Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Director of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
“Oana has done excellent work at JTV in the area of consumer understanding and leading our company’s loyalty initiatives. Her customer research has had an impact throughout the organization and helped drive top-line sales. Her segmentation modelling has enabled us to optimize sales opportunities with different groups of customers. She is also a great multi-functional team member and has played a key role of advancing cross-functional initiatives at JTV.”
Randy Sadler, VP Marketing, Jewelry Television; Principal: CIC Services, LLC Director of Business Development at Ten X Healthcare
“Oana is a detail-oriented direct marketing manager who understands the evolution of traditional media to digital. Her understanding contributed to managing a marketing communication strategy that included muti-variant modeling, segmentation, A/B testing, and media consumption and competitive brand preference data to meet her brand objectives. I highly endorse Oana and hope to work with her again on future projects.”
Kosta Skoulikaris, Senior Director of Product Management and Operations: Experian Digital Advertising Services; Group Director: Annalect
“Oana is an excellent writer who brings passion and grace to all of her assignments. Under my direction at “Cityview,” Knoxville’s city magazine, Oana was the author of many wellness-focused articles, covering diverse topics such as how to fight colds and strengthen the immune system; why to eat healthy foods such as cabbage, orange and cruciferous vegetables, and bananas; and where to go for the best smoothies in town. Oana also interviewed local East Tennessee farmers and chefs—and offered the best of the best recipes from around town and across the globe (Oana’s Romanian background gave her articles a worldly flavor). Oana always stayed focused and produced colorful, creative, and reader-friendly articles; she takes direction well and is enterprising and dependable. Oana is articulate, self-assured, and an excellent collaborator.”
Steven Friedlander, Principal and Chief Executive Officer at A3 Creative Group, LLC/Editor-in-Chief: Cityview Magazine
“I have worked with Oana a number of times over the last few years and have always found her to be smart, well prepared and insightful. She has the ability to get things done and keep the ball moving forward under sometimes difficult circumstances. She is also a real pleasure to work with.”
Dick Nye, Owner, The Looking Glass Group; Certified Professional Tour Director: Various Tour Operator