AIMing Higher in Marketing: Celebrating Innovation and Impact at Simpson Strong-Tie

In 2023, the Simpson Strong-Tie Marketing Department introduced their inaugural Award for Impact in Marketing (AIM). This recognition recognizes team members for their exceptional creativity, innovation, and commitment to delivering outstanding results.  

The AIM recognition is given quarterly and is based on peer nominations. Each of our four 2023 recipients demonstrated exceptional impact in their respective roles. Learn more about the award recipients accomplishments and hear their thoughts on winning an AIM. 

Tim Branson, 2023 AIM Award Winner

Tim Branson, Senior Manager, Packaging & Merchandising 

Reason for the nomination: Tim is someone who provides value to a wide variety of folks in our organization. He is a proven performer who has become a trusted resource to key areas of our business such as Product Development and National Retail. His constant “can-do” attitude and dedication to customer service is only matched by his talent for coming up with innovative, customer-driven solutions. Tim regularly gets calls to create ideas and packaging prototypes out of the blue on short notice. He regularly takes on these projects without disrupting other projects, and as his manager, I often hear after the fact about some valuable contribution he made. Often this is accompanied by compliments about how easy it is to work with Tim.  I am lucky to have such a dedicated, humble and action-oriented member on my team, and it is a pleasure to watch this person expertly manage his team. -Jason Liebreich, Director, Marketing Development   

From Tim: This July will mark my 19th anniversary at Simpson Strong-Tie. I am extremely humbled and grateful to have received the AIM. It is a privilege to be among such a talented group of individuals. It would not have been possible without the inspiration and constant support of my team and my manager.  Having the freedom to be creative inspires innovation. Simpson’s culture is all about promoting creativity, which allows us to grow personally and as a company. I am honored to be part of the team!  

Jesse Russell, 2023 AIM Award Winner
Jesse Russell, 2023 AIM Award Winner

Jesse Russell, Manager, Social Media and Integrated Marketing 

Reason for the nomination: Jesse has significantly shaped and expanded our social media strategy. He works closely with the product marketing managers to support the launch of our products and campaigns as well as with other departments and teams to support key initiatives through social and media relations. He continues to keep a close eye on social trends and changes to ensure we’re staying on top of the latest opportunities. There is no lack of ideas or creativity from Jesse — he is a true visionary and pushes himself and his team to expand their knowledge, improve processes and explore new tactics to grow our presence and engagement on social. -Shelby Lentz, Director, Marketing Communications 

From Jesse: I started at Simpson Strong-Tie in 2018. Receiving the Award for Impact in Marketing at Simpson Strong-Tie is an honor that underscores how our company value of “Risk-Taking Innovation” transcends all departments. In my six years with the Marketing department, I’ve felt that forward-looking ideas are not only heard, but also supported. This recognition is also a symbol of the collaborative spirit and drive of my team. We understand innovation can’t happen in a silo. Often advancements come from building bridges to understand the intricate needs of our colleagues across the company. It’s that open communication that inspires me to keep exploring new possibilities for marketing. 

Shawn Bolick, 2023 AIM Award Winner
Shawn Bolick, 2023 AIM Award Winner

Shawn Bolick, Project Manager 

Reason for the nomination: Shawn is constantly coming up with solutions no one ever asked for or expected. He has the classic Simpson “go the extra mile” attitude that frequently surprises and delights people, both inside and outside of our department. Working overtime and doing more than asked are hallmarks of Shawn’s style. He is smart, resourceful and not afraid to roll up his sleeves and dive into something new. Shawn is a precise and effective critic, as well as a lively and collaborative partner. -Tom Rosenfield, Director, Creative Services 

From Shawn: I’ve worked at Simpson Strong-Tie since 2017. Part of that time was spent as a contractor, working as a production designer in Marketing Creative Services. In 2020 I became a full-time employee. Two years later, I took on the role of Project Manager of Creative Services. I am the type of employee who doesn’t like hopping around from job to job just for a minimal pay increase. I value a company that invests in its employees and treats them well. Once I find a company that exhibits those qualities, as I have at Simpson Strong-Tie, I invest in that company by proving my worth and value as an employee to the best of my abilities. I feel that I have done that here — always striving to do a quality job while having a team-oriented approach. I’ve always been organized and a people person. When I won the AIM award, I was ecstatic! I felt like my hard work was something that multiple team members recognized, and it shows that when you work hard and put your best foot forward you can be rewarded.   

Jessica Rhodes, 2023 AIM Award Winner
Jessica Rhodes, 2023 AIM Award Winner

Jessica Rhodes, Marketing Administrative Assistant 

Reason for the nomination: In the past four years, Jessica has helped streamline AP process for all of Marketing into a well-oiled machine. She is the bridge between creative marketers and logical accountants – it’s like she speaks two different languages so that we all understand each other. She arrives at every meeting with a can-do attitude and over the years has organized our tracking systems so that our process is seamless and there is less work on our end to ensure everything is paid out in a timely manner. She keeps us on task and gets the ever-increasing marketing bills paid. It is a pleasure to work with her. She does so much for the department that most of us don’t ever know about or see — because she just handles it! She is very deserving of this AIM award. -Frankie Emerson, Senior Manager, Tradeshow and Events 

From Jessica: I will hit my official five-year anniversary with Simpson Strong-Tie in June — although I was a contractor for seven months before then.  I feel like I bring a different viewpoint than the creative minds on our team . I am the voice that asks., “How much do you want to pay for this service? When will we pay for it? And what does that leave in the budget to pay for something else?” Because my role is primarily focused on accounting ( I’m finishing my bachelor’s degree in accounting), I spend my time on ensuring we meet our financial policies, which includes educating and enforcing rules(in a nice way) to help meet our annual goals and support future growth.  I also oversee our branded swag and in doing so, I identified opportunities to cut costs across North America by creating a Quarterly Promo Bulk Buy program. Although I am not directly involved in our marketing in the traditional sense of the term, this award means I am having an impact on what our department does, and I am very proud to be a part of the team.

2023 AIM Award Winners
2023 AIM Award Winners

Congratulations to all the AIM winners on their much-deserved awards. These individuals exemplify the diverse talents and unwavering dedication that drive our company forward. Their contributions, each unique in its own right, reflect our collective commitment to excellence and innovation at Simpson Strong-Tie.  

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