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Karen Martinsen Fleming

Professor of Business; MBA Program Chair

Ames Hall 116
One Brennan Circle
Poultney, VT 05764-1199
Email Address:
Phone: 802-287-8329; Fax: 802-287-8080

MBA, Harvard University
A.B. in Government, Dartmouth College

Professional Experience
Founding Partner, Martinsen Fleming & Partners
Consult with wide range of organizations to authentically attract green consumers and deepen sustainable business practices.

CEO/Co-Founder, Coates Walker, Inc.
The company specialized in custom cabinetry and architectural millwork made with sustainable, non-toxic materials and processes. Managed all elements of the start-up, established financial, marketing and sales systems and oversaw 20 employees. Grew sales from $0 to over $2,000,000 in two years to become #1 brand of green cabinetry in New England.

Senior Vice President of Marketing, Seventh Generation
Seventh Generation, Inc. is a leading brand of non-toxic and environmentally responsible products for the home and a leader in socially responsible business. The company offers more than 55 products, ranging from laundry detergent to disposable diapers. My primary responsibilities included corporate strategic planning and analysis, product development, marketing strategy and branding development and implementation, consumer relations, and organizational management and development. I helped oversee all company planning and management.

Specific Accomplishments Include:

  • Performed comprehensive strategic, financial and brand reviews that led to the creation of a profitable growth strategy to guide company strategy.

  • Led the research, strategic analysis and positioning development for the re-branding of Seventh Generation and the redesign of the company's packaging, web site, and all marketing communications. Also led the development and introduction of Seventh Generation's first ever advertising and dedicated PR campaigns and development of the marketing and consumer relations organization.

  • Led the development of Seventh Generation chlorine free diapers, the most successful new product in company history. Product line gained #1 brand position within 6 months of launch. Recognized by top natural foods retailer as the most successful new product launch of 2003.

  • Doubled rate of revenue growth and managing strategic investments- sales grew from $13MM to $50MM in 4 years and company attained profitability for the first time in 15 year history. Brand platform was leveraged to grow the company to its current $150MM+ revenues.

  • As a result of the marketing and strategic planning efforts, the brand achieved the #1 brand position in every category in which it competed.

Vice President of Marketing, Stonyfield Farm, Inc.
Stonyfield Farm yogurt is one of the leading brands in the natural/organic products industry and a pioneer of socially responsible business. My primary responsibilities included corporate strategic planning, product development, and marketing strategy development and execution. As one of 4 members of the senior leadership team, I oversaw all company planning and management.

Specific accomplishments include:

  • Led the research, strategic analysis and positioning development for company's first ever advertising and dedicated PR campaigns.

  • Led the design, development, and launch of Yo-baby, yogurt specifically designed for babies, the most successful new product in Stonyfield Farm history. Current market revenue for the Yo-baby product line is more than $100MM.

  • During me tenure, company sales grew from $44MM to $80MM. Current market revenue of Stonyfield Farm, now part of Group Danone, is over $200MM.

Vice President of Marketing and New Business Development, MicroFridge, Inc./Intirion
MicroFridge, Inc./Intirion is one of the leading suppliers to the "home away from home" market- including colleges & universities, hotels, and assisted living facilities. My primary responsibilities included corporate strategic planning, product and business development, and marketing strategy development and execution.

Specific accomplishments include:

  • Led design of new wood furniture product lines for the college and university market that successfully broadened the company's product portfolio beyond its core refrigerator/microwave product offerings.

  • Developed innovative lease programs that helped accelerate sales and profit growth.

  • As a result, grew company sales from $13MM to over $30MM with record profitability and positioned company for merger with MacGray Corporation.

Lead Consultant, Corporate Decisions, Inc.
Bain-spin off growth strategy consulting firm that successfully competed with McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. Led the strategic analysis, research, and project management for clients ranging from venture capitalists and start-ups to Fortune 50 companies.

Associate Business Unit Manager, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
P&L responsibility for the Cranberry Drinks Business Unit, $250MM in annual revenues. Led the design and introduction of the new plastic gallon and Cran-Cherry.

Assistant Product Manager, Dunkin' Donuts of America
Managed the bakery product lines. Led the introduction of the croissant line, and the development and testing of the bagel and new cookie product lines.

Brand Assistant, Procter & Gamble
One of only 3 undergraduates in division. Responsible for monthly business analysis, media planning, promotion planning and execution, and market research.

Win Win Win – Strategies for Small Business Sustainability in development and scheduled for international publication in Fall 2014.

“Natureview Farm” Harvard Business School Case Study. Since being published in 2007, has been ranked as one of the top brief marketing case studies and is used by thousands of teaching institutions worldwide.

President of the Harvard Business School Green Business Alumni Association.

Adjunct marketing and branding instructor and member of board of advisors for the Business Center at the University of Vermont School of Business.

Peer to Peer Advisor for the Vermont Sustainable Jobs non-profit.

Adjunct instructor for Mercy Connections “Start Up” business planning program for women.

Speaker at Harvard University School of Business, University of Chicago School of Business, Vermont Women's Business Owner Network, Natural Products Expo West, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Maine Businesses for Sustainability, and other venues. Topics include branding, environmentally responsible product design, and socially responsible business.

Charter member of the Organic Trade Association Marketing Committee.

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