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Jennifer Kelly Dominiquini ’93: Leading Innovation

Jennifer Kelly Dominiquini ’93: Leading Innovation
Jennifer Kelly Dominiquini ’93

A marketing executive strategizes for top brands such as Crayola, all with an eye toward “making the world a better and brighter place."

To most, innovation may seem like an ephemeral quality, some fleeting spark of inspiration exchanged between the apple and Newton. Those people, however, probably haven’t met Jennifer Kelly Dominiquini ’93, the chief marketing and digital sales officer at BBVA Compass who has made a career out of leading innovation during moments of disruption.

“My career has always been about helping companies go through a transformation as the world is disrupting around us,” the Sugar Land, Texas, resident said.

Most recently, she helped lead BBVA Compass’ foray into the financial industry’s ongoing digital wave by incorporating an agile mindset and methodology into its culture and relying more heavily on digital channels such as SEM, SEO, programmatic display, email and affiliate marketing. The strategy has led to a transformative marketing plan that focuses not only on strategic partnerships, but also on promoting digital capabilities to help people take better control of their financial lives.

How does one lead innovation? According to Dominiquini, it involves questioning a company’s orthodoxies, focusing on its strengths and expanding it into new territory. For instance, she helped Crayola get into the toy market by combining its reputation for artistry with restaurant “glow board” technology. She also helped Best Buy see how its then-newly acquired Geek Squad could add value to its customers’ experiences.

“I’ve always believed that industries and companies that don’t disrupt themselves are going to be disrupted by someone else,” she said.

Expanding into New Territory 

Throughout her life, Dominiquini has kept herself open to new, transformative experiences. While growing up in Westchester County, New York, she was inspired to travel internationally by her father, who traveled often to South America as a commodities trader, and by her mother, who taught school in the Bronx to children from many diverse backgrounds and cultures.

“I got the international bug very early on because of my family background,” she said.

When researching colleges, Dominiquini visited several Jesuit universities, but something clicked for her when she first came to Scranton.

“Believing in people inspires me to give back, because people make the world a better and brighter place.” 

“I felt such a warm welcome,” she said. “I saw the hills and pretty much fell in love.”

At Scranton, Dominiquini joined the Debate Team, ran Cross Country, covered sports for The Aquinas and participated in Campus Ministries while double-majoring in international studies and Spanish. During her senior year, she interned at Monitor Group, who hired her as a strategy consultant and sent her to Colombia. She spent the following year as a Fulbright Scholar in Uruguay. At the end of that year, she backpacked across Latin America and met her future husband, Daniel Dominiquini, a Brazilian, on the Inca Trail. When she returned to Monitor, the company sent her to Brazil, which gave her relationship with Daniel the chance to flourish.

In Brazil, Dominiquini eventually left Monitor and co-founded Solutions For Business, which offered English, Spanish and Portuguese training and strategy solutions to its clients. Afterward, she began working in innovation consultancy at Strategos, first in Brazil, and then in Chicago, where she earned her MBA at The University of Chicago.

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Jennifer Kelly Dominiquini ’93 pauses for a picture while riding across the state of Wisconsin with the Pursuit Ride, a cross-country ride that raised $13.5 million for The Center, a non-profit organization that serves adults with disabilities.

Next, she worked at Prophet, a global brand consultancy. She then went on to Sears Holdings Corporation, where she became the chief marketing officer (CMO) for the Sears and Kmart Seasonal Division, and later, the Toys, Fitness and Sporting Goods Business Units. She then became CMO of Evite and BuySeasons, and, soon after, began working in her current role at BBVA Compass. All the while, Dominiquini’s focus on the big picture allowed her to see the places where the little picture could use a touch-up.

“Having the ability to work across many industries allowed me to see that there are patterns,” she said.

Today, the mother of two uses that same macro focus to assist her fellow CMOs as co-president of the CMO Club Houston Chapter and by serving as a board member at The Center, a nonprofit organization that serves adults with disabilities. In 2016, she rode her bicycle across the state of Wisconsin as part of the Pursuit Ride, which raised much-needed funds for The Center.

“Believing in people inspires me to give back,because people make the world a better and brighter place.” Dominiquini said. “That’s definitely something I learned when I was at the University.

“Everybody, it seems, at The University of Scranton cares about each other, and I think that’s something that I’ve taken away as my M.O. for life.

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