We are a team of brand, marketing, human resources, and communications strategists offering our clients authentic insight and unrivaled expertise to brand and market their unique employment experience from the inside out. And like our clients, we at exaqueo, have our own unique and authentic stories to tell from the perspectives of our brand, our company, and our individual colleagues. Today, we are excited to tell the story of Danielle Gizzo.
Danielle joins us as an employer brand strategist, where she will share the marketing experience she has garnered in her career. With over 10 years building holistic campaigns and strategies for brands and consumers, Danielle hopes to infuse some of these learnings into the world of employer brand. Danielle brings a passion for connecting people, humanized storytelling, and an authentic sense of empathy and compassion to her work approach. She is involved in several endeavors outside of work, many focused on empowering others through real, honest, and experience-driven conversations.
At exaqueo, one of the ways we support new employee’s onboarding is by assigning each new hire an “exaqueo buddy.” As Danielle’s “exaqueo buddy,” I have the privilege of supporting her throughout the exaqueo immersion and onboarding journey. In the first few days we realized we both grew up in New Jersey, enjoy practicing yoga, and share an affinity for working in local coffee shops.
We took a few minutes to grab coffee and tea during her first week, and I am excited to share some highlights from our conversation.
What made you want to join exaqueo?
Having spent most of my career in-house building consumer brands and product marketing strategies at Macy’s and AccuWeather, I saw an opportunity to bring some of the approaches used in those areas of marketing, combined with my passion for people, their stories, and bringing one’s whole self to work, to help serve the world of employer branding.
What excites you most about your role at exaqueo?
The opportunity to influence the future of work across a multitude of organizations gives me energy and makes me feel a greater sense of purpose. I am excited to have a role in impacting employer brands for not only one organization, but for many across industries, sizes, and geographies. In addition to bringing my consulting mindset to the table each day, I feel honored to get to work alongside and learn from the smart, capable humans at exaqueo whom I am fortunate to call my teammates. Lastly, exaqueo’s core values of honoring our differences, understanding and empathy, and trust in one another align with my own core values.
What impact do you hope to make at exaqueo?
I am really hoping to bring the worlds of marketing and HR together in a more profound way. We work with so many HR professionals, and I’m hoping to share my marketing and branding knowledge with clients as well as other team members here at exaqueo. I am also so glad to have started my exaqueo journey at the same time as Mel; with her vast HR experience, we have been able to complement and learn from one another in our first couple weeks.
What are three words that best describe you?
- Connector - Being a connector has always been something I have had a knack for doing, but I did not start to recognize it as a unique strength until it showed up as number one on my Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment. To me, bringing people together and providing a greater sense of community through shared passions and lived experiences is the root of building strong foundations and secure relationships, which is something I truly find joy in helping myself and others to do.
- Growth-oriented - I am a growth-mindset individual who is passionate about personal development and is always seeking new ways to learn. Whether it be by becoming certified in trauma-informed yoga, taking courses to become a leadership and personal branding coach, or attending Tony Robbin’s Unleash The Power Within (UPW), I value putting the work in and dedicating time for myself, thus allowing me to become a more resilient and empathetic person.
- Empathetic - I am naturally a more sensitive person at my core who has learned to be comfortable with that sentiment, as well as with being vulnerable. I am an advocate for the destigmatization of mental health, and often pause and reflect, taking time to help ground myself and others through the use of intentional language. For example, by using phrasing in my conversations such as, “How can I best support you in this moment? Are you looking to brainstorm or for me to listen?” enables me to meet people where they are at and create a space aimed to help them feel empowered, safe, and respected.
What do you like to do outside of work for fun?
Hiking, yoga, spin. I love trying new food, and like to “travel for food” with my boyfriend. I’m close with my family here in New Jersey, and enjoy exploring the hidden gems and small business staples that can be found here in the one square mile that makes up Hoboken, NJ.
I am also a community member and speaker for Badassery (a group of individuals and public speakers that engage in culturally-diverse and honest conversations through panels, workshops, and events), as well as a facilitator for #IamRemarkable (a Google initiative empowering women and underrepresented groups to speak openly about their accomplishments in the workplace and beyond). I found community in and meaning from both of these groups, especially throughout the pandemic.
What’s the most interesting thing about your home office set-up?
Probably the breakfast bar in my kitchen. Sometimes it serves as my standing desk. Some say “short people problems,” I say “small, but mighty–and resourceful!”
What’s your funniest or most unusual work story?
While not necessarily funny, but certainly memorable, when I worked at Macy’s, I worked on a marketing campaign for the retailer's largest private brand, INC International Concepts, in collaboration with renowned fashion icon and ‘rare bird’, Iris Apfel. My work with Iris led me to appreciate her quick wit, smarts, and love for the expression “more is more,” not only when it came to her avant-garde approach to style, but also by witnessing it firsthand when visiting her apartment and sitting at her dining table just her and I to discuss the campaign and our work together. There were rolling racks of vibrantly colored clothing and furniture all over her apartment—everywhere! (For more of what I am referencing, check out her Netflix documentary). She is truly one-of-a-kind and was absolutely phenomenal to work with.
What motivates or inspires you to do your best?
When I can be in a mindset where I feel grounded, focused, and present, I do my best work. Having a supportive group of people in my life I know I can confide in, and will be there for me, motivates me to do my best.
Please join me in welcoming Danielle as she dives into working on #teamexaqueo and contributes to helping organizations work with meaning. You can congratulate and welcome Danielle on LinkedIn or by posting a comment below!