Connecting to the Customer
Whether a newly formed or an established brand, it is paramount that companies continually connect with their customers. As a business leader with a background in a variety of fields, Desiree Rogers uses real life examples on how she has led companies in this initiative to connect with customers and improve overall customer relations.
Desiree Rogers is a bold visionary with the ability to develop creative solutions for organizations facing changing consumer tastes, industry dynamics, or disintermediation. As CEO of a traditional magazine publisher of two iconic African American brands, Jet and Ebony, Desiree Rogers is an expert at rebranding a mature organization into a fresh, digital player with deep connection to a modern consumer. Prior to Johnson Publishing, Ms. Rogers worked in the White House and as a consultant for many Fortune 500 companies.
In 2008, President Obama named Rogers the first African American Social Secretary. As Social Secretary her mandate was to reposition the Obama’s nontraditional vision of the White House to the “People’s House.” Her office produced 350 events in her 14-month tenure and turned the White House into an international showcase for American art and culture.
Rogers was elected the first female and African American president of the two natural gas utilities of Peoples Energy in Chicago where she managed over 2,000 employees and facilitated the company’s transition from a traditional, under the radar entity to a responsive, customer-centric organization. During the company’s acquisition by the $7 billion Integrys Energy Group, Rogers led the integration of the two utilities.
Consistently acknowledged as an innovative leader with a proven track record, her career milestones include turning the Illinois Lottery, into a stable, reliable and popular revenue producer that revolutionized the sale of instant tickets through marketing and promotional partnerships as well as launched Mega Millions, the largest multi-state lotto game in the United States. During her tenure, instant ticket sales doubled to 600 million at the 1.6 billion dollar agency.
Rogers is widely credited for her ability to identify and motivate talent to challenge existing assumptions creating new pathways for success.
Rogers has served on several corporate and non-for-profit boards most recently serving on Equity Residential, a publicly traded REIT and as Vice Chairman of the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry. As a breast cancer survivor, she serves on the cabinet of the Conquer Cancer Foundation, the national oncologist foundation seeking advances in prevention, treatment and cures for all types of cancer.
She is the Chair of Choose Chicago, the tourism bureau of the city of Chicago and on the boards of World Business Chicago, DonorsChoose, Museum of Science and Industry and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Rogers also serves on the corporate board of Pinnacle Entertainment, a national gaming firm.