Jennifer Hart, Marion Krefeldt and Susie Hinkle founded Direkt Approach, Inc., in 2001. They have a combined 65 years of experience in leadership roles in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Jennifer Hart is a results-driven professional with a seventeen-year management background in customer service, operations and a rapidly growing sales environment, with Hallmark, Sunrise Publications, Inc., and Wal-Mart. As a co-founder of Direkt Approach, she has helped the organization develop an outstanding reputation for customized interactive training. Prior to her career with Direkt Approach, she was Director of Sales Operations and responsible for a $60 million dollar revenue plan, a 200-person sales force performance and a $16 million expense budget. Her leadership in sales increased revenues from $1.6 million to $12.7 million over the course of eight years (an average rate of growth of 23% annually). Jennifer utilized excellent planning and implementation skills to convert corporate strategy into profitable reality. Fully skilled in leading and motivating a sales force to exceed goals, she has extensive experience in creating, implementing and tracking business processes to increase revenue, reduce costs and improve efficiencies. She expanded the sales staff by 180% while increasing productivity per salesperson by 45%. Jennifer, recognized for her leadership, was asked on two occasions in her career to take on additional departments to improve their effectiveness and efficiency, and did so while continuing to produce outstanding results in the sales arena. Jennifer has an outstanding history of developing personnel for career advancement. At Sunrise more than 120 of her employees were promoted (within the company) thus gaining professional advancement. This helped create a spirit of high morale and accomplishment while enriching the culture and institutional knowledge of Sunrise. She has been a speaker on Motivational Management at the Chamber of Commerce and at other functions. Jennifer is an active volunteer and construction crew leader with Habitat for Humanity. She has also served as Secretary on the Board of Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, a non-profit food bank. She is the Founder of Kids' Christmas, a grass roots community effort working with local schools to supply food, clothes and toys at Christmas. This effort helped an average of 18 families per year over two decades. Jennifer is an individual who inspires others to excel and leads by example.
Marion Krefeldt is an energetic and creative leader with twenty years experience in academic, for-profit, and not-for-profit environments. In 2001, she co-founded Direkt Approach. At Indiana University, Marion was responsible for a 60-person team, comprised of full-time professionals and part-time consulting staff. In a fast-paced, technology-based setting, she developed an on-line support system, which received national acclaim. Marion joined the private sector at Sunrise Publications, Inc., where she built a computerized graphic design department that reduced the time necessary for image creation by 80%. This allowed Sunrise to triple its product offering. Marion rose to Vice President for Product at Sunrise, and ended her career there as VP of Marketing. Marion's strong desire to give back to the community is reflected in many years of involvement as a former board member and President for Bloomingfoods, her involvement in foreign exchange student programs, and her work with Area 10 for the Aging. Marion retired from Direkt Approach in 2007.
Susie Hinkle is a resourceful and creative training professional. She is one of the founders of Direkt Approach, Inc. and specializes in customizing training programs to meet every client’s need. Prior to Direkt Approach, Susie was the Director of Sales Training and Human Resources with a twelve-year background in a dynamic and rapidly growing sales environment with Hallmark and Sunrise Publications, Inc. She has a strong history of providing innovative sales, market development and personal growth training programs. Her design and analysis of a new business acquisition program reduced the cost of sales by 18% and increased new business by 78%. The training program designed and implemented by Susie reduced the learning curve of Sunrise's field sales force by 14 months; her training program in inside sales reduced the learning curve from 18 months to 8 months. A skilled communicator with extensive experience in creating and conducting training classes, she has expertise in developing employees and management, maximizing productivity and behavior modeling. Susie coordinated and implemented sales force succession planning for 22 positions, including management. Acting as the Human Resources liaison for Sales, Susie was responsible for review of all performance evaluations, hiring and terminations for a 200 person sales force. She is a proven relationships builder with excellent interpersonal skills utilized to lead change management. Susie initiated consensus-building forums by gathering Executive Management to address corporate wide challenges of leadership transition when Sunrise was purchased by Hallmark. Susie's innovative approach to problem solving resulted in the design of an account base program, which allowed for pursuit and development of a $2 million Canadian market. She is also the Founder of Landau Lane Inc., a small independent film company. A writer of screenplays, poetry and books, she published a book, Sight Reading, and also produced, wrote and directed a full feature drama called 'Sky Pieces'. Susie is an insightful and intuitive leader, who infuses humor in her endeavors.