Vice President of Marketing

Zina Nelson

“Much like the way we help our customers, the culture within Innovative is all about helping each other level up.”

~ Zina

WITH A STORIED RESUME ALREADY WRITTEN, ZINA STEPPED IMMEDIATELY INTO A LEADERSHIP ROLE WHEN SHE KICKED OFF HER TIME AT INNOVATIVE.

As Vice President of Marketing, she’s tasked with leading all marketing initiatives, from external branding to internal culture. In addition to managing her team and working directly with Innovative’s sales reps to build congruent messaging across print and digital platforms, she’s also formalizing processes and workflow models to keep the team as agile as possible.

Zina’s love for marketing manifested soon after graduating with a degree in business from RIT, when she founded Ab-Ra-Ca-Dab-Ra Advertising. Through Ab-Ra-Ca-Dab-Ra, Zina and her team became an extension of small- to medium-sized business’ marketing departments, providing advertising mediums to help their businesses grow through targeted publications, direct mail services, website design, conferences, consulting, and more.

Under Ab-Ra-Ca-Dab-Ra, Zina also created and developed three publishing and website subsidiaries, including Rochester Bride and Groom. After 14 years of building brands, Zina was presented the opportunity to sell the company in 2005.

Eager for change, she embarked upon the next chapter of her career, as a Financial Advisor under MetLife Financial Group of Upstate NY. She earned several certifications, including her FINRA Series 66 and 7 and a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation. After two years as an Advisor, she was named Small Business Development Director for Upstate NY, overseeing 18 teams from Binghamton to Buffalo as they brought financial wellness programs into corporations.

Zina’s love of marketing never faded, though -- especially the thrill she finds in developing strategic brands that understand what marketing can do for them.

Known amongst colleagues as endlessly hard-working, responsible, and transparent, Zina extends that hard work to the Masters in Finance she’s currently working toward from Harvard University. With a 4.0 GPA and just a few classes to go, Zina looks forward to putting her new knowledge to use as she evaluates and plans marketing initiatives that will help Innovative reach new heights in revenue and visibility.

Despite her hard work over the years, her kids are what make Zina most proud. Her son, Ryan, is studying computer science at Cal Poly Tech, while her daughter, Rachael, will be attending Nova Southeastern College in Fort Lauderdale on an academic scholarship, playing D2 volleyball. Zina won’t take credit for the fact that her kids have grown into amazing young adults -- she also credits their life experiences, schooling through Harley, McQuaid, and Mercy, and her husband...the best supportive father a kid could ask for.

Born and raised in Greece, Zina moved to Webster with her husband when they were married 25 years ago. Having gone to school in Spencerport with a father who owned an Italian food store in Gates, Zina’s claimed the Rochester Italian west-side trifecta. It’s heritage she’s proud of, as a Sicilian speaker and often leader of large family gatherings.

When she’s not working or studying, you can find Zina on vacations with her family, at her kids sporting events, on the water, exercising, or clinking glasses over dinner with her friends -- who recently gathered for a Fab at 50 photo shoot. Her goal? To keep as much positive energy in her life as possible and to share that positivity with everyone around her.

What Zina loves most about Innovative is that it allows employees to define their own roles -- something she’s been doing for nearly two decades, and something she looks forward to making the most of now.