Entrepreneur, Mentor, Truly Wise, Persistent, Uncommon Sense, Trusted Advisor, Strategic
Sally is an accomplished entrepreneur and executive whose accolades include an Inc. 500 ranking, Entrepreneur of the Year for the State of Illinois, Advertising Woman of the Year in Chicago, and 100 Best and Brightest in Advertising.
After graduating with a degree from American University in Washington, D.C., Tassani taught underprivileged children in the nation’s capital. Three years later she moved to Chicago to begin her business career. There she worked for several companies before founding her own marketing agency and graphic design firm, Nexus.
In 1984, Inc. Magazine recognized Nexus, later named Tassani Communications and then Tassani & Paglia, as one of America’s fastest growing privately owned companies. The firm achieved double-digit growth for over 15 years. The company earned a reputation in integrated communications and pioneered the offering of Advertising, Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Sales Promotion and Graphic Design under one roof. This approach, which was unique at the time, branded the agency and attracted Fortune 500 clients.
Tassani merged the agency in 1995 with a larger, publicly held firm. After transitioning her clients, she headed to Leo Burnett, a top ten global agency as Senior Vice President of Direct Marketing and Sales Promotion, reporting to the Vice Chairman. At Burnett, Tassani identified and recruited key talent and led an acquisition team to identify, evaluate and conduct due diligence on potential acquisitions in the direct marketing arena.
While Tassani served on a number of not-for-profit boards, she also served on the public board of Paul Harris Stores. Precipitated by Paul Harris’ stock drop in 1998, Tassani yielded to the Board’s request to take a Senior Vice President and inside Director role at the company headquarters in Indianapolis. With Board approval, she restructured senior management and provided leadership during the transition. Tassani along with the CFO, also, led the effort to obtain the assets of The J. Peterman Company, a $10 million acquisition sans liabilities.
In 2001, Tassani leveraged her business experience and became a consultant with Vistage International, the world’s largest CEO peer exchange organization. Tassani was also selected by Eli Lilly to improve the leadership competency of their global marketing leaders.
Today, Tassani is president of The Strategy Forums a membership organization where CEOs and key executives meet monthly to exchange ideas, knowledge and perspectives to profitably grow their businesses.
Personally, Tassani lives with her two teenage daughters, Flinn and Royce, that she adopted as a single parent. Later she adopted Peter from Vietnam when he was 12 years old. Today, Peter serves in the U.S. Navy.