Did you know CCAH President Kim Cubine reads “Who Moved My Cheese?” annually to enhance her leadership skills? This final installment in the “Did You Know Kim Cubine” blog series examines how the former Clinton Administration staffer transformed CCAH into an award-winning, full-service direct marketing firm.
After years of working on President Bill Clinton’s advance team, the rigors of traveling around the country and the world began taking a toll on Kim Cubine. Living out of a suitcase had become a way of life.
Jim Hussey, one of the principals of CCAH’s predecessor firm, had routinely offered Kim opportunities to come to work for him over the years. Each time, though, she graciously declined his offer. But, by 1998, Kim was at a crossroads where she knew she needed to make a change. When he raised the subject again, she accepted Hussey’s offer and joined the agency.
During Kim’s early years at the firm, she could already envision the impact the Internet would have on communications within the direct marketing industry. At the same time, clients that were dabbling in digital often expressed to her their frustration that CCAH did not offer digital marketing services. Unfortunately, their vendors understood digital but knew little about the science behind direct marketing.
So, she developed a business plan by which CCAH could enter digital marketing and pitched it to the firm’s president. Kim detailed the type of investment required over a two-year period and projected the number of current clients she felt would be online customers. She received the go-ahead to proceed. The agency doubled the Year 1 projection; in Year 2, it achieved billings of $1 to $2 million. Digital was no longer a foray into a new business line; it was a viable part of the agency’s services. Management asked Kim to take the firm into the future as its president. Kim accepted the position.
She began serving as the president of the newly branded Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey in June 2011. In addition to overseeing some of the most prominent campaigns and global nonprofit accounts, including Obama for America, EMILY’s List and Amnesty International, she also spearheaded an effort to transform CCAH into the first and only multi-channel, full-service direct marketing agency in the country. Kim focused on attracting more multi-channel clients willing to take advantage of the most up-to date technology. Under her leadership, CCAH has won many awards for delivering record-breaking results on behalf of clients.
Throughout Kim’s career, the question, “What’s Next?” is always at the top of her mind, and it is the call to action she challenges her employees to embrace. At CCAH, this question frames the effort to keep the firm ahead of the technological curve in the direct marketing industry.
Another source of inspiration is Kim’s annual read of Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. She credits this book with being a major source of leadership insights. It reminds us all to never get too comfortable with the present and always look for the next thing on the horizon.
Kim’s forward-looking focus is undoubtedly one contributor to her notable accomplishments. The other is her passion for social justice and her understanding of how the political process can achieve greater equality across society.