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Marketing Exec Turns Pandemic Downturn into New Start

Published Friday Mar 12, 2021

Author Matthew J. Mowry

Marketing Exec Turns Pandemic Downturn into New Start

After 18 years as a marketing executive for some of the top banks in the state—including Profile Bank, Bank of NH and Northway Bank—Vickie Routhier decided in 2019 to make the jump to a marketing firm as senior vice president of client services and strategy. And then 2020 hit.

As a result of the pandemic, the firm laid off many employees, and Routhier found herself jobless. “I was able to take a step back and say, what do I do now?’” she says.

She says high-level marketing jobs at NH banks weren’t available, and the only comparable jobs she could find were in Massachusetts. “You get to a point where you want a life and a career without a two-hour commute,” Routhier says. Friends and colleagues urged her to start her own firm and one even asked her for marketing assistance. “I had this epiphany; this is really doable,” she says. In July, Routhier launched Sebright Marketing Solutions in Strafford.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified. I was super excited and extremely terrified. But I didn’t have much to lose,” says Routhier.

Drawing on her marketing experience as well as her extensive contacts, Routhier quickly found the support services she needed and began bringing in clients. She says even friends at other agencies reached out and offered resources.

“I felt very grateful,” she says. “When you move in the right direction, the universe conspires to help you.”

Routhier started her career as a stay-at-home mom running a day care. Seeing the way she marketed her business, one of the parents asked her to interview at his company, and Routhier landed a marketing position at Cabletron in Rochester. When Cabletron eventually sold, she switched to a marketing career in banking.

As she looks to grow Sebright, Routhier says smaller firms often need outside marketing assistance. She intends to be the experienced chief marketing officer they cannot afford to hire on their own.

“We’ve come far in five months,” Routhier says. The “we” now includes a team of six, including a former marketing colleague from Bank of NH, Lindsay Cota-Robles, who serves as the firm’s director of strategic marketing. “I want to do what I love and help  [others] tell their stories.”

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