Full Name: Michelle Karalekas
BE Words: In / Dependent
Nicknames: Meesh, Mishy
Hometown: Marblehead, MA
Alma mater: Salem State University

What do you do at KHJ?

As VP of Client Services at KHJ, I oversee growth of the client services team as well as developing and executing innovative marketing and brand solutions for my clients within the healthcare/diagnostics space.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of working at KHJ is the people! Not only do I have the privilege of working alongside a hard-working, talented team, I am fortunate to have built long-lasting relationships with clients who listen and truly value the strategic insight I provide.

Where did you go to school?

I attended Salem State University and graduated with a degree in management. Ironically, I did not pursue marketing as this drummed up visions of presenting in front of a boardroom full of people. Little did I know when I joined my first agency over 20 years ago, that’s exactly what I’d be doing.  As my career progressed, I found I had a real passion for life sciences and healthcare. KHJ has provided me with a platform to blend my functional strengths and industry interests into a role that perfectly suits my BEing.

How did you get into the industry?

Out of school I took a position where I was working with a consumer goods package design firm. Here I gained knowledge from design, to execution through to print production. I really enjoyed working on consumer goods since you could see the end result of the products I worked on sitting on the shelf. However, after transitioning to healthcare, med device and diagnostics, I find the work in healthcare to be much more fulfilling.

What is your favorite project you’ve worked on here at KHJ?

I really enjoyed working on the Quest ACA campaign: The client came to us with a unique problem which required a novel solution. Quest was looking to create a pilot marketing program focused on educating newly enrolled members on the public exchange and in Medicaid expansion markets in California about the benefits of preventive care and encourage them to take charge of their health. We built an analytics solution that allowed Quest to segment the market, identify key target audiences, and select market geographies based on weighted scoring of population data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as well as other data sources and Quest data. We developed an integrated, comprehensive, multi-touch communication strategy targeting health plans, physicians and member audiences via paid media, search and health plan communications, all driving to a microsite for educational content and download.

What do you do in your time outside of work?

When I am not at work, you can most likely find me training for Ironman triathlon races. So far, I have completed two full distance races and two half distance races. For anyone not familiar, a full distance race consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. A half is – well half that. I am currently training for my third full Ironman at in Canada this August.