I’ve always enjoyed introducing Heather Chandler to people, “she’s a neurophysiologist”. For most people the response is always, “Ummm… I’m sorry, what is that?”.
Heather spent two years as an IOM Technologist for the Biotronic NeuroNetwork monitoring the integrity of the nervous system during surgical procedures. From there she spent four years as Nielsen’s Senior Neurophysiologist conducting market research studies including data collection and interaction with the study participants as well as continuously monitoring the incoming data, collecting EEG and physiological data from research participants while viewing marketing material and product designs, and led the creation of a historical database for every package, shelf, and print ever tested in the Nielsen and (a Cincinnati based consumer package goods company) contract (over 1,000 stimuli reconciled). She has managed teams throughout the market research study process from the kickoff call to delivering the end results to the client; working with: clients, lab operations, recruiters, data processing teams, and all levels of management.
By day, Heather is working with the team at the Cincinnati Enquirer as a Market Analyst to help them identify market potential for their rapidly changing business model. At night she puts on her superhero cape and is helping Lion + Panda. What is she doing; you may ask. I mean you probably did since I planted that in your head.
She generate insights and actionable recommendations based on consumer implicit behavior and eye-tracking response to different campaign touch points, including: TV copies, new product packaging, shelf displays and planograms, websites, and prints.
Translated: Heather makes sure that the work we do is awesome and creates an ROI.
As they say, behind every great man is a great woman. Heather has been the backbone of Lion + Panda since the start. She believes in it so much that she’s marrying her way into the company. In November Heather and Philip will be married and she will become Mrs. Heather Roestamadji, despite my recommendation to keep her last name, because after a year I still have to pause when I write that…”does the O or the E go first…”.
AND NOW. A RIDICULOUS NUMBER OF QUESTIONS WITH HEATHER CHANDLER, BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T WANT TO ONLY ANSWER 10; SHE WANTED TO ANSWER ALL OF THEM…AND I DON’T ARGUE WITH HEATHER.
What’s something that grosses you out that other people would find weird?
The sound of people clipping their nails *shudder*
If you met with a client and that person had his or her arms attached backwards, how would you greet him or her?
I would say hello and then probably give their shoulders a shake? or an awkward arm rub?
How did people ever get anything done without the existence of web sites and Google?
Pretty sure people were a lot more imaginative and creative with their free time. They probably used things like library cards and telephones with wires still attached.
What is the worst question to ask, or answer, in an interview?
What is the worst question to ask, or answer, in an interview?
Agree or disagree: The Grateful Dead was a terrible band.
Neutral – I’m not a “dead head” by any means… but have enjoyed my share of music festivals. what kind of a hippie would I be if I said they were terrible?
How would you live your life if you had a week to live?
I’d skip work and go visit with all my favorite people. If money were no option, I’d fly them all with me to a hut in Fiji.
How would you live your life if you were going to live forever?
I would just constantly be in school and traveling. I love to learn! If my time were limitless I would spend most of it learning and then going to every corner of the earth.
Where do you find peace?
When running in beautiful scenery – my worries go away and I focus on enjoying my surroundings.
Would you rather walk backwards for the rest of your life, or stub your toe with every step you took? Explain your choice.
Walk backwards – at least then I could still walk and talk to people. I feel like I would always be interrupted with the toe-stubbing which would lead to falling because I’m horrible at catching myself.
What is your favorite campaign?
So many to choose from! The first one that comes to mind is the Dove Real Beauty Sketches, or Always #LikeAGirl
Who is your role model, and why?
My late Grandpa, Charlie. He was resilient, compassionate, and incredibly kind. He taught me how much small actions can make a huge impact in other people’s lives. One of my favorite stories about him actually came about after he passed: My Grandma (who I also admire greatly) received a letter in the mail from one of my aunt’s ex-boyfriends, who they hadn’t heard from in probably 15-20 years. He said that he was sorry to hear that my grandpa had passed away, that he was one of the only people who never judged him and always treated him with respect (even though he was a troublemaker). That still resounds with me to this day. Kindness goes a long way.
What superhero would you be and why?
Big Hero 6! Not only did he know Karate – but he was also programmed to help others. And his injuries could be fixed by recharging his batteries and scotch tape.
If you were a kitchen appliance what would you be?
A wine rack – for obvious reasons.
What’s been your best work that you think you are proud of yourself and what about them could you have done better?
I think the best thing I have achieved was picking up the exercise/habit of running. There was one point in my life when I couldn’t even run a mile. While I had to drop out of half marathon training, I could have done better by sticking to it despite the obstacles life was handing to me at the time.
What motivates you and what doesn’t?
I’m a very goal-oriented person so usually having something to achieve within a timeline is all it takes to motivate me. What doesn’t motivate me is letting myself get too comfortable – be it literally under a blanket watching TV, or not pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone.
Tell me in no more than 5 words what you think Lion + Panda does?
Digital marketing with pizazz!
What did you play with as a child?
Barbies, I also re-enacted Cinderella thousands of times
What is your hidden talent and how did you discover it?
I am a MASTER at spelling, and also have a bit of a photographic memory – I discovered this in elementary school winning spelling bees. I think its clear by now I’m a nerd, right?
How did you get to this interview?
I think the more obvious question is why did it take so long to get to this interview? (Just kidding.) I’ve been supporting Lion + Panda since they were cubs at the zoo – behind the scenes. As the business has evolved, I have begun to take a more active role and we decided it was time to officially make me a part of the team.
What’s your superpower, or what’s your spirit animal?
I’d like to think my spirit animal is the Phoenix – but in reality, I’m more like a Koala who sleeps 20+ hours a day.
If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?
Clearly for all the ribbon-cutting ceremonies i’d have to deliver pizza to.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?
Aqua-ma-ceru-teal. All of my favorite colors rolled into one!
If you could throw a party of any caliber, budget isn’t a factor, what type of parade would it be?
A Gatsby Masquerade party in Savannah Georgia.
What do you do for fun and what would you be doing if it wasn’t advertising?
I enjoy kickboxing, running with my dog, and enjoying the many different microbreweries Ohio has to offer. If I weren’t in advertising – I would probably be working in neurosurgery. (No joke.)
What advice would you give to anyone trying to make it in the ad world?
Ask all the questions. Meet with people who inspire you, who are doing what you’d like to do. Find a mentor who is currently successful in the ad world and can help foster your success.
What’s the story about your family or your cat?
I’m very close with my family and my extended family – especially my Grandmother. I have parents, step-parents, and an awesomely smart, funny, and unique younger brother – but I also have my little blended animal family – Philip (the panda), Twila (the dog), and Gracie & Lucy (the cats).
What has been your biggest blunder at work?
I do a lot of work with excel – which can be tedious after a while. In a recent study with over 400 responses, selected all but one row, copied and pasted and made charts, and literally ALL THE DATA was off by ONE NUMBER, and I had to start from scratch. aye-aye-aye.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in high school and/or college?
There are so many to choose from! I actually would go back even further to elementary school. I was playing shadow tag with the neighborhood kids and literally RAN into a deck pole, leaving my eye swollen shut and black for weeks.
It seems like there are a lot of people from the advertising world spending more energy on social causes. Is this actually a trend?
I don’t think it’s a trend specific to the advertising world – People who make up a huge part of today’s work force (25-44 year olds) are passionate about social justice and bringing about change. Then again, the whole basis of the founding of the United States of America is based on a “social cause” is it not? I think we’re naturally built to want more and better for ourselves and future generations to come.
Why are people from the advertising and marketing world joining social causes?
I think it’s our responsibility to use our specific skill sets to help spread awareness and aid these causes in getting the attention they deserve.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
I gave Robot Slippers to Philip for Valentine’s Day. Maybe the best gift I’ve ever given to him.
Do you believe in Bigfoot?
It’s Thursday, you’ve got to be at a project in Marrakech, Morocco on Monday. Your flight and hotel are booked; your visa is ready. What are the top five things you do before you leave?
Make a packing list, drop off my dog, remind my family/friends of my itinerary, research things to do in Marrakech, Morocco, and probably eat a cheeseburger.
If there was a movie produced about your life, what would it be called? Who would play you, and why?
It would be called “You never know….” And I would have Kristen Wiig play me, because I thinks he’s hilarious and if she were an animal, would be my spirit-animal.
How does the internet work?
There are these teeny tiny micro site that take the data from your computer and feed it into robots who turn the cogs in the major robot machine who spits out information to other robots who blow out the microsites like bubbles to the other computers.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Probably moving in with The Panda – I could write a book with all the funny things that he says on a daily basis.