Heather R. Rickles is co-founder and owner of Venture Marketing Group. Heather oversees Venture’s day-to-day activities. She is directly involved in coordinating research, creative concepting, and implementation. She works closely with clients to making sure projects are timely and productive. Heather is a talented writer and an experienced film producer.
Heather’s career began in the mid-1990s as a media relations specialist for the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel. After her tenure in Montgomery, she oversaw marketing efforts for the Auburn/Opelika Convention and Visitors Bureau and Gadsden’s Center for Cultural Arts. She then joined RealtyBid International to oversee their nationwide media relations efforts. She and her business partner, the late Julie Waldrup, founded Venture Marketing Group in 2003.
Heather’s experience includes managing branding campaigns, overseeing major special events, developing extensive media relations programs, leading focus groups for non-profit organizations, writing and designing countless collateral pieces, and directing complete public relations/marketing programs. In recent years, Heather has been instrumental in helping clients embrace the digital age by introducing strong online components to their marketing mix, including search engine marketing, digital banner advertising, social media campaigns, pre-roll video and more.
Heather is a 1994 summa cum laude graduate of Auburn University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations with concentrations in marketing and journalism. Born in Virginia, Heather was raised in Alabama and graduated from Southside High School in 1990. Since returning to Gadsden in 1998, her community involvement efforts have included serving as an active volunteer for Gadsden City Schools, Gadsden Service Guild Board Member, Gadsden Regional Medical Center Women’s Advisory Board Member, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board Member, serving as an Adult Education volunteer and a Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentor. She is a member of the First Friday Forum, Gadsden/Etowah Chamber of Commerce, and Church of the Highlands.