Denise Williams: the Philadelphia branch of Goodman Marketing Partners

As filed – without edits – last week for today’s edition of the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Denise Williams has a brutal walk to her boss’s office.

Denise Williams

She is a one woman-office charged with launching East Coast operations for Goodman Marketing Partners, a direct marketing company in San Rafael, Calif., 20 miles north of San Francisco.

“They’ve been pretty much West Coast exclusive, so my job now is 50 percent business development and 50 percent hands-on business execution,” she said. “It’s a remote world, but still clients need face to face time. I’m developing new business relationships and working with those clients.”

She hasn’t filled the role even two months yet, but her plans of expansion involve moving out of her home office in Morgantown to a higher profile locale.

“In the next three to five years, we want to be in a position to establish a significant presence in the City of Philadelphia,” she said, noting the region’s place in the advertising world. “I’ve been in and among the best marketing directors in the world right here in the direct marketing hub. This is where direct marketing is. This is the place to be.”

Williams has worked in offices alone and for companies based outside of the region before. She was formerly vice president of new business development for the Customer Communications Group, based in Denver. Her experience has allowed her to think that there is something special about Goodman Marketing.

“Every time you talk to Goodman, you are talking to a senior level person,” she said. “The sun never sets on Goodman, we’re in California and Philadelphia… We can serve you around the clock.”

Williams has been given a great deal of independence in developing that service on this side of the country.

It helps to have a good relationship with the boss.

She has a long friendship with Carolyn Goodman, president and founder of the company.

“We can have wine together and work together. I can confide in her,” she said. “I don’t look at her like my boss. She is my colleague and partner, and we’re uncovering new opportunities together.”

Williams, who is on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association, has more than two decades in the industry herself, but admires Goodman for the work she has done.

“There is something special, a woman-owned business to play in the sandbox with the larger agencies,” she said. “I saw her success, the trajectory is positive, and I wanted to be a part of that. I respect her tremendously.”

At the end of the month, Williams will be taking the six-hour flight for a sit down with Goodman, for brainstorming, strategy and more.

“We need to set some benchmarks to get to that office in Philadelphia.”

See other examples of my reporting here.