Kathryne Gambrell Reeves

Director of Marketing, AOL New Ventures ? AOL, LLC., a Division of Time Warner Inc. ? Dulles, Va. ? Age: 38

As the director of marketing within the customer management and paid services division of AOL L.L.C., Kathryne Gambrell Reeves is charged with delving into the mind of the consumer to develop brand identity and marketing strategies. While she describes her current position as ?a marketer?s dream,? it isn?t the job she fantasized about when she was younger.

As a child in Jackson, Miss., Reeves was expected to choose a college major that would guarantee her a job when she graduated. She enjoyed art and creative writing, but those fields weren?t viewed as viable career options. Having exceptional math skills and an uncle who was a civil engineer prompted her to pursue a bachelor?s degree in civil engineering at Stanford University. She spent two years and a half as an engineer at Chevron U.S.A. Products Co. before enrolling in Harvard University, where she earned a master?s in business administration. She then worked in management consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton before taking a position at Compaq Computer Corp. that would launch her career in marketing. ?[At Compaq], the marketing team drove how products were made and launched. That?s when I really figured out that product marketing was my love,? says Reeves. Reeves joined AOL in 2004.

Reeves is modest about her professional accomplishments. ?I don?t feel particularly distinguished,? she says. ?I feel just lucky. I?ve reported to some really cool people who have given me opportunities.? Those people include Michael Murray, vice president of AOL New Ventures, and Kim Patroll, AOL?s executive vice president of customer management and paid services.

A mother of two, Reeves is driven by her desire to provide her children, Kevin and Camille, with better opportunities than she and her husband Kevin had. ?It?s really critical to invest early and deeply in your education,? says Reeves. ?Your education pays dividends in so many ways that you can?t foresee.?