4insights, LLC Partners Jennifer F. Woolford and Carol Gies Dietz together have four decades of corporate and non-profit executive management and consulting experience in a broad range of sectors including national retail store and shopping center development; grand openings; restaurants; entertainment venues; major special events; and downtown retail tenant mix strategy for cities.
Jennifer’s experience includes 20 years at the famous Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. in Chicago. As Senior Vice President of Consumer Shows, Jennifer served on the Executive Team, expanding them into major markets across the United States and Canada. She strategically directed and produced nationally recognized shows in art and design including: The One of a Kind Show, The Architectural Digest Home Design Show, The Antiques & Fine Art Fairs and many others. These events attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to national exhibitions of Art, Fine Craft, Antiques, and Furnishings. Jennifer initiated strategic partnerships for these retail events maximizing exposure to targeted consumers. Partners included NBC, ABC, WTTW, Conde Nast, Martha Stewart Living , Interior Design, Modern Luxury, Niche Media , Tribune Co. and others.
“Jennifer and I have worked together for more than two decades. She has an innate ability to translate research into innovative marketing solutions that create unique and genuine experiences for her clients and their customers. Jennifer is a trusted and creative partner from start to finish.” — Christopher Kennedy
Chairman, Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, Inc.
Prior to this post, Jennifer was Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications developing MMPI’s award winning in-house ad agency of 50 account executives, copywriters, design and web managers, along with the Media Relations and Corporate Affairs/ Cause Marketing teams. Jennifer directed the agency’s high service performance during acquisitions and new show launches. The agency executed all marketing materials for 12 buildings including The LUXEHOME Luxury Kitchen & Bath Center in Chicago, Pier 92/94 in New York, The High Point Furniture Market, and Showroom buildings in New York, Washington D.C , Los Angeles and Boston as well 30 annual trade and consumer events.
Jennifer has experience leading some of the largest grand opening events and festivities during her Mart tenure. She oversaw all marketing communications for the launch of Art Chicago at the Mart, The Armory Show in NYC and grand opening of The High Point Furniture Market, in North Carolina. Additionally, Jennifer is a past Chair of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Associations’ Magnificent Mile Lights Festival , the largest one day holiday shopping event in the United States attracting one million visitors each season. In this role, Woolford was responsible for overseeing 40 committee members and over 800 volunteers orchestrating this event for the city. She also serves on the Board of Directors of The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation , The Winnetka Children’s Theatre and volunteers for several other organizations.
- The One of a Kind Show in Chicago.
- The Architectural Digest Home Design Show, NYC
- The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair, Chicago
- Art Chicago
- The Armory Show NY
- LuxeHome Launch, Merchandise Mart
- The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
- NeoCon World's Trade Fair
- The Merchandise Mart Gift Shows
- High Point, NC Furniture Market
- 7West NY
- Pier 92/94 NY
- SOFA Chicago
- art+design NY
- Flashes of Hope (non-profit, Chicago)
- Syd Rocks
- Rainworks OmniMedia—Shows
- Fundraising Programs (non-profit)
- Sponsor/Partnerships with CondeNast, Martha Stewart, WTTW, NBC, Disney, Chicago Tribune, Modern Luxury, Michigan Avenue Magazine and more
“For almost a decade, I had the good fortune of working for Joan Ulrich and learning from her how to successfully market and produce major shows and events. One of the overriding ideas she instilled in me was that our exhibitors or vendors must be our true partners and everything we do – from the audience we attract to the experience we create – must relate back to them reaching their goals.” — Lisa Simonian
VP of Marketing, Consumer and Trade Shows, The Mart
Joan has done it all - large and small events in every major city in the US. From high-end art fairs to one-of-a-kind craft shows to the nation’s largest gift & decorative accessories markets, Joan has helped create many of the nations’ most successful markets.
Joan is an experienced event manager and marketing and sales professional who evaluates every opportunity from an ownership perspective.
From start to finish, Joan is focused on the activity that drives revenue and results for key stakeholders.
In her capacity as SVP, Gift Industry for Merchandise Mart Properties (MMPI) and VP of New Business Development, Marketing and Specialty Shows at Urban Expositions, Joan earned a reputation for strong leadership and an expertise for strategic planning and execution.
As principal of UnCommon Markets, she learned the invaluable lessons that only come from being an entrepreneur.
Joan’s career experience makes her uniquely qualified to work with event producers to drive incremental high-margin revenue.
Business to Business Events
- Gift Wholesale Shows
◦ The Chicago Gift Show/The Windy City Gift Show
◦ The California Gift Show
◦ Beckman’s Handcrafted Gift Show
- Halloween & Party Expo
- Airport Revenue News (ARN)
- Food Service
- The Key Accounts Gathering
- P3 (Progressive Pet Products)
- Art + Design
◦ Sculpture Objects Functional Art & Design (SOFA CHICAGO)
◦ Art Aspen
◦ Art Hamptons
◦ Art Palm Springs
◦ Houston Art Fair
- The Artist Project
- The One of a Kind Show
- The International Antiques Fair
- UnCommon Markets
Wholesale Property Management/Merchandise Mart Properties Inc
- The Gift Industry
- The LA Mart
- The LA Design Center
- 7West 34th Street
- High Point Furniture Market
carol gies dietz
Carol founded Chicago-based 4INSIGHTS in 2002, with over 20 years senior level management experience in the retail, restaurant, entertainment, shopping center and tourism/hospitality industries, specializing in research, business strategy and marketing.
Her retail development experience is extensive. As VP Marketing, Research, Center Planning, Technology and Strategic Investments for The Taubman Company, a leading national developer, she directed research for 36,000 consumers, and led business planning and marketing strategy for 30 of the nation's premiere regional shopping centers and mixed use developments.
Carol gained her retail marketing experience as VP Branch Store Marketing for Bloomingdale's New York, directing 14 stores in eight states for market analysis, marketing strategy, and several major grand openings, including Mall of America and the Chicago flagship store.
“Thank you for your marketing and event planning support for our grand openings. It was exceptional, from strategy to execution.” — Steven Spielberg
Her restaurant experience was earned as VP Marketing and Research for The Levy Restaurants, where she directed consumer research, branding and marketing for 51 individual foodservice concepts in the U.S. and abroad, including restaurants in Disney World, Nashville, Los Angeles and Barcelona, Spain and for celebrities including Steven Spielberg.
She also directed statewide logistics for two of the nation’s largest events, serving as Executive Director of the Michigan Host Corporation for the Republican National Convention and the NFL Super Bowl.
She founded 4insights in 2002 to apply her research and marketing experience in the retail, restaurant, and development sectors for both private and public clients, including municipalities and non profit organizations.
Her MBA is from the Eli Broad Advanced Management Program at Michigan State University. She is passionate about education and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the DuPage Children’s Museum. In 2011, she co-founded the Center for Lifelong Learning at Benedictine University, in suburban Chicago.
- Shopping Center, Retail Store & Restaurants—Research, Marketing, Grand Openings
- Bloomingdale’s 14 stores including Mall of America (MN), West Palm Beach, Chicago (flagship), Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and others
- Levy Restaurants 21 unique concepts in Chicago, Las Vegas, Walt Disney World, Nashville and Barcelona (Spain) and others
- Taubman Company’s 31 premiere regional shopping centers in 12 states, across the U.S.
- Major Events
- Republican National Convention Host Corporation Executive Director
- NFL Super Bowl Host Corporation Executive Director
- Mixed Use Developments & Downtown District Retail Strategy
- Belmar Multi-Use Development, Lakewood, CO
- Belleview Station Transportation Oriented Development, Denver CO
- Coconut Crossings FL
- Estero on the River FL
- Arlington Town Center IL
- Healthcare Realty Trust, TX
- Water Street Development, Marquette Co.
- City of Highland Park IL
- City of Oak Park IL
- City of Naperville Downtown Retail District
- City of Elgin
- Village of Skokie IL
- Village of Lemont
- Village of Hanover Park
- Non Profit Organizations, Retail Development Symposiums
- DePaul University
- Midwestern University
- DuPage Children’s Museum
- Naperville Chamber of Commerce
- Beaumont Hospital MI