Laura Van Galen

Laura Van Galen

President & CEO at Bleu Marketing Solutions
San Francisco, United States

Summary

Laura van Galen, founder and CEO of Bleu Marketing Solutions, Inc., is a most authoritative direct marketer that understands the woven fabrics of customer acquisition and customer retention marketing. With over twenty-four years in this field, she is considered an expert. In former years, she has been invited to speak to audiences at MacWorld 2002, NCDMA, Women in Leadership at Santa Clara University , San Francisco State University MBA Marketing Department, San Jose University Professional Development, Apple Specialist Marketing Coop, and more. In May 2008, she was honored with the 2008 Rising Star Award by NAWBO. In September 2008, Bleu ranked one of the Top 100 Women-owned businesses as well as one of the largest advertising agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times.
In 1986, Laura received her first taste of marketing direct to consumers in the retail channel in The United Arab Emirates. With tight constraints on how to market to consumers in this foreign marketplace, Laura was tasked with the challenges of culture and media controls . The local newspaper recognized her efforts as cutting edge.
In 1994, after her return to the United States, Laura joined Broderbund Software's marketing services group with one main goal; to learn all that she had missed while out of the country…computers, which had quintessentially changed the lives of millions of Americans.
In 2001, Laura founded Bleu Marketing Solutions, Inc., a for-profit agency focused on supporting large businesses to acquire new customers through offline and online list marketing. The company has shown profitability since its inception. In 2007 and 2008, Bleu was recognized on the Inc 5000 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the US today.
As the mother of an extended family of five children, Laura also spends time mentoring young people and those of other countries through an extended internship program. She is committed to excellence.
Specialties: Bleu Marketing Solutions is a full service internet media agency and consulting firm. At Bleu, we specialize in supporting large businesses become better e-businesses. Our approach is unique. We believe in providing our blue chip clients with a trustworthy direct marketing strategic partner that can listen to needs and find compatible solutions. 

Positions

Chief Executive Member
Fenix Entertainment Group, LLC
United States
January 2013 - Present (4 years 8 months)
919 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901
Fenix Entertainment Group, LLC was founded with one goal in mind...to bring to the world the full Bay Area music scene, rich and bountiful with local live musicians at www.fenixlive.com, a live music web portal. Live streams of over 600 live archived shows are captured daily in this place where dining room, stage, and state-of-the-art recording studio are one. Where every show is streamed live in HD to fans watching in over 102 countries.
CEO & President
San Rafael, United States
September 2001 - Present (16 years)
As Bleu Marketing marks its 15th year, those who know Laura van Galen won’t be surprised that her company has not only survived, but has thrived in the highly competitive world of business-to-business marketing. We asked our charismatic leader to shed some light on how she began Bleu and what she thinks the next 15 years might bring.
Roots in Retail
Growing up in an entrepreneurial family set the stage for Laura’s passion to control her own destiny. At first, it was the proverbial lemonade stand. Much later, however, after working for a few companies in the Bay Area and traveling the world, it was her uncle (owner of a local upholstery business) who advised her to set out on her own and do what she does best­­––make and nurture deep relationships with those who could benefit from her expertise. “I was working for a company and we were doing about a million dollars a month,” she says. “My uncle couldn’t understand why I was doing that for someone else, when I could be doing it for myself.”
Bleu Begins
In 2001, Laura opened Bleu in a small residential flat. Dana Al-Suwaidi, Associate Account Manager, says that “Bleu had a very start-up feel to it before ‘start-up’ became a huge buzz word. With just two or three employees and Laura’s pure gusto and long-standing relationships, we were able to grow into what we are now: a full-service agency with multiple departments.” As the company grew, expansion was inevitable—from a small flat to a four-story Victorian in the Marina District. Thanks to Laura’s relationship building and strategic planning, the agency weathered the worse recession of the 20th century and now provides marketing services for some of the biggest names in the tech industry.
On Breaking Rules
Laura’s been in the business long enough to know integrity is non-negotiable. “No matter who you are in business, it is a risk to break rules. And not only that, you have to go to bed with yourself at night.”
The Female Perspective
When asked how things would be different if society was a bit less patriarchal, she believes that “women are ‘web’ managers, so the world would work more collaboratively without the hierarchical structure that we have now. That structure works really well in certain companies and in others it doesn’t. It all depends on what’s the fabric; what’s the need.”
Words of Wisdom
“To the students out there in the world: take risks. Go where you need to go and enjoy it. To the clients of the world and the clients who work with us: Thank you for working with us and, also at the same time, don’t take any shortcuts—always do it right. In the end, it will pay great dividends. To my employees: I want to thank you for supporting Bleu Marketing and sticking with me through thick and thin as the roller coaster ride continues.” Of course, what we really want to know is what actress is best suited to portray her in her biopic. “Since we’re talking pure fantasy here, might as well go all out and choose Helen Mirren to play me. She would be terrific and I would be honored!” Like Laura’s enthusiasm, the depths of her knowledge can’t be contained in a short narrative. Fortunately, we have another 15 years to learn more.
Five things you should know about our fearless leader:
1) She is fluent in Arabic, Spanish, French, and English. 2) She is an excellent water skier. 3) She is an introvert in her personal life and an extrovert in her professional life. 4) She sang in a band in high school. 5) She owns a live-streaming, live music, and dining venue called Fenix in San Rafael, CA.

Education

BA, MA, MBA - International Studies and Business

Dominican University of California
1982 - 1996 (14 years)
Activities and Societies: Honored with magna cum laude, “with great honor”; direct translation: “with great praise”. For those who might think I have 14 years of education, here is the breakdown: BA: 1982-1986; MA: 1992-1994; MBA: 1994-1996 Studied French, Spanish and Arabic languages.

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