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Volume 20 No. 42
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Forty Under 40

Since she was just 10 hands high, Trina Roffino has been showing horses and winning ribbons. Some 35 years later, her interest in all things equine hasn’t been reined in, and she’s also winning accolades for her marketing acumen.

As group vice president, account service, at The Marketing Arm, Roffino helps guide a group that includes such high-profile clients as Wal-Mart, Frito-Lay, State Farm and Hewlett-Packard. Her group has dreamed up, organized and run programs as large as Wal-Mart’s “Race Time” retail promotion, said to be NASCAR’s largest ever, and the “Crash the Super Bowl” user-generated-content promotion for Doritos.

Roffino likes the same things about the business she did when she started. “Taking some marketing insights, developing ideas and bringing those ideas to life is forever challenging and intriguing to me,” she said.

Roffino grew up in Southern California with an interest in marketing, which she combined with sports at UCLA when she took a job as marketing coordinator for the school’s athletic department. Her first job out of college was with Host Communications “doing a little bit of everything” for Mark Dyer.

“When I think of Trina, I think of a confident woman who, early in her career, showed initiative,” said Dyer, who’s now senior vice president and chief innovation officer at IMG College. “Today, that may be among the rarest of qualities.”

For someone partial to grain-fed modes of transportation, Roffino then surprisingly dove into motorsports marketing, working for the Texas Motorplex drag strip; becoming automotive brand marketing manager at Interstate Batteries, which then had NASCAR and NFL rights; and then joining what was Millsport in 2000, where she helped market Jeff Gordon and PepsiCo brands. More recently, she’s been working on Wal-Mart’s NASCAR activation.

“It’s still about the big idea,” Roffino said. “Now it’s about spreading those ideas across many touch points.”

Roffino is likely the only Forty Under 40 winner who belongs to the “Horse Lovers of the Business World” LinkedIn group. “There’s a lot of BS in our daily lives,” she said. “My love for horses is because you have to be honest with them.”

Age: 39
Title: Group vice president, account service
COMPANY: The Marketing Arm
Education: B.S., political science and public affairs, UCLA, 1994
Family: Husband, Michael; son Garrett (9)
Career: Host Communications; Texas Motorplex; Interstate Batteries; Millsport/The Marketing Arm
First job: Marketing coordinator for the UCLA athletic department
Last vacation: South Padre Island
what's on your ipod? The Pistol Annies, Kid Rock and Pitbull
guilty pleasure: TMZ
best stress release: Riding horses and mucking stalls
pet peeve: People who are late
fantasy job: Equine-assisted therapist. I’m studying for that now.
what keeps you awake at night? Ensuring we are doing our best work
business advice: KGive clients what they need, which is not necessarily what they ask for.