Leadership

THE INDUSTRY LEADERS BEHIND VALASSIS

Valassis’ unmatched experience, knowledge, and passion flow from our leaders who empower their talented teams to be the very best. Read more about who they are and their unwavering commitment to our customers and the consumers they serve.

Cali Tran

President, Chief Commercial Officer- Vericast, Valassis, Clipper, NCH

Cali Tran is the President and Chief Commercial Officer of Valassis, the leader in marketing technology and consumer engagement. Cali has risen to become CCO due to his vision, his track record, and his passion for transforming the omnichannel experience for both consumers and marketers. In early 2019, Cali was promoted to President of Valassis, charged with aligning and strengthening the online and offline, data-driven business. Previously, he served as President, Valassis Digital from 2014 – 2018 and led the division through an exceptional trajectory of consistent profitable growth through organic initiatives and strategic acquisitions. He is deeply committed to empowering associates and building award-winning solutions that help improve consumers’ lives and drive exponential growth for clients. Prior to Valassis, Cali served as the Senior Vice President of Technology and Business Development at MacAndrews & Forbes, the parent company of Harland Clarke Holdings. He is also a founder and investor in high potential, market disruptors. His portfolio includes Ancestry (pre-Series A team), GoPlae (co-founding investor) and Adavium Medical (seed investor). Earlier in his career, Cali was a principal at North Bridge Venture and Growth Equity Partners, where he invested in wireless and digital media technology entrepreneurs.

Cali earned his Bachelor of Arts in history, cum laude, at Bowdoin College and his MBA at Harvard. He had the privilege of serving as the Chairman of the Fund Directors of Bowdoin College from 2011-2015 and has the honor of being the Co-Chairman of the OneVietnam Network since its founding in 2009. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Dr. Ellen Chan.

Susan Lee

Chief Product Officer

Susan Lee is the Chief Product Officer for Valassis. Her focus is on developing and executing corporate growth through strategic initiatives, partnerships, and M&A with a focus on industries undergoing transformation.

She has always been at the center of advertising, technology, and innovation with over 18 years of professional experiences at critical points in the history of AOL, Time Warner, The Walt Disney Company, Viacom, and Univision. She then joined MaxPoint as an early employee and led Strategy & Business Development through a period of hyper growth, international expansion, eventual IPO, sale, and integration with Valassis.

Susan has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree from New York University. As native New Yorker now based in North Carolina with her husband and two children, she recently retired her “917” phone number and is here to stay.

Tobias Speckbacher

SVP, Engineering

Tobias Speckbacher is the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Valassis.
Previously, he co-founded Truvie (acquired by PayPal), served as VP of Emerging Technologies of Quova (acquired by Neustar), and was Director of Engineering at PayPal. He holds three patents and a degree in Electrical Engineering from Hoehere Technische Lehr (HTL) und Versuchsanstalt, School of Engineering.

Tobias spends his free time with his twin daughters, hiking, kite-surfing, and playing old video games.

Susan Rothwell

Chief Revenue Officer

With more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, Susan Rothwell is the Chief Revenue Officer. Under Susan’s leadership, the Valassis Sales team has grown by 35%. She has added two specialty divisions: GDM and Mid-Market sales, launched new products, led sales enablement and training, and achieved year over year double digit growth. Susan is deeply committed to building and empowering high-performing teams that deliver innovative solutions to help grow clients’ businesses.

Prior to Valassis, Susan began her career in copier and software sales. She worked with the Polaroid Corporation for 14 years and was promoted to various positions including sales leadership, new business development, partner relations, training and marketing.

Susan earned her BS from La Salle University and is a two-time winner of Century Club. She is passionate about her family, working out and women in leadership. She is the Executive Sponsor of the Valassis Women’s Network and works with the Network of Executive Women.

Michelle Engle

Chief Marketing Officer

Michelle leads Marketing at Valassis. She is a seasoned veteran of the startup and technology space with more than 20 years of experience building products at iContact, Channel Advisor, and JP Morgan. Michelle holds a BA in Economics and International Relations from Bucknell University and an MA in Economics from New York University.

When Michelle isn’t spending time with her family and kids, she enjoys being a keen runner who loves to travel (especially for a race). Michelle spends her remaining free time volunteering with Super Cooper’s Little Red Wagon Foundation and serving on the board of Girls on the Run of the Triangle.

In 2020 Michelle won 2 Stevie awards including a Marketing Executive of the Year (Silver) and Woman of the Year - Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations (Bronze). In addition, Michelle was a recipient of the Triangle Business Journal's 2020 CEO & C-Suite Awards.

Tom Dolan

ESVP, Media Services

Tom is charged with the development and growth of our Performance Media and Channel Services as well as Retail Media and Platform Services. His success in leading our digital sales team and strategizing with CMOs and executives at top brands and agencies ensures he’ll deliver cutting-edge solutions. Before coming to Valassis, Tom spent more than four years at Catalina, helping build a $50 million in-store advertising product, leading the strategic partnership group, and launching online and mobile solutions as a member of the digital leadership team.

Tom earned his BA from the University of Notre Dame with a dual major in Anthropology and Pre-Med. Can you say career change? He adds to Valassis' triathlon chops as an Ironman finisher and even spent several years running his own company focused on this passion. Now, Tom’s main hobby is changing diapers while caring for his young son and family in New York City. Get Tom talking about European soccer and you will be there for a while…

John Jenkins

Chief Operating Officer

With two decades in digital media, John has served as our executive operations and finance leader since September 2014. Before Valassis, John led corporate development at Tremor Video (NYSE IPO). At Tremor, John was deeply involved in both strategy and M&A. Prior to Tremor, John held general management and business development positions at foundational digital media companies like Adify (sold to Cox Communications), Flycast Communications (NASDAQ IPO, sold to CMGi), and CompareNet (sold to Microsoft).

John received an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Member of the board of directors for Lifelong Medical Care, a regional health care system dedicated to providing services to the underserved. When not in the office, he can be found chasing his two young girls or at his local CrossFit gym with his wife.

David Murphy

SVP, Valassis Local

David directs Valassis’ expanding Small and Medium Business (SMB) division and oversees the day-to-day operations of Clipper. He has been around the block of local business development, serving diverse roles in manufacturing, business development, marketing, product development, information technology, and finance. Most recently, David was Clipper Magazine’s SVP/General Manager, and prior to that, Vice President of M&A and Strategic Partnerships. Before joining the Clipper executive team, David spent over 14 years with Valassis Local Marketing Services group, focused on meeting the needs of small and medium businesses through local and hyper-local solutions. David actually began his career with Valassis in 2001 as Director of Finance. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Bentley University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Suffolk University.

Outside of business, David enjoys running, playing with his three dogs (small and medium-sized), and spending time with his family.

Eric Szeto

SVP, Finance

Eric Szeto provides strategic leadership to the finance function and is responsible for managing Valassis financial and capital resources. His focus is to build strong business partnerships by providing actionable insights to deliver strategic initiatives.

Eric has over 20 years of professional experience across finance, marketing, and engineering at several large corporations including Kraft Heinz, Pfizer, General Electric, and Motorola. He recently served as CFO of Kraft Heinz Greater China having led several initiatives to deliver double digit growth, strengthened collaboration across functions, and drove high employee engagement. In addition to his extensive finance experience, he has held positions in six sigma black belt and process engineering both domestically and internationally.

Eric has an MBA in Finance from University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS and MS degree in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.