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Aaron Burnett

Chief Executive Officer

W/ since October 2010
Pronouns: He/him

Aaron Burnett is CEO and founder of Wheelhouse Digital Marketing Group, a fast-growing digital marketing agency recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the best places to work in the United States and by both Seattle Magazine and the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the best workplaces in Washington State.

His more than two decades of business and entrepreneurial experience was defined by an early realization: that conventional, mercenary business practices offer little joy or fulfillment. Instead, Aaron has cultivated and built a thriving company based on an unwavering focus on helpfulness, generosity, and joy. Wheelhouse is the culmination of Aaron’s experience and commitment to values-driven decision-making. It’s a story told through performance, such as:

  • The 50 percent year-over-year growth the company has enjoyed for the past five years – all through referrals from delighted clients.
  • Inclusion in the INC 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in the United States for each of the past four years.

It’s also a story told through people—by strings of adjectives, straight from Aaron’s colleagues, employees, and clients: “trustworthy,” “astute,” “imaginative,” and “scary smart,” to list a few.

Every point of Aaron’s career has been marked by his ability to leverage technology and his own creativity to drive growth. At McCaw Cellular (later acquired by AT&T, becoming AT&T Wireless), Aaron started as a data-entry temp and was hired as a full-time employee within three weeks after identifying key technical insights by identifying patterns in maintenance data that previously had gone unnoticed. Within nine months, he was leading a team of 75 and within five years, he rose to VP of Sales & Marketing. Along the way, he led a development and data-science project that produced a highly accurate predictive model for consumer call activity and successfully inventing and developing a telecommunications platform that reduced key network expenses by 80%.

Aaron has an uncanny ability to envision, craft, and share a story—to pinpoint and never lose sight of its core value. His creativity, coupled with a wealth of marketing experience, has led to a fine-tuned strategic acumen that guides his own direction and the direction of his partners and clients. For example, as SVP of Marketing at Speakeasy, Aaron doubled direct and affiliate sales within 100 days of his hire date. In his next role, as VP of Marketing at NetMotion Wireless, Aaron executed a strategy that grew the company’s customer base from 70 to 700 in less than two years.

Among his many other professional accomplishments, Aaron served as the president and principal of Produxs, a UX design firm; was one of four partners in a boutique brand strategy and marketing consultancy with the creator of the Microsoft Windows brand and the former president of Starbucks International; co-founded the first web-based telecommunication service aggregator serving the Hispanic market in the U.S., and developed and implemented a marketing strategy as VP of Marketing for PivotLink that took the company from obscurity to rising stardom in its market.

Wheelhouse is the culmination of Aaron’s experience and commitment to values-driven decision-making. The agency’s culture is grown and protected by twin missions:

  • to be the best partner for each client and
  • to be the best place to work for as many people as possible.

In 2015, Aaron took Wheelhouse values beyond the office, launching a quarterly “Generosity Day” initiative to serve those in need within the Seattle community.

Aaron’s unique approach at Wheelhouse has been a resounding success—an accomplishment reflected by the company’s glowing Glassdoor reviews and its recent nomination as a Best Workplace in Washington. Employees are happy, turnover is very low, and the agency’s average annual growth rate over the past three years has been 60% with the word-of-mouth support of happy clients.

 

Aaron’s Media Appearances

 

Authority Magazine (on Medium)

Seeing Light at the End of the Tunnel: 5 Reasons to be Hopeful 

Dr. D’s Social Network (podcast)

Unconventional Thinking in Business: Leading with Joy, Love and Grace

Snyder Showdown (podcast)

Diversity + Inclusion = Winning Combination with Aaron Burnett

The Hot Mic @ Arch DevOps (podcast)

AI and Marketing as BFFs

Sproutworth (Podcast)
How to Build a Values-based Organization That Boosts Growth

Breakthrough Success (podcast)
Unconventional Business Growth Strategies That Don’t Involve Sales Or Marketing With Aaron Burnett

TINYcon2018 (Main Stage)
“Beyond Happiness: Developing and Fostering a Culture of Joy”

2017 (Breakout Session)
Reviving and Sustaining Culture with TINYpulse

 

Testimonial

“Aaron Burnett sparked something massive when I invited him to speak at TINYcon. He set an alltime NPS record of 97 — after that it has been pure aggravation getting his time for a repeat appearance. Aaron’s constantly busy now inspiring audiences with his extraordinary journey and learnings. His skills as a public speaker are an absolute dream for any event.”        David Niu, Founder & CEO of TINYpulse

 

Have you met everyone?

Meet the rest of our team

When Colin isn’t developing high-performing digital strategies for his clients, he’s an avid angler in his native Montana.

Jerica is the Senior Digital Designer at Wheelhouse. She loves to elevate design for Wheelhouse and our clients.

Originally from Arizona, Julian loves watching the Seattle Sounders compete for another MLS cup and helping clients understand their data as a Senior Web Analyst.

Natalie is a Front-End Engineer supporting WordPress development projects and Digital Strategy initiatives.

Dallas is a Washington native and Paid Search Analyst. He is also a big fan of the values-based culture at Wheelhouse DMG and appreciates the genuine positivity that permeates the office, creating not only fantastic work for the clients but fantastic relationships, as well.

Joyce is always working to help Wheelhouse find the best candidates to contribute to our culture. Outside of the office you will find Joyce staying active all year round. Weather biking, kayaking, hiking and snowshoeing yoou will find her enjoying the outdoors.

As a Business Intelligence Specialist, Liz is responsible for the development and deployment of BI interfaces and solutions.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Michelle is one of our Sr. Digital Advertising Analysts in the Richmond, VA office. Michelle comes from a traditional advertising agency and enjoys finding new creative ways to solve client problems. You’re likely to find her kayaking the James River or going to see live music.

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