Tech-savvy and Growth-focused Marketing Leader in Chicago

Cody helps senior executives accelerate growth by designing, building, and optimizing their marketing operations.

Cody has a diverse marketing background which includes start-ups, agency consulting, and go-to-market product strategy for large enterprises. Cody has repeatedly helped organizations build their demand generation programs from the ground up. Cody was selected as a winner in Business for Chicago’s 1st Annual 2016 Power 30 Under 30™ Awards, presented by Porsche Cars of North America and The Apex Society. His sweet spot is SaaS technology companies targeting businesses across industries via integrated marketing campaigns.

Cody continues to build on his successful track-record of leading marketing teams, delivering qualified leads to sales, and showing positive ROI by connecting the right strategy, tactics, and technology with the business objectives. You’ll often find him acting as a change-agent with ambitious entrepreneurs that aim to push their products to market.

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Career Highlights

Director of Demand Generation

Sphera // Chicago IL

October 2016 to Present

A software and information services provider that specializes in operational risk, environmental performance, and product stewardship.

Director of Marketing

IVANS, a division of Applied Systems // University Park IL

April 2014 to October 2016

Industry standard for connectivity and data exchange between carriers, MGAs and independent agencies in the property and casualty insurance industry.

Jeremy Lind // Senior Solutions Architect at EvoSure

April 9, 2016

Cody defines what it means to be on the cutting-edge of marketing trends and technologies, while also possessing a unique ability to translate that knowledge into easily digestible data points for decision makers.

Cody’s vast experience with varying marketing tools and philosophies gives him the ability to form programs and campaigns that are not only highly effective, but also very efficient.

I can count on a single hand the number of colleagues I’ve worked with over the past 15 years that I would consider as highly regarded in their field as Cody is in his. It was a true honor and privilege to have worked alongside Cody while at EvoSure.

Brian Fryer // UI/UX Developer at EvoSure

Feb 2, 2016

His ability to ramp up on new projects is remarkable. He is methodical/thorough with analytics to maximize learnings for future campaigns, and is able to succinctly present marketing insights to help his team understand what the data is saying. Too, his zealousness for making data-driven decisions is finely tempered with a healthy marketers instinct. Cody is quick, knowledgable, and agile—all the things you’d hope for in a growth hacker. 10/10; would hack with him again.

Director of Marketing

Educational Resources // Hoffman Estates IL

September 2013 to March 2014

Technology start-up that built a mobile tablet and curriculum management system for K-12 classrooms.

Janice Bautista // Marketing Coordinator at Educational Resources

Jun 9, 2014

Cody is a great manager and coach. He helped me discover my career goals and lifelong aspirations that have allowed me to aim high and be successful in all aspects of my life. He is, by every definition, a goal-driven entrepreneur, who has proven himself in many roles. He would be an asset to any team that he is a part of.

Rich Jasiak // Marketing Specialist, Educational Resources

Aug. 30, 2014

I have had the opportunity to work with Cody on a few different levels, most recently at Educational Resources. Under him, I found his analytic knowledge and creative skills incredibly valuable. Working under Cody’s direction, I look back to some of my top work. Cody is an excellent worker and great in dealing with difficult situations. His forward thinking, expertise and positive can-do attitude made working with him a pleasure. He set a clear path to get where he is today and continues to drive towards his future goals, inspiring those around him along the way.

Caitlyn Deist // Product Specialist, Educational Resources

Sep. 9, 2014

Although I didn’t report directly to Cody at Educational Resources, the small start-up environment of the company allowed us to collaborate and work together almost daily. Cody was always a pleasure to work with and whenever someone on the team needed help, he was the first one to lend a hand. Cody served as a wonderful mentor and consummate professional and it would be my distinct pleasure to work with him again in the future.

Director of Email Marketing

Vision // Chicago IL

January 2012 to September 2013

Full-service marketing agency with digital and print capabilities.

Kortney Markham // Email Marketing Specialist at Vision

Jan 9, 2014

Cody Ward is one those rare managers that bring out the best in all of their team and co-workers. He has had a major influence on my career and my life. A great motivator, he was always willing to share his knowledge on any subject as well as pick up slack when the team was overwhelmed. Our productivity and environment changed drastically because of his positive attitude and commitment to team goals with trust. It was my pleasure working with him.

Ed Bustos // Email Marketing Coordinator at Vision

Aug 4, 2014

I had the pleasure of working for Cody at Vision Integrated Graphics. His interpersonal, technical and managing skills helped our E-mail Marketing team run flawlessly throughout his tenure. Cody masterminded United Stationers Email Preference Center, which was a huge undertaking since United Stationers distributes a wide range of email programs and has a diverse client base. I would highly recommend Cody if you’re looking for a team leader for your Digital Marketing team!

Amy Duvall // Email Marketing Project Manager at Vision

Feb 12, 2014

Cody is wise beyond his years. I reported to Cody for nearly two years while working at United Stationers. In that time, he made it a point to manage his team of four as individuals. He quickly identified what our strengths and areas of improvement were and made it his mission to see us grow as professionals. Cody is an all-around talented marketing professional. In his time at United Stationers, Cody successfully managed the launch of a DIY email solution for resellers and improved the overall strategy of the On Your Behalf email program. I highly recommend Cody for any Senior Marketing position.

Marketing Analyst

Zurich // Schaumburg IL

August 2009 to January 2012

Global commercial insurance carrier.

Matt Foran // Director of Strategy at Zurich

Jun 17, 2013

Cody has the cutting edge digital marketing skills that are necessary to compete in this growing digital age. Cody has designed solutions that scale from the smallest company to a Fortune 500 firm with the same outcomes: Objectives are achieved. Whether the objective has been brand awareness, market communications, new prospect identification, or new customer conversion, Cody has been able to design solutions that drive the right outcome, are measurable, and exceed the ROI targets. Cody’s solutions leverage a number of applications, which when combined, create far more value than the individual parts. Cody creates an advantage for any organization who is lucky enough to have him on their team.

Brett Wood // Marketing, Social Media & Media Relations at Zurich

Feb 26, 2013

Cody is a bright, innovative digital and social marketing professional who is also an absolute pleasure to work with. We worked together to transform an organization from simply present in social media to strategically effective, collaborating across business areas. Cody has tremendous social intuition, an expert content filter, and is highly valued by all who call him a colleague.

Anna Ekelman // Marketing Specialist at Zurich

December 14, 2011

Cody is an exceptional, dedicated and forward-thinking marketing professional. I have had many opportunities to work with Cody on various creative projects and initiatives and Cody always asks the right questions, offers innovative ideas and ways to accomplish the tasks, and most importantly, commits 100% to achieving the goals and expected results. I am most impressed with his experience within the digital framework as well as his immense knowledge of all social media vehicles. He is portrayed as a very valuable resource and his willingness to constantly teach others shines through from his determination and work ethic. I am confident that Cody will be successful in any role that he decides to pursue.

Jill Gaynor // AVP Customer Proposition Management, Zurich

May 22, 2012

Cody is a top notch marketer and team player. His career is one to watch!

Stephen Zimmerman // Manager, Modeling & Analytics at Zurich

January 27, 2011

I had a chance to work with Cody between 2009 and 2010 at Zurich Financial Services. Cody was instrumental in setting up the Marketing Customer Contact database at Zurich, which was used to maintain contact information for current and prospective customers, develop and deliver proactive customer communication, and measure customer interest in Zurich products. Specifically, Cody developed data standards and processes for receiving data that we pulled from our internal systems, and loaded it into an environment that could be used for the Marketing Customer Contact Database. He presented results of customer communication to our department on a weekly basis, many times in front of senior management.

Cody was a pleasure to work with. He had very good ideas about how the company could leverage the database to improve results, and he collaborated well within our department, as well as with groups outside of our immediate area. With the experience he gained, the innovative ideas he consistently offered to our team, and his strong ability to work well with others, I recommend him to any firm needing someone to build, maintain and/or utilize a marketing information to improve its performance.

Megan McKenna // Senior Designer at Zurich

January 13, 2012

I collaborated with Cody on a variety of projects and the transition from his technology expertise to my creative ideas were always seamless. Cody always brought solutions on how to achieve results or ideas. He also brought an in-depth knowledge of web and technological advancements to do cutting edge marketing.


Digital Marketing Intern/Contractor

Allstate // Northbrook IL

May to August in 2007, 2008, & 2009

National personal lines and small business insurance carrier.

Lizzie Schreier // Senior Internet Marketing Strategist at Allstate

February 3, 2008

Cody was an asset to the allstate internet marketing organization in which he worked as an intern. His knowledge of search engine optimization as well as internet technologies were astounding and he proved to be an integral part of the SEO team in a very short time. As Cody was still in school during his tenure at Allstate, his professionalism and passion was a surprise and one in which all came to admire Cody. Cody would be an asset to any organization.

Charlie Breit // Associate Marketing Manager at Allstate

November 12, 2008

Cody is a talented individual in the area of search marketing. He has proven time and time again to posses the skills required to get any website to the top of search rankings for both paid and organic search. In addition, Cody has shown that he has a great entrepreneurial spirit that will allow him to tackle any challenge. Cody would be a great addition to any team and help your company improve its web presence.

Diane Busman // Website Manager at Allstate

August 30, 2009

Though this was Cody’s third year as an Allstate intern, he leveraged that prior time as a means to immediately contribute to our online strategic needs. Cody offered critical input relative to search engine optimization in helping us tweak our content for effectively. He also helped oversee several key projects to deliver on time and to spec. Cody’s collaborative, innovative and an outstanding team member for any organization.

Craig A Oldham // Director Online Marketing at Allstate

October 28, 2008

I had the opportunity to work with Cody at Allstate for two summers when he was our intern on the online marketing team.

Cody did an outstanding job. He did such an outstanding job we brought him back for a second internship. Cody was a tremendous asset working on the search marketing team. Cody also was a valuable asset to the entire online marketing team. He was able to use this overall online knowledge to help improve the digital experience.

Chris Pinkerton // Senior Account Director at Mediative

February 4, 2012

Cody is a true modern marketer. He has the rare ability to cut through the noise of digital marketing and use his deep analytical and business sense, to focus where the biggest wins are. He can easily take insight and turn it into actionable recommendations, which makes him an extremely valuable asset to any company. Not to mention he is a hockey fan, so what more could you ask for!

Kathy Flanagan // Marketing Manager at Allstate

December 4, 2007

Cody worked as a summer intern and quickly demonstrated his value to the Direct Channel with his understanding of the internet and search engine optimization. In a short time, he wrote an extensive Intro to SEO document that we now use for training. He is very hardworking, open to learning new things new ways and interested in staying ahead of the learning curve. Cody contributed a substantial amount of information and insight in the short time he was here. Cody is a valuable asset to any company.

Chris Davies // Search Marketing Strategist at Enquiro

September 30, 2009

Cody was serving as an Internet Marketing Intern when I had the opportunity to work with him on several major projects. The depth of his knowledge, coupled with a voracious appetite for learning made him a pleasure to work with. In particular, Cody did an excellent job of sharing his knowledge across teams as well as tackling several technically complicated SEO initiatives. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with him again or have him as a member of my team.

Rick Tobin // Director of Research at Enquiro

December 20, 2007

Cody was a detail-oriented professional whose abilities and talents far exceeded his job title.

With very little prompting or direction, he possessed the ability to take a project and run with it – identifying the appropriate solutions and ensuring that everything was implemented within time lines.

I found him to be curious and knowledgeable – he held his own amongst VPs and consultants alike.

Whenever there was an instance that he was caught off guard and did not have an answer, he would not shrink away from adversity, but would take accountability and diligently find a solution.

It was maybe his honesty and courage in business that most impressed me.

Feel free to contact me directly at any time if you would like to discuss Cody and his work experience.


Integrated Performance Systems // East Dundee IL

September 2003 to August 2006

Technology start-up that built one of the first platforms for human capital performance management. Acquired by Beeline in 2006.

Paul Krause // Vice President at Integrated Performance Systems

December 4, 2007

Cody is a thorough, thoughtful programmer. He displays excellence insight into business operations, and establishing a code base that realizes business process improvements. He take the extra effort to get to know the project stakeholders and deliver for them.

John Gambacorta // Professional & Account Services at Integrated Performance Systems

March 4, 2008

Cody is a very creative, hard working, and very smart. Cody is a joy to work with.

Sophia Konstantinidis // Office Coordinator at Integrated Performance Systems

January 22, 2008

Cody was great to work with…he was instrumental in backing me up during my long vacation absence as Webex Host for one of our clients. Cody is very detailed oriented and has great technical skills which made the Webex Hosting a breeze for him. Cody is also very personable and a team player….he would truly be an asset to any organization. It was a pleasure working with him!

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bachelor of Science in Advertising

2005 – 2009