ELITE 2021 Leader of the Future Heather M. Shankman of Medscape/WebMD

Heather M. Shankman

Director, Strategic Accounts

Medscape/WebMD

The Virtual Engagement Virtuoso

2020 was the year of virtual engagements. The pandemic forced anyone who didn’t know how to use Zoom, Teams, or whatever your platform of choice to learn—and do it fast. Some struggled, others thrived. Heather M. Shankman is firmly in the camp of the latter. In leading Medscape’s team in virtual client communications in 2020, she further grew client relationships and achieved 141% of her Q4 goal.

While Heather’s shift to virtual engagements wasn’t without its technical challenges—she is no stranger to the phrase “Whoops, I was on mute”—her personable attitude and infectious spirit could not be contained by a screen. She constantly found new ways to keep both colleagues and clients engaged through virtual wine tastings, “Tequila Tuesdays,” and festive backgrounds. She also helped organize a Virtual Summer Concert in which they sent out swag bags prior to the event and encouraged partners to invite their family to join in and request songs for the band to play.

She also took initiative to send clients “survival kits” with K95 masks, hand sanitizers, and cleaning wipes. She believes demonstrating an understanding for people’s needs in this difficult time, in addition to providing educational value and genuine customer service on how brands can achieve their KPIs, was what led to her extraordinary success in 2020, which included surpassing her yearly sales goal by 124%.

But Heather has always matched her desire to succeed with unwavering compassion. Previously while at UBM, she was selected as a One Young World Ambassador and attended the One Young World Summit in The Hague, Netherlands with 1,800 other young leaders from 192 different countries. During the Summit, they addressed ways to help our environment, reduce the plastic/toxic waste in our oceans, and formulate a strategy to promote a healthier world. A mission Heather is still passionate about today.

“A long-term goal for my career is to help other young professionals develop their skill sets and be a mentor,” Heather says. “I have been so fortunate to have so many incredible mentors throughout my career and would like the opportunity to pay it forward to the next generation.”

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