40 Over 40 Introduces Lisa Sharples, President, Allrecipes.com

Date September 19, 2011

lisa_sharplesIf I had to use one word to describe Lisa it would be “infectious” – infectious laughter, funny, witty, conviction of the heart. Many of you know Lisa as a pioneer and social media innovator; I know Lisa as a friend, mother and wife. Dedicated friend to anyone she meets. In twenty five years of recruiting, Allrecipes.com is the only company that asked the reference question “is this person fun, do they know how to have fun?” Classic for AR – make no mistake, Allrecipes.com is the world’s largest, fastest growing digital and mobile food brand (serious business), but the culture is unlike any company we have had the honor of representing.

Lisa Sharples
President, Allrecipes.com
Executive Vice President, Reader’s Digest Association

Lisa Sharples is a tech leader with a proven track record for getting things done. She has started her own companies, transformed leading consumer brands from sleeper to stand-out, and turned around under-performing businesses to quickly deliver aggressive revenue and profit growth.

Lisa’s leadership, commitment to technology innovation and business acumen were key components in transforming Allrecipes from a top 10 recipe database to its current position as the world’s largest, fastest growing digital and mobile food brand – with 17 sites and 7 mobile apps serving 22 countries in 11 languages. In Lisa’s four year tenure, Allrecipes traffic has tripled to more than 25 million unique visitors and 7 million app downloads worldwide. During this time, Allrecipes achieved back to back months of positive YOY traffic growth and held the top position in the highly competitive food space for 24 consecutive months. Allrecipes has grown revenues by 30% annually since 2008 and averaged over 100% profit growth during the same period. In 2011, The Daily Meal named Lisa one of the top 50 most influential people in food.

Lisa has an established track record as a web 2.0 pioneer and social media innovator. Prior to joining Allrecipes Lisa held the position of Senior Vice President of Marketing at Classmates.com, where she led the company’s sales and marketing strategy from 2005-2007. Prior to Classmates.com, Lisa founded Garden.com where she served as Chief Marketing & Merchandising Officer from 1995-2001. She has also held marketing positions with American Achievement Corporation, Silicon Graphics, and Sun Microsystems.

Lisa holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College in Biochemistry and Photography, and received her
MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

THE INTERVIEW

How did you earn your first dollar?
My paper route. I delivered the Boston Global in the afternoon on my bike!

What do you appreciate about being over 40?
Everything.

What or who inspired you to get where you are today?
My grandmother, Randy, died this May at the age of 102.

What advice do you have for the under 40 crowd?
Don’t be afraid of 40+! It gets better every year.

What do you still like to achieve?
Everything? I am not sure about this question. I want to do more of everything!

What are you passionate about?
Family, friends, fun, photography, and gardening. Is it bad to not mention cooking??

How do you balance work and life?
Keep a sense of humor.

What book is on your nightstand?
Bossypants, by Tina Fey. I read it and bought it for all my friends and family!

What is in your iPod?
Justin Bieber and the Xanadu Soundtrack.

What other career would you like to try?
7TH grade math teacher.

What other person would you like to meet – living or dead?
Jesus, and I’d ask him, “How did you do it?” How did he fit it all in??

What superpower do you want?
The ability to turn off every cell phone so people would pay attention.

Favorite movie?
Xanadu, of course!! And Blades of Glory – can’t have a bad night after watching these movies!

Guilty pleasure?
Fran’s salted chocolates. (GP tried one, yummy!)

What is your favorite quote?
This is a quote from Lisa’s grandmother she found among her things:
“The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves.” — Victor Hugo

Thank you Lisa for allowing us a glimpse into your world! Your passion is infectious – I strive to be more like you!

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