Columbus Vegetable Oils, a leading supplier of high-quality oils, shortenings, sauces, and dressings, announced two new hires in its revamped integrated marketing department.  

Mary Gura will focus on the company’s strategic marketing efforts as the Marketing Manager, reporting to President Paulette Gagliardo. Gura is tasked with marketing the company’s 10 brands by evolving their presence through various strategic partnerships and communications initiatives as well as expanding the company’s digital footprint. 

Krista Kerber joins as a Marketing Coordinator, supporting Gura. She is charged with managing the company’s social media presence. Kerber leads content creation, paid social campaigns, email marketing and community management. She will also support trade show events and community outreach efforts. 

“Columbus Vegetable Oils is excited to have both Mary and Krista onboard as we continue to build an integrated marketing team,” said Gagliardo. “Columbus is nearing its 90-year anniversary, and I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished – but we are even more excited to look forward to the next 90 years, knowing that marketing is a key player in our overall growth plan.” 

Gura brings nearly 25 years of marketing communications experience to the role. She is known as a skillful integrated marketer that builds teams, shapes processes and lead campaigns that drive results. She also has deep roots in the culinary world. Most recently, Gura was an Executive Vice President for Cramer-Krasselt where she led the public relations and social media department to award-winning success. Previously, she led global teams at notable agencies such as Edelman and Weber Shandwick.  

Gura is a published writer, corporate speaker and recipient of multiple industry awards. She is an advisor for Kent State University, School of Journalism and current board member of the Elmhurst Park District Foundation. She is also an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and a past president of PRSA Chicago. Gura holds a B.S. from Kent State University. She is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and currently resides in a Chicago suburb with her husband and three children. 

“I’m thrilled to be part of a fourth-generation family owned and operated, woman-led business that spans the globe and continues to pave the way in the industry while maintaining strong Chicago roots,” says Gura. “From Butcher Boy to Soaper’s Choice, I’m excited to help take these iconic brands to the next level. It’s an honor to be part of such a high-caliber team.” 

Kerber’s experience focuses on social media, most recently developing content for a leading real estate agency. She developed and coordinated the presence of more than a dozen realtors simultaneously. Kerber graduated with a B.A. from DePaul University for film & television. In her spare time, she contributes her time at an animal hospital. As a native from Brookfield, she currently resides in Chicago.  


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