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Author's Note:
The fighter

sara vasquez

Sara is the account director for Character and brings to our work the production, management and story skills she learned in the film, comic book and advertising industries. Sara grew up in LA and, consequently, the film industry. She spent five years working in film production, juggling responsibilities as diverse as coordinating film premieres and managing an office building, before moving to Oregon to take a job with Dark Horse Comics, the third largest comics publisher in the U.S. Rather than ending her film career, the move to Portland and comic books actually kept her working in the movies as Dark Horse comic book heroes like Barb WireThe Mystery Men and Hellboy made the transition from page to screen.

After a four-year stint with Dark Horse, Sara joined Will Vinton Studios (currently Laika) where she helped to manage the Studio’s television and feature film development efforts. It was in this capacity that she first met the rest of the Character team. Sara came to work for Character in the spring of 2003. In her ongoing effort to use conflict as an asset in her life, she trains and competes in the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and also serves an ambassador for the organization Girls in Gis.

She is currently a purple belt to match the bruises.

“Character gets to the heart of what good storytelling is all about. They’ve helped Wendy’s focus on what makes us unique, different and special and that’s helped us to get people’s attention, keep their interest and keep the business growing. We compete with much larger brands, but by being overt about how we want to attack those differences, we’ve been able to have a lot of tension and conflict in the story that we are telling. That allows us to keep the story fresh and to fuel it. The more we do that the more positive attention we get as a brand and the more the brand continues to grow, which, in turn, builds our confidence in our storytelling and keeps the courage level high.”

—Kurt  Kane, President U.S. & Chief Commercial Officer, Wendy’s Corporation

“I’ve been through Character’s story framework process four times in my career, and it has always added extraordinary value. It was a central piece of Walmart’s rebranding effort in 2006, as we sought a new articulation of our brand narrative and our purpose. It’s an equally powerful tool for us now, as Walmart defines its place in a rapidly transforming retail environment. And we are currently using it to do the same for Sam’s Club.”

—Tony Rogers, Chief Marketing Officer, Walmart

“Since articulating our story framework, Gallo has had its best year. We’re up 10% and we’re outpacing the category. From a creative standpoint it’s been great because we’re all in alignment. Now that we have the articulation of our story, our social media, our partnerships, our programs, our packaging—it all makes sense.”

—Stephanie Gallo, Chief Marketing Officer, E&J Gallo Winery