Our 40 Story: The Next Chapter & the Women Leading the Way

Asen Marketing Asen Marketing

Business Tips

Newly-forty and flourishing, Asen Marketing reaches audiences across the nation as a true partner in marketing excellence. But the team today didn’t get to where they are overnight… 

Starting small as an illustration design shop in 1983, founder Paul Scoonover worked primarily from the basement of his home, serving local clientele with dreams of driving success for others. Flash forward 40 years, and the team at Asen still shares in Scoonover’s founding vision for the company, but it’s the women he’s mentored over the years who are leading the team and its clients into new success stories today.

Women in Business:

A Conversation About Leadership

Two women leading Asen into the future, Stacey DeHart (Chief Operating Officer) and Brookney Chamberlain (Creative & Account Director), both began their journeys with Asen as interns 24 and 15 years ago respectively. 

Stacey, the analytical thinker and strategic businesswoman, and Brookney, the ‘what if’ marketer with a knack for personalizing sales, serve Asen as two halves of a complete picture. And it wasn’t long into their careers before mentor Paul realized: “These women are valuable as individuals, and invaluable together.”

When asked what they’ve learned over the course of their careers so far, here’s what Brookney and Stacey had to share with other entrepreneurs, specifically women in creative fields:

What lessons did you learn early on that shaped your leadership style today?

Brookney shares that she “learned early on that success isn’t just about personal achievement but also helping others reach their goals. At the start of my career, I wanted to climb and grow as much as possible. Now, I understand it’s an honor to lead and guide others as they grow.”

For Stacey, one lesson learned early on was the importance of humility, especially in the face of errors: “Admitting when a mistake is made isn’t a failure — it’s a chance to grow. When I started at Asen, I was so overwhelmed by what I didn’t know, but I had a great leader who reassured me it was okay to make mistakes as long as I learn from them. As a leader today, I want to encourage a culture where it’s safe to take risks and make errors.”

As a female in a traditionally male-dominated field, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

As a client-facing representative of Asen, Brookney recounts: “Initially, it felt daunting to face a room full of men as the only female, and a young one at that. With the support of a mentor who believed in me, I gained more and more confidence over time by learning to brush off minor setbacks and focus my mental energy on the things within my control.”

Looking back now, it was this sink-or-swim mentality, instilled in her by the leaders she admires, that helped Brookney quickly earn her sea legs in a male-dominated industry.

What advice do you have for women looking to make their mark in the business world, particularly in creative industries like marketing?

Stacey believes “respect is earned through listening and speaking with intent. Leaders don’t need to have all the answers. Instead of trying to do it all yourself, build an ‘A team’ and guide those on it to find solutions together. Collaboration is key in a creative industry like marketing, but the foundation for successful collaboration is mutual respect and understanding.”

What legacy do you aspire to leave as a female leader in the industry?

The first thing to come to mind for Brookney? “Years from now, people won’t remember what I say, but they will remember how I make them feel. That’s why I aspire to lift up my peers and show them it’s possible to succeed at work and at home while staying true to who you are. With intrinsic determination and a strong support system, I want others to know anything is possible.”

Stacey shares in Brookney’s sentiments, adding: “As a woman in the industry, I hope to leave a legacy of integrity, trustworthiness, and fairness. I want our clients and partners to know they can trust in the integrity and reliability of our services, and I want our team members to feel equally valued and respected.”

The Next Chapter of Asen

Looking ahead, Asen is primed for even more growth, thanks in part to a strong focus on empowering people in business to become the best leaders they can be.

As the women of Asen lead the way over the coming years, this team is committed to building stand-out brands, delivering exceptional business results, and inspiring the next generation of creatives. With their collective vision and decades of combined expertise, team Asen is ready to write the next chapter of its success story, setting the standard for excellence in marketing for the next 40 years and beyond!

Asen is a creative marketing agency rooted in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee. Encouraging 360° business growth with full-service market planning, campaigns, and analytics, Asen is a proven marketing partner for brands looking to thrive.

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