CSS Unveils its 2021 ‘Talent Superheroes’


The Center for Sales Strategy (CSS) has revealed its 2021 Talent Superhero winners — managers who are recognized for recruiting, selecting, developing, and engaging top performers on their teams and in their markets every day.

The annual honor acknowledges leaders in sales leadership roles who oversee all things talent-related on their teams and in their territories and were quite possibly nominated by someone on their team. Winners are selected by a committee that reviews skills and success of each nominee based on building and maintaining a strong talent bank, recruiting top talent to the organization, coaching people to maximize their strengths, engaging their team, and retaining top performers over time.

“We received a tremendous number of nominations in Q4 of 2021 (the highest number since we launched this annual recognition in 2017), which is a true testament to the leadership, work ethic, and skill of these managers and the cultures they create for their teams,” said Beth Sunshine, Partner and Vice President of Talent Services at The Center for Sales Strategy. “The competition was the hardest it’s ever been, and it’s truly an honor to recognize these leaders for the amazing work they do for their teams and organizations day-in and day-out.”

The 2021 Talent Superheroes are:

Amy Coplen — Local Sales Manager, TEGNA, Austin

Angelina Rosario — Director of Sales, Cox Media Group, Miami

Carolyn McCulligh — Vice President of Advertising, McClatchy, West Region

Darlene Park — Director of Sales, Bonneville International Corp., Denver

Fran Mallace — Former Group Vice President of Cox Media and current CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona

Frank Palino — Director of Sales, TEGNA, Seattle

James Conner — Director of Sales, Emmis Communications/Indianapolis

Jason Finkelberg — Market President and Chief Revenue Officer, Townsquare Media, Hudson Valley (Newburgh-Middletown and Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)

Jim Richmond — Director of Sales, Bonneville International, Seattle

Jimmy Farrell — Director of Sales, Cox Media Group, Jacksonville

Maryann Balbo — Group Vice President, Cox Media

Sarah Dobbins — Vice President of Sales, Townsquare Media, Northern New England

Scott Hopeck — Division President, iHeartMedia, New York


In addition to this honor, Maryann Balbo joins the Talent Superhero “League of Legends,” as she is the first Talent Superhero recipient to receive this prestigious award two times (2018 and 2021).

Founded in 1983, The Center for Sales Strategy (CSS) is focused on improving sales performance as it helps sales organizations turn talent into performance and develop the highest-performing sales professionals.


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