Megan Stooke: Chief Marketing Officer for GM’s Maven.
By Matt Totsky
Photography by Lians Janis Photography
Meet Grosse Pointe resident Megan Stooke, the chief marketing officer for Maven, a car-sharing startup within General Motors. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Stooke considers her position at Maven to be her dream job.
“Working as the CMO on a brand like this is exciting because the automotive world is constantly changing,” she says. “We’re seeing that every industry is being disrupted by technology and data. So, if you’re not new and innovative, then you risk becoming irrelevant.
“At Maven, we are a mobility service delivered by OnStar technology, all through an app on your phone. It’s designed for an increasing urban population — many of whom are millennials. It’s an exciting time to be a marketer, and it’s fascinating to see how this generation is changing our economy, not just in the automotive world, but in fashion, music, housing and everything else. This generation popularized the sharing economy and the influence of social networks and how they connect people, which is very important to what we do.”
You’ve worked on some pretty big brands throughout your career. Describe that experience.
I’ve always had a passion for strong brands because at the core, it’s about an emotional connection with the target audience and their motivations. Companies like Apple and Google seem to understand that and connect particularly well with the millennial generation. At Maven, we need to show we’re relevant to our audience on an ongoing basis. That approach seems to be working so far and nearly 75 percent of our members are millennials.
You moved here in 2005. When did you start to consider yourself a Detroiter?
The roots started to form when I became more involved with the community. Getting exposed to everything that’s going on here is what got me excited about living in the area long-term. As I worked more closely with other people and businesses, I began to build connections and relationships. The Grosse Pointe community is great because people here love an active outdoor lifestyle and I can relate to that. Australians love to travel — you will find them all over the world — and I’ve traveled to more than 40 countries, both professionally and personally. I’ve seen a lot of places; Detroit is definitely a great place to be.
You also adopted your son here?
I did. I adopted him at birth, which is something I never would have been able to do in Australia because the population there is so small. Raising him here is fun for me because of the different seasons. I never saw snow when I was growing up so for me it’s still a bit of a novelty. He’s 5 now, and he’s already done snowboarding and ice skating and sledding. He’s also into basketball, T-ball, soccer, golf, tennis and swimming. This is such a great area for activities like that.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I like to renovate homes. I’ve worked on an old Victorian one in Australia and have enjoyed doing the same thing to my current one here in Grosse Pointe. It was designed by Alvan Macauley, who was the president of Packard Motor Company from 1916 to 1939. He built it as a wedding present for his daughter, and it was inspired by French architecture and has a lot of period touches from Detroit, including some beautiful Pewabic tile. I absolutely love it. NS