We are thrilled to welcome four new members of the BlueLena team, each representing impressive and diverse backgrounds in newsmedia – spanning technology development, fundraising campaign management, marketing and editorial communications, customer lifecycle management, digital marketing automation, enterprise data management, and advanced modeling and analytics.

Since our founding in early 2020, BlueLena has supported community-based digital media organizations with affordable access to world-class technology, strategy consulting and professional managed services to develop and grow audiences, and create long-term sustainable reader revenue models to fund access to high quality journalism.

Last month we announced a strategic investment from Automattic and Local Media Association to expand our solutions and support team, and to enable the continued development of the technology and marketing services that are now deployed on behalf of over one-hundred fifty news organizations across North America to drive audience and reader revenue growth. 

This latest expansion to our team will allow us to continue investing in our technology-enabled solutions, to leverage our growing partner network, to build upon the best practice approaches cultivated through rigorous testing-and-learning, and to provide these tools and resources to more news organizations – ranging from small to large, new to established, and nonprofit to for-profit.

Please join us in welcoming Denise, Christine, Tara and Waqas, who will all begin their new roles in early April.

Denise Toussaint | Head of Automation

Denise Toussaint
Denise Toussaint, Head of Automation

Denise Toussaint joins BlueLena as the Head of Automation with more than 15 years of experience in digital communications and omni-channel campaign management. In her role, she will help accelerate audience and revenue growth through operationalizing and optimizing the BlueLena CXA technology platform for publishers.

She previously worked as the Senior Email Marketing Manager for BenefitHub where she oversaw global email operations, delivering communications to millions of consumers for Fortune 100 companies. Denise began her career in digital marketing with The New York Times Co., where she was part of the project team that pioneered the use of Salesforce.com to support B2C and B2B customer relationship management on behalf of 15 news organizations.

Denise earned a BA in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida and holds several digital marketing certifications. When she isn’t making sure your campaigns are reaching maximum potential, you can find her rocking out to some of her favorite bands in the Central Florida area.

Christine Holbert | Audience Engagement Manager

Christine Holbert
Christine Holbert, Audience Engagement Manager

Christine Holbert joins BlueLena as the Head of Audience Engagement where she will work with newsrooms to identify and communicate their value propositions, training them to win readers over through storytelling about their mission and journalism.

Christine is a communications professional who specializes in fundraising and engagement campaigns. Prior to joining BlueLena, she managed the email program at WHYY, the Greater Philadelphia region’s public media station, where she created and edited fundraising, marketing and engagement campaigns reaching over 400,000 subscribers each week.

She knows that the power of engaging messaging lies in storytelling. Stories drive action – so how a story is told is the most important aspect of any campaign, whether it is a membership ask, programming insight, or breaking news update.

In addition to her extensive writing experience, Christine is a professor of English and holds a BA in Spanish from Eastern University and an MA in sociocultural linguistics from Goldsmiths University of London. She lives in Philadelphia, where you can mostly catch her running on Kelly Drive.

Tara Ware | Head of Operations

Tara Ware joins BlueLena as the Head of Operations where she will lead the new client onboarding, implementation and ongoing technical support for the BlueLena CXA platform.

Tara Ware
Tara Ware, Head of Operations

She began her career in media with The Ledger in Lakeland, FL, formerly a part of the New York Times Regional Media Group. She then moved to the corporate division as marketing analyst where she was responsible for the campaign management and analytics on behalf of 15 news organizations.

After a brief stint away from media, she joined LEAP Media Solutions in 2014 where she developed and managed enterprise audience databases on behalf of Gannett, Tribune, Hearst, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dallas Morning News and over 600 daily publishing companies. Tara joins BlueLena from her role at Upland Software where she served as Manager over Insights and Analytics.

Tara is a graduate of Polk State College and resides in Auburndale, FL with her husband, daughter, 3 dogs and a cat.

Waqas Ahmed | Analytics Manager

Waqas Ahmed joins BlueLena as Analytics Manager where he unlocks strategic insights and actionable information by connecting publisher site analytics with the first party data compiled through registration, activation and ongoing engagement.

Waqas Ahmed
Waqas Ahmed, Analytics Manager

He previously served as Senior Head of Digital Content for Business Recorder in Karachi, Pakistan and has held digital strategy and editorial roles at the Daily Pakistan and Maati TV. Most recently, Waqas has developed a social listening tool for the Boston Globe and has provided digital strategy consulting to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Waqas originally joined BlueLena in July, 2021 as a reader revenue analytics fellow while completing his MS in Digital Media Innovation from NYU. He resides in New York City.