40 Under 40 Class of 2023

Emily Leonczyk

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the Markens Group Inc.: Age 36

Emily Leonczyk

Emily Leonczyk brought a lot of stuff to her Forty Under 40 photo shoot.

She said she needed it all because the various items convey what’s important to her and …well, what makes her tick. Together, they really help tell her story.

You can start almost anywhere, but let’s go with the coffee cup.

“Coffee is really important to me; I run on coffee,” she joked, referencing the mug, which says ‘Mama Bird’ on it, which is a good segue to another item she brought with her, a photo of her blended family, which includes her daughter, Sienna, life partner, Todd, and his two children.

Leonczyk said family is very important to her, and so is getting together with family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors, usually over food … which explains why she also brought to the photo shoot a block quote attributed to Emily Dickinson: “I Tasted Life.”

Then there’s the elephant, which needs some explaining.

“I started a marketing and business-development business called Off the Tusk,” she noted. “The elephant has become quite the symbol for me, and I’ve carried it through my life. It represents the fact that this gigantic animal is so caring and loving. In the wild, they express joy and live for family; it’s a symbol I tie and connect through all I do and everywhere I go.”

Then there’s the computer with the Markens Group logo on it, representing the current stage of her career. She serves as executive vice president and COO of the Springfield-based agency, where she has helped grow sales by 56% since she came on board in 2019.

She has also helped the firm secure its first international client, the International Molded Fiber Assoc., while also leading a team of 20 in its use of EOS (entrepreneurial operating system) to increase efficiency and clear higher bars when it comes to revenue and profit.

Not in the picture (at least not literally) is the nonprofit known as the Willpower Foundation, the namesake of William Michael Burke, who has born with a rare brain malformation. The agency, named one of BusinessWest’s Difference Makers in 2018, provides grants to help families and children with special needs in the Western Mass. region. Leonczyk has been heavily involved with Willpower, serving as executive director and a board member since 2018.

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Leonczyk’s 40 Under Forty portrait certainly is.


—George O’Brien