Cover Story

Jillian Gould

Age 26. Senior Marketing Manager, Eastfield Mall

While the rest of New England was slogging through a long, cold winter, Jillian Gould was building a beach.

Sure, the 400-square-foot sandbox was inside Eastfield Mall in Springfield, and there weren’t any splashing waves, but that didn’t matter to the children on winter break who got a chance to escape the chill, if only for an afternoon. And if it got their parents into the mall, then Gould — the facility’s senior marketing manager — was pleased about that, too.

“It’s gratifying when we do things for families,” she said. “We really gear many of the events for children, but we involve the whole family, and we love to see the joy the kids have when they come here.” The sandbox, beach toys, dancing, and ice cream-eating contests of February’s nine-day beach blowout fell into that category.

Gould, at 26 one of the youngest members of BusinessWest’s inaugural Forty Under 40 club, has come a long way with Eastfield Mall since interning there in 2001. She was hired as marketing manager in 2004 — “I was looking for a new job, and we had kept in touch” — and promoted to senior marketing manager in 2006, overseeing marketing efforts for both the Boston Road complex and the Eastern Hills Mall in Buffalo, N.Y. And that means keeping track of mall traffic and helping to develop events and campaigns to keep it flowing.

“I like how often this job changes,” Gould said. “Every week, we’re doing something different, so it never gets monotonous. And I like to work with the creative people who put together our print ads and television commercials.”

In fact, working with other business people has become a particular interest for Gould, who co-chairs the Boston Road Business Assoc., in addition to a slate of other activities with the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, the Ad Club, and other networking groups. Starting in March, she headed up the Eastfield Mall team for the ACCGS’ Total Resource Campaign, an annual effort to increase awareness of and membership in the chamber.

Staying that active is no walk in the park. But it’s sometimes a walk on the beach.

“The beach week isn’t something you see every day,” she said. “Kids stayed for hours, while the moms got to talk to other moms” — and spend money in the stores, of course. It’s not all fun and games, after all.