Janine Krautbauer


Janine Krautbauer is our founder, CEO and owner. She started Marketing Essentials in 1996 after having worked in the incen
 tive industry for 13 years before that. She has her pulse on the premium incentive market, knowing the ideal items to recommend for any program, and maintaining strong relationships that help suppliers thrive in this market.

Christi Krautbauer


Christi Krautbauer is our company President here at Marketing Essentials (and she’s also Janine’s daughter-in-law). She joined the team in 2021. Before that Christi graduated from the University of St. Thomas and worked in product development, HR, strategy consulting women’s leadership and event planning at a large Minnesota corporation. She and her husband, Kevin, live in the Twin Cities. They have three kids – Janine’s grandkids! – and a puppy named Fitz. Christi spends most of her time on new sales and proposals. She also manages the business side of Marketing Essentials.

James Krautbauer

Account Manager

James joined Marketing Essentials in 2018 as our Account Manager. James is also part of the family – he’s Janine’s nephew! We are so lucky to have James’ exceptional attention to detail and customer focus on our team. James holds a BA in Business Administration and Marketing from Concordia University.

About the picture on our home page

  • We are truly a family business here at Marketing Essentials.
    Every year, Janine and her husband Bob take a motor home vacation trip with Christi and her family.
    We took this photo on one of those family vacations at Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin.

    We love being outdoors together, and in particular Christi and her family love rock climbing.
    If you look closely, you’ll even see a little bit of chalk left by climbers in the photo!