Solving complex business challenges through applied social and behavioral sciences

Solving complex business challenges through applied social and behavioral sciences

About

Business challenges are human challenges, and humans are complicated.

Brandtrust is a research and strategy firm that utilizes applied social and behavioral sciences to solve complex business challenges. Our methodologies are designed to unlock the nonconscious needs and desires of customers, providing insight-driven strategic direction for brand development, innovation, customer experience and behavior design.

We promise to change the way you think.

How We Think

Nearly 20 years ago, we set out to change a harsh reality: No one could explain why one particular brand succeeded when another flopped. It didn’t take long for Brandtrust to realize our most successful brand work was, in fact, rooted in deep insights—human insights. We discovered that a single human truth could profoundly change our beliefs and our cultures, and that human behavior and persuasion are driven primarily by emotion.

Brands, we determined, are about feelings, not facts. We had to change the way we think.

We are marketers, but through the years we became committed social scientists who leverage powerful methodologies to reveal the nonconscious mindset of the customer. Time and again, client after client, we proved that human truths not only solve complex business challenges, but fundamentally change lives. By offering clarity on the decision drivers and experiences that matter most, we help you change the way you think about your customers and your business.

We help you change your world.

View The Journey To Human Truth  

Our Team

Andy Akester

Andy Akester

Researcher

Andy Akester

Researcher

“I love that I get to step into people's stories.”

As a Brandtrust researcher, Andy Akester uses his experience in business, professional counseling and—uniquely—improvisational theater to better understand the inner workings of the people he interviews. He considers it an honor to represent their voices and takes pride in assisting clients like Kellogg’s and Wrigley to meet the needs and demands of their consumers.

“I love that I get to step into people’s stories,” Andy says. “There’s analysis going on, and some great critical thinking that this wonderful team applies to the work, but at the end of the day, I get to hear stories about what matters most to people.” As a licensed professional counselor, Andy has been trained, in a wide variety of settings, to seek the truth inside those stories and apply it to finding solutions. He has also spent over a decade working in clinical practice and case management, although his specialty and true interest lies in assessment.

Andy originally moved to Chicago to study improv at The Second City and now lives near Wrigley Field with his wife and their adorable pug, Atlas. Although he has traveled throughout the world, Paris remains Andy’s favorite place of all, and he even ran a full marathon there. Why Paris and not closer to home? Because, he says, “if you’re going to do it, do it right.”

AJ Avedon

AJ Avedon

Senior Consultant

AJ Avedon

Senior Consultant

“At Brandtrust, I'm constantly amazed at the amount of compassion and care that team members express to each other and their work. There is a genuine feeling of ‘lending a hand’ whenever one needs it.”

When she was a young child, AJ was instructed to never again ask her father the question, “Why?” for fear that he may lose his mind from her incessant questioning. Good thing she’s a rebel: She’s been driven by her curiosity and problem-solving skills ever since. Holding a Marketing degree from the University of San Diego, AJ gained early media and advertising experience through working at the Chicago Tribune and Forbes Magazine. At Brandtrust she uses her client-focused background combined with a penchant for detail and results-oriented mindset to bolster her reputation as a holistic research mind.

As a Senior Consultant she finds great joy in “uncovering those deeply held motivations — particularly those really tough nuts to crack — and then working to figure out what they mean as they relate to strategies and actions.” At Brandtrust, she is “constantly amazed at the amount of compassion and care that team members express to each other and their work. There is a genuine feeling of ‘lending a hand’ whenever one needs it.”

During her off time, AJ enjoys practicing hot yoga, walking along Lake Michigan, and catching a live show whenever she can. She’s a Chicago girl through and through and loves a good Italian Beef, but also prides herself as being an avid doughnut connoisseur.

Lindsey Bartel

Lindsey Bartel

Senior Analyst

Lindsey Bartel

Senior Analyst

“I get the opportunity to fully immerse myself in people’s stories and really dig into what’s driving them. And being able to work with a team of amazing people who challenge you to look at things in a different light is so rewarding.”

Lindsey’s curiosity and positive energy are infectious within the walls of Brandtrust, and great assets to the clients she works within her role as Senior Analyst. Her background allows her to excel in her demanding role: she has a bachelor’s degree in Decision Science and Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon which she puts to good use when working on a project.

Lindsey’s energy is focused on Brandtrust’s Narrative Inquiry methodology and managing all things research—including research design, implementation, translation, and presentation. In addition to being one of Brandtrust’s trained researchers, she also manages the research team she works alongside with to ensure successful outcomes and execution of the process. Lindsey says of working on the research side of the business, “I get the opportunity to fully immerse myself in people’s stories and really dig into what’s driving them. And being able to work with a team of amazing people who challenge you to look at things in a different light is so rewarding.” She carries this enthusiasm with her every day. “There’s never a day when I come to work thinking I’ll be bored. I’m excited to wake up every morning and know that I’m going to learn something new in an environment full of people who are eager to do the same.”

With seemingly endless energy, Lindsey is also a runner, completing one marathon, four half marathons, five Tough Mudders, and numerous other races. When she’s not traveling for work or for fun, you can find her in hometown of Pittsburgh, cheering on the Steelers with her pup, Wallace.

Sandra Bauman, Ph.D.

Sandra Bauman, Ph.D.

Quantitative Research Partner

Sandra Bauman, Ph.D.

Quantitative Research Partner

“Sandra brings a great deal of passion to every aspect of life, and that is certainly true of her approach to work.”

Dr. Sandra Bauman brings her 20 years of experience in marketing research and consulting to her role as founder and principal of Bauman Research & Consulting, LLC, a woman-owned enterprise. During her career in research, Sandra has designed and managed over 250 studies for corporate and nonprofit clients in the areas of corporate image and brand positioning; employee communications and commitment; strategic marketing; publicity and public affairs; and customer satisfaction and loyalty. She is an expert in quantitative methodologies, including telephone, Internet, and mail surveys, and her analysis skills include multivariate techniques such as segmentation and regression. She is also adept at qualitative research; she is a trained and experienced focus group moderator and facilitator for brainstorming, ideation and strategic planning sessions with executives. Prior to starting her firm, Sandra was Vice President at Wirthlin Worldwide, where she founded and led Wirthlin’s e-Solutions division, focusing on Internet, technology and ebusiness research and consulting.

Having worked with many clients on branding, positioning and customer loyalty issues, Sandra’s client list includes Stryker Orthopaedics, OrthoBiotech, Samsung, Bayer Pharmaceutical, Pfizer, Thomson Healthcare, Honeywell, Nielsen, Roche and WebMD.

Sandra has testified before Congress about public opinion toward privacy issues. In addition, she is the author of numerous book chapters and white papers and is a frequent conference speaker. Sandra began her career as a reporter and editor for several major metropolitan daily newspapers. She completed her B.A. in journalism at Drake University, and her M.S.J. at Northwestern University. She holds a Ph.D. in communication research from Northwestern University.

Sandra is active in the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners and is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

Vicky Bernstein

Vicky Bernstein

Accounting Assistant

Vicky Bernstein

Accounting Assistant

“The entire team inspires me to be a better person and live a better life.”

As Accounting Assistant, Vicky keeps the wheels turning by supporting all things accounting related. She brings with her a unique background in accounting and marketing, having previously held roles at American Airlines, VF Corporation, Weiss CPA, and SSPR.

Of working at Brandtrust she says, “The entire team inspires me to be a better person and live a better life.” She volunteers nearby at the Ronald McDonald House and enjoys the exercise she gets commuting to and from work.

Originally from Michigan, Vicky always knew she would land in Chicago and hasn’t looked back. Her greatest passions are traveling, reading, bike riding and cheering on the Chicago Cubs (she got engaged at Wrigley Field). Proud parents of two daughters who currently attend the University of Missouri, she and her husband are also proud members of the quarter century club having been blissfully married for over 25 years.

Kristen Bishop

Kristen Bishop

Associate Director

Kristen Bishop

Associate Director

“I love seeing brand teams experience those 'lightbulb moments' when they gain a deep insight into their consumers and start to think about them in a new light. It's a fun challenge to help lead them there and facilitate that experience with them.”

With a background in journalism and psychology, and an insatiable curiosity, Kristen was a natural fit for Brandtrust. She began her career at a local Chicago P.R. firm, where she gained experience in identifying clients’ challenges and solving their difficult brand issues. At that position, she earned a Publicity Club of Chicago Golden Trumpet Award, and now at Brandtrust, Kristen has continued to build upon her impressive resume by managing research for and advising some of our largest clients, both domestically and abroad. Her impressive tenure includes Eli Lilly, Amgen, 3M, Masco, and Brown-Forman, to name a few.

“Working with diverse industries, brands and audiences is really a reward because it constantly keeps me on my toes and challenges me,” she says. “I love seeing brand teams experience those ‘lightbulb moments’ when they gain a deep insight into their consumers and start to think about them in a new light. It’s a fun challenge to help lead them there and facilitate that experience with them.”

Outside Brandtrust, Kristen enjoys yoga and skiing – both on water and on snow. She also flies with the greatest of ease during flying trapeze classes she takes on the lake in Chicago each summer. Kristen lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, and with a natural passion for traveling, is always planning her next trip.

Dan Bryan

Dan Bryan

Strategy & Research

Dan Bryan

Strategy & Research

“I’m a unique mix of artist and engineer. I love building things, and I started my first business when I was ten. I also really enjoy creating art by cooking a meal or playing the piano. I love bringing this to bear in my work for clients; in many ways brands are an art form and the architectures that help them flourish require the precision of the engineer.”

Dan has been a long time partner of Brandtrust. He has a diverse background, having studied Industrial Engineering, Communication, and Social Entrepreneurship. His undergraduate work and early career experience in engineering has prepared him to bring order to chaos with a proficiency for translating ideas into reality. In conjunction with our team, Dan has led many clients through a process of uncovering the psychological and emotional insights about their consumers and other stakeholders, and assisted them in translating those insights to actionable marketplace strategies.

Dan also has a deep personal passion for the power of a great business to create value in multiple dimensions. This is why his graduate work also focused on blended value business models, and his master’s thesis convinced his university to develop a program in the field. Dan is committed to delivering not only excellent strategic brand consultation, but also the benefits of a partner with true passion for businesses that make their stakeholders’ lives better. Dan loves all things related to cuisine and travel, and looks forward to every chance he has to gather for a meal with friends and strangers alike.

Meghan Bryan

Meghan Bryan

Senior Manager, Client Development

Meghan Bryan

Senior Manager, Client Development

“I feel so privileged to interact with some of the most iconic brands in the world and help them recognize and then leverage the emotional undercurrents to everything they do and say. It’s a great process to watch a brand begin to understand its own story and then learn how to tell it in a meaningful way.”

Meghan is a proven performer with a stellar track record of success in all of her endeavors, a truly fearless and outgoing personality with a natural penchant for forging personal connections. In her role as a Senior Manager of Client Development, Meghan leverages those skills and attributes as she sets out to understand client needs and then helps Brandtrust craft thoughtful solutions that will best allow those clients to achieve their objectives.

Of her work with us, Meghan says, “I feel so privileged to interact with some of the most iconic brands in the world and help them recognize and then leverage the emotional undercurrents to everything they do and say. It’s a great process to watch a brand begin to understand its own story and then learn how to tell it in a meaningful way.”

At home, Meghan revels in raising her daughter Blake with her husband, Dan, in Chicago’s historic Gold Coast neighborhood. She is also deeply interested in all aspects of food. Since childhood in a historic small town in upstate New York, she would go to the library to check out cookbooks about different world cuisines, and then drag her mother off in search of exotic ingredients. And while little has changed since those days, living in Chicago affords her many more outlets for her food passions.

Kathryn Bulloch

Kathryn Bulloch

Client Development Manager

Kathryn Bulloch

Client Development Manager

“I really love the culture at Brandtrust and my colleagues that help create it. Working for a company that makes its actual business to show empathy and care for its clients first and solving challenges second is where I want to be.”

Kathryn’s role is Client Development Manager. As she sees it, “it is code for spreading the Brandtrust love and empathy all while being a problem solver!” If you can’t tell already, she has a deep passion for her work that causes her to constantly go that extra mile to create lasting friendships with partners across industries.

She excels in any role that allows her to use her gift of gab, so it’s no surprise then that she has a long resume of sales and successful client relationship building. She even has technical back-end experience communicating between IT teams and clients. Her diverse experience and unrivaled energy makes her the perfect fit for Brandtrust.

A fiercely proud Southerner and native Atlantan, Kathryn can usually be found spending time with her husband and three children, or on her porch taking in the ambiance of flowers in bloom and listening to a little Earth Wind and Fire…

Gillian Carter

Gillian Carter

Senior Marketing Manager, Client Development

Gillian Carter

Senior Marketing Manager, Client Development

“Brandtrust promises to change the way you think about your customers and your business, and that’s a promise we stand by confidently! It's a privilege to be in a role where I get to share all the amazing things the Brandtrust team has helped our clients achieve.”

Gillian wants to tell you something. Actually, many things. She is bursting at the seams to let you know all that Brandtrust does, and can do. It’s good she has an outlet to do this. As the Senior Marketing Manager, Gillian is responsible for sharing Brandtrust’s knowledge and insights with the world. She takes it upon herself to build awareness of the unique services Brandtrust offers and the impact our work has made globally. She manages speaking engagements, media relations, the company website, social media communications, and educational opportunities in the marketplace. If this wasn’t enough, she also is one of the designated facilitators for Brandtrust’s Workshops.

Simply put, Gillian loves what she does. As she sees it, she is “very lucky to have the unique opportunity of getting the word of Brandtrust out into the marketplace. Brandtrust promises to change the way you think about your customers and your business, and that’s a promise we stand by confidently! It’s a privilege to be in a role where I get to share all the amazing things the Brandtrust® team has helped our clients achieve.”

Outside of work, she doesn’t slow down. She is a lover of the outdoors, and carries her adventurous spirit with her as she attempts to explore every National Park with her husband. She sees her biggest reward in life as “spending time with those I love and playing outside. I live by the words of John Muir, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”” With such a positive spirit, it is no wonder that Gillian dreams of being a contestant on The Amazing Race. Gillian plays both the trumpet and piano, and loves to dance. Fair warning: she is always prepared, at any moment, to have a dance off. Challenge her, she double dog dares you.

Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook

Researcher

Jonathan Cook

Researcher

“When a person purchases one brand over another,” Jonathan suggests, “the decision is made more based on an idea of the product than the actual reality of the product. They’re buying the specific promise of what the brand is going to do for them, as much as the practical benefit of the product itself.”

Jonathan has spent most of the last ten years striving to better understand the emotional motivations that cause consumers to behave the way they do. An expert in consumer psychology, he has put his distinctive style of Emotional Inquiry® to work for Brandtrust clients such as Eli Lilly, Nestlé, Discover, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Intel and Ace Hardware.

“When a person purchases one brand over another,” Jonathan suggests, “the decision is made more based on an idea of the product than the actual reality of the product. They’re buying the specific promise of what the brand is going to do for them, as much as the practical benefit of the product itself.”

At Brandtrust, Jonathan helps clients understand this distinction so they can make—and keep—meaningful brand promises to their customers.

In addition to his work with Brandtrust, Jonathan has applied his interest in qualitative research methodologies toward helping political candidates get the upper hand in elections. He’s worked in this capacity with congressional candidates, grassroots nonprofits, and government organizations.

Jonathan lives in a picturesque and often snowy small town with his wife and three young children.

Keri Downs

Keri Downs

Consultant

Keri Downs

Consultant

“Everyone at Brandtrust is constantly inspiring each other to get to the next level: consulting the newest research, asking the hard questions, and pushing to get to the deeper emotional meaning. I love that every day I am encouraged to learn something new. ”

Keri brings a positive energy and academic expertise to her role as a Consultant at Brandtrust. Whether she is helping clients discover inspiring insights through research or guiding her team through meaningful strategy, Keri draws on her wealth of experience to deliver the best possible outcome for everyone involved.

As a graduate of UCLA’s bachelor program in Pyschobiology and University College London’s master program in Neuroscience, Keri has an academic grounding that allows her to see clearly the insights that matter most to clients and consumers. Her professional background as a researcher on psychological and physiological projects gives her a unique understanding of how to translate deeply human insights toward organizational goals.

Her enthusiasm and drive don’t stop with her professional life. Like many of her fellow consultants, Keri also has a serious case of wanderlust: she has lived in San Diego, Los Angeles, Barcelona, and London—to name a few. When she isn’t working or traveling, you can usually catch her reading a book or sipping a latte in a local coffee house.

Jenny Forsman

Jenny Forsman

Designer

Jenny Forsman

Designer

“While striving to delight our clients, I also strive to delight my coworkers by being a great team player. I believe that if you have a healthy internal company environment that it will be reflected on the outside.”

At Brandtrust, we all strive for truth. And as truth seekers, we are carefully attuned to the words people say and the way they act. So, when we describe Jenny as the person at Brandtrust who “keeps it real,” then you know we are serious. Always known for her design prowess and ability to take a concept from an idea to a fully realized, beautiful visual product, Jenny’s discerning eye and whip-smart wit are valued commodities.

As a designer at Brandtrust, her role is to “make sure that every deliverable that Brandtrust produces is both a beautiful piece of design and a superior vehicle for communicating ideas. While striving to delight our clients, I also strive to delight my coworkers by being a great team player. I believe that if you have a healthy internal company environment that it will be reflected on the outside.”

Jenny has worked on countless projects at Brandtrust, and along with her experience, her varied interests make her stand out. She seems to always sprout new hobbies, and currently she is heavily invested in reading, knitting, and playing the piano. She also won the state title in track two years in a row, was a carriage driver, and studied journalism, fine art, and massage therapy in college. Ask her about any topic and you are sure to learn something.

Annie Giebelhaus

Annie Giebelhaus

Associate Consultant

Annie Giebelhaus

Associate Consultant

“I love the authenticity of the work we do. The people are dedicated and excited to find insights along with our clients. It makes for a really fun environment! I work with really smart people – ones who inspire me to grow and become the best version of myself that I can be.”

Annie is an Associate Consultant at Brandtrust, meaning she helps clients discover new insights by learning and walking with them toward the low hanging fruit in projects and engagements. During her time in this role, Annie has had a bevy of experiences across industries that she puts to great use in her day-to-day role. 

Annie’s background has prepared her for her people-centered work. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in Psychology, and has worked with several psychology labs during her time in college. She also worked in chemical engineering at a major aerospace company for three summers during her busy undergraduate tenure.

When she isn’t at work, you can usually catch Annie taking in the sights all around the city of Chicago, from the beach to downtown to everywhere in between. And, while she (only sometimes) wishes life were more like Downton Abbey, her own life would make anyone jealous. She even beat an Olympian at Badminton. 

Fedhii Gobena

Fedhii Gobena

Associate Consultant

Fedhii Gobena

Associate Consultant

“One of my favorite parts of being on this team is that I get to work with such brilliant, inspiring people. Being around them pushes me to strive for excellence every day. That is part of what has made my time at Brandtrust so impactful.”

As an Associate Consultant, Fedhii is an indispensable asset to the team, keeping every aspect of each project to which he’s assigned running smoothly, on budget, on time, and with an extraordinary level of quality. In his short time at Brandtrust, Fedhii has already proven himself to be a voracious learner through strong listening skills and an intrinsic desire to understand our “why.”

Fedhii sees the positive in every opportunity, understanding that every person at Brandtrust plays a pivotal role in our success and fulfilling our mission. “One of my favorite parts of being on this team is that I get to work with such brilliant, inspiring people. Being around them pushes me to strive for excellence every day. That is part of what has made my time at Brandtrust so impactful.”

A recent graduate from Wheaton College with a degree in political science, Fedhii has a passion for traveling and engrossing himself in different cultures. In fact, he spent his past two summers abroad in Ethiopia learning from business executives and working in youth hostels across Northern Europe.

Dave Healing

Dave Healing

Group Director, Client Services

Dave Healing

Group Director, Client Services

“To help corporations and organizations shape and live out their mission with excellence and focus is an incredible honor.”

Dave is a leader who brings together curiosity with drive to make the world a better place. As with most of us at Brandtrust, Dave’s background has some interesting twists. He combines his undergraduate degree in Psychology with a Masters of Divinity and over two decades of leadership experience in both the for-profit and non-profit space. 

What Dave loves most about working at Brandtrust is the prominent role of story both within the company and as we work with clients. He says, “…to help corporations and organizations shape and live out their mission with excellence and focus is an incredible honor.” 

Since joining Brandtrust, Dave has worked on projects for clients in a variety of industries including health care & pharmaceuticals, financial services, consumer packaged goods, B2B/Service, technology and more. Dave leads our team of consultants, ensuring our clients receive the rigorous thinking and strategy they deserve to drive results.

When not working, Dave volunteers with International Justice Mission, where he produces their annual conference. He and his wife Ann have two children, Joshua and Abigail. He loves the diversity they benefit from living in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, where Dave resides.

Chris Hoel

Chris Hoel

Senior Research Consultant

Chris Hoel

Senior Research Consultant

“I enjoy the diversity of backgrounds and the different ideas everyone brings to the table.”

Studying sociology and anthropology in school, Chris began his career in the world of standardized testing and measurement. During this time, he came to realize there was more to understanding someone (and their potential) than a few questions. Searching for a way to use his love of the social sciences, Chris found Brandtrust and realized a unique opportunity to dig deeper into the psychology of consumers.

As a Senior Research Consultant, Chris designs research that helps tell the consumer’s story from their point of view and uses psychological and behavioral economic principles to help understand the unconscious biases and heuristics they use to make decisions. “No matter the industry, all businesses must ultimately address and speak to base human needs in order to be successful. I love designing and conducting research that reveals these fundamental truths.”

Chris lives with his wife in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago. Together they enjoy traveling, exploring new restaurants and frequenting the great beer bars and breweries the city has to offer.

Ed Jimenez

Ed Jimenez

Creative Director

Ed Jimenez

Creative Director

“The thing I value most about working at Brandtrust is the trust itself. You’re given the room here, the trust, to be able to express yourself creatively. It fits me well.”

Ed has been with Brandtrust since the company’s earliest days, in 1998. He works to make sure that everything that leaves our office reflects beautiful design and supports the clear and simple communication of meaningful ideas. Having studied Marketing and Design in school, he also leverages the rich and deep experience he earned during his time as Senior Art Director at Leo Burnett, working on accounts such as Sony, McDonald’s, Nintendo, Kraft, M&M/Mars, and HP.

At Brandtrust, Ed’s experience and design talent remain unfettered. Ed says, “The thing I value most about working at Brandtrust is the trust itself. You’re given the room here, the trust, to be able to express yourself creatively. It fits me well.”

Ed fills his free time by listening to all types of music and playing drums, and he admits to being a huge PBS addict. He shares his life with his lovely wife Mimi, and two daughters, Sara and Eden. He says the girls still think “Papi can fix anything.” He hasn’t let them down yet, and his goal is to never have to.

Alyssa Kearney

Alyssa Kearney

Associate Director

Alyssa Kearney

Associate Director

“I love creating and maintaining relationships with colleagues and clients. There is a unique kind of trust and kinship that is built among teams when you’re on the road together, working to understand what makes people tick and how to leverage that into a strategic solution.”

Relationships are the drivers of success. They inform every area of business and personal life. Alyssa understands this, and lives the ideals of successful client relationships in her role as Associate Director. Her work with Whirlpool Corporation, Merck, AIG, and Brown-Forman, among many others, has focused on building lasting partnerships between company and customer, client and consultant. Or, as she puts it, her role is to “partner with clients to help them overcome obstacles. Together we examine external perceptions as well as internal cultural dynamics in order to create a strategic road map for their internal and external brands.”

Alyssa’s focus on relationships doesn’t stop with her clients. She is a highly valued team member at Brandtrust for her commitment to her peers. She describes one of her favorite parts about working at Brandtrust as “creating and maintaining relationships with colleagues and clients. There is a unique kind of trust and kinship that is built among teams when you’re on the road together, working to understand what makes people tick and how to leverage that into a strategic solution.”

As the younger of two children from the Chicagoland area, she is naturally drawn to water. She grew up boating with her family, and values whenever there is time to be on or near the lake. Alyssa has also been practicing yoga for over ten years, and loves it for its “unique ability to create both personal space and community. Yoga helps me to navigate a challenging and socially demanding profession.” When not on the water or practicing yoga, she can be found zip lining in Costa Rica, hiking in the southwest, or exploring one of the different cities she is dropped into as part of her work.

Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly

Group Director, Client Development & Marketing

Erin Kelly

Group Director, Client Development & Marketing

“It’s incredibly rewarding to introduce some of the brightest minds in marketing to new approaches for solving complex challenges.”

No one could be more perfectly equipped than Erin to serve as Brandtrust’s Group Director, Client Development and Marketing. She came to Brandtrust with a balanced combination of experience in consulting services, marketing and business development. Erin has spent many years advising Fortune 500 clients in marketing and consumer research, yet she also has rich and deep experience in managing and leading marketing and business development staff, nurturing client relationships and coaching highly performing teams to collaborate effectively.

Erin’s always on the leading edge of what’s new and effective in marketing. Her marketing prowess was responsible for creating buzz-worthy online campaigns before it became a standard. Her successes include such groundbreaking concepts and campaigns as the first Internet Film and Music Festival, which caught the attention of–and was acquired by–the Sundance Institute.

Erin’s responsibilities at Brandtrust include leading our firm’s business development and marketing efforts. She says of working at Brandtrust, “Many of our clients are global brands, and it’s hard to imagine there’s any resource that they don’t already have at their fingertips. So it’s incredibly rewarding to work with some of the brightest minds in marketing and introduce them to a new approach for solving their complex brand, innovation or marketing challenges. It’s very rewarding to see a client reach that ‘ah-ha’ moment and hearing them say that our work has fundamentally changed the way they think about and approach their business.”

Outside of work, Erin and her husband Pete are devoted parents to McKenzie and Nick. Erin is also an avid runner, is always looking for new physical and intellectual challenges and somehow finds the time to read a variety of books on a wide and eclectic range of topics.

Bailey Kielarowski

Bailey Kielarowski

Consultant

Bailey Kielarowski

Consultant

“At Brandtrust, my biggest reward is being able to be a true partner with clients and build relationships that last long after a project is completed.”

Bailey’s passion to learn and eagerness to build strong relationships is what she is admired most for at Brandtrust. As a Consultant, she assists clients to better serve consumers by better understanding their stories. She has had the opportunity to work with a variety of clients, including Eli Lilly, AbbVie, and Mutual of Omaha.

A graduate from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia with a bachelor’s of business administration and double major in Marketing and Hispanic Studies, Bailey has the unique honor of calling Thomas Jefferson one of her fellow alumni. Prior to Brandtrust, she focused her insightful mind working for Collage Group, a subscription-based market research and consulting firm in Washington D.C.

Of working at Brandtrust she says, “What I love most is being able to serve as a translator between the needs and lives of people and the brands that serve them.”

Bailey was born and raised in the land of Skyline chili and Graeter’s ice cream: Cincinnati, but moved to Chicago to enjoy the city’s rich history, layered architecture, and fervent pride. One of her many hobbies is being an aficionado of all things stationary products and is known around the office for her impeccable handwriting. Like many of the Brandtrust team, she has a passion for exploring new corners of Chicago and traveling abroad—Argentina, Chile, and Asia are on the docket for her next adventures!

Mary Kohles

Mary Kohles

Executive Assistant

Mary Kohles

Executive Assistant

“At Brandtrust, I feel proud to work with a talented, dynamic group dedicated to the ongoing pursuit of knowledge and to delivering impactful results to our clients.”

As Executive Assistant, Mary supports key administrative and business development needs for a very active executive team. As part of this, she has a strong focus on helping teams nurture critical relationships with clients. In short, she is a master behind the scenes, making sure Brandtrust is able to delight clients from multiple angles and perspectives.

Mary finds inspiration in the various parts of the business that she touches. In her words, she loves “working among a talented and dynamic group dedicated to delivering impactful results to our clients.” Mary is a crucial part of delivering those results to clients and Brandtrust teams alike.

Her giving nature keeps Mary invested in what is going on around her. A native of Chicago, her greatest passion is spending time with her family and friends. She rarely has a negative word about her home city, but if you press her, she might kindly ask the sun and warmth to come out and stay around a bit longer.

Christian Lauffer

Christian Lauffer

Director, Consumer Strategy

Christian Lauffer

Director, Consumer Strategy

“Brandtrust really recognizes the difference between consumer demographics and actual people. It’s not about understanding the '18-24 demographic,' it’s about the emotions that drive an actual person's decisions.”

With a unique background that led him to earn degrees in both marketing and architecture, Christian brings a keen sense of precision and a creative awareness to his projects with Brandtrust. His focus lies in helping clients glean powerful insights from customer research and then leverage these insights to craft tangible branding, marketing and communications strategies.

“Brandtrust really recognizes the difference between consumer demographics and actual people,” says Christian. “It’s not about understanding the ‘18-24 demographic,’ it’s about the emotions that drive an actual person’s decisions.” He cites Brandtrust’s Emotional Inquiry research approach as an important point of difference for its clients. “With traditional research, marketers ask direct questions and often get the answers that people think are expected of them. Our research methodology is supported by a solid understanding of the neuroscience behind the functioning of the human brain, and how our emotions drive every single decision we make.”

During his time with Brandtrust, Christian has helped craft brand solutions for Hewlett Packard, Nestlé, Honda, Kraft, Amgen and General Mills, among others.

A multi-dimensional thinker both at work and at home, Christian often shatters people’s preconceptions of him. He’s an avid (if not rabid) sports fan, yet can occasionally be coaxed to play classical violin at a friend’s wedding. Christian and his wife Kelly have a passion for running marathons, but are now busy caring for their children, Micah, Reid, and Gemma.

Stephan Leman

Stephan Leman

Director, Customer Experience & Innovation Strategy

Stephan Leman

Director, Customer Experience & Innovation Strategy

“No matter the industry or brand, every challenge at Brandtrust provides the opportunity to understand and align with humans on a deeper level. I love helping clients forge that connection with those they serve in order to make lasting impact.”

Stephan loves a good challenge, and for that, has been well loved at Brandtrust for over a decade. As Director, Customer Experience and Innovation Strategy, Stephan has brought his passion for problem-solving and process, keen observation and translation skills, and committed work ethic to delight such clients as Eli Lilly, Kraft, Jack Daniel’s, Lincoln Financial, Abbott Nutrition and Johnson & Johnson.

During his tenure at Brandtrust, Stephan has been instrumental in the development and facilitation of many of Brandtrust’s Human Truth Workshops, including A More Beautiful Question Workshop, Essentials of Empathy Workshop, The Art of the Question Workshop, and Emotional Listening Workshop.

“No matter the industry or brand, every challenge at Brandtrust provides the opportunity to understand and align with humans on a deeper level,” he says. “I love helping clients forge that connection with those they serve in order to make a lasting impact.”

Of his clients, he says, “I find my inspiration by helping clients develop inspired strategy that comes from stepping into their customers’ shoes. It’s a privilege to be a part of that journey, and helping organizations do great work for great purposes.”

In his personal life, Stephan is an amateur musician and is interested in anything having to do with sports, playing in tennis tournaments and softball and basketball leagues as the seasons and his work schedule allow. He and his lovely wife, Liz reside in Salt Lake City and are proud parents of two young children.

Lacey Mason

Lacey Mason

Senior Consultant

Lacey Mason

Senior Consultant

“My goal is always to help clients discover new ways of seeing consumer drivers to achieve critical competitive advantage.”

Lacey has always been fascinated by people and why they do the things they do. It’s a passion that led her to a formal education in psychology and to her initial role with Brandtrust as a consumer researcher. In her current role, as a Senior Consultant, Lacey helps clients discover new ways of seeing consumer drivers to achieve critical competitive advantage. She has worked for a wide array of clients, including Coke, Honda, Eli Lilly, Kraft Foods, FedEx, Intel and General Mills.

The combination of Lacey’s education and previous experience in medical sales and as an entrepreneur has enabled her to become particularly adept at helping clients uncover subtle emotional nuances that frame people’s beliefs, feelings and motivations. She says, “The best part of working at Brandtrust is when we sit down and put our heads together to figure out the underlying what and why of the topic we’re studying. To be in a place that is so driven by authentic curiosity and intellectual engagement makes it easy to come to work every day.”

Outside of work, Lacey and her husband drive their budding performer Mary to various classes, rehearsals and shows. When not busy at work, Lacey enjoys cooking and relaxing up to a good book.

Alex Millet

Alex Millet

Senior Director, Strategy and Activation

Alex Millet

Senior Director, Strategy and Activation

“I really enjoy shepherding strategy through the design process…it still feels almost magical to me.”

Alex is one of those people whose thirst for knowledge cannot be satiated. Thriving off the engagement of both sides of his brain, his multidisciplinary background leaves him uniquely able to see all sides of a business issue and ask the types of questions that lead to the most rewarding results. After completing his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Alex worked as a website developer, marketing director, copywriter, and even spent time in a private equity firm. But his real passion lies in brand consulting, which he has done since 2005 for some of the largest brands in the country. He has extensive experience across many elements of brand strategy, customer experience, innovation, and design. Of his own work, Alex says, “I really enjoy shepherding strategy through the design process…it still feels almost magical to me.”

His motivation doesn’t just stop at branding. In 2012, he achieved his longstanding goal of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. When he isn’t helping the best brands become even better, you can find him enjoying his other passions: baseball, books and, of course, boating.

Nicole Potoshnick

Nicole Potoshnick

Researcher

Nicole Potoshnick

Researcher

“Almost like a detective hunting for clues, each interview shapes a bit more of the terrain of the subject that we are studying.”

Nicole Potoshnick knows how people work, inside and out. Before coming to Brandtrust, her experiences as a Reunions and Special Events Specialist at Duke University, an Account Manager at a staffing firm and a mental health counselor have given her a wealth of knowledge about the needs and desires of others from very diverse backgrounds.

She says, “I’ve always loved learning random bits of information. Working with Brandtrust has taken this curiosity to the next level, as I get to dive deeply into various pockets of the market and understand what motivates consumer decisions… Almost like a detective hunting for clues, each interview shapes a bit more of the terrain of the subject that we are studying.”

While Brandtrust’s research is designed to provide clients with insights, Nicole acknowledges that she also loves watching respondents discover things they didn’t know about themselves, and hear them say, “Aha! That’s why I do that!” Her international experience—living, working and traveling throughout Europe, in particular—has allowed her a depth of global understanding that has proven invaluable in her time with Brandtrust.

While not trying to prompt those “aha!” moments, Nicole lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, their twin toddlers and a cuddly toy poodle named Moses. She never thought she’d enjoy having a white picket fence in suburbia but has found that her little corner of the world is quite charming.

Jamie Prywitch

Jamie Prywitch

Senior Associate Consultant

Jamie Prywitch

Senior Associate Consultant

“I think it is so rewarding being able to take the truths we hear and translate them into action for our clients and their business.”

As a Senior Associate Consultant at Brandtrust, Jamie always brings a passion for human truth and understanding to her work. She delights her teams and clients by keeping projects moving smoothly, with a keen eye toward keeping her team on track and managing details.

Her background has honed this eye toward detail. Jamie comes from a family of journalists, and spent many of her formative years in newsrooms. When the time came for her to go off to college, she chose a degree in journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication. With her background, it is no shock then that what she values most about her job is, “hearing the stories of others.” What initially drew her to Brandtrust was a “passion for understanding the human experience. I think it is so rewarding being able to take the truths we hear and translate them into action for our clients and their business.”

When not pursuing her work passion, Jamie can be found turning her attention to detail toward the kitchen. She loves to cook and bake, and is always looking for new recipes to add to her ever-expanding collection.

Leigh Purvis

Leigh Purvis

Director of Operations

Leigh Purvis

Director of Operations

“At Brandtrust, we all have a shared passion to help our clients and each other; that makes it feel like a family.”

Curiosity is common within the walls of Brandtrust. So is drive. Among her accomplished colleagues, though, Leigh stands out. As Brandtrust’s Director of Operations, she believes that everyone should be equipped with the necessary resources to succeed in their role, feel smart, and shine.

In order to equip the Brandtrust team with the tools and training they need, she leads the company’s Knowledge Management Initiative, which puts logical, structural and cultural tools in place to capitalize on Brandtrust employees’ natural desire to learn, share what they know and to make processes, methodologies and Brandtrust overall a better organization. In addition to this responsibility, she is also in charge of the Privacy and Compliance department, which was built to ensure each employee securely carries out client projects. These two critically important roles put Leigh in the unique position of supporting both Business Development and Client Relationship teams.

She also believes that learning and improvement should not stop within the walls of the office. With a passion for learning and adventure, Leigh is constantly reading (about two books per week), surfing and sailing (when near bodies of water), and managing Judge, her chocolate lab (a full-time job).

Maggie Sams

Maggie Sams

Senior Consultant

Maggie Sams

Senior Consultant

“Brandtrust has this incredible, collaborative culture that promotes curiosity and learning.”

Maggie Sams comes to Brandtrust by way of the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a degree in journalism and strategic communication. Maggie’s lively spirit and unstoppable work ethic have made her an essential asset to the Brandtrust team. She is always striving to be one step ahead so that she is able to surprise and delight her team and clients. Her impeccable organization skills and passion for building relationships allows her to successfully manage each of her projects while helping her clients discover deep insight into their brands and customers.

Emotional Inquiry work has been especially rewarding for Maggie. She is constantly amazed at the level of insight and inspiration that comes from every project. “Brandtrust has this incredible, collaborative culture that promotes curiosity and learning,” she says. “I love working alongside such smart and talented colleagues. It’s quite inspiring.”

Maggie has had the pleasure of working alongside clients such as Kimberly-Clark, Moen, Eli Lilly and Kraft. In her spare time, Maggie can be found cheering on her beloved Wisconsin Badgers or sweating it out in a hot yoga class.

Jill Schaefer

Jill Schaefer

Proposal Manager, Client Development

Jill Schaefer

Proposal Manager, Client Development

“I am a lover of the written word and storytelling. My biggest reward is getting to spend each day doing what I love to do: Writing!”

As a Proposal Manager, Jill’s role is to corral Brandtrust’s best and brightest thinking, wrangle it onto the page, and delight clients with proposals that can inspire a new way of thinking about how to solve their business challenges. Her work spans across numerous industries and clients, and she loves that diversity, having spent most of her career in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

Jill has a background rich in communications, proposal and content development, and project management experience in the healthcare and pharma industries at Kaiser Permanente and Eli Lilly and Company, and in the agency world at Weber Shandwick and Ogilvy Public Relations, where she was a consultant for world-class companies including Genentech, Pfizer, Bayer, and GSK, to name a few.

Outside of Brandtrust, Jill enjoys cooking, exploring the robust dining scene, and traveling the world. Originally from Indiana, this domestic nomad has also lived coast to coast with stints in the Big Apple, San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles. Thrilled to be back in the Midwest and closer to family, Jill has found the perfect balance between working in the big city and residing in the enchanting natural beauty and small-community feel of Chicago’s North Shore.

Diane Sheehan

Diane Sheehan

Researcher

Diane Sheehan

Researcher

“My client work requires an ability to communicate with members of all levels within an organization and the ability to determine the necessary course of action by asking the right questions, observing, and listening to people. I am delighted to partner with Brandtrust® as they use the same approaches to helping their client organizations succeed.”

Diane is an Industrial Psychologist with over 10 years of experience in helping organizations achieve their strategic objectives in the areas of employee assessment and selection, leadership development, organization design and change management.

Diane holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin and both a Master’s and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from DePaul University. Diane has applied her expertise to both internal and consulting roles in a variety of industries. Her projects have included management coaching, and organizational change efforts including team development, culture change, communications, and mission and team building.

Diane states, “My client work requires an ability to communicate with members of all levels within an organization and the ability to determine the necessary course of action by asking the right questions, observing and listening to people. I am delighted to partner with Brandtrust® as they use the same approaches to helping their client organizations succeed.” She has partnered with Brandtrust® on projects for Alberto Culver, Frito-Lay, General Mills, Kraft and BUNN.

Outside of work, Diane is a world traveler with a particular interest in ancient cultures. She’s also an avid cyclist and spent an entire week on her bicycle a few summers ago, though she admits that she still finds it challenging to change a flat tire. Diane studies and attempts to practice meditation and Buddhism, and visits the library once a week with her daughter.

Carmie Stornello

Carmie Stornello

Director, People Operations

Carmie Stornello

Director, People Operations

“A well-managed process only works when it also enables the ideas to flow. Brandtrust has a uniquely collaborative process to ensure just that. We work together with the client to apply key customer insights, so that in the end, the customers and the brand both end up on top.”

Carmie Stornello is the glue that holds Brandtrust together. It is no exaggeration to say that she oversees the smooth and efficient operation of, well, every last little thing. In her role as the Director of People Operations in charge of operations and resource management, Carmie ensures that each project is manned with the most appropriate personnel, that everyone is in the right place at the right time, armed with the right information and tools to do an excellent job. Carmie’s challenges transcend the sphere of mere logistics, incorporating significant doses of finance, business strategy, negotiation, psychology, persuasion and tough love.

Throughout her career, Carmie has managed million dollar projects in a wide range of industries. She brings over 20 years of agency management experience to her role. Carmie began her career in a pharmaceutical advertising agency, managing the process of developing breakthrough creative for clients including Procter & Gamble, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Abbott Laboratories. She went on to a management position in Abbott Laboratories’ internal advertising agency, and during the pioneering days of the Internet, helped build a small interactive advertising boutique agency that was later acquired. This led to a stint as an Account Director with the new parent company on consumer products such as Tombstone Pizza, Abreva and Postopia, the kids’ website for Post Cereals.

Carmie’s focus lies in seeing Brandtrust projects run seamlessly from first contact through final implementation. Carmie observes, however, that “a well-managed process only works when it also enables the ideas to flow. Brandtrust has a uniquely collaborative process to ensure just that. We work together with the client to apply key customer insights, so that in the end, the customers and the brand both end up on top.”

Carmie spends her free time enjoying life in Chicago with her husband and their two precious children, fending off requests for a dog or a pony, and checking email. She also maintains her mental health in balance by running and practicing yoga.

Katie Suib

Katie Suib

Researcher

Katie Suib

Researcher

“My passion is making brands and businesses better for the people they serve.”

Katie is a jack-of-all-trades at Brandtrust. She began her career here in early 2006, working closely with CEO and Founder Daryl Travis, and then shifted her focus to business development, while dipping her toe in research. Since making the leap into to client work, she has had the pleasure of partnering with client teams to tackle business issues in financial services, frozen food, facial care, felines, pharma, and many other industries that don’t start with the /f/ sound. In her latest role as Researcher, Katie employs her experience in understanding customer stories and keen strategic mind to uncover the human truth that lurks in her clients’ greatest challenges.

Katie’s mission at Brandtrust is to “understand customers at a truer, deeper level, and leverage that understanding to build and refine brands that ultimately better serve those customers. My passion is making brands and businesses better for the people they serve.”

Her passion doesn’t stop at the walls of Brandtrust. Katie is a volunteer and performer with Barrel of Monkeys, an arts education non-profit that teaches creative writing and theater to Chicago Public School students.

Sophia Tang

Sophia Tang

Client Development Strategist, Analytics & Insights

Sophia Tang

Client Development Strategist, Analytics & Insights

“Brandtrust values my hard-working, persistent, and analytical spirit.”

Sophia is no stranger to challenge. With a bachelor’s degree in Russian language and literature, and a Master’s in Marketing Analytics and Communication, she is constantly striving to test her limits and grow her already impressive resume. She speaks three languages, was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma international honor society for business programs, and moved halfway around the world to pursue her dream job in Chicago.

Sophia has a passion for all Brandtrust does. As the Insights & Analytics Strategist for the Business Development team at Brandtrust, Sophia helps introduce Brandtrust’s unique, human-centered approach to professionals across all industries. As an analyst, Sophia also contributes from the inside-out, analyzing and interpreting data in order for her team to gain actionable insights to maintain sustainable competitiveness. She welcomes the challenges and successes of her role, and is the ultimate team player. Working at Brandtrust, she feels “helpful, trusted, and valued. I love helping my team get things done. My team values my hard-working, persistent, and analytical spirit.”

Outside of her work, Sophia loves to cook authentic Chinese cuisine. She is proud to be a cat lover, and enjoys the companionship of two cute cats that she rescued.

Daryl Travis

Daryl Travis

Founder and CEO

Daryl Travis

Founder and CEO

“Most research discloses what happens; however, it often fails to reveal why it happens or the underlying emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective strategy. We're all avid thinkers here at Brandtrust®. There's a genuine curiosity, a persistent desire to discover deeper insights, that we all share in common.”

Throughout his extensive career, Daryl has advised many of the largest and best brands in the world. His latest groundbreaking book, Little Things Big Returns, explores what really motivates people and how to deliver experiences that matter most to your customers.

A colorful and engaging storyteller, Daryl speaks frequently on the power of insights and the critical need for marketers to change the way they think about how people think. He explains how research can lead us astray or help us to gain a competitive edge. “Most research discloses what happens,” he says. “However, it often fails to reveal why it happens or the underlying emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective strategy.” Daryl’s guiding mantra is The NINA Principle®:—No Insight—No Advantage®.

Passionate about learning and understanding more about how people think, Daryl is always reading a new book—more than one hundred each year. His voracious reading helps leverage recent breakthroughs in the social sciences to improve the consumer research process, tapping into the deeper underlying emotions and nonconscious motivations critical to revealing insights.

He could be described as a professor, detective, journalist, anthropologist and writer all rolled into one. “We’re all avid thinkers here,” he’s said of his team. “There’s a genuine curiosity, a persistent desire to discover deeper insights that we all share in common.”

Daryl and his wife Donnita extend his continuous learning passion as active members of Chicago’s philanthropic community, volunteering time and resources to support education and literacy programs for underprivileged children throughout the city.

David VanScoyoc

David VanScoyoc

Associate Consultant

David VanScoyoc

Associate Consultant

“What I love most about working at Brandtrust is learning from my immensely smart colleagues every day and being able to foster deep relationships with our team.”

David’s passion to forge strong relationships, coupled with his continued eagerness to learn, is what he is most appreciated for at Brandtrust. As an Associate Consultant, he assists clients and our team with all the logistics of a project; anticipating the needs of others and keeping every project moving like a well-oiled machine. David’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge have shined since day one–traits that truly prove he has Brandtrust in his DNA.

David graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing. Prior to Brandtrust, David has experience working with a small non-profit, helping build their brand and marketing initiatives on an international platform.

Of working at Brandtrust, David says, “Being part of the Brandtrust family is something that excites and inspires me to come to work every day. We all share a common passion for continued learning and producing meaning insight for our clients.”

David grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago but has always considered himself a prideful Chicagoan. His favorite thing about Chicago is the beautiful summer months, which motivates him to bear the treacherous winters every year. Having been bitten by the travel bug after a semester in Madrid, Spain studying business and learning to love the Spanish lifestyle, David shares the same passion for travel and exploration as the rest of the Brandtrust team.

Beth Wozniak

Beth Wozniak

Director of Finance

Beth Wozniak

Director of Finance

“My favorite part of Brandtrust is being part of a family and knowing the decisions I make benefit both my coworkers and clients.”

Beth knows what it means to be accountable. As Brandtrust’s Director of Finance, she is responsible for making sure all finance and HR related tasks run as smoothly as possible. This is no easy task in our dynamic environment. With everything from preparing proposals to sending clients the final invoice for a project, Beth is involved in every step along the way for Brandtrust operations.

Her background prepared her for her current role, earning her CPA certificate in February of 2000. She has been a financial analyst for McDonald’s Corporation and has worked for small start-up companies. But it is at Brandtrust that Beth has found a home. She says her “favorite part of Brandtrust is being part of a family and knowing the decisions I make benefit both my coworkers and clients.”

An avid traveler, Beth has been to five continents and over thirty states and intends on finishing the list in her lifetime, her most exotic destination to date being Ethiopia. She also owns eighteen chickens on her farm in Wisconsin with her husband and two teenagers. Around the Brandtrust office, anyone can come to her for financial advice or chicken eggs.

Valerie Zawada

Valerie Zawada

Senior Associate Consultant

Valerie Zawada

Senior Associate Consultant

“Brandtrust allows me to engage with my favorite topic- the human story, and all the attributes that make us who we are. Everyone on the team is committed to our work, each other, and our purpose.”

As a Senior Associate Consultant at Brandtrust, Valerie brings her passion for the human story, her positive outlook on life, and creativity to her role to ensure every project runs smoothly and on track in order to delight her clients and support her team.

Valerie’s natural curiosity and background have uniquely prepared her for such a pivotal human-centric role. After graduating from University College Dublin with a Masters of Arts in Cultural Policy and Arts Management, she worked as an arts administrator for a non-profit and as an independent consultant for startups and creative professionals.

Valerie has returned to her hometown of Chicago to be closer to family and work and to enjoy her favorite piece of the Midwest city—the Lake Michigan lakefront parks. However, with a deep seeded passion for travel and history, you’ll most likely find Valerie planning her next great adventure. Be it solo-hike summiting mountains, singing, or indulging in an exquisite charcuterie board, Valerie’s journey is just getting started.

Select Clients

  • All
  • /
  • Automotive
  • /
  • Consumer
  • /
  • Financial
  • /
  • Food
  • /
  • Healthcare
  • /
  • Manufacturing
  • /
  • Nonprofit
  • /
  • Services
  • /
  • Technology
3M
BCBS
Beckman Coulter
Behr
Botox
BP America
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Burger King
Cadillac
Chapstick
Charles Schwab
Cherrios
Coinstar
Congressional Federal Credit Union
Danaher
Discover
Dockers
Doritos
Easter Seals
EK Success Brands
Elmer’s Products
Farmers Insurance
FedEx
Foster Grant
GE Appliances
Genentech
Gentleman Jack
Georgia-Pacific
Green Giant
Hanes
Hewlett-Packard
Honda
Hot Pockets
Intel
Jack Daniel’s
Johnson & Johnson
Kellogg’s
Kimberly-Clark
KitchenAid
Kroger
Land Rover
Lincoln Financial
Macaroni & Cheese
Masco
Nestle
Purina
Quaker
Radio Flyer
Sara Lee
Snap-on
Southern Comfort
Steinway & Sons
Stryker
Team World Vision
The Hartford
TRIA Beauty
Walmart
Wrigley
Yahoo!