At mdg, experienced event and association professionals, strategy gurus, branding experts, digital dynamos, creative geniuses, research nerds, multi-linguists and other uniquely qualified marketing and public relations professionals work together to achieve positive results for event and association clients.


Agency Management

Allyson Larson

Allyson Larson
accounting manager

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Allyson Larson

accounting manager

Allyson has extensive experience in the accounting field through working with over 30 companies in multiple industries as a consulting accountant. She holds a bachelor’s degree and award for outstanding academic achievement in economics and accounting from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also holds a California Single Subject Mathematics Credential that allows her to bring a unique approach to her collaboration and management style. Allyson brings her positive energy, passion for numbers, commitment and discernment to further the growth and development of the mdg accounting team. When she’s not in the office, Allyson is indulging in the “FunFitFoodieSD” side of herself with her husband in the beautiful, sunny San Diego weather. On weekends, you can find her at San Diego’s festivals, Padres games, exercising, trying new restaurants, bowling or playing games.

Hillary Stubblefield

Hillary Stubblefield
business development specialist

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Hillary Stubblefield

business development specialist

A native of Middleburg, Virginia, Hillary is part of the business development team with mdg. Previously, she worked in Washington D.C. in government relations for a lobbying firm and in business development for a federal contractor specializing in IT services for civilian agencies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History from the College of William and Mary. In her free time, Hillary enjoys reading, sailing, snowboarding, gardening and hiking with her dog Bucket.

Jacquelyn Wells

Jacquelyn Wells
vice president

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Jacquelyn Wells

vice president

Jacquelyn joined mdg in 2007 as a member of the account services team. She’s since earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Diego and has been instrumental in driving and managing the agency’s exponential growth. In her current role, she consults directly for and leads teams serving event clients in myriad industries, from food and beverage to technology, healthcare, and more. Specifically, she has developed campaigns to acquire, engage and retain attendees for clients such as the International Baking Industry Exposition, AUVSI XPONENTIAL, and World of Concrete. Jacquelyn has lived, studied, and worked overseas and is currently leading an initiative to streamline the onboarding and training of new agency employees.

Jenn Brennecke

Jenn Brennecke
talent acquisition and HR manager

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Jenn Brennecke

talent acquisition and HR manager

Jenn has extensive experience in the human resources field within the hospitality and non-profit industries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from University of California, Santa Barbara and specializes in talent acquisition. She has a true passion for finding amazing talent to join the mdg family. Jenn is a San Diego native, and when not enjoying the beautiful California sunshine, she can be found on her mat, practicing yoga.

Julie Krieger

Julie Krieger
senior vice president

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Julie Krieger

senior vice president

With 22 years of marketing and advertising experience, Julie takes a big-picture, strategic approach to all her projects. A detailed planner and skilled executor, she has a keen ability to create campaigns that generate positive results, including a high rate of return on her clients’ budgets. Before joining mdg, Julie worked on both the agency and client side to develop multi-channel marketing campaigns for several high profile hotels and casinos in Las Vegas.

Kerry McAuliffe

Kerry McAuliffe
accounting generalist

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Kerry McAuliffe

accounting generalist

Kerry has worked in the human resources field in higher education, private banking and technology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Providence College and specializes in payroll, recruiting, benefits and other HR areas at mdg. Even though she’s a Boston girl at heart, Kerry loves the eternal 70 degree weather of San Diego and also enjoys traveling, hiking, friends and family.

Marc Blumer

Marc Blumer
customer journey architect

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Marc Blumer

customer journey architect

Marc Blumer, from a young age, accompanied his father, VP at Leo Burnett Media, into the Chicago HQ where Marc was able to experience the creative department first hand. Today, with an M.S. in direct and digital marketing from Mercy College and more than 25 years in B2B marketing leadership roles on both the agency and client sides, Marc sits at the critical intersection of data and content. At mdg, Marc teams with our account strategists to orchestrate and integrate the efforts of the digital, web and data teams into marketing programs fully aligned with the customer journey – especially those within complex industries. Included within Marc’s previous client engagements are lead attendee strategist roles for CONEXPO-CON/AGG and PACK EXPO, lead marketing automation strategist for Dow Corning as well as serving on outside agency’s strategic leadership team in building the three-year marketing strategic roadmap for Indorama Ventures in late 2017.

Vincent Polito

Vincent Polito
managing director

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Vincent Polito

managing director

With more than 20 years in senior leadership positions in the industry, Vincent is generally recognized as a content development and execution specialist. During his career, he’s had two international postings, launched events on five continents and developed highly specialized conferences in technology, life sciences and healthcare. Vinnie is also the past Chairman of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the leading organization in the conference and trade show industry.

Chicago Account Services

Anastasiya Magwood

Anastasiya Magwood
account coordinator

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Anastasiya Magwood

account coordinator

With a degree in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing and International Business and a background in market research, Anastasiya is well equipped to deliver on her clients’ informational needs. She combines strategy, creativity, innovation, and enthusiasm in her approach to research and helps translate insights into actionable strategies.

Jessica Burke, CAE

Jessica Burke, CAE
account director

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Jessica Burke, CAE

account director

Jess Burke is a Certified Association Executive with a passion for telling the stories of nonprofits and their people. In her work at mdg, Jess helps clients leverage their strengths and overcome their challenges to put on great events and make a mark on their industries. In the association space since 2009, Jess has conducted market and member research, implemented print and digital campaigns, managed social media accounts, and much more. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in English Rhetoric and Composition from Seton Hall University. On the weekends, you can find Jess at the movies, seeing whatever looks the scariest.

Meg Falat

Meg Falat
account manager

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Meg Falat

account manager

Meg’s background in marketing stretches from campaign planning to post campaign analyses and everything in between, including market research and social media management. She’s served higher education, nonprofit and Fortune 500 companies with energy, creativity and attention to detail. Meg grew up in Northwest Indiana, close enough to Chicago to have always been able to call it home. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Ball State University.

Sierra Buechler

Sierra Buechler
account manager

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Sierra Buechler

account manager

With several years of agency experience, Sierra brings a great combination of creativity, analytical backing and omni-channel thinking to her clients’ campaigns. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Advertising from Bradley University. Out of the office, Sierra is a practicing foodie, which serves as the perfect way to get to know her new city of Chicago.

DC Account Services

Angelique Sargent

Angelique Sargent
account coordinator

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Angelique Sargent

account coordinator

With experience working for a diverse range of brands, Angelique brings a well-versed knowledge of social media, print and digital marketing to mdg. Obtaining a bachelor’s in business administration from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School serves as one of many milestones in her career. She’s known for her on-point organizational skills, knack for problem-solving and passion for storytelling. While she’s a native Washingtonian, Angelique loves finding new ways to rediscover her city.

Ashleigh Kades

Ashleigh Kades
account director

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Ashleigh Kades

account director

Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Maryland, Ashleigh began her career at the DC Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where she was responsible for event planning, marketing and fundraising. At mdg, she is known for her creativity, organization, eye for detail and the ability to anticipate her clients’ needs. Originally from Durban, South Africa, she enjoys traveling, tennis, painting, and spending time with family, including her dog, Charlie.

Heather Ireland

Heather Ireland
account director

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Heather Ireland

account director

Heather is a high-energy, passionate people person. With a mix of agency and in-house corporate marketing experience, she’s promoted everything from real estate and insurance to food service, electrical contracting and more. Heather’s strategic focus, creativity and attention to detail aid her ability to analyze situations and deliver thoughtful and unique solutions to mdg clients. She takes pride in kindling strong and trusted relationships with her clients and coworkers and being a go-to resource and collaborative partner.

Heather loves to laugh, spend time with family, try her hand at cooking up new recipes, experience cultural events in DC and travel as much as possible. She also has a weakness for sweets, which she balances by teaching group fitness classes for fun.

Ingrid Thorson

Ingrid Thorson
account director

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Ingrid Thorson

account director

Ingrid has an extensive background in trade association marketing and communications. Her skillset includes creating streamlined and thought-provoking messaging, developing creative event promotions and managing overall brand identity and reputation. Ingrid brings years of experience to mdg. Her adventure began at the Roller Skating Association in Indianapolis, then the Professional Association of Innkeepers in Philadelphia and lastly the National Golf Course Owners Association in Charleston. Ingrid enjoys exploring the city parks with her Shiba Inu dog, Kobe, in her free time.

Katy Smith

Katy Smith
account manager

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Katy Smith

account manager

Having worked in the consumer goods and manufacturing industries, Katy has diverse experience marketing to retailers, engineers, and other business leaders and – most importantly – she understands how to adapt her approach accordingly.  She builds strong relationships with her clients by proactively managing expectations, timelines, and all the other details along the way. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Apparel Merchandising and a minor in Business from Auburn University.

Keenan Jackson

Keenan Jackson
account coordinator

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Keenan Jackson

account coordinator

Keenan is a creative and passionate marketing professional with experience in social media management, SEO, and event marketing. He developed his love for marketing through his work executing marketing campaigns for nonprofit organizations, live music, and independent artists. Keenan is a proud graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in management communication. In his spare time, you can find him listening to music, reading, or jogging.

Marissa Thompson

Marissa Thompson
account director

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Marissa Thompson

account director

Marissa is an integrated marketing strategist with experience in implementing digital and print marketing campaigns, social media management, events and promotions. Prior to mdg, Marissa fell in love with event marketing at the National Automobile Dealers Association after consistently driving attendance to their annual meetings. She graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and makes multitasking look easy.

Melissa Lutes

Melissa Lutes
account manager

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Melissa Lutes

account manager

Melissa came to mdg with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Loyola University of Maryland and experience with both agencies and non-profit organizations. She applies the same drive, energy and organizational acumen that helped her graduate cum laude to her role to mdg.  Melissa is an expert at understanding clients’ needs and aligning agency resources to achieve them and she takes pride in helping her clients advance their goals and meet deadlines. Melissa treasures her Bernese and Lab and loves traveling, live music and spending time on the water.

Michael Fountain

Michael Fountain
account strategist

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Michael Fountain

account strategist

Michael is a curious and forward-thinking marketing professional with experience working for several leading domestic advertising agencies. His professional experience is rooted in account management, but over the years he has pivoted towards more strategic planning roles; from helping to define brands to developing digital, social media and content strategies for a variety of clients. At mdg, Michael uses research and data to help distill the agency’s vast experience and creativity into content and experiences that help to make a positive and demonstrable impact for our clients. Outside the office, Michael focuses on staying fit, enjoying the live music scene in the DC area and maintaining his “cool uncle” status with his nieces and nephew.

Rachel Scharmann

Rachel Scharmann
account director

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Rachel Scharmann

account director

Rachel is a dynamic marketer with an eye for branding and design. Prior to joining mdg, she executed integrated marketing campaigns in the Public Relations and Communications events sector, where she honed her skills in social media, analytics, SEO and digital marketing. Rachel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and minors in Graphic Design and Business from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

Rae Fosina

Rae Fosina
account manager

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Rae Fosina

account manager

Rae has a proven ability to grow trusted relationships and understand client needs to achieve their business goals. She came to mdg with agency experience executing cross-channel strategy approaches for customer solutions, focusing on Search, Social, Display and SEO which has been a great addition to the event marketing landscape.

Rae graduated with a bachelor’s in Business Economics with a concentration on Marketing and minor in Business Communications, which provided the foundation for her account management career. Originally from New York, she enjoys live music, traveling, and getting engrossed in a good book.

Sara Baliti

Sara Baliti
senior account director

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Sara Baliti

senior account director

Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a focus in Public Relations from the University of Maryland. At mdg, Sara is greatly involved with an array of clients, focusing on attendee acquisition for their events. Specifically, she has assisted with BOMA International Conference & Expo, LeadingAge Annual Meeting & EXPO, the National Business Aviation Association events, Sweets & Snacks Expo and many more. Sara currently lives in London, UK where she is able to be hands-on and present for European clients’ needs.

Reston Account Services

Abbi Boose

Abbi Boose
account director

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Abbi Boose

account director

Abbi brings enthusiasm, strategic planning, and project management expertise to her projects at mdg. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations from George Mason University and professional experience in event management, public relations, corporate branding and strategic planning for government, commercial, and association markets. When not in the office, Abbi can be found baking, traveling, or cheering on the Green Bay Packers.

Amie Cangelosi

Amie Cangelosi
senior account director

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Amie Cangelosi

senior account director

Amie is a dynamic marketer and project manager with a sharp eye for detail. She believes in using customer research to guide strategic initiatives and closely analyzing data and metrics to maximize campaign impact for her clients. Prior to joining mdg, Amie spent more than a decade at Reed Exhibitions where she worked across a number of industry trade shows and led the marketing campaigns for the security & life safety event portfolio. She received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Camille Leverett

Camille Leverett
senior account director

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Camille Leverett

senior account director

As a high-impact strategist, Camille has been at the helm of traditional and digital marketing strategies that drive results and achieve sustainable growth for her clients. She is a collaborative leader, creative problem solver and relationship builder with extensive marketing, membership and communications experience within the education, non-profit and telecommunications industries. Camille received her B.B.A. in marketing from Radford University, an MBA in management from Marymount University and an Event Management Certificate from George Washington University. She is a proud “military brat” who has moved over 20 times, living throughout the United States and in Germany. This sparked her love of traveling. In addition, she spends her spare time doing volunteer work, attending concerts and seeing the latest movie.

Cassandra Young

Cassandra Young
account manager

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Cassandra Young

account manager

Cassandra has a nearly insatiable curiosity and an entrepreneurial spirit where she is driven by those “aha!” moments, the feeling you get when you discover or execute new marketing methodologies that are truly epiphanic. This has led her to a mix of agency and in-house corporate marketing experiences, where she’s marketed everything from security and casino gaming to federal IT, pop culture, book publishing and more. Cassandra is a high-energy, passionate people person and believes that a flexible balance of creativity, attention to detail, collaboration and strategy is recipe in delivering the mdg brand promise to her clients. Originally from Connecticut, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, being outdoors and channeling her inner-Martha Stewart.

Chereen Zaki

Chereen Zaki
account director

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Chereen Zaki

account director

Chereen is a gregarious and energetic marketer who takes pride in her precision, and “extra mile” approach when it comes to maximizing growth for her clients at mdg. She has a master’s degree from Georgetown University in Culture, Communication, and Technology. Her professional experience includes a decade of domestic and international work in omnichannel marketing and content strategy and development. From Dubai to New York, Chereen has lived and worked around the world, producing viral-content for Forbes and working with clients ranging from Sheikhs to global pharmaceuticals. She has a passion for taking on cooking challenges and exploring different cultures with guests on her podcast.

Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson
account director

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Christine Johnson

account director

Christine is laser focused on driving results for her clients, working with the mdg team to blend data-driven strategies with impactful creative to achieve measurable goals. With a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications from Emerson College and a background in digital and content marketing for clients including Panera Bread, Chevrolet, Hitachi, TBS, and GED Testing Service, Christine is a constant learner who holds herself to a high standard of excellence. Outside the office, you can find her curled up with a good book and her Boston Terrier, Miss Moneypenny.

Jennifer Jones, CAE

Jennifer Jones, CAE
senior communications strategist and senior director of operations

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Jennifer Jones, CAE

senior communications strategist and senior director of operations

Jennifer is a Certified Association Executive with extensive experience in communications, branding, publications and strategic partnerships. A passionate agent for change, Jennifer has led several rebranding initiatives for organizations, events and publications, launched a monthly magazine and identified new revenue sources at several healthcare and education associations. Together with colleagues, she’s been honored with two “Power of A” awards from The Center for Association Leadership and has received many accolades for her rebranding work. Jennifer lives in northern Virginia with her husband, two sons and dog Griff. When not busy at mdg, she likes to travel, cook, hike and entertain and is a lover of sunshine, adventure and dinner parties.

Kate Frantz

Kate Frantz
account director

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Kate Frantz

account director

Functioning at the intersection of creativity and strategy, Kate brings years of marketing, communications and public relations experience to mdg. Her passion for the field was affirmed by a fashion show during college in which she was selected to head communications efforts for the show. Over the following decade, Kate has grown her expertise while working with numerous nonprofit organizations, restaurants, events and media companies. Kate is a native of the Washington, D.C., area who enjoys soaking up the sun by the water and volunteering with a local animal rescue.

Lindsay Davis

Lindsay Davis
senior account director

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Lindsay Davis

senior account director

Lindsay is a proven project manager for a variety of mediums, including public relations, direct mail, and relationship management. Prior to joining mdg, Lindsay worked primarily with federal and local government clients to execute integrated marketing campaigns and develop print collateral. Lindsay earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Graphic Design from Longwood University.

Lindsay Sheldon

Lindsay Sheldon
account strategist

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Lindsay Sheldon

account strategist

Lindsay brings a unique perspective to mdg, having spent time at an advertising agency servicing Fortune 500 clients while also leading the marketing communications initiatives at an education association for a number of years. Lindsay has a background rooted in strategic planning and shareholder consensus building. She has experience in both B2C and B2B markets and enjoys developing creative, innovative and pragmatic solutions to meet client needs.

Lindsay holds both a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. Bonaventure University. She is an avid football fan, board game enthusiast and lover of anything chocolate.

Liz Irvine

Liz Irvine
account director

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Liz Irvine

account director

With a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University and marketing and event planning experience, Liz is equipped to take on any client challenge and turn it into an opportunity. She finds joy building relationships, executing multi-channel marketing plans and learning new things. Outside of work, Liz is a fitness enthusiast, reader, scrapbooker and avid watcher of Friends reruns.

Mackenzie Mead

Mackenzie Mead
account coordinator

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Mackenzie Mead

account coordinator

With professional experience in association events and membership, Mackenzie supports creative teams in the implementation and execution of marketing campaigns at mdg. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Mackenzie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from the State University of New York at Geneseo. When she’s not in the office, Mackenzie likes to hang with her cats, watch “The Bachelor,” and try out D.C.’s best brunch spots!

Mark Shayka

Mark Shayka
account coordinator

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Mark Shayka

account coordinator

Mark earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Graphic Design from Lees-McRae College. Before joining mdg, he worked as a small business marketer primarily with wineries and real estate companies improving their collateral and social media. Outside of the office, Mark can be found on a golf course, a volleyball court, or in an area wine bar or vineyard.

Megan McCorry

Megan McCorry
account manager

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Megan McCorry

account manager

Megan has a diverse resume in client service positions. Most recently before joining mdg she worked as a social media and graphics consultant for a startup clothing company in Charleston, SC. Her passion for art coupled with her Psychology and Business degree allows her to understand mdg’s work from every angle, start to finish. She has hosted a total of 5 exchange students from Germany, Italy, and Spain, which allow her to acclimate to our clientele’s expansive backgrounds. When she’s not in the office, she’s either traveling or planning her next trip.

Monique dela Cruz

Monique dela Cruz
account manager

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Monique dela Cruz

account manager

As a child, Monique loved two things: talking to strangers (much to her mother’s dismay) and staying up way past her bedtime, immersed in a book. Thankfully, these affinities translated into a passion for people and content creation, traits that have served her well in her marketing career. She believes strongly in data-driven strategies, and has experience in various industries, from healthcare to cybersecurity. Born and raised in the Philippines, Monique enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her two bunnies (Peanut Bunner and Oreo).

Noura Bayoumi

Noura Bayoumi
account manager

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Noura Bayoumi

account manager

With a Bachelor of Science in journalism, Noura brings strong editorial skills (as well a strong commitment to deadlines) to mdg. Previously, she worked for a trade association in Washington, D.C., performing project management tasks, event marketing, email marketing, social media and content development. Outside of work, Noura enjoys meditation, yoga and exercise.

Sara Carlson

Sara Carlson
account manager

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Sara Carlson

account manager

Sara has diverse experience in event management, association and magazine marketing as well as hospitality PR. She strives to contextually understand client needs, lend a hand wherever one is needed and provide the best work in a timely manner for her clients. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from George Mason University, she combines creativity, cleverness and a can-do attitude in her approach. When she’s not keeping everyone on track, Sara can be found checking out new restaurants, channeling her inner Joanna Gaines or spending time with her pups (Lincoln + Riley).

Sarah Marshall

Sarah Marshall
account director

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Sarah Marshall

account director

Sarah has a decade of experience in integrated marketing communications, graphic design, print production, and nonprofit management both domestically and internationally. With a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and strategic marketing experience with the U.S. military, a regional chamber of commerce, and an international nonprofit, she has become equally as passionate about design layouts and typography as she is about spreadsheet formulas and analyzing production timelines. When she’s not at work, she’s spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and correcting spelling and grammar typos on everything from billboards to menus to magazines.

Shauna Peters

Shauna Peters
senior account strategist

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Shauna Peters

senior account strategist

Shauna is a strategic problem-solver and ardent project manager. A creative thinker and detailed executer, she utilizes data-informed decision making to guide association clients through project timelines with a results-focused eye. Prior to joining mdg, Shauna served the public sector events market, including government and education technology with re-evaluation and re-positioning campaigns. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a double major in English and Sociology.

San Diego Account Services

Alexandra Sadler

Alexandra Sadler
account manager

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Alexandra Sadler

account manager

Alex earned a Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern University with a concentration in Journalism. She brings her background in client services and writing to mdg where she assesses clients’ needs and helps execute results-driven marketing campaigns. Alex is a Colorado native and outside of work, can be found searching for every outdoorsy activity California has to offer.

Emily Golding

Emily Golding
account director

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Emily Golding

account director

Emily is a marketing communications leader and strategic problem-solver who believes that a flexible balance of creativity, attention to detail and data-driven logic is key in delivering the mdg brand promise to her clients. She has overseen marketing and events in a wide range of industries including audio visual, spa and wellness, solar power, organic beauty, sustainability, and real estate, and is poised to master the nuances of new industries. Having graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a double Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Environmental Studies, she is excited to soon complete her MBA with a specialty in marketing from West Texas A&M Business School. Emily loves authentic bagels, listening to NPR podcasts (such as “A Way with Words” and “This American Life”), and playing with her dogs, Lola and Benicio.

Kate Ammerman

Kate Ammerman
account manager

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Kate Ammerman

account manager

Kate found her career calling in marketing at the crossroads where words matter, images evoke, experiences transform and actions mean everything. With prior experience as an in-house Marketing Manager, Industry Association Committee Member and member of the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization, her ability to recognize and navigate clients’ pain points and business objectives comes intuitively. An innovative thinker, driven by data and fueled by client success, Kate manages the execution of campaigns from conceptual to tactical. When not in the office she can be found at the local yoga studio, exploring around the globe or traveling the world of music as a performance reviewer. Kate is a fourth-generation Californian and settled in San Diego while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from San Diego State University.

Kate Calderazzo

Kate Calderazzo
account director

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Kate Calderazzo

account director

Kate provides expertise in the art of project management, expertly managing the details required to execute marketing initiatives from start to finish. Her passion for data and analytics helps her evaluate and optimize strategies throughout the life of a project to achieve exceptional results. When she is not increasing attendance for her trade show clients, Kate is busy kickboxing and baking treats for her mdg coworkers. Kate is a Northern California native with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communications and Political Science from UC Davis.

Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, CEM

Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, CEM
chief marketing strategist

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Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, CEM

chief marketing strategist

With 18 years of event marketing experience, a Master of Science in Business Administration and an uncanny ability to switch from left-brain to right-brain thinking (and back again), Hardcastle blends focus and discipline with innovative thinking and creativity to craft unique solutions for agency clients. She’s a CEM faculty member, a Krakoff Leaders Institute alumna, the editor of mdg’s marketing newsletter, a presenter of industry seminars on strategic marketing planning and, most importantly, an integral collaborator for several prominent association and event clients across in the country. She’s also a mom, runner, reader, lover of east coast cities and west coast beaches and is known to eat lunch at her desk as early as 9:15 a.m.

Shantelle Johnson

Shantelle Johnson
senior account director

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Shantelle Johnson

senior account director

Prior to joining mdg, Shantelle launched and ran a commercial real estate-focused marketing agency, where she served two of the most notable mixed-use development projects in the nation. To provide expert tactical and strategic guidance to her clients, Shantelle carefully listens to their needs and goals and then translates objectives into creative, effective and efficient marketing and public relations campaigns. Shantelle holds a Bachelor of Science in Counseling with a minor in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Tyler Day

Tyler Day
account director

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Tyler Day

account director

A marketing and creative strategist with experience in nonprofit, corporate and agency environments, Tyler uses his broad skill set to carry ideas from concept to strategy to execution.

Evidenced by his long and winding academic journey—which includes three degrees and stops on all three coasts (hello, Chicago)—Tyler’s insatiable curiosity and pursuit of learning shaped a mindset that continually delivers new ideas to clients and colleagues to help overcome the most intractable challenges.

A writer at heart, Tyler’s free time is spent tinkering with two unfinished novels, seeing every new movie or show people tell you to see and chasing new experiences wherever they may come.

Copy

Ashley Weber

Ashley Weber
publications specialist

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Ashley Weber

publications specialist

Prior to joining mdg, Ashley spent five years in publications management with a DC-based association management company. She brings experience, organization, and commitment with her through each workday. As a publications specialist, she is dedicated to maintaining close attention to detail, and adhering to clients’ objectives. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing from Christopher Newport University. Outside the office, she pursues a passion for young adult literature with her personal writing projects, and also enjoys cooking and travel.

Lara Regan

Lara Regan
managing copy director

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Lara Regan

managing copy director

With previous marketing experience in the beauty, insurance and music products industries, Lara has a knack for understanding unique client needs when developing large-scale campaigns and managing the smallest details. She taps into the audience’s psychographics and demographics to write authentic copy that helps clients achieve their attendance and engagement goals. Before joining mdg, Lara spent nearly 14 years as a writer at NAMM, creating strategic messaging to increase association membership and trade show participation. She is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas with a double major in Journalism and Sociology and has received certifications in Marketing and Digital Design from UC San Diego. Outside of work, Lara enjoys running, reading and traveling with her husband.

Pamela Hunt

Pamela Hunt
copywriter

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Pamela Hunt

copywriter

Pamela is committed to finding and telling good stories. With 20 years of experience that includes investor relations, public relations, journalism, and science writing, she has faith in the stories behind every product, service, and idea that will connect them to their target markets. With a major in biology and minor in English from Cornell University, Pamela loves the intersections of art, science, craft, and culture. When she isn’t at the keyboard, Pamela loves running and hiking on local trails, reading memoirs, and joining her two boys in the waves (where she is an enthusiastic but terrible surfer.)

Renee Goldstein

Renee Goldstein
copy director

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Renee Goldstein

copy director

Renee brings nearly a decade of writing, editing and marketing experience to mdg. With a history of managing publications and writing for associations in the printing and medical industries, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from George Mason University and a Master of Professional Studies in publishing from The George Washington University, Renee is able to develop messaging strategies and language that compels action and drives results.

Sheree Whiteley

Sheree Whiteley
copywriter

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Sheree Whiteley

copywriter

As a journalist turned marketing copywriter, Sheree brings more than a decade of experience and wide range of skills to mdg. Her affinity for the written word prompted her to pursue a double major in communications and English with a journalism emphasis at Boise State University. After earning her degree, Sheree put her writing and editing savvy to work for publications and tech companies in Boise, San Francisco and Seattle before moving to San Diego and joining the mdg team. She adores alliteration, gets a kick out of eliminating superfluous commas and will seize any opportunity she has to use the word “revamp.” When she isn’t crafting content that both delights and inspires action, you’ll find her relaxing at the beach or heading to the airport to start a new adventure.

Vanessa Page

Vanessa Page
copywriter

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Vanessa Page

copywriter

Vanessa brings two decades of writing and editing experience to mdg, having created content for Fortune 500 companies and industries ranging from gourmet food to fashion to online learning. Whatever the topic or industry, her goal remains the same: to fully understand the audience and their motivations so she can create a powerful, engaging message that truly connects. Prior to joining mdg, Vanessa developed digital and editorial content for QVC; print advertising for Macy’s East; and long-form direct mail and online marketing copy for The Great Courses. Vanessa received her Bachelor of Arts in Magazine Journalism and Master of Arts in Museum Studies, both from Syracuse University.

Data, Digital and Web

Ben McRae

Ben McRae
director of web strategy

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Ben McRae

director of web strategy

Though his focus is all things web, Ben aims to be a true Renaissance man, applying his technology savvy and Bachelor of Arts in Writing to provide clients with dynamic web and email solutions that wow users and administrators alike. His other passions include mathematics, which makes him an ideal analytics manager, and music, which makes him fun to hang out with at parties.

Brian Van Voorst

Brian Van Voorst
digital marketing manager

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Brian Van Voorst

digital marketing manager

Brian (pronounced Brie-On) started working in digital marketing in 2010 in his home country of the Netherlands. His passion for creating efficiencies and continuous improvement drove him to San Diego where he worked for several agencies here in the US. Brian’s success within the digital marketing space comes from his data analysis abilities. Breaking down data allows mdg to show our clients the “why” (making the complex simple). Outside of the office, he can be found walking around with his dog Kaya.

Bridgette Smith

Bridgette Smith
associate director of web strategy

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Bridgette Smith

associate director of web strategy

Bridgette bridges the gap between content design and web development. She offers strategic expertise in web development, digital analytics, content migration, updates and strategy.  In her past role, she worked as Digital Production Manager for the Institute of Food Technologists, leading the association’s digital production and web efforts. She has a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media, Master of Education in Instructional Leadership and holds a certification in Full Stack Web Development. In her spare time, she is consistently developing her professional wealth of knowledge.

Clinton Hall

Clinton Hall
web developer

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Clinton Hall

web developer

Clinton has more than 12 years of design and development experience in the beautiful world of non-profit associations. With a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Arkansas State University, Clinton now creates stunning user interfaces that give life and movement to modern day web design. In his spare time, Clinton enjoys the occasional beer at his local pub and bowling.

Ibukun Okusanya

Ibukun Okusanya
senior web developer

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Ibukun Okusanya

senior web developer

Ibukun has over a decade of experience in the graphic design and web development world. He has created brands, print material and websites for a wide range of clients, including non-profit, legal, entertainment and startups. With a bachelor’s degrees in Political Science, History and Journalism from Rutgers University (which he never actually uses), and an overactive imagination, Ibukun may be better suited to be a raconteur than a developer, but the possibilities in code are irresistible. Ibukun enjoys sparkling conversation, quick wit, Game of Thrones and gummy bears.

Jessica Gross

Jessica Gross
digital marketing manager I

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Jessica Gross

digital marketing manager I

Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from San Diego State University. Using tactics within social and digital, she ensures client goals are reached by optimizing campaign structure and performance based on data collection, previous accounts and overall experience within digital marketing. She uses her background in customer service to connect with each client individually and understand each client’s expectations. In her free time, you can find her sneaking out of the office to catch a spin class, yoga sculpt class, beach run or really anything that gets her heart rate up! When she’s not working out, you can find her with a glass of red wine, cooking and getting ready to watch an episode of “The Bachelor” (don’t judge), or listening to her favorite podcast!

Joe Mathieu

Joe Mathieu
director of digital activation

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Joe Mathieu

director of digital activation

Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, Joe is a  recent SoCal transfer that has led strategy and fulfillment teams across the digital marketing landscape since 2005. He got his start with small business SEM, which led to managing both search and display campaigns for some of the largest advertisers in the country. He partnered with companies from all walks of life—healthcare, technology, retail, CPG, and more—and is now working with mdg’s digital activation group managing association and event campaigns through paid search, social media, and programmatic display and video. When he’s not thinking about cost per acquisition or conversion rates, Joe can be found paling around the San Diego area with his bulldog/pug hybrid PorkChop.

Katherine Kennedy

Katherine Kennedy
Social Media Marketing Manager

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Katherine Kennedy

Social Media Marketing Manager

Katherine brings her passion for and expertise in social media and marketing to mdg. Before mdg, she led marketing initiatives for Bloomberg’s Marketing and Events division. Throughout her career, Katherine has worked with various companies and organizations to build their social presence. Working first with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, she refined her skills while exploring the influence of social media on the 2012 presidential election. Katherine also enjoyed working with the Women in Cyber Security organization, creating social media blasts to build brand awareness and encourage young women to enter this fascinating field. She holds an interdisciplinary Media Studies degree from the College of William and Mary. Outside of the office, you will find Katherine sailing, hiking and seeking out every adorable dog in the Washington, D.C., area.

Michael Engard

Michael Engard
web developer and ux/ui specialist

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Michael Engard

web developer and ux/ui specialist

Combining knowledge in international relations acquired from the University of Toronto with experience as a web editor and developer, Michael possesses a unique skill set spanning the creative and technical sides of web publishing. With a history of developing innovative solutions that bridge the gap between the needs of his clients and the challenges of implementation in an ever-changing digital world, Michael is a welcome addition to the mdg web team. He hails from the frigid north (Rochester, New York to be exact) and is now enjoying life a little closer to the equator.

Roberto Hinojosa

Roberto Hinojosa
digital project manager

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Roberto Hinojosa

digital project manager

Roberto has been managing creative and technical projects in advertising agencies and in-house marketing departments since the early 2000s. Having worked in corporate, agency and nonprofit settings, he has a wide breadth of experience in digital, web, video and other mediums. Finding creative solutions to minimize roadblocks and keep projects running smoothly makes him happy.

Ryan Edwards

Ryan Edwards
web developer

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Ryan Edwards

web developer

Ryan has harnessed a lifelong passion for figuring out how things work into a varied skill set across many disciplines in the digital realm. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The School of Visual Arts, Ryan has earned recognition for his paintings, for innovative web projects, and for his work in animation – including a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. When not plugging away behind a monitor, Ryan can be found enjoying the beautiful Virginia outdoors with his family.

Samantha Roy

Samantha Roy
digital marketing manager

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Samantha Roy

digital marketing manager

Samantha is a passionate digital marketing professional with an extensive background in hospitality and a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from SDSU. As part of the mdg digital team, Samantha consistently strives to exceed client expectations by creating and executing results-driven strategies and buzzworthy campaigns. Outside of the office, you’ll likely find Samantha hiking with her dog Jax, sweating it out in hot yoga, or consuming way too much coffee

Sean Fernandez

Sean Fernandez
web developer

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Sean Fernandez

web developer

Interested in technology from a young age, Sean received a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University. He found a passion for the constantly evolving web as the perfect medium to unite his interests in design and programming. Flexible, quick-witted and thorough, Sean draws from his experience at startups and digital marketing agencies to create elegant and robust web and e-mail solutions.

Tom Kimmelman

Tom Kimmelman
digital design specialist

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Tom Kimmelman

digital design specialist

An electronic media guru and IT expert, Tom manages the development and execution of our clients’ websites, email broadcasts and dynamic media campaigns. With a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from California State University at Fresno and several years of experience working for companies like DirecTV and Apple, Tom has been an essential member of MDG’s creative team since 2005.

Vanessa MacMillan

Vanessa MacMillan
digital marketing manager

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Vanessa MacMillan

digital marketing manager

Vanessa brings a background in event marketing to mdg. As a digital marketing manager, she designs, monitors and reports on digital campaigns to ensure client goals are met. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and psychology from UC Santa Barbara. When not in the office, you’ll likely find her sipping on coffee, dancing to live music or enjoying the great outdoors with friends.

Design

Channing Avery

Channing Avery
art director

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Channing Avery

art director

With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design, Channing brings 15 years of production and design experience to mdg. Prior to moving to San Diego from Albuquerque, New Mexico, he served as production director for the Albuquerque Business First (a business news publication owned by American City Business Journals), where he received awards for Advertising Design, Publication Design and Typography. Prior to that, Channing worked in design firm/print shop environments, where he managed a multitude of design projects from conception to completion.

Dragutin Cvijanovic

Dragutin Cvijanovic
art director

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Dragutin Cvijanovic

art director

Dragutin is an award-winning art director with 15 years of experience designing web and print campaigns for consumer-facing educational technology and media companies. His lifelong love of all things art, design and technology has inspired him to teach himself to code websites and continually strive to expand his skill sets, as well as those of his co-workers. Dragutin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Virginia Tech.

Jason Sawyer

Jason Sawyer
managing art director

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Jason Sawyer

managing art director

Jay has extensive experience providing design solutions for innovative shows, national brands and mom and pops alike. Everything Jay does is relationship-based and at mdg, he utilizes this underlying methodology to strengthen his team’s creative, maximize impact and deliver results for clients. Jay holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the Ringling College of Art and Design. He is sometimes mistaken for The Dude and can easily be bribed with a bottle of good bourbon.

Kacia Reilly

Kacia Reilly
director of creative services

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Kacia Reilly

director of creative services

With experience in fashion, retail, action sports, entertainment and health care, Kacia’s diverse background serves her well in an agency environment. She holds a Master of Arts in Design Strategy and Innovation from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Saint Anselm College. Kacia’s creative serves as the platform on which mdg’s results-generating campaigns are built. When she’s not in her creative zone you can find her checking dream surf destinations off her bucket list.

Lishani De Silva

Lishani De Silva
graphic designer

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Lishani De Silva

graphic designer

Merging knowledge with her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations acquired from American University with experience as a graphic designer, Lishani has experience in creating brands for a variety of companies and organizations. She has a passion for design and came to mdg to expand her career in the marketing/creative industry. In her free time you can find her social media sweeping and fan girling over the latest pop culture (but of course with moderation). She also has love for boba and anything mango infused in it.

 

Michelle Delapenha

Michelle Delapenha
art director

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Michelle Delapenha

art director

Michelle has over 20 years of experience working in corporate and non-profit marketing departments. She enjoys working with clients and taking their digital and print projects from vision to reality. She is a relocated Brit, who after many years of being in America, still loves all things British. Michelle has an undergraduate degree in Journalism with a Graphic Design concentration from Liberty University.

Susanne Mundt

Susanne Mundt
senior graphic designer

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Susanne Mundt

senior graphic designer

With a master’s degree in Visual Communication from Burg Giebichenstein (University of Art and Design) in hand, Susanne packed her bags and moved from Germany to the United States in 1999. mdg discovered her in 2004, while working as a photographer’s assistant on a photo shoot, and she’s been creating award-winning work for the agency’s clients ever since. Prior to joining mdg, Susanne worked as a freelance designer for the San Diego Museum of Man and for Stahlphotographics, where she continues to moonlight during her free time.

Specialists (PR + International + Traffic)

Anjia Nicolaidis

Anjia Nicolaidis
international marketing specialist

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Anjia Nicolaidis

international marketing specialist

Anjia is mdg’s global nomad-in-residence, with almost two decades of experience living and working overseas in South America, the Middle East, Europe, and South Asia. Anjia helps mdg clients navigate foreign markets, cultivate and deepen relationships with key international industry stakeholders, and uncover unique market insights to maximize the value of international outreach. Prior to her work with mdg, Anjia held positions with the departments of Commerce and State, national environmental nonprofit organizations and a global advertising agency.

Connor Stewart

Connor Stewart
pr specialist

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Connor Stewart

pr specialist

A storyteller and extrovert, Connor is known for his strategic communication skills and effervescent spirit. With a Bachelor of Arts from the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, he began his career in the CPG industry where he directed trade shows, hosted media events and developed marketing campaigns that earned him DRY Soda Company’s BOSS Award in 2017. Connor enjoys building relationships with media partners and ensuring mdg’s clients receive impactful press coverage.

Federico Bianco

Federico Bianco
international marketing specialist

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Federico Bianco

international marketing specialist

With work and life experience on three continents, proficiency in four languages, an MBA and an analytical mindset, Federico’s role at mdg is to support clients by uncovering insights and opportunities for growth worldwide, devising innovative ways to tap into new markets and developing long-term relationships with global partners. His experience navigating between cultures and languages, along with his knowledge of digital marketing and strategy, allow him to discover new paths to growth, and to plan and execute successful campaigns for mdg’s clients.

Prior to joining mdg, Federico’s experience included financial technology and international marketing, translations/localization, as well as NGO humanitarian work.

Julie Franks

Julie Franks
public relations manager

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Julie Franks

public relations manager

Julie brings more than a decade of communications experience to mdg and has guided the successful efforts of a wide variety of corporate, association and nonprofit clients. She is experienced in the areas of public relations, social media, advertising, email marketing, website management, corporate communications and investor relations. She takes pride in leading effective integrated strategic communications strategies that support each organization’s mission and goals. Julie graduated from Penn State University and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys listening to crime and entertainment podcasts, cheering on the Nittany Lions, meticulously planning her next trip to Disney and being an enthusiastic cheer/soccer/swim/gymnastics mom.

Stacy Schmeltzer

Stacy Schmeltzer
traffic manager

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Stacy Schmeltzer

traffic manager

With a diverse work background, Stacy has been involved in marketing and advertising for many different industries: motorcycles, crafting supplies, and commercial real estate, just to name a few. Her progression into a traffic management role was a natural one because she enjoys daily multi-tasking, detailed organization, and having her hands on projects that flow through every department of the agency. When she’s not at work, she loves anything related to the ocean and taking pictures. Her perfect San Diego afternoon would include fish tacos and a cold beer by the water.

Etc.

Denise Paccione

Denise Paccione
Founder

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Denise Paccione

Founder

As the founder of mdg, Denise built a far-reaching reputation in the trade show industry by consistently delivering positive results for a wide range of national and international clients. Her commitment to building a collaborative culture, ensuring creative excellence and passionately pursing the right ‘strategic-to-creative translation’ continue to be cornerstones of the mdg brand.

Joey & Soonie

Joey & Soonie
chief canine officers

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Joey & Soonie

chief canine officers

They say opposites attract and this office romance is a telling example. Joey was a stray who appeared in mdg‘s yard looking for an owner. He enjoys eating trash, once fought off a coyote and has become one of the fastest dogs at the dog park. Soonie is from Beverly Hills, and loves fashion, ice cream and tough dogs from the wrong side of the tracks. Both can be found curled up under desks or cuddled on laps, providing stress relief and creative inspiration to the human members of the mdg team.