SHERRY MATTHEWS

CEO/FOUNDER/BULLDOG

The agency's bulldog logo grew directly out of Sherry's work style and personality. A close friend once told her she was "just a little watchdog for society, barking at the corner of truth and democracy." You can count on Sherry to be on the frontlines when it comes to environmental, health, education, transportation, and social justice issues. She's even traveled to Borneo to help save the orangutan, an endangered species she is very fond of despite being chased by one. She is on the advisory board of Earthwatch and works on behalf of other environmental and humanitarian organizations. Sherry published her first book (wewerenotorphans.com/University of Texas Press) about the abuse of children under state care and is working on a second book.

WARDALEEN BELVIN

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER/GO-TO PERSON

If you want a sane answer to a complicated question, get in line outside Wardaleen's office. After 20 years of state government work, which included jobs like Chief of Staff for a Texas Lieutenant Governor and Legislative Director for the Comptroller of Public Accounts, she has spent ten years in the world of advertising. She's seen it all. By no means an ordinary bean counter, Wardaleen oversees contracts, budgets, accounting and analytics for state agency and nonprofit clients, and she's been an advisor on dozens of public education and awareness campaigns across the country. Her wicked sense of humor puts clients at ease and delights anyone she meets. She's a devoted community volunteer and organizer, helping many youth and senior citizen organizations on local, state, and national levels and her church. She has a son, and she likes to travel, read, and give her opponent a good spanking at the ping-pong table.

KAREN PURCELL

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/MEDIA AND OPERATIONS

On any given day the agency can resemble a small hurricane. And right in the eye of that storm sits calm, collected, and always-focused Karen Purcell. Most likely she'll be directing media planning and placement, creating innovative media buys, negotiating for millions of dollars in free airtime or developing tracking systems that prove clients are getting their money's worth. Back home, she's raising three children, the oldest of whom is in law school. She loves to tell people she was born in Paris (long pause) Kentucky. She survived the 2003 NYC blackout. And she prefers to snow ski in the Austrian Alps. Karen wins the "longest tenured employee award at Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing." She's been at the agency since 1984.

KLAUDIA FLANIGIN

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/CLIENT SERVICE AND STRATEGY

Not sure what to do next? Ask Klaudia. She’ll give you 10 ideas before you’ve sat down in her office. From discovering consumer insights to developing strategies, she's done more than her share of account leadership, strategic brand management, and driving sales, working with companies like Southwest Airlines, Walmart, monster.com, and RadioShack. If you have a challenge and want fresh thinking to attack it, she’s your gal. Her mantra is focus: take your stand and own it like nobody’s business. The rest of her time she spends with her two almost-grown children who still think she doesn’t know much about anything and a runt-of-the-litter, miniature Dachshund who thinks she’s the center of the universe. For fun in her spare time she takes molecular biology classes at ACC.

CHARLES WEBRE

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/CREATIVE

Brochures, websites, interactive and print ads, banners, billboards, TV spots, radio spots, resumes, presentations: in one form or another, they're flying across Charles's desk all day every day. And he jukes and dodges and dances and at the end of the day, somehow, outstanding work gets done. He's won nearly every major creative award there is, including Addys, Art Director's Club, Communication Arts, The One Show, EFFIEs, Caples, and the David Ogilvy Award. After a successful 15-year career in New York, London, and Paris with some of the world's top agencies and clients like American Express, AT&T, Apple, and Xerox, Charles came back to his Texas roots and his first ad agency employer. His talent and boundless energy amaze and inspire his clients. When he's not working, he's raising three kids.

JOSÉ MARRERO

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/MULTICULTURAL MARKETING DIRECTOR

He plays baseball, football, rugby, and soccer and loves barbecue. He's a Latino born in Cuba and raised in Virginia, who spent a decade in school in Mexico City and got to Texas as soon as he could. With roots like these, José has a keen ear and sharp eye for what makes people different and what they have in common. Fluent in Spanish, he's put his background to good use by crafting award-winning campaigns for both Spanish-speaking and English-language-dominant Hispanics across the country. José likes to say his middle name is "strategery," which is not surprising since advocacy, especially in multiple languages, is about motivating people to do more than buy a product. José is married and has two brilliant kids. He watches at least three movies a week, has served on various nonprofit boards and loves playing third base "'cause he still has a cannon for an arm." BTW, he's a huge baseball fan.

REX PETEET

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, DESIGN/CALM-IN-STORM

Although Rex has been known to tear it up on the blues harmonica in his "very occasional" garage band, he no doubt has a much wider audience in the world of design. An award-winning graphic designer since 1982, Rex's work has helped brand clients like Southwest Airlines, HP, AMD, Haggar Apparel, Lincoln Hotels, Milton Bradley, Coca-Cola, Temple-Inland, Brinker International, and the US Olympic Committee. It has been immortalized in the Library of Congress as well as the Hiroshima Museum of Modern Art. And although his designs have been published in just about every industry magazine and design annual there is, one of his favorite design projects is the house he and his wife, Vanessa, have been working on for eight years in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He's an avid runner with several marathons under his belt. He has two kids of his own and two by marriage—all above average. And he likes bird-watching where he has likely copped a riff or two for his harmonica solos.

EMILY BAKER

VICE PRESIDENT/OUTREACH DIRECTOR

A long time volunteer for many good community causes.

KENNA SWIFT

VICE PRESIDENT/ACCOUNT DIRECTOR, D.C.

Bungee-jumped in the Alps, snorkled in Iceland, and can touch her nose with her tongue.

RICH TERRY

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Rich's favorite movie quote is from Mr. Smith goes to Washington: "Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for." Making the world a better place matters to him.

Behind Rich's easygoing, quiet demeanor lies a fierce creative force with a quick wit and a way with words that captures the hearts and minds of an audience.

Rich has been honored by virtually every major award show in the industry, but considers his greatest accomplishments the client and colleague relationships he's forged and the effectiveness of his work. Of course, he's also proud that after 25+years in one of the more traditionally cynical of industries, he's never stopped believing in old movie quotes that ring true.

CAROLINE WALLACE

Vice President, New York

Caroline’s focus is on health, social justice and education — telling stories for clients who fight the good fight. She’s worked with the New York City Health Department, New York University, Columbia University, The New York Times, The Brookings Institution, Scholastic, and Natural Resources Defense Council. After 15 years as a graphic designer, illustrator, marketing consultant, and all-around communications ace for brands big and small Caroline went back to school for a Master’s in Public Health and moved exclusively into cause marketing.

SHERRY SMITH

ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR/CONSULTANT

An advocate for women artists and a Scrabble fanatic.

JOHN BREWSTER

DIGITAL STRATEGIST

Enjoys biking and improv, but rarely at the same time.

LAURA TOWNSEND

VICE PRESIDENT/SR. ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

Short story writer, poet, and mom.

DANDI WRIGHT

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/ACCOUNT DIRECTOR/DAREDEVIL

There was a time in Dandi's younger days when she jumped off very high bridges into very swift rivers. We think she's past that. But she's not past jumping into the middle of any project that comes her way and railroading it across the finish line. She'll write a brilliant marketing plan, introduce her own brand of energy (boundless) to any project, and always go that extra mile. The results? Happy clients, award-winning work, and sleep-deprived co-workers. A natural competitor (due to her past as a gymnast), she loves a good challenge, whether it's a tough advertising project, balancing her family life, which includes a 9-year-old, cooking (the harder the recipe, the better), dominoes, scrabble, skydiving, or bungee-jumping. And for the record, before advertising, she was planning to be a forensic psychologist for the FBI.

CHRIS SHARMAN

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT

Who would’ve thought that a family guy who bakes bread, swing dances, sculpts, and scuba dives would also be an expert at strategic planning, message development, press relations, integrated advertising, community outreach, and politics. Chris is that guy. He’s headed up projects to enroll children in low-income health insurance, help consumers select their electric companies, and keep kids off drugs—delighting clients, winning awards, and setting national records along the way. Count on him to shoot straight and keep everyone pointed in the right direction to get results. He also runs marathons.

DIANNA HOWELL

VICE PRESIDENT/SR. ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

Helps stray cats and dogs find their way home.

GWEN WILLIAMS

VICE PRESIDENT/SR. ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

Once worked political campaigns in Athens, Geneva, and Florence…Alabama that is.

GRETCHEN HICKS

VICE PRESIDENT/DESIGN DIRECTOR

Loves to renovate old houses.

ROBERT NASH

PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR/BIG TALKER

If you want to spread the word, tell Robert. He talks and the media listens. He's been promoting everything from green campaigns to public education programs for state agencies. He knows how to get media attention for a cause, whether it's staging a hybrid vehicle car show (long before Priuses were cool) or wrapping the world's largest seat belt around the State Capitol. He's won buckets of awards, garnered national acclaim, and generated millions of dollars in free media through the NBC Nightly News, NPR's All Things Considered, CNN, The Today Show, CBS Radio Network, The New York Times, and USA Today. But when he gets away from work, he gets away. You might find him driving hundreds of miles to see a Gato Barbieri concert. Or checking out a Frank Lloyd Wright structure in California. Or parasailing over Puerto Vallarta humming a tune from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

KEVIN COLLINS

INTERACTIVE MEDIA DIRECTOR

Loves the interactivity of interacting with all things interactive.

DEBBIE LA ROCHE

CONTROLLER

Spoils grandchildren, makes scrapbooks, veges out at the lake.

LAURA TUMA

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Lifelong Texan, former sportswriter, volunteer extraordinaire, and darn good cook.

MARILYN CARTER

CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR

She has a giant stash of quilting fabric and can name the states in alphabetical order. Perhaps she should make a quilt of the country.

GABRIEL ESCOBAR

INTERACTIVE ART DIRECTOR

Born and reared in Geneva, Switzerland, Gabriel believes riding a bike is the key to world peace.

ANGIE NELSON

PRODUCER

Cyclist, foodie, animal-lover, and Okie all the way.

TOM GRODEK

ART DIRECTOR

So efficient he wears his own special uniform to work every day.

PATRICK SIMS

TRAFFIC MANAGER

Event planner, volunteer, fast approaching his friend limit on Facebook.

CHRISTOPHER STAYTON

SENIOR INTERACTIVE DEVELOPER

A self-described computer nerd who scores high in talent.

CAROL GIBSON

SENIOR INTERACTIVE PRODUCER

She's a cycling enthusiast with a passion for the art of storytelling. She's never met a shelter dog she didn't like.

WALLY WILLIAMS

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Had a hard time coming up with a sentence about himself even though he's a copywriter.

PAULA MAYBERRY

DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNTING

Avid reader. Horseback rider. Whitewater rafter.

LAUREN NUGENT

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Rescued and fostered more than 20 dogs in the past five years.

SUSAN SULLIVAN

OFFICE MANAGER

Loves the outdoors and used to be a DJ.

MELISSA GORTON

PRODUCTION ARTIST

Takes pride in being an organization and technology nerd.

MELISSA MARTONE DUNCAN

DIGITAL MEDIA BUYER

Originally from Ipswich, MA, Melissa is a big Boston sports fan.

ALEX SHIPP

ACCOUNT COORDINATOR

Board game nerd, outdoor enthusiast, avid dog petter, speedy bicyclist.

HILLARY JENSON

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

A former dancer, Hillary has won many a dance-off in her day and loves board games.

SARAH MUYSKENS

ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR

Highly organized. Eats M&Ms in a particular order (um, don't ask).

ERIN SHILGALIS

SENIOR MEDIA BUYER

Two-time marathon finisher. Greatest achievement is being a mom. M&Ms are the way to her heart.

LIZ WILDE

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Fellow Lord of the Rings fans know where her corgi mix, Elrond, got his name.

LINDSY HENRY

SENIOR MEDIA BUYER

Left- and right-brained: she draws, sculpts, and paints, and in her spare time is learning how to code.

SANDRA LIPCHAK

ACCOUNTANT

Loves watching food shows, hates cooking.

GWEN RICE

PRINT PRODUCTION MANAGER

A full-sized vintage letterpress conveyed with her house. Seriously lucky.

DESTINY DREHER

SR. ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Has a dream of one day creating an art gallery for the homeless to help them hone their talents and get ahead in life.

RODNEY HULL

IT GURU

Loves to coach youth sports and play the banjo.

KATHY HOINSKI

MEDIA SUPERVISOR

She's crazy for breakfast tacos and live music.

KYLA GLUCKY

PRODUCTION ARTIST

Loves to travel and claims to be the Green Bay Packers' number one fan.

BINA CHAUHAN

INTERACTIVE PRODUCER

She's lived in New York and Los Angeles and spent a season performing Shakespeare in Alaska.

ULF KASTNER

IT SERVICES

Born in Vienna of Swedish descent, Ulf refuses to drive a car but is determined to someday travel into space.

DANIELLE VABNER

ACCOUNT COORDINATOR

Takes her passion for writing, politics, and social issues with her everywhere she goes—and she travels a lot.

PATRICIA RAMOS WHITE

MANAGER OF CREATIVE SERVICES

eBay addict. And she makes the best Italian lasagna ever.

JEFF SALZGEBER

MEDIA RELATIONS DIRECTOR

Former CNN producer who relocated to Austin for its thriving arts scene.

ELIZABETH MCBRIDE

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/COPYWRITER

An award-winning fiction writer, Elizabeth has completed one novel and is working on a second. She's also a cutthroat Uno player.

AVE BONAR

PHOTOGRAPHER/COPYEDITOR

Photographer extraordinaire who bakes her own bread from a starter that's been in her family since 1923.

JANET LEA

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/DIRECTOR OF
ACCOUNT SERVICES/HONCHO

You'd think Janet comes from a family of circus performers the way she knows how to juggle a dozen projects at once, balance budgets on a tight-wire, and win the applause of clients and colleagues. She is well-suited for advertising, having worked fresh out of college in a mental institution and later in politics. Marketing and strategy skills? She's got them in spades. Building client relationships? There are none better. Winning international awards and securing global recognition for state agencies and nonprofits? Check. Whether it's getting a drunk driving victim on Oprah's show or getting partners to help with a good cause, Janet makes things happen. An intrepid traveler who's come face to face with barracudas and revolutionaries, lived for months in a VW van touring the national parks of the west, and slept on the Great Wall, these days you'll find Janet going the distance for her clients.

ADRIENNE THELIN

PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER

She's a 7th-generation Texan from a long line of teachers and preachers. So, PR and good stories come naturally to her.

BEAU LEBOEUF

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Loves travel, bluegrass music, and French cuisine. Can stand on his head.

JULIE PIPPIN

DIRECTOR OF BROADCAST

In addition to being a producer, Julie is a singer, actor, and director. She and her husband once won a minivan in a contest on TV's The View.

BOB BUCKALEW

LONE STAR NEWS NETWORK FOUNDER/MEDIA MOGUL

For a guy who started out as a pre-med student with his sights set on becoming a neurologist, Bob veered from his path, and it's a good thing, too. It led to his becoming a producer for NBC's Today Show and NBC Nightly News in New York and earning more then 40 awards for excellence in television, including an Emmy. He is well known for his media training seminars for clients like ABC, Bravo Cable Network, CNN, Discovery Channel, Learning Channel, NBC, and PBS. At SMAM, he founded The Lone Star Network—which makes our agency the only marketing firm we know of with its own 10-year-old public service network of community-minded radio and television stations. He's also created innovative broadcast and public relations strategies for social causes with fellow journalists, he loves to cook (and eat) Cajun food, attend live concerts, see independent films, and listen to country music from the '50s. He has a lovely and understanding wife, four brilliant daughters, two cats, one dog, and two hamsters (ranked in order of importance).

DENISE GAMINO

PROJECT EDITOR

Dubbed a "Velcro journalist" for collecting good stories anywhere she went during her long newspaper career.

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