Jennifer Grinnell
President/Creative Director

Jennifer brings to the table more than 27 years of industry and agency experience in advertising and brand development. As brand developer and creative director, as well as an Emmy™-nominated writer, Jennifer has a true passion for branding, concept/messaging development and design. From brand strategy to copywriting to script development, she enjoys all aspects of helping organizations realize their vision for success. BrandPlanet’s proprietary processes are a result of her years of experience developing brands for small and large businesses, non-profit organizations, charities, and even nations. As one of the first – and now one of the leading – nation branding experts, she brings unique experience that has allowed her to marry two passions: being creative and using “marketing for good.”

Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa. B.A. English and Studio Art.
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. Courses toward MFA in Communications/Design

Brand Development and Architecture, Messaging, Marketing and Campaign Strategy, Creative and Execution, Concept Development, Advertising, Copywriting/Scriptwriting

Dean DeGood
Vice President

Dean has 25 years of business and brand development experience. He previously spent 10 years developing internationally recognized brands in over 20 countries. For the last 15 years he has focused on owning, and growing, businesses in Virginia. He has started 3 businesses that currently employ over 70 people. Dean has also served on a variety of boards and commissions in his hometown of Alexandria, Va. Dean works on business development and strategic planning for BrandPlanet and its clients.

University of Richmond, Richmond, Va. BA in International Studies and French
Duke University, Durham, NC. MBA in marketing

Business development, brand and marketing strategy, tactics

Kathy Venaglia
Account Executive/Project Manager/Marketing and Media Strategist

Kathy enjoys the entire marketing process, from the intake of information and establishment of goals to the follow-up measurement of every campaign. She’s continually involved in making sure each and every account adheres to the original strategy and creative platform developed at the beginning of the campaign while communicating with the client on a regular basis throughout it. To say she’s a stickler for details is an understatement! Kathy thrives on the challenge of marketing and media planning. Her philosophy is that marketing and media are half science and half art. The research (science) is only part of the plan; the rest comes from years of experience and industry knowledge.

Radford University, Radford, VA. B.A. in Advertising

Project Management, Marketing and Media Strategy, Communications Planning

Kristin Elson
Copy Director/Marketing Strategist

Kristin is a writer/editor extraordinaire, with 26 years of agency experience. Most recently the managing editor of Benjamin Moore’s acclaimed magazine, Nuance, she has experience writing everything from feature articles and press releases to web sites and annual reports for a range of corporate and association clients. Kristin has a highly regarded reputation for hitting the messaging mark the first time, on time and with flawless attention to detail. An effective communicator, Kristin uses her project management background to collaborate seamlessly with all the players on a communications team while maintaining her passion for the written word.

James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA. B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations

Messaging, Copywriting, Editing, Proofing, Project Management

Carolanne O’Neil
Art Director

Carolanne’s innate (and well-trained) design sensibilities are informed by intense strategy and experience. Her unparalleled good taste, keen eye for what works across media, and knack for taking trends and making them timeless add value to any project. As an art director for an award-winning marketing and design firm, she has spent much of her 20-year career focused on branding, identity systems, invitations, retail and corporate marketing, and publication design.

Penn State University, University Park, PA. B.A. in Graphic Design from the College of Art and Architecture

Brand Development and Architecture, Marketing Strategy, Concept Development, Advertising, Copywriting (including scriptwriting)

Matt Curry
Art Director

A twice GRAMMY® Nominated designer, Matt brings a fresh approach to design that is always on target. His deep knowledge of design theory and history – combined with his passion for cutting-edge creative – gives him the power to craft just what the project needs. Clients love Matt’s design not only for its relevance to strategy and message but for the hip vibe that underlies his aesthetic. Matt is also a photographer and painter; the influences of these media can often be seen in his design work.

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. B.A. in Design and Illustration

Brand Architecture, Logo Development, Event and Exhibit Design, Web and Print Design, Digital Illustration, Digital Photography

Todd Kiraly
Art Director

Todd has experience developing and executing creative concepts for a broad spectrum of B-to-B companies, high-tech corporations, professional services, nonprofits, and other vertical-market entities. His creative concepts, freehand and computer illustrations, and three-dimensional sculptures continually exceed client expectations. Always thinking ahead and viewing his concepts as part of the client’s overall communications strategy, Todd’s depth of thought allows our clients to benefit from his exceptional problem-solving skills. Todd also is an accomplished professional photographer. Not only is photography his personal medium for exploring and interpreting the natural world, but it is integral to his corporate work. He is drawn to the less-traveled paths and waterways where birds, insects, reptiles, and an abundance of other creatures can be found adapting urban settings to the rhythm of their lives.

University of Maryland, College Park, MD. B.S. in Graphic Design

Brand Architecture, Print Advertising, Direct Mail Concepts, Logo Development, Digital Illustration, Digital Photography

John Carlson

The illustrator and designer behind the best-loved restaurant brands in Colorado (Zolo Grill, Jax Fish House, and the West End Tavern to name a few), John’s experience includes illustration, design, art direction, packaging design, screen printing and brand development for such nationally-known brands as Einstein Bagels and White Wave Foods. For a different take on every project and an “ownable” brand identity, John delivers illustration and design that sets clients apart from the competition.

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, CO, B.A. Illustration
Art Institute of Colorado, Denver, CO, A.A., Advertising

Illustration, Design, Brand Development

Amy Swindell
Business Manager

Amy offers more than 20 years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant, Small Business Developer and Operations Manager. Amy keeps billing on track and keeps creative in line. She provides the peace of mind that allows the brand developers to brand, the writers to write, and the designers to design.

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. B.S. in Accounting, CPA

Accounting, Business Management. Putting up with the rest of us

William Sweeney
Marketing Assistant

William is a recent graduate of CNU (with Honors) and interned for BrandPlanet the past two summers before being hired upon graduation. William is putting his critical thinking, writing, research and creativity to work for BrandPlanet clients.

Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, B.A. with Honors, English, Minor in Film Studies

Research and Analysis, Social Media, Concept Development, Video, Music Scoring

Ben Lincoln
Advertising Associate

Benton majored in advertising, multimedia, and brand development, studying at Oregon's school of journalism, where he honed his writing skills working on projects ranging from city proposals to children's books.  His work experience includes: event and media planning, developing and cultivating numerous small brands and organizations, social media, website design and content development.

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. B.A. in Advertising

Advertising, Concept and Copy, Media Strategy, Content Development

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