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Categories: News, Random Thoughts

Ethos and VONT Continue Growth Momentum Leading into 2020

To kick off 2020, Ethos | VONT is excited to share we’ve made 11 new hires over the past year, while also promoting internally, bringing our multiplatform branding and digital agency to 56 employees. The hiring increase is driven by strategic plans to grow the food and beverage practice for our business, as well as to support growth in other areas. The new additions to our group add in-depth experience and knowledge in a broad array of service areas from inbound marketing, to digital creative direction, brand strategy, influencer marketing, user experience and more. We’re excited to have these new employees on board.

“The food and beverage industry is rapidly changing. Today’s clients are seeking modern-day marketing solutions across multiple platforms,” said Glenn Rudberg, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Ethos | VONT. “The expertise we have brought in will help our clients be more successful.”

Recognizing Opportunities to Add Depth to the Team

One of the newest editions to the Ethos team is Chris Bonacci, a 17-year marketing executive, formerly at Mass. Bay Brewing Company, Inc., one of a handful of organizations responsible for the birth of craft brewing, and the parent company of Harpoon, UFO, Clown Shoes, City Roots Cider, and Arctic Summer. Bonacci, most recently Vice President of Marketing, stepped into the role of Brand Marketing Strategist & Account Director at Ethos. Chris brings sales, brand management, consumer insights, corporate strategy, and creative direction skills to our company, with a specific focus on growing the food and beverage business.

“Having spent 17 years on the client side, I’m well aware that not all agencies are created equally,” said Bonacci. “When I relocated my young family to Maine, I looked for an agency that I could help and feel proud in presenting to my former coworkers. I found that at Ethos. The team here is truly thinking about what the future looks like and how to build towards it. The transition to employee ownership was just the beginning. It’s really energizing and exciting to be a part of a team that is as invested in continuous learning as this team is.”

Another new hire, Olivia Fournier, came to VONT when looking to relocate from Boston back to Maine, her home state. Olivia, who is now VONT’s Inbound Marketing Strategist, originally threw her hat in the ring for a Project Manager role – however, during the interview process, our team uncovered her two and half years of inbound marketing experience at HubSpot. Ethos | VONT leadership felt that Fournier’s expertise was a perfect fit and supported our desire to further build the inbound marketing and marketing automation practice we’ve been fostering over the last few years – thus, a new role was created specifically for her. Since joining the team, Olivia has used her skills in customer journey mapping, lead generation, and marketing automation to bring VONT’s inbound practice to the next level.

“It’s important for businesses to recognize a valuable opportunity when presented,” said Ted Darling, Co-Founder, CFO and VP of Account Services, Ethos. “We realized we shouldn’t limit our recruitment searches to only the roles we thought we needed. It made more sense to look at our emerging business needs and pivot to bring the individuals we would need to meet our long-term strategic plan on board. To best serve our clients, it’s all about having the right people in the right place for Ethos to continue doing what we do.”

Complements to Creative and Digital Teams

As a company wholly focused on bringing a unique and unparalleled creative vision to its clients, Ethos and VONT have paid particular attention to building greater capacities across the creative and digital teams during 2019. Our in-house digital marketing agency, VONT, recently brought on Andrew Shuttleworth as Digital Creative Director to help build the user experience facet of the business. A returning Maine native, Andrew brings a wealth of specialized skills in user-experience design and information architecture. During his time living in New York City he honed his skills by leading projects for nonprofit organizations including Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Whitney Museum, Dartmouth College, the University of Arizona, and Save the Children. He is also an Emmy Award winner for his production role in a documentary series.

Derek Kimball, another recent hire and Maine native, brings 10 years of directing, cinematography and editorial experience to our creative team from his time working for Emerson, Boston College, and the New York Foundation of the Arts. After a decade out of state building his creative skills, Kimball returned to Maine to focus on enhancing his own work portfolio. Most recently he worked for Portland-based company Kingspoke, where he served as a vital creative force for the company, overseeing video production, brand work, and campaign concepting. In December, Derek joined the team as Video Content Director.

“I came to Ethos hoping to work somewhere that had a strong community and where I could be on an upward trajectory in terms of creative,” said Kimball. “I’m really excited to do my part in the effort to build our in-house creative capacity.”

Similarly, Ron Harrity, an award-winning art director with a breadth of experience in both agencies and internal marketing departments, joined the Ethos creative team as our newest Art Director. Ron has worked on dozens of projects spanning everything from designing brand identities for the Department of State, to album art for indie labels and free-jazz ensembles. Since moving to Maine in 2001, he’s been a leader in Portland’s creative community, co-founding the PICNIC Music and Arts Festival, running an independent record label and studio, and serving on local boards including the Maine AIGA chapter. He brings a creative edge to Ethos that has helped build our design function.

On the VONT digital side, we’ve hired James Kidd, a Digital Advertising Specialist with four years of experience in the digital media field, to specialize in search and social advertising. James is working hard for Ethos | VONT to stay on top of the ever-evolving industry and to continuously improve digital advertising practices.

Justin Lumiere joined the creative team as Production Designer, adding his experience in exhibition and editorial design, as well as a background in photography, film and video production to the team. At Ethos his role is multi-faceted, focusing on ensuring the completion of print and digital projects for clients nationally, editing commercials for broadcast and digital publication, and generating motion graphics for various applications. In his off time, Justin serves as an adjunct professor at Maine College of Art.

The digital team also includes new hire Joanna Wood as Social Media Strategist, who came to Ethos seeking a new challenge and lifestyle after 13 years in Los Angeles. Most recently, she was the Digital Content Manager at Anna Beck Designs where she oversaw all social media strategy and implementation, digital customer communications, content creation, analytical reporting, and served as head copywriter for the company. Before working for Anna Beck, Joanna served as Editorial Specialist at Free People for two years after pioneering the Social Media District Manager role for them across the New York and Florida markets. Her valuable experience in consumer brands brings a new and creative voice to the digital team and is already translating into fresh ideas for our social media clients.

Building Capacities for Marketing Strategy and Public Relations

As new clients come on board, both our internal and client-side account services, management, and public relations (PR) needs have increased. Belinda Donovan, an eight-year veteran of Ethos, was promoted to take on more responsibility in a dual role of Account Manager and PR Director. Her new role spans multiple accounts across our company while still providing strategic vision for client public relations needs. Belinda is now accompanied on the PR team by new hire, Kelsey Matheson, PR & Influencer Marketing Manager, who came to Ethos with over six years of experience in healthcare communication companies in Scotland, London, New York, and Boston. Kelsey brings a skillset in blogging and writing for many audiences from working on celebrity pharmaceutical campaigns, penning articles for doctors and healthcare professionals, health policy writing, and managing communications for Maine’s statewide health information exchange.

Amy Steenstra, a project management professional with 20 years of experience leading projects for L.L. Bean and the MaineToday brands, now works across numerous accounts for Ethos. Amy drives client projects through the lifecycle, ensuring on-time and on-budget deliverables, an important need for a successful agency.

Finally, to support increased administration requirements, the team hired Jennifer Bates for accounting needs, and Lori Keenan was promoted to Business Office Manager.

“I’m excited about all of the new team members we’ve brought on board this year,” said Tom Gale, Chief Executive Officer for the company. “The skills all of our people bring to the table are invaluable and I look forward to seeing the creative ways everyone works together to support our clients in 2020.”

Learn more about how our team can support your business needs.


About Ethos

Ethos is a multiplatform branding agency that develops and executes integrated marketing campaigns across multiple channels for companies inside and outside of Maine.
At Ethos, we believe that the most effective way to set a company’s marketing course is by finding its core truth – its ethos. We know that once we discover and communicate that core truth, we can truly make a difference for each client’s unique marketing and business objectives.

With Ethos, you get more than a marketing agency. You get a long-term partner whose goals are your goals.

Learn more about the Ethos approach and the work we’ve done for our clients. Want to have a conversation about your public relations strategy? Contact us!