We are an unusual combination of elite-level talents and wide-reaching capabilities. To give every client our all every time, we have one steadfast requirement of every team member: deliver the industry’s best work.
Joe Cliber, Principal & Creative Emperor
B.A. Graphic Design, McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College)
If brand isn’t your top priority, you’re not paying attention. I created Creosote nearly 20 years ago to be dedicated to educational branding. The agency is low overhead, high ability because schools need an alternative to paying outrageous fees for agency expertise. I’ve helped institutions of almost every kind tell their remarkable stories and strengthen their brands. To me there is nothing more rewarding than connecting a student with the institution that supports the individual’s pursuits best.
Creosote Expertise: Making everyone’s experience with Creosote enjoyable and successful.
Emily Hajjar, Perfectionist and Brand Expressionist
Art and Communication, McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College)
Before I became “Creosote’s Prodigy” and Art Director, I assisted in the marketing department of a continuing care organization and my alma mater's Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Office. Whether it goes in the mail or on an iPhone—from research to design, video shoots to press checks—I’ve been capturing the best for our clients for more than 10 years. Bringing comprehensive strategies and creative concepts to life is what I love. Within me is an unrelenting pursuit of perfection for everything Creosote does.
Creosote Expertise: Perfectly blending Creosote creativity with functionality to deliver results.
STEVE NEITZ, LEAD RESEARCHER
B.A. Media Management, Marietta College
M.S. Higher Education Administration, Syracuse University
Throughout my 35-year-career in higher-ed enrollment positions, I’ve seen how research and data inspire creativity and strategy. As dean of admission at a liberal arts college in the Northeast, I witnessed firsthand the challenges that many of our clients see today. Knowing your institution’s positioning, competition and market opportunities is paramount to your organization’s success. And it’s what I do every day.
Creosote Expertise: Compiling and contextualizing data points into information—so your institution can thrive.
BARB RUPPERT, WORDSMITH
B.A. English, University of Virginia
M.A.Ed., Secondary English Education, Virginia Tech
I have been developing, writing and editing communications materials for more than 20 years—and I still love it! Before joining the Creosote team as the lead copywriter, I was a writer and copy director with an agency specializing in higher education, healthcare and senior living. And a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was an English teacher.
Creosote Expertise: Listening and crafting the message just right.
JACK D'EPAGNIER, STORYTELLER
B.S. Marketing and English, Saint Joseph's University
I started crafting copy as an intern at a Philadelphia radio station, and I’ve dug “the thrill” ever since I heard my first script on air. After graduation, I wrote web content, direct mail pieces and customer communications for an energy company—touting the myriad benefits of high-quality heating oil. I moved into higher education as a communications specialist in a college Admissions Office. Writing in a university setting taught me how to employ a strong, branded voice that satisfies multiple audiences. At Creosote, I immerse myself in each client’s culture, spotlight what distinguishes their brand and tell their story in a way that captivates and moves. Oh, and I’ve never loved “work” so much.
Creosote Expertise: Delivering emotionally engaging copy in every client’s story I help tell.
KRISTI KRAFT, BRAND & CLIENT ENTHUSIAST
B.S. Business Administration, Clarion University
I started working in higher-ed, mentoring first-year students through their transition into the university setting. At Creosote, I call on my experience in management and customer service roles to bring positive energy and passion to every project.
Creosote Expertise: Ensuring clients are informed and satisfied through every interaction with Creosote.
LAURA OLIVEIRA, CORE BRAND DETECTIVE
B.A. American Studies and English, Amherst College
M.A. Higher Education Administration, Boston College
Ed.D. Higher Education Administration, University of Massachusetts
Discovery and research are a journey fueled by asking great questions. I am curious by nature and love listening for common themes, crunching numbers and connecting the dots to reveal the brand essence of each distinctive institution. After visiting hundreds of schools and colleges as a former admissions dean, I understand the power of campus culture and revel in the challenge of uniquely articulating our clients’ brands. To me, the discovery process sets the stage for the creative magic that makes a Creosote campaign so effective.
MICHELLE ROHRER, DESIGN ARTISAN
B.F.A. Communication Design, Kutztown University
I’ve always admired original artistry and creative expression. In high school, I took a graphic arts class and I’ve been obsessed with design ever since. I enjoy exploring new graphic elements and developing unique ideas that match our clients’ brands. My love of learning drives my eagerness to create designs that set schools apart and attract prospective students.
TROY DEAN, DIGITAL ARCHITECT
Art Institute of York, PA
Troy is a true creative and passionate about all things branding. He has been in marketing for more than 15 years. From search engine optimization (SEO) to content management systems (CMS), Troy's talents ensure our clients' digital strategies and solutions deliver the online results education needs.
“Marketing should educate, fulfill, and motivate a target audience. As a marketing partner, we take pride in the strategy phase of each marketing project and use data to help us. Being in tune with your data helps business spend more intelligently and more efficiently. Our goal is for clients to spend strategically and get better results.”
JIM HOLTON, RESEARCH GURU
B.S. Frostburg State University
M.S.Ed. Counseling, McDaniel College
Ed.D. Higher Education Administration and Research, Virginia Tech
Before Creosote: 2 years as a VISTA Volunteer in Alaska; 10 years in secondary education; 20 years as community college administrator and adjunct faculty member; 5 years as research director of an agency. I’ve also pretty much seen and done it all, particularly in the field of education— the great, the good, the bad, the ugly and the really ugly. I really love what I do and it’s nice, after all these years to be able to work around such smart, creative people and for them to put up with me.
Expertise: I design and conduct the research we need to tell your story in the most effective way.
ESHE MCINTYRE, FINANCIAL OFFICER
B.S. Accounting, University of Maryland, College Park
I know the power of education firsthand, a power we firmly believe in here at Creosote. The seed for my love of accounting was planted in third grade, when Ms. Oliver told me that I should become an accountant. That resonated—that’s ultimately why I’m here today. I followed Ms. Oliver’s advice and started accounting and bookkeeping in high school. Things clicked right away. Since then, I have worked with several Maryland-area accounting firms serving the needs of for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Eventually, my hunger to crunch numbers brought me to Creosote. My passions for solving problems and my field drive me to continue to grow as a professional.
Creosote Expertise: Applying my love and knowledge of numbers to set the financial record(s) straight.
GRANT GIBSON, PHOTOGRAPHER
B.A. Advertising Photography, Rochester Institute of Technology
As a photographer, my responsibility is to create images that convey a feeling or idea. I enjoy working with people and playing an active role in the overall process. My main objective is to get the job done, but I try to make it a fun experience for everyone. I’ve always esteemed the value of education, from the time children enter their first year of school until they graduate college as young adults.
Dan Doane, Videographer
I bring Creosote’s creative vision to life through video and lead a team of videographers, assistants and audio technicians. Dan traveled the world capturing footage and stills for professional athletics and top tier ballet companies before dedicating his talents to Creosote.
CINDY KALINOSKI, LINGUISTIC QUALITY CONTROL
Associate degree plus ongoing education, Tunxis Community College, Frostburg College, Connecticut State University, EEI Communications, etc.
Got my first taste of publishing at a trade publication in DC, and I was hooked. Did the corporate communication thing, then connected with Creosote in its first year. It’s been a great match. The researchers research, the creatives create, and me? I can’t wait to proofread all of it. Go ahead, call me a nerd. But I’m a great nerd.
Creosote expertise: I value clear communication and I am committed to helping that happen. My goal is to make sure that nothing distracts people from the message we want to convey.