Melissa Izor is principal and founder of markit360 and serves as Marketing Supervisor for many of our clients’ businesses. A recent alumna of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, Melissa has 20 years’ experience directing market research, advertising and public relations campaigns for clients across a spectrum of industries for prominent regional advertising firms including Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Zehnder Communications of New Orleans. At the latter, she served as a member of the Executive Management Team and Director of the Account Planning Department.
In 2007, Melissa co-created MediaHound, LLC, a concept born from the devastation of New Orleans’ business community following Hurricane Katrina. Its goal was to provide quality professional marketing and creative services to local brands not receiving the caliber of service required to navigate through uncertain times. MediaHound has made important contributions to the community through its work in the hospitality and restaurant industries, guiding such brands as the Royal Sonesta Hotel and Deanie’s Seafood Restaurants – two beloved New Orleans brands with a national reach.
Melissa has developed and implemented award-winning marketing and advertising campaigns for consumer and business-to-business clients in hospitality, social concerns, state government, workers’ compensation, packaged goods, and professional services. At Zehnder, she worked to improve and formalize agency processes including collection and analysis of consumer research and planning to develop effective campaigns.
Melissa has researched and written branding and marketing plans for businesses including Turner Industries Group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s largest privately held company, with over a billion dollars in annual gross income. Additionally, she has worked with Science and Engineering Associates (currently known as Apogen Technologies), Baumer Foods, and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (Early Steps Program). She has collaborated with agency and client teams in the brand development of the Louisiana Public Health Institute’s “Steps to a Healthier New Orleans” program and the City of New Orleans’ “I CARE” campaign.
With Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, Melissa developed and implemented broadcast media and direct mail campaigns for ALLTEL Corporation. These programs included consumer and business-to-business marketing of phone lines, long distance, internet services, Yellow Pages and the nationwide launch of ALLTEL’s first brand identity campaign.
Melissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Hendrix College and a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. She has received additional management training and certification from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) and Worldwide Partners. She also completed management training through a 360-degree program in 2001.
Melissa has also served as Adjunct Faculty Member in Communications and Sociology at the University of Phoenix.
Public Relations Director Karen Hales joined markit360 in 2010, bringing a wide range of public relations expertise in health care, hospitality and tourism, professional services, and nonprofit marketing. She is responsible for overseeing the public relations, content marketing and social media efforts of markit360 clients in hospitality, nonprofit and professional services. Her diverse experience includes coordinating out-of-market media tours, promoting food & wine events, and working closely with trade press, guidebook publishers, plus hundreds of national and international newspapers, consumer magazines and broadcast outlets. Karen has hosted nearly 100 journalists per year on individual and group FAM tours and has established relationships with media across the Gulf South and throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
Her background includes six years managing media relations for an international hospitality management company, Delaware North Companies, Inc., as well as working with advertising and public relations firms in New Orleans. At Delaware North, Karen was corporate public relations representative, overseeing media relations for its airport concessions operations in 34 markets across the country. She later served as PR Manager for its national park hospitality management company in Yosemite, Calif., and relocated to New Orleans to become PR Director for the former Delta Queen Steamboat Company.
Karen was a senior member of the Marketing & Business Development Team at Slidell Memorial Hospital, where she was a member of the Creative Team responsible for directing the hospital’s marketing & advertising campaigns, including the branding of its new Regional Cancer Center and web site. She also served as community representative responsible for coordinating health fairs and special events, providing messaging and public relations expertise as well as a host of marketing and promotions services.
Karen’s agency experience including managing a variety of clients as senior communications strategist at boutique PR firm Deveney Communications and PR director at Zehnder Communications, where she worked closely with Account Services, Creative and Media to ensure cohesive and strategic communications marketing for full-service clients.
Karen worked five years as a newspaper reporter in upstate New York, where she earned the Distinguished Feature Writing Award from the New York State Publishers Association. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the State University of New York College at Buffalo.
Principal of business consultancy Firestarter Consulting and marketing professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Jerry has over 15 years of experience in business development. His expertise primarily assists the markit360 team in identifying solutions to a wide range of overarching business management and sales issues for clients in a variety of industries.
Jerry brings his knowledge of start-ups, business development, marketing strategy, business planning, product management and customer relationship management (CRM) to markit360. Jerry began Firestarter Consulting in 2008 to offer business strategy to start-ups and small businesses in the Greater New Orleans area.
He has consulted with clients ranging from telecom and the petrochemical industry to local nonprofits and small businesses. Jerry served as business support services director for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative, providing leadership, planning and support for small business owners participating in the entrepreneurial program.
His corporate experience includes product management roles in which he was responsible for identifying new telecommunications business development opportunities; determining market requirements, competitive positioning, and price and distribution strategy; vendor negotiations, sales force training and product presentations.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Business Administration from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.
Brand Strategist / Senior Writer
A creative veteran with more than 20 years of agency and brand Jeff Moore is a seasoned copywriter, creative director and brand strategist with 20+ years of agency experience working for nationally renowned brands such as Bank of America, U.S. Air Force, Paramount, Yamaha Motors, Pepsi and Starbucks.
Jeff’s creative advertising experience includes work in multi-media applications, including TV and pre-roll video, radio, print, collateral/sales support, as well as web/interactive and social media. With an innate strategic creative ability and over two decades of client savvy, Jeff has a proven track record of helping grow brands of all shapes and sizes, providing a seamless bridge between strategic marketing goals and the results-driven creative designed to achieve them.
Skeet Hanks has had a 20 year career in advertising, creative design, art direction, and management. In addition to creating award-winning campaigns for brands including Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits, French Market Corporation, Harrah’s Casinos, and Serrano’s Salsa Company, he has been a direct consultant on the marketing plans for many of those same brands. He has won over 30 ADDY awards for his work, including two Best of Print awards.
An accomplished musician, he has written advertising scores and theme songs for companies including Boudreaux’s Jewelers, Keep Louisiana Beautiful, and many others.
Skeet has an unparalleled understanding of the interaction between the creative and account management sides of effective companies, and has owned and operated two highly successful boutique agencies as well as worked with large advertising agencies. For clients local and national, he has created cohesive brands that have helped them to achieve tremendous growth and market share. A former sports mascot trainer, he worked to train stunt artists for college and professional teams including the New Orleans Saints, where he introduced and performed as Gumbo the St. Bernard dog.
Chad provides technical expertise in web marketing, web design, ecommerce implementation and workflow, and search engine optimization. His experience includes 20 + years of B2B and B2C sales with a focus on web and telesales. He is currently the Strategy Consultant at Lime Pi Digital.
In addition Whitney is a web developer with a primary focus on optimized sales, conversions & analytics. He is experienced in multiple web platforms and applications. He has strong expertise in digital start-ups and Software As A Service business models.
He is actively working as a lead on a data mining application for ecommerce sellers.
Kirsten has spent more than two decades overseeing agency traffic and production, both areas in which experience makes all the difference.
Kirsten applies her expertise to markit360 client projects–from the initial budget development and estimates to project coordination and final production of branding materials. In her role, she oversees the production process for print ads, direct mail, collateral materials, broadcast advertising campaigns, specialty items, screen printing, outdoor boards, internet ads and website design.
After attending Tulane University, Kirsten began her career at Berger and Reed, where she spent two years managing the traffic and production departments. She later took on the role of project manager at full-service advertsing agency Zehnder Communications for more than 12 years, where she supported accounts such as New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, Hilton New Orleans Riverside and Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, Baumer Foods, Louisiana United Business Association, The Riverwalk, The French Market Corp. and more.