About

Some call us a team of renegades, and our intense passion and drive to amplify influence through exceptional brand experiences is ingrained in the DNA of every team member. From brand strategy, experience design and marketing services to advertising, brand positioning and digital strategy & implementation, we are dynamic masterminds at-the-ready. Get an inside look at what makes us exceptional below:

Our Team

Heidi Anderson

Senior Copywriter

Once upon a time... I received a call from Elaine Ralls asking if I could help out at the most badass agency in the galaxy for a couple weeks. That was more than ten years ago. Yeah, the longest two weeks in history – and I’ve loved every minute of it! A novelist by trade, I adore bringing brands to life through the written word. It’s my jam. A few of my faves are The Phoenician, BBQ Island, Destination Delivers by Destination Hotels, SanTan Craft Spirits and Skytop Lodge. Most days you can find me talking to myself as brand stories run through my brain matter. When I’m not writing for brands, I write for me and my adoring fans. Seriously, I actually have adoring fans who devour my humorous suspense stories and constantly want to know when the next book will be out. Since I consider myself to be WonderWriterWoman, I don’t sleep much. I might be a vampire, but the jury is still out on that one.

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Janelle Brannock

Senior Director of Influence

As someone who wrote her first “book” at age 8 and dreamt up a fictional superhero called Banana Man who went on wild escapades every Christmas Eve (honestly, I don’t even know), I get to write and tell stories for a living. Real stories that matter...and aren’t about weird banana-yielding superheroes. How cool is that?!

With stints as a former newspaper reporter, magazine editor and PR gal, my 20-year career has taken lots of twists and turns. Just like a good book, one might say. From covering grisly crime scenes as a police reporter to attending a presidential inaugural ball in our nation’s capital, my career path of finding and telling stories has taken me from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., and back again.

Today, I get to create content for Commit and our clients—white papers, webinars, publications, you name it—alongside an uber-talented group of creative geniuses. Along the way, I’ve been able to work on some amazing brands including McDonald’s, Pfizer, Make-A-Wish America, UnitedHealthcare, Nationwide Insurance and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

In my downtime, you can find me curled up with a good book (shocking, I know), yelling at playing with my kids or enjoying a leisurely brunch with my better half. If I can find a sitter.

Have a cool story? Share it with me on Twitter or send me an email at [email protected]

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Melinda Carter

Content Coordinator

Hi everyone! I’m the Content Coordinator here at Commit Agency. What does one do with that fancy title, you may ask? Well… quite simply, I manage our client’s blogs. You’ll most likely find me behind my laptop organizing and color coordinating our production calendar… mainly to make it look prettier. In fact, organizing and making things look pretty are two of my favorite things to do. If I’m not at work, I’m probably scrapbooking or politely begging my husband to take on a new home project with me. You might also catch me wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers shirt and eating Papa Murphy’s chicken bacon artichoke pizza on game day. #sixburgh #fan4life

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Nick Christensen

Social Media Manager

Hi there! As the Social Media Manager here at Commit, I oversee the social media accounts of our clients and the interactions and engagement with their audience. I also help with various amounts of content creation, whether it’s photography, videography or graphic design. I’m constantly looking for new ways to merge new social trends with our agency and our clients’ strategies and love bringing new eyes to our awesome brands!

When I’m away from the office, I’m typically planning my next Disneyland adventure with my wife, rocking out to some Taylor Swift or Owl City (sometimes on the guitar), and enjoying some downtime surfing through Reddit, YouTube or a good U.S. history book.

Some life goals of mine include: running a half marathon, scoring season tickets for the Phoenix Suns, hang gliding over the California or Washington coast, and visiting World War 2 sites like the beaches at Normandy.

And like my social-media-partner-in-crime, Kenzie, if you find out about a new flavor of Cheez-Its coming out soon, tweet me @NckCrstnsn!

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Joel Coen

Chief Digital Officer

As Chief Digital Officer for Commit, my focus is holistically generated from a desire to be at the bleeding edge of digital marketing. Throughout most of my career I have owned businesses, traveled extensively and been exposed to a lot of different situations. Being here at Commit has allowed me to combine my desire with my experience to provide the absolute best in overall digital marketing strategies. The challenge of navigating through multi-channel strategies to find the most efficient way to utilize our clients marketing dollar is one that I live for.

When I’m not blazing new trails online, I love spending time with my family and being outdoors. I’m also an avid 49ers fan (Don’t hate ) and love to head out on my ATV when I can.

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Jonathan Dunn

Digital Services Manager

A recent graduate of Arizona State University, I graduated with honors while earning a Bachelor of Science in Marketing coupled with a certificate in Applied Business Data Analytics. A numbers nerd since birth, my goal is to combine that interest with my passion for all things digital and translate those efforts into measurable returns on investment for our clients. It’s not all business with me though. I enjoy spending my free time with those I'm closest to, getting invested in the latest TV shows and sports… a whole lot of sports.

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Kenzie Drolshagen

Social Content Manager

Hello wonderful people. I’m the Social Media Coordinator ‘round these parts and during the week, you can find me bouncing into the Commit doors every morning with the same amount of energy one would only receive from downing a triple shot of espresso. Apologies to the non-morning people that roam these Commit halls, I’ll try to tone it down.

My endless amount of vivacity is only matched by my passion for the social realm. From engaging on a variety of social channels to locating some seriously cool user generated content, I do my best to masterfully foster a responsive and unique social presence for all Commit clientele.

In the past, I was lucky enough to be able to work with multifamily developer brands such as Greystar and Mark Taylor Residential. Before that, I was working with my family’s startup skincare company. So I may or may not be passionate about religiously using sunscreen. Seriously, you better be wearing it.

In my spare time, you can find me laughing a little too loudly with friends and family, creating an obnoxiously large seashell collection with the boyfriend, snuggling any puppy I can find and trying to find the greatest pickles in all the land. No jokes here people, if you have located the best pickle brand, tweet at me.

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Riley Farrell

Art Director

Hi – I’m the Art Director. I’m proud to be part of the remarkably talented creative team here at Commit. My days are most often spent developing engaging visual systems and tools to elevate our clients’ brands and content. From brochures and websites to brand identities, product packaging and storefront displays, there is no shortage of variety in the work we do. As a restless creative who is constantly looking for new ways to solve problems, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When I’m not here, I can be found overstaying my welcome at a local guitar shop, fueling a totally healthy obsession with podcasts (lots of 99% Invisible and Song Exploder) or compulsively digging through piles of furniture and home decór in the Ikea As-Is section.

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Catherine Goodman

Project Manager

Hi there! I’m the Traffic & Project Manager here at Commit, which means I take the dreams we imagine and help turn them into a reality. Being a project manager is easy. It’s like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire, you’re on fire, everything is on fire and you’re just like- “mmmm k, lets do this.” In this industry, you not only need a backbone, but it's also great to have CDO – you know, like OCD except everything is in alphabetical order, as it should be. When I’m not traffic controlling the workflow in the office, you can find me painting, photographing, making inappropriate jokes and advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves, especially anything fluffy...

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Krystal Hayes

Developer

Hi, I’m Krystal, Developer here at Commit.

A little about me and what I do...

I started my career as a designer but my inner geek eventually took over and now I spend my days buried in code. I am a self-taught developer who is passionate about bringing beautiful designs to life online.

Outside of Commit, you can find me working with teens, teaching healthy lifestyle decisions starting with food choices, a subject near and dear to my heart, drinking green juices, going for a run and keeping up with my very active daughter. Oh, and when it is cold enough outside… you can find me in a pair of boots.

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Richard Haynie

Associate Creative Director

80’s pop-culture, research, live music, data, dive bars, comic books, typography, ROI, target audiences, user experience, design and lot’s of questions. Mix all those together, sprinkle on some competitive analysis and you have my morning breakfast.

All this helps when I’m staring at a blank page (or blank screen these days) because it’s my job to deliver something that hits our clients audience square in the middle of their brain and get them to make a decision.

And after living here in the valley of the sun for 14 years, I finally took up golf.

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Carrie Kapp

Account Director

With more than 15 years of marketing and advertising experience, mama bear-in-residence, mercenary contract negotiator and client advocate, I oversee Commit’s account services team to keep projects on track, on budget and moving through the system to ensure client satisfaction. I also work with the media team to ensure analytics are always utilized to provide maximum return on investments. My hospitality expertise has been utilized for clients such as Two Roads Hospitality, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Bedford Springs Resort and Costa d’Este. An avid DIYer, I have been known to spend my off time remodeling bathrooms and even building a swimming pool when not running my daughter to dance class or off-roading with my husband.

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Ray Kinzie

Office Manager

Howdy, I'm Ray. I'm the de facto office manager in addition to accounts receivable and payable. I'm the guy with the credit card, which is why many of the folks here come to my office. That and the bowl of candy!

In my time outside the office, I love hanging out with my grandkids (I've got four of 'em), eating great food and traveling back to New Mexico when I get the chance.

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Danielle Leyva

Account Coordinator

Hi, i’m Danielle! I am the Account Coordinator here at Commit. My passions include organizing, planning and talking which is basically my job description so it was a match made in advertising heaven. When i’m not working on my own clients, you can usually find me asking if anyone needs help. I’m a full believer in “Teamwork makes the dream work” - John Maxwell. I love being able to build and maintain relationships with such amazing clients. I’ve had the privilege to work with clients in the hospitality, financial and e-commerce as well as many others.

When i’m not working you can usually find me playing with my two dogs, Rocky and Pepper. If I’m not with them I’m usually trying some type of new workout; my current favorites include spin, pilates and yoga. Oh and I always have room for dessert. Always.

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Robby Leffew

Database Admin & SEO Specialist

Hello…

I have been with Commit Agency since November of 2007. Over the years I have been lucky to work with many talented individuals as well as fun and exciting clients. Every day is a new journey and I enjoy making the best of each one with this team.

I perform many tasks, including but not limited to, Email Marketing, Analyzing Databases, Reporting, and SEO. With technology evolving quickly I find it necessary to learn something new everyday. I enjoy working with all of our clients and am proud to have been a part of the team to help create a loyalty program called Destination Delivers in 2009 which now has over 1 Million Members.

At home I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife Amber is amazing, she keeps our house in one piece, which is not easy with a new born baby, a puppy and a husband running around. Our new baby Caroline has taken over the house and has us both wrapped around her tiny fingers. Her smile can light up a room. I also enjoy camping, hiking, breweries, and anything that supports Veterans.

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy the rest of your day!

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Mitch Loar

Digital Implementation Specialist

As Commit’s Digital Implementation Specialist I am responsible for our clients’ Search Engine Marketing performance. Rapid industry changes mean I am constantly on my toes in order to stay up to date with the new methods and tools that help our clients stay on the cutting edge of the digital marketing space.

I am an entrepreneur and avid traveler so when I am not at Commit I am usually working on other side business projects or planning out the next big trip for my small family to go on! My wife Sarah and I spent 4 months in Europe in 2017 and we have plans to visit all 7 continents before we turn 40!

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Lindsey Lubenow

Media Director

Oh, hi! I have been tracking down and negotiating media placements both nationally and internationally since 2007. During this time, I have had the pleasure of building media plans for companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield, BMW and MINI. As a Media Buyer for Commit Agency, I am part of the team responsible for creating and executing media strategies. When I am not planning and negotiating buys, I am likely refinishing thrifted furniture, spray painting something - most recently shoes that were not quite the right color or adverturing with my husband and three littles.

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Meredith Oechsner

Account Manager

Hello, I’m Meredith! As our young, feminist Account Manager, I am the target of many jokes in the office, but watch out because I can give as good as I get. When I’m not making geriatric jokes, you might find me organizing something. I received an email at work today that literally said, “Thanks for being so OCD.” Well, you’re welcome. I’m the kind of person who alphabetizes her to-do list by client, completes Google Analytics certification “for fun” on the weekends, and at home, if my closet isn’t color coordinated, I will have a minor panic attack. But all of that Type A organization (and all those years in band – nerd alert!) comes in handy when I’m choreographing a project from conception to execution. From managing schedules, budgets and assets to extracting the key insights that will inspire creativity, I remain actively involved from start to finish to ensure each project’s success. I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves to get the job done; in fact, this happens so often, that I had to buy an iron to unwrinkle my shirts. My current client roster includes such fine specimens as BBQ Island, Cheyenne Mountain Resort, The Phoenician, SanTan Brewing Company and Skytop Lodge (yes, that list was alphabetized). P.S. My last name is pronounced ex-ner.

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Greg Pelke

Social Advertising Manager

Hi, I’m Greg, a self-proclaimed social advertising nerd, with a love of all things analytics.

In the past I’ve sold everything from ideas to cars through Facebook ads. (Yes, cars.) Now, analyzing user behavior and looking for ways to get the best results for clients is what I love most about social advertising. Social platforms are constantly changing so staying on-top of the latest trends and advancements keeps my job exciting.

I’m a veteran of the startup world with a deep appreciation for strong coffee, brewing his own beer and exploring Phoenix in search of the very best tacos. Follow my adventures on Instagram @funkyfreshgreg

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Elaine E. Ralls Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

I am a co-founder of Commit Agency, proud of the great work we do in brand positioning, designing exceptional customer experiences, and amplifying the influence of our clients’ brands. I’ve been dubbed a serial entrepreneur, because in my former lives I’ve built and sold a variety of businesses including long term care, physical therapy, private technical and trade schools, medical billing, and banking.

My passions are contributing to business ideas that change lives, and forging meaningful relationships. In school I did my dissertation research on measuring the effectiveness of marketing and advertising. So, you can see that for me working at Commit is like being in a candy store. Every client is an opportunity to make a difference, is excited and committed to growth and craves results. Couple that with a team that any given time is working on innovative ideas that are technology and customer engagement behavior driven, and you have an environment that comes close to nirvana (could use massage 2x’s a week).

“One Big Life” is my personal brand….and giving back is a priority. I’m lucky because my job is forward facing, and through active participation, or board involvement I get to work in great organizations like Women Presidents’ Organization, the BBB, Women in Leadership/Chandler Chamber, and Bank 34 headquartered in New Mexico.

A few years ago I co-authored “Discover Your Inner Strength” with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Brian Tracy, and now have even more opportunities to share “One Big Life” ideas through speaking and mentoring. One of my favorite quotes is from the movie the Most Glorious Marigold Hotel: “Everything will be all right in the end. If things are not all right, it must not be the end.”

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David Ralls

President

Welcome to Commit Agency! We appreciate your visit. It is hard to believe that we started the agency 20 years ago already and there is no question that every day has been filled with a different adventure (or ten). Evolve or die is the mantra that drives us. And it is a good thing because when we started our agency email was new, social media didn’t exist and Google was just a word babies said while slurring.

I am a numbers guy that has strategic vision to see opportunity for our clients. Opportunity that grows their business. It is the thing that drives me...finding the why for our clients to make a meaningful difference on their business makes me proud of our work, our team and our agency. We don’t settle for just ok and we constantly watch our client’s back. This philosophy has allowed me to build many friends in this business that were clients first. It really is those relationships built on trust with great people that make this business rewarding and fulfilling.

When not running the agency, I am spending time with my wife Deborah and two sons and a significant amount of my spare time is spent supporting charity boards including the Chandler Compadres and ICAN. I have been recognized by the ASU Spirit of Enterprise Center with the Monster Entrepreneurial Award and was named one of America’s top 25 Most Influential Minds in the Hospitality Industry by HSMAI, the Hospitality, Sales and Marketing Association International and was recognized by Phoenix Business Journal 40 under 40. I am blessed to have been afforded the opportunity to get my MBA from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

My client industry experience includes healthcare, hospitality, home building, retail, government, and non profit. Brands I have worked on include Destination, CIGNA, The Phoenician, Canyon Suites, Luxury Collection, Maracay Homes, Health Net, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Camelot Homes, Magnolia Hotels, NextCare Urgent Care, Santé, State of Arizona Department of Health Services, Aetna, Forever Resorts and many others.

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Rita Ryner

Fulfillment

Hello...I started working for Commit in August of 1992. This means I will soon celebrate 25 years. When I started there were only four of us and I feel very fortunate to have been involved in the growth of the amazing team we have today. I started out as a receptionist and worked my way up to production which is the position I currently hold. I graduated from Bliss College in Columbus, Ohio many years ago. Before moving to Arizona I worked for three years at Wendy's Corporate Headquarters in their franchise training department. I currently have the pleasure of working with the Arizona Cardinals and Better Business Bureau of Arizona. I volunteer at my church where I get to hug babies in the nursery. I also enjoy reading and spending time with my two grandsons.

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Holly Shimanski

Account Manager

Hi there! I’m Holly, an Account Manager here at Commit. With 10 years of experience under my belt, I’m about as organized and detail oriented as they come. This sure helps when I’m managing client projects from start to finish, ensuring they are on strategy, within budget and on time. I love connecting with clients in order to build and maintain successful relationships. I’ve worked with clients in a wide range of industries including consumer goods, entertainment, hospitality, arts, non-profit, education, financial services and healthcare. When I’m done making sure clients are taken care of, you can find me somewhere in the great outdoors whether that’s hiking, camping, kayaking or just enjoying the peace and quiet of nature. There’s no greater feeling of accomplishment than standing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon or on the peak of a mountain. When I’m back in the city, I enjoy playing with my two pups, Lucy and Link, and spoiling my four nieces and nephew.

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Tatum Snodgrass

Senior Blog Writer

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Lanny Ward

Creative Director

After having studied photography and graphic design in college, I began my career as a designer and illustrator for a local newspaper. I went on to work for/with some of the top ad agencies in the southwest—building and leading various teams of writers, designers, developers, photographers and others toward the best work possible. What I love most is working with clients to discover or rediscover the heartbeat of their brand. Even as a child, I remember being compelled to take my toys apart to see how they worked. I believe this inate curiosity has shaped who I am today. I love getting to the bottom of things to better understand how it works (or not). This ultimately ends up showing us what direction to point the ship. When not in the office, I love spending my time with my wife and kids, writing/playing music, or riding my motorcycle—all the while trying to learn how to live in the moment.

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Shannon Aldrich

Web Developer

What can I say about myself? As a Web Developer, I am all about the code. As a kid, I spent more of my free time than I care to admit in the nerdy arts including but not limited to gaming, anime, star trek, coding and marching band (No band camp jokes plz). As time progressed I grew out of most things, but computers always stuck with me (and the wisdom of jean luc picard).

After graduating from ASU in Computer Science, I started my own business helping companies build their online identity from the ground up. I had a blast developing logos, brand identities, cutting edge websites and online strategies for small businesses. Somewhere along the way I was blessed with a amazing husband and little boy. These days, I focus on my passion for code, user experience and responsive design. Give me some direction, a an internet connect and a good audiobook and I will built you an awesome website!

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