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:
Heidi Anderson – Master Wordsmith
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.x
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Janelle Brannock – Director of Strategic Initiatives
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.x
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 #fan4lifex
Social Media Manager
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!x
Chief Digital Officer
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.x
Social Content Manager
Mackenzie Drolshage – Social Content Manager
Hello wonderful people. I’m the Social Social Content Manager ‘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.x
Digital Implementation Specialist
Jonathan Dunn – Digital Implementation Specialist
I’m a recent graduate of Arizona State University, completing my degree with honors while earning a Bachelor of Science in Marketing coupled with a certificate in Applied Business Data Analytics. I’ve been a numbers nerd since birth, always enjoying math and sports statistics. As a Digital Implementation Specialist, my goal is to combine this interest with my passion for all things digital and translate that into measurable returns on investment for our clients through Search Engine Marketing. It’s not all business with me though. I enjoy spending my free time with those I am closest to, getting far too invested in the latest tech gadgets, and sports... a whole lot of sports.x
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.x
Sam Gallen – Digital Strategist
As Commit’s Digital Strategist I am responsible for our clients’ digital presence. Staying up to date with the latest trends in the digital marketing space means that I am never bored and constantly on my toes. My main focus is on Paid Search and SEO but my involvement in our clients’ success doesn’t stop there. In order for me to be successful, I look at all things related to digital presence; from website experience, user behavior and how all of the acquisition channels play a part in helping our clients grow their business. I truly enjoy working with all of our clients, but Skytop Lodge is a personal favorite of mine. This incredible lodge in the Poconos has an immense schedule filled with exciting activities and events and helping their business grow in the digital landscape has truly been fulfilling for me.
When I’m not ensuring that our clients are reaching their peak from a digital perspective, you can catch me outside in the Arizona wilderness performing at even higher elevations. I’ll be the adventurous one that’s off rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, climbing mountains and exploring all that the American Southwest has to offer. If I’m lucky, my super awesome wife comes along to guide me through some helpful yoga poses in addition to my Boxer, Murphy, who always provides some good laughs.x
Traffic & Project Manager
Catherine Goodman – Traffic & 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...x
Krystal Hayes – Lead Developer
Hi, I’m Krystal, Lead 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. 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.x
Wynter Holden – Senior Blogger
Hi, I’m Wynter – yes, like the season! – and I’m the Senior Blogger here at Commit Agency. I type frantically (with two fingers) pretty much all day, every day. My job is to create the most breathtaking, spectacular, amazing content possible for our clients, without resorting to those superlatives. I start with a title such as “How to Write the Perfect Bio,” do a ton of research and find a creative way to expand the idea into a readable, clear, concise article to be read online. Sometimes, I get to leverage my journalism background into a newsy interview piece or grab a marker and design a flowchart on the office glass.
I’m probably the biggest geek in the office. You know, that weird person who wears dresses printed with cherries or skulls and plays a costumed superhero at Comic-Con. Yep, that’s me. Occasionally my geekiness leaks into my work for clients, like when I referenced Han Solo and Chewbacca in a BBQ Island blog. (Good thing those awesome grilling guys approved.) When not writing blogs or putting on a Spandex unitard, I can be found making crafts, singing, watching movies and plays or kicking butt with my boyfriend at Team Trivia. Oh, and I’m a tea addict… mwahaha! Your Earl Grey is never safe around me.x
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 works 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 Destination Resorts, 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.
- Forever Resorts
- Benchmark Hospitality
- Two Roads Hospitality
- Hershey Entertainment & Resorts
Ray Kinzie – Office Manager
Ray has ruled Commit’s office for more than 18 years. His cool head and analytical mind ensures our client’s accounts and our team run seamlessly. A full-time grandpa in addition to his Commit duties, Ray can often be found sporting the latest sci-fi t-shirts from marathon movie sessions with the grandkids – Dr. Who, anyone?x
Database Admin & SEO Specialist
Robby Leffew – Database Administrator / Database Analyst II / eMarketing Specialist
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!x
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.x
Lindsey Lubenow – Media Planner
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 adventuring with my husband and three littles.x
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.x
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.x
Elaine Ralls Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Elaine Ralls Ph.D. – CEO
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.”x
Rita Ryner – Fulfillment Manager
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.x
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.x
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.x