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:


Leadership

David Ralls David Ralls
Elaine E. Ralls Ph.D. Elaine E. Ralls Ph.D.
Joel Coen Joel Coen

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.

Elaine E. Ralls Ph.D.

Founder

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.”

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.

Lanny Ward Lanny Ward
Janelle Brannock Janelle Brannock
Carrie Kapp Carrie Kapp

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 innate 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.

Janelle Brannock

Senior Director of Strategy

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].

Carrie Kapp

Director of Client Services

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.

Justin Lee Justin Lee

Justin Lee

Director of Social Media and Content Strategy

Food, travel, writing, design, social media—my life splashed across a six inch bumper sticker would likely include a few of these words.

From senior publicist to account executive, in-house hospitality marketing leader to freelance creative consultant, I’ve been fortunate to live a life full of experiences that have allowed me to arrive at where I am today here at Commit. A writer to the core, I’ve also been fortunate enough to have my byline appear in outlets like Phoenix Magazine—where I enjoyed the unique pleasure of being the publication’s dining critic, 2014 to 2015—to Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine, Modern Luxury Scottsdale, Java Magazine, and many others.

As Commit’s Director of Social Media and Content Strategy, my job is to set the tone and strategy for my department. From the content we develop and manage for our clients, to the data we analyze and build upon, I benefit from the best of both worlds—not only do I get to work in a field that distills everything I love, but I also get to lead an incredible team of creatives, enthusiasts and data wonks, constantly looking for new ways to learn and grow.

Born and raised in Phoenix, with a brief detour in New York City and extensive travels in between, in my free time you can track me bouncing around town with friends on a never-ending adventure to find the best food (and cocktails), traveling to fun and far off new places, cooking at home, and or frankly, recharging at home in my sweats with Uber Eats at the ready. (Don’t repeat that last part.)

Questions, comments, restaurant recommendations? Sent me a note at [email protected] or get “social” with me at @JustinEats on Instagram and Twitter.


Team

Sayo Akao Sayo Akao
Shannon Aldrich Shannon Aldrich
Heidi Anderson Heidi Anderson

Sayo Akao

Social Media Account Specialist

Working in social media, my parents far too often joke that I just get to work on my phone all day. And while I am certainly tied to my phone for work, in actuality my job is much more complex—and exciting. As Commit’s Social Media Account Specialist, I help create, execute, manage, monitor, and analyze all of our clients’ social media efforts, continually strategizing creative ways to improve their overall marketing efforts.

When not at work, l love seeking out new ways to connect with the world off-line, including unique outlets for creative expression. I’m always looking at the world through a lens of “what if” or “why not” that constantly drives me to explore new things and pushes me outside of my comfort zone. I love yoga, meditation, hiking, writing, painting, design, and yes, shopping, where my boyfriend regularly teases me for my hours-long shopping adventures.

Originally from Southern California, I first moved to the Phoenix area to attend ASU’s Cronkite School of Mass Communication. And, living here post-grad has been one of the best decisions I ever made. My bucket-list in the years to come includes new travel to far off places, adopting a furry friend (or two), and who knows, maybe also becoming a certified yoga teacher one day.

Shannon Aldrich

PHP/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, an internet connect and a good audiobook and I will build you an awesome website!

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.

Melinda Carter Melinda Carter
Nick Christensen Nick Christensen
Kara French Kara French

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

Nick Christensen

Social Ads Specialist

Hi there! As Commit’s Social Ad Specialist, I oversee all of the paid social efforts for our clients. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Reddit, if it has an ad platform I’m there. As social media continues to be a “pay-to-play” arena, it’s my task to make sure our clients’ ads are hitting the right audience at the right moment to influence their purchasing or consideration decisions. It’s no small task but the challenge is exciting!

When I’m away from the office, I’m typically planning my next Disneyland adventure with my wife and daughter, learning something new on the guitar or piano, shooting hoops, and enjoying some downtime surfing through Reddit and YouTube. Let’s connect! I’d love to hear from you.

Kara French

Account Manager

Bonjour, je m'appelle Kara Français! Yes - My last name is French, like the language. I am a stellar Account Manager and I thoroughly enjoy building relationships and creating solutions to problems. I believe strong relationships are built on trust, and good work is produced when all hands are on deck. I continuously push to redefine brand experiences and strategies that help increase results.

Outside of the office, my duties include being a dog mom to two rambunctious Boston Terriers. You will often see me enjoying a craft beer at the local brewery, snowboarding, or dabbling with video games. I sprouted from the state of Idaho and moved to Phoenix to attend ASU. If you are wondering, the answer is YES - the rumors are true… I love a good baked potato and huckleberry flavored goodies. #Idahome

Catherine Goodman Catherine Goodman
Kayley Greene Kayley Greene
Justin Hallman Justin Hallman

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...

Kayley Greene

Digital Implementation Specialist

Hey there! I’m the Digital Implementation Specialist here at Commit. So in a nutshell, I basically implement all things digital… with a primary focus on Paid Search. You could say that numbers are kind of my thing as I enjoyed and excelled at any class I took at ASU that had to do with the topic. I love it all from accounting to data analytics to calculus, I don’t discriminate. When I’m not setting up Google Ads campaigns, analyzing their performance, or cheering at my desk about improving conversion rates, you can catch me around town at the best restaurants or working out at the gym. A foodie with an obsession with health, kind of ironic right? Well, life’s all about balance people.

Justin Hallman

Digital Ads Specialist

Hello my name is Justin and I’m really into marketing. I mainly focus on search and display ads that resonate so well, you could have sworn they were meant just for you.
Working in digital since 2015, I look forward to bringing relevancy and a great experience directly to the user. This can be difficult and sometimes quite a bit of a process, but I always encourage a challenge*.
*That challenge being the constantly evolving, always growing, fast-moving industry that is digital marketing. But I wouldn't change that for the world.
When I’m not at Commit, I can be found drag racing tanks, skydiving while playing chess, or chugging copious amounts of maple syrup with law enforcement.

Richard Haynie Richard Haynie
Kaitlin Kelly Kaitlin Kelly
Danielle Leyva Danielle Leyva

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.

Kaitlin Kelly

Web Developer

Hi! I’m Kaitlin, a Developer here at Commit. I spend most of my time in front of a computer screen. However, in the rare chance I’m not, you’ll find me with my family, friends or two dogs doing any of the following: happy hour, spin class, laughing, hiking, at Target (I’m obsessed, it’s a thing), or just watching some sports on tv in my yoga pants with a beer in my hand… or a glass of rosé (sometimes you just want to feel classy).

Danielle Leyva

Account Manager

Hi, i’m Danielle! I am one of the Account Managers 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.

Robby Leffew Robby Leffew
Meredith Oechsner Meredith Oechsner
Amy Perez Amy Perez

Robby Leffew

Digital Implementation 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!

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.

Amy Perez

Account Coordinator

Hi, I'm Amy! I am an Account Coordinator here at Commit. While I have a somewhat diverse professional background, managing client relationships and projects is what I love! I’ve worked with clients in a wide range of industries including retail, financial institutes, healthcare, non-profits and B2B magazines.   Outside of work you'll likely find me playing with my fur babies, exploring the local restaurant scene with my husband, planning our next adventure or catching up on the latest Netflix shows.  

Ryan Proctor Ryan Proctor
Tatum Snodgrass Tatum Snodgrass
Matt Walker Matt Walker

Ryan Proctor

Graphic Designer

Hey there, I'm Ryan and I'm a designer here at Commit Agency. With a Bachelor's degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Phoenix my journey has led me here. Being part of an amazingly creative team I look forward to every new project that comes our way. Being a redheaded twin covered in tattoos, I'm not one for just being part of the crowd. When I'm not being a stickler about grids or kerning typography, I spend a lot of my time rock climbing or playing video games.

Tatum Snodgrass

Senior Blog Writer

After 8 years of working on the corporate side, I’ve made the switch to agency life and I couldn’t be happier. As the Senior Blog Writer, I write meaningful blog content for our clients. In order to stay creative, I’m always thinking of new ways to do “the same old things.” How can we say this differently? What’s new and interesting about this idea? Creativity is my way of life.   When I’m not working, I’m doing more of what I love at home, usually spending time with my husband and our new baby boy. Oh, what a life!

Matt Walker

Designer

Hi! I’m Matt and I’m a Designer here at Commit. I’m a big believer in using functional design to solve problems and to build brand trust. I pair up my love for creating eye catching visuals with my tendency to think very analytically to create data-driven designs for our clients.

Having lived on the east coast, the west coast, and on a traveling bus, the desert became my home, but that didn’t keep me from becoming an avid ice hockey player and snowboarder. When I’m not headphones-in and focused on creating, you’ll find me at concerts with friends, exploring the Arizona outdoors, and at my favorite local dive bars.

Ray Kinzie Ray Kinzie
Lindsey Lubenow Lindsey Lubenow

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.

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 adventuring with my husband and three littles.