In other words, we're the perfect blend of two dramatically different creative models: We bring the talent, affordability, and speed of the crowdsourcing world together with the quality, privacy, and creative direction you expect from a world class agency.
By working with us, you can tap into the brilliant minds of close to 600 creative professionals, consisting of the best production companies, animation houses, writers, and creative directors in the country. We ensure your video is a success by overseeing every step of the process, from the first spark of an idea to the final distribution and analysis of a campaign.
Holly has more than 30 years of advertising and marketing experience. Prior to founding The Townsend Group, Holly held executive level positions with The Washington Monitor, Washington Journalism Review and The Atlantic. An expert in advertising, marketing, and research, she often writes for or is quoted by leading media industry publications. Holly has a keen understanding of the changing needs of marketers and was an early developer of the cross-platform media model – print, digital, events and video – designed to maximize the reach, frequency and effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Macy manages promotion strategy and provides promotional writing, design and production-related services. Macy began her career at The Townsend Group as an account coordinator on several key association accounts before being promoted to her current position. Macy is always ready to tackle daunting new tasks enthusiastically, professionally, and competently. She speaks fluent Cantonese and is a University of Maryland graduate with a degree in marketing and international business.
Christie has many years of experience in accounting and media, including 16 years at The New Republic, where she managed the financial operations and was ultimately promoted to the position of associate publisher. Christie is an accounting professional, but rather than “counting beans” like many in her profession, she takes an active role in “planting seeds” and growing revenues for our clients. She is a creative problem-solver, and she heads an accounting team including an accounting coordinator and an accounts receivable assistant.
Chris is determined to recruit talent and build an unmatched vetted community of creative professionals. As a creative himself, Chris has recruited over 100 new members to the community while enhancing the GeniusRocket model to fit the needs of the creatives - something most crowdsourcing agencies overlook.
Prior to this gig, Chris managed over 50 musicians and studio engineers during his time at A-Side Worldwide. In addition, he manages and composes music with Live Antics, a band dedicated to changing the way music is performed and heard. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a focus in political media effects and advertising.
Keith works with Account Manager Kala Burke to provide logistical support and serve as a day-to-day point of contact for GeniusRocket clients. In addition to his “day job,” Keith teaches a course for Penn State focusing on journalism ethics in the changing media landscape.
Kala joined The Townsend Group after graduating from Penn State with a degree in advertising. Kala works with Senior Manager of Operations Keith Fledderman to provide logistical support and a day-to-day point of contact for GeniusRocket clients. Kala is extremely organized and client-centric in her approach to every task she undertakes.
Kevin joined The Townsend Group two years ago after 8 years with Ziff-Davis. While at Ziff-Davis, he rose quickly up the ranks from an account executive to regional sales manager. He has significant experience in cross-platform selling that includes video, print and digital advertising as well as exhibits and sponsorships, webinars, and lead generation campaigns, and he works with marketers to design solutions that meet their campaign goals and budgets. Kevin has an amazing ability to relate well to virtually everyone he meets and a knack for establishing successful, long-term client relationships.
Richard brings 25 years of sales experience to the GeniusRocket sales team. His media background includes selling for CBS, Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, Money, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, among others. Meeting advertisers’ needs over the years in radio, TV, print, digital, and events, Richard learned early on that a cross-platform approach is essential, and he knows a successful marketing campaign has to include video as part of the conversation. Richard still has the 16mm video camera he used to submit a short to America’s Funniest Home Videos, but rest assured that he now leaves the production to GeniusRocket’s creative professionals.
Prior to GeniusRocket, Mark served as Chairman and CEO of VerticalNet from August 1997 to July 2001. He joined VerticalNet when it was a small, venture-backed company with 20 employees and a value of $10MM. With his colleagues, he grew the company and took it public on the NASDAQ, where it peaked at almost a $13 Billion valuation.
Since 2001 Mark has been active in politics, serving as the first Chief Technology Advisor to the Democratic National Committee, Head of Internet Strategy for John Kerry for President and as the founding CEO of Air America Radio. He also co-hosts a weekly talk show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, called "Left Jab".
Since 2000, he has managed a small angel-investment fund, Ruxton Ventures LLC. He has invested in a number of small to medium technology/startup companies and serves on a number of their boards. Investment and/or board highlights include Day Software, NutriSystems, Blackboard, Half.com, Transactis, MobilePosse, SpectrumK12 Solutions and others. He is also active in a number of non-profits, serving or having served on the boards of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and In2Books.
He is very active in the educational sector, as well. He serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of his college alma mater, Union College in NY. He is the Chair of the board of advisors to the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland Business School, and was the founding Chair of the New Leaders Council, a training organization for young adults focusing on political entrepreneurship. He also coaches lacrosse at the high school level in the Washington DC area.
Mark received a BA in American Studies from Union College and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Polly has an extensive background in media, communications and business development. She spent almost 20 years with the New York Times and became their first Managing Director for Advertising for the Washington DC office. While at The Times, Polly extended the media brand into new markets and new platforms. She launched a college edition, a Spanish language edition and the first interactive classified marketplace for newspapers, pre Craigslist!
She has also built non-profit enterprises including the Women's Business Center where she developed micro-enterprise training programs and served as Board Chair. Recently, she has been a client of GeniusRocket in her role as Communications Director for the Water Alliance. She managed their comm strategy and produced all of their digital media.
In addition to her GeniusRocket advisor role, Polly is Entrepreneur in Residence at the Dingman Center of University of Maryland Smith Business School and the Communications and Branding Consultant to the International Lyme Disease Association.
Polly graduated from Skidmore College and graduated from advanced professional development programs at Georgetown and the University of Maryland.
Hugh Panero is a venture partner with the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA). His efforts are focused on conswumer technology. Prior to NEA, Pranero was the co-founder and CEO of DC-based XM Satellite Radio from 1998 August 2007, shortly before the company merged with Sirius Satellite Radio. (NASD: SIRI) At its height, XM had more than 9.3 million subscribers.
Panero started his career as a journalist, and prior to XM served as the president and CEO of Request Television, a pay-per-view network owned by TCI's Liberty Media and Twentieth Century Fox.
Adam Lehman is the chief operating officer of Lotame Solutions, a leading internet advertising and social networking platform. He directs all general business operations including business administration and strategic partnerships.
Lehman joined Lotame with deep market and operational experience, having led a wide variety of new business development initiatives for America Online (AOL) and several successful start-ups in the social web arena. As a Senior Vice President with AOL, he negotiated strategic partnerships with leading Internet, media, technology and consumer marketing companies, closed billions worth of investment, M&A and joint venture transactions, and managed operations for AOL's central business and corporate development unit. He also had a hand in the original development and implementation of first- generation digital advertising and e-commerce business models.
Since then, he has served as an entrepreneur and active investor in the social media and marketing space, with companies including Wondir, Carmun.com, NaturalPath Media, Goozex and, most recently, as co-founder, President and COO of GeniusRocket.
He is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College and has a law degree from Harvard Law School.
GM O'Connell is Senior Partner at Tango Modem, an international interactive marketing firm with offices in the United States, Mexico, and Argentina.
From 1987 to 2005, GM O'Connell, was Partner, CEO, Chairman, of Modem Media, a publically traded interactive marketing firm that service Fortune 500 companies. After Modem Media was sold to Publicis, GM joined the advisory board of Brand Studio. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Compass Health Care.
He graduated from Middlebury College.
Joe Trippi - heralded on the cover of The New Republic as the man who "reinvented campaigning" – is widely recognized as one of America's leading and most influential political strategists.
Born in California, Trippi began his political career working on Edward M. Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1980. His work in presidential politics continued with the campaigns of Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Richard Gephardt, Howard Dean and, most recently, John Edwards.
Trippi has run and consulted on numerous presidential, senate, congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral races. These include the successful campaigns of U.S. Senator Alan Cranston of California, Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, Governor Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, and Congressman Tim Holden of Pennsylvania.
Trippi also has an extensive international resume. In 1993, he worked for then PASOK leader Andrea Papandreou's successful campaign of Prime Minister of Greece, as well as for his son, George Papandreou, in 2007. Trippi advised former British Prime Minister Tony Blair during his successful bid for a third term in 2005. In 2006, he worked for Romano Prodi on his winning race for Prime Minister of Italy. In 2007, Trippi consulted on text messaging strategies to the opposition Action Congress (AC) Party in Nigeria.
In addition to his political work, Trippi has consulted with a number of leading corporations including MasterCard, Toyota, DaimlerChrysler, SES Americom, LabCorp, IBM, Lionsgate Films, BestBuy, MSNBC, Wave Systems, and Progeny Linux Systems. Trippi is especially acclaimed within the technology community. In 2004 he won Wired Magazine's Rave Award for his use of innovative technology in politics. Leading Internet companies, from Yahoo!, to Google, to Bebo invite him to speak to their employees and affiliates.
Joe Trippi has been profiled in The New York Times, The New Republic, Fast Company, The Atlantic, The Washington Post and The New York Times Magazine. He is a CBS News political analyst and former Harvard University Fellow.
Trippi is the author of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet and the Overthrow of Everything
Trained in national politics, Sally Ford has served as a communications strategist and project director overseeing innovative public outreach and branding campaigns.
Sally's career started as a staff assistant for the US Senate Judiciary Committee under the direction of Chief Counsel Stephen Breyer (now US Supreme Court Justice) assisting in the confirmation process of federal judges. She left the Judiciary staff after two years to join Senator Kennedy's 1980 presidential campaign. For the next decade, Sally continued working in electoral politics around the country, while also earning her MPA at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Sally has since served as senior partner in a boutique strategic communications firm. Integrating public policy with political reality, Sally's expertise includes increasing public awareness, moving public opinion, and building long-term communities of interest. She is currently launching a new civic literacy public awareness campaign.
As a co-founder of GeniusRocket, Sally was a lead advisor during the company's first 18 months, where she was instrumental in turning a good idea into a terrific reality.
After a successful career in politics, government and corporate communications, Michael Ford founded the Center for the Study of the American Dream at Xavier University. The Center serves as the pre-eminent academic information clearinghouse for the American Dream. As its Founding Director, Ford leads the Center's efforts in generating significant original research, while identifying and analyzing shifts in the Dream's continued evolution.
Ford served in nine presidential campaigns and more than 100 gubernatorial, US Senate, US House and mayoralty campaigns across the US. He served as Executive Assistant to the Governor of Ohio and Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Cincinnati.
In 2006, Ford originated and founded the initial concept for geniusrocket.com as a contest website. He served as the first Chairman of its Advisory Board.
Nicco Mele is a leading expert in the integration of social media and Web 2.0 with politics, business and communications.
As the webmaster for Governor Howard Dean's 2004 presidential race, Nicco and the campaign team pioneered the use of technology and social media that revolutionized political fundraising and American politics. Later that year, Nicco founded EchoDitto, a leading internet strategy consulting company. Through EchoDitto, Nicco continues to consult with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit groups.
Now an adjunct faculty at Harvard's Kennedy School, Nicco teaches graduate level classes on the internet and politics. In 2009, Nicco was named the Spring 2009 Visiting Edward R. Murrow Distinguished Lecturer at the Harvard Shorenstein Center for the study of Press, Politics and Public Policy.
Nicco also co-founded GeniusRocket.com, which used the internet to change the advertising concept by soliciting creative online in an open and collaborative process. He also launched ProxyDemocracy.com, an online resource for proxy voting and shareholder resolutions.
Named in 2003 by Esquire Magazine as one of America's "best and brightest," Nicco was born in West Africa to Foreign Service parents. He spent his early years overseas in Asia and Africa before graduating from high school in Malaysia and from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Nicco's wife, Morra Aarons, is also a well-known internet entrepreneur and blogger. They have two sons: Asa "Ace" Mele and Tom Mele.
In his 20+-year career, Bob has had the opportunity to work for The World Wildlife Fund, Kodak, The Corcoran Museum, the International Campaign for Tibet, and dozens of other clients. A graduate of Penn State University in Graphic Design, he learned his craft under Lanny Sommese. He served as the Creative Director for Gibson Creative in Washington, DC, before founding Actual Size Creative, a Pittsburgh firm involved in print, web and motion projects. Clients include the Century Council, the National Football League, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, and SES Americom, the world's largest satellite company.
Mathew Gross brought blogging to the center of political campaigns as the Director of Internet Communications for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign, and helped Democrats win control of the U.S. Senate in 2006 as the senior online strategist for Jon Tester's successful U.S. Senate campaign in Montana. Highly regarded as an online strategist, he has consulted for a wide range of global NGOS, advocacy organizations, and companies, and has been profiled in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and Fast Company.
Mathew holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Montana, Missoula, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he graduated with Highest Honors in Creative Writing. His writing has appeared in Salon, The Utne Reader, the Huffington Post, and Grist, among other outlets.
He is the author (with wife Mel Gilles) of The Last Myth: What the Rise of Apocalyptic Thinking Tells Us About America (2012) and the editor of the anthology The Glen Canyon Reader (2003). He lives in Moab, Utah.