ALEX VAN WINKLE
Alex has over 27 years of ad agency and client experience. He started his career in the CPG world at the W.F. Young Company in Springfield, MA. From there, he moved on to join the marketing management team of Gruner & Jahr in New York. After several years on the client side, he returned to advertising in his home town of Atlanta to start his career with Van Winkle + Associates. His strong strategic background and passion for delivering added value to a client’s marketing spend has built a solid portfolio of brand experience including, Famous Amos Cookies, Alpo Dog Food, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Summit Industries, Off Broadway Shoes and many more. He has launched over 25 products into the CPG, retail, and service industries. He is a true leader in the marketing community and has been awarded the honor of leading The Atlanta Ad Club as president for two terms.
Kesha has more than 15 years of experience in client services, project management, advertising and marketing communications. She has successfully managed integrated marketing and advertising campaigns for national and local brands resulting in increased brand awareness for brands such as Community Loans of America, Cox Communications, Grady Health System, UPS and many others. Kesha has a BBA in Marketing from Mercer University and an MBA from University of Phoenix.
Charleston, SC, born and raised, Richard first came to Atlanta to attend AIU, where he obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. After graduating, Richard continued to hone his art direction and design skills at several leading agencies in the Atlanta area including Wolf Group, Hot Head Studios and most recently UTOKA, where he served as Creative Director and oversaw creative teams working on well known brands including Coke, AT&T, Ford and Hyatt. Richard also has a wealth of experience in retail advertising with AMC, Kroger, Publix, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and others on game-changing programs that continue to drive business for these brands. Richard plays a key role within VWA as creative lead on all current clients as well as continuing to build the agency’s growing design & production arts services division.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
With 12 years of accounting, tax and consulting experience, it’s clear Ryan likes to crunch numbers. Prior to joining the agency, Ryan was the Assistant Controller of a large civil litigation law firm. In 2011, he took the jump to advertising and hasn’t looked back since. While Ryan has the least creative role, he does enjoy managing the day-to-day operations, human resources and finance functions of the agency. In his spare time, he can be found reading geeky finance journals, drinking good scotch or playing tennis - not all at the same time of course. Ryan has a BBA in Accounting from Oglethorpe University and is currently pursuing an Executive MBA in Global Business at Georgia Tech.
Debbie’s media career started and spanned more than two decades in New York. She worked on many well recognized brands such as Mennen, Hanes, Nestle’s Deer Park Water, and Van Cleef and Arpels. Debbie also worked on the client side for Lehman Brothers’ in-house agency. Moving to Atlanta, Debbie became General Motors Southeast Regional Manager, overseeing five GM buying offices. She has been Media Director on the VWA team since 2006. Debbie has a B.A. in History from New York University.
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY
His depth of knowledge encompasses a wide range of digital strategy and online brand management, including search engine optimization and paid search campaigns, social networking, web analytics and strategic web development. Christian has functioned as the Digital Strategy lead for the UGA Terry College and the UGA Center for Continuing Education. Christian holds a Marketing degree from the University of South Carolina, and regularly participates in industry presentations on search marketing, social media, and data analytics.
DIRECTOR OF ANALYTICS
Bud’s love for data and analytics is only exceeded by his passion to help others understand the power of their meaning and implications. With an M.S. in Applied Statistics from Bowling Green and an MBA from Georgia Tech, he is uniquely qualified to do just that. Combining his technical expertise with his business strategy acumen, he has spent over 20 years helping clients navigate difficult decisions by leveraging the appropriate research and analytics required to succeed.
STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Brad is a strategic partner of VWA, providing our clients with consulting services in the areas of brand strategy and positioning, marketing strategies and integrated marketing campaign development.
Brad recently retired from the Coca-Cola Company after serving 24 years in various sales and marketing leadership positions. Most recently he served as Vice President of Sales & Marketing, National Accounts in the Foodservice and On-Premise Division where he led cross-functional teams to deliver over $500 million in revenue from existing national account customers, as well as secured new business in the foodservice, travel, healthcare, and specialty retail sectors. Earlier in his Coca-Cola career he served as Vice President of Customer Marketing where he led a team of marketers to consult top 100 customers in the areas of brand strategy and positioning, marketing strategies, and integrated marketing campaign development. Before Coca-Cola, Brad gained extensive brand management and marketing experience at Pizza Hut, Inc. as well as advertising agency account management experience at Bozell.
Brad earned his M.B.A. while working full-time at The Coca-Cola Company. He earlier earned a bachelor's degree in Advertising from The University of Georgia and served as President of the Advertising Club and led the UGA Student Advertising Campaign Competition team to a national championship.