With over 20 years in marketing, Katie Schibler Conn gained experience working for agencies from the east to the west coast including TracyLocke in New York and PlayStation in San Francisco before settling back in Rhode Island and founding KSA Marketing + Partnerships. She’s taken her experiences in the corporate world and cultural experiences through her travels to create a company that encompasses her passions and business perspectives. In 2018 Katie was accepted into the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.
As Chief-Operating-Officer, Laurie Lewis is the gatekeeper of the KSA “Kave.” With years of experience in business, she is versatile and detail oriented. Her interpersonal, planning and problem- solving skills shine through in every project she touches. Lewis wears many hats including: operations, account and sponsorships lead, as well as management, but excels in all areas.
Though Susan Rentz works remotely from Raleigh, North Carolina, that doesn’t make her any less part of the team. Working on new business development and the administrative side, Rentz also helps out with proofreading and operations. With her background in client services, project management and media, she provides a broad-range of organizational expertise.
With a degree in journalism and minor in film and media, Melanie Roberts brings her passion for writing and creative skills to the forefront of her work as Media Relations manager. She focuses on creating social media content plans, writing blog posts, PR and building relationships, which she applies internally and externally for clients.
The newest addition to Team KSA, Allison Lindgren works on the global client team. Organization and attention to detail is her forte. Her work involves helping to create global toolkits for Pepsi, 7up and Lay’s campaigns, and reviewing all local submissions that include images of the talent represented. She also works on talent management to approve new designs and ideas. These images include packaging, point of sale, food service cups, out of home ads, key visuals, and any merchandise and giveaways. Lindgren’s ability to notice small details and everyday continuities, makes her an asset.
As a full-service marketing agency, KSA MARKETING + PARTNERSHIPS works with small, medium, and large clients that need messaging and marketing across all channels.
It all began back in 2010 when Katie Schibler Conn left her dream job at PlayStation, and traded her Blackberry for a backpack. “It was a life-changing, 15-month journey through Southeast Asia and South America,” Katie says. Within 48 hours of landing at T.F. Green Airport, Katie founded the KSA agency from her kitchen table after a call from Pepsi. “They called asking for help on a project. The rest is history.”
Since then, the creative agency has grown into a seven-person team of “marketing heroes,” each bringing their own skill set and market knowledge that continues to shape who KSA is and what the boutique firm can do. “We treat our client relationships as partnerships,” Katie says. “We collaborate and work together to connect the dots of their marketing needs from online to offline. I’ve built a team that can efficiently work with clients both locally and globally.”
KSA works with clients to create integrated marketing content -- connecting the dots of marketing communication through advertising, public relations, social media, sales promotion, and direct marketing. “This allows consumers to interact with a brand seamlessly,” Katie explains.
You might think the initials KSA represent the founder’s initials, but rumor has it that KSA stands for Kick Some Ass Marketing. “We don’t deny it,” says Katie with a laugh. “Our passion and superhero mentality drive us, and we pride ourselves on our quick action in helping clients when they call us in a panic with an “oh shit” moment. We are always ready to come to the rescue.”
The team takes enormous pride in their continued success, especially their work with local non-profits like Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), LIFEcycle, National GRACE Foundation, and Find Your Bold through BoldrDash Race. “We want to support environmentally- friendly companies that are trying to do good,” Katie says, adding that the team is committed to fostering meaningful community change. “Our goal this year is to create more partnerships that matter.”
Meet The KSA Team’s Leading Lady Clients
“We tip our hats to fellow trailblazers,” Katie says.” That’s why we are honored to work closely with these fellow four leading ladies, who have triumphed in typically male-dominated fields.” While all of ladies work with KSA for their branding and marketing needs, they are more than just clients, they are partners, and Team KSA is deeply committed to their success.
Passionate for helping people reach their goals, Lynn Hall founded BOLDRDASH in 2010. The obstacle course event series is designed for people of all abilities, and allows participants to test their strength and compete from beginner to elite. The event President is also the founder of FIND YOUR BOLD, a non-profit that encourages all to overcome their personal limitations in life via physical activities in a supportive atmosphere.
“I love working with people on achieving goals they never thought were possible,” Lynn says. “At the end of the day, that is what BoldrDash is all about.”
Carol Gaeta & Lois Ellis
Sisters Carol Gaeta and Lois Ellis, the faces behind SCIALO BROS. BAKERY, grew up in the iconic bakery their father established in 1916. Different career paths, as well as the passing of their parents, led the sisters to take over the beloved bakery in 1993.
The bakery’s interior – styled in its original Art Deco design – is a celebrated landmark on Federal Hill. Throughout the years, Carol and Lois have preserved the original recipes of their famed goods, as well as introduced new products. Carol and Lois offer customers kitchen tours, and demonstrate how all their products are made on-site in large brick ovens, using old world baking techniques. Known for their delicious variety of pastries and desserts, the bakery also has an extensive decorating department that creates custom wedding, birthday, and special occasion cakes.
Shannon Brawley, trained as a landscape architect and geographer, is proud to serve as the Executive Director of the RHODE ISLAND NURSERY & LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION. Shannon brings together diverse interests to create and grow initiatives for progress at the national, state, and local levels.
Currently, she is facilitating the collaboration of a first in the nation multi-employer Registered Apprenticeship program for the agriculture and plant- based industry. With a goal of workforce development, the program aims to raise the sophistication of “green collar” jobs in horticulture, environmental, agriculture, and landscape - to name just a few. “I hope to inspire young people to consider a future in these careers,” Shannon says. One of her goals is to engage young people to better understand there are meaningful and well- paying careers in the industry, especially as RI begins to design solutions to mitigate climate change and food insecurity.
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