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Meet CWMC

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Chris Wright

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CWMC founder and owner Chris Wright has more than 32 years experience in the field of marketing communications. As a marketing communications consultant, writer and senior editor, she has served a wide variety of clients in the fields of technology, telecommunications, business and health care. Her forte is applying analytical thinking to the task of helping organizations identify their strengths, translate those strengths into customer-focused solutions and position themselves for success in the marketplace. And as a senior writer/editor, she has literally done it all — many times over — from designing overall site structure and navigation and developing copy for complex web sites to managing the theme, positioning and copy development for major international product launches and writing white papers, thought leadership executive briefs, brochures, fact sheets, customer briefs, presentation scripts and journal articles. Prior to establishing herself as an independent writer and marketing communications consultant in 1976, she spent five years as a feature writer at the Tampa Tribune. and then served as Communications Director for University Community Hospital in Tampa.

Chris began a long-term relationship with IBM in 1982 with a freelance writing assignment for the IBM Information Network, a startup business unit located in Tampa. That assignment grew into a strategic association with this group, which evolved over time to become the IBM e-business hosting organization. For many years she provided the majority of the marketing communications writing for this organization, both as a direct supplier to IBM and through affiliation with several IBM agencies of record. By 2001 — thanks largely to referrals from IBMers who had advanced into other positions — Chris was getting more requests for writing services than she could handle on her own, and CWMC was born. By growing slowly and inviting only seasoned and knowledgeable writers to join her creative circle as they became available and demand for content services warranted, Chris has built a thriving, well respected agency.

Chris lives with her family in Tampa, just a few miles from the barn where she visits her horse, Winni, for early-morning rides whenever her schedule allows.
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Wendy Matthews

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Wendy has been writing marketing communications and advertising copy for close to 25 years, both independently and as a freelancer for several major ad agencies, mostly in New York City. In the mid-eighties, she worked on the original Charlie Chaplin IBM PC campaign and has been involved with IBM ever since — in capacities that range from creating an IBM editorial style guide to helping launch the ThinkPad and the PS/2.

While Wendy’s specialty is technology (in addition to IBM, clients include Gartner, Compaq and Rockwell Automation), she has also written for clients as varied as Marvel Comics, Estee Lauder and Save the Children. Other specialties include finance (American Express, MasterCard International and Citicorp) and healthcare. Along with years of copywriting experience, Wendy has worked extensively as a copy editor and copy chief on print, TV and radio advertising, as well as collateral, web copy, direct mail, multimedia, packaging, press releases, scriptwriting and magazine articles. She currently serves as lead writer for one of IBM’s focused sales programs, writing, editing, managing client communications, and managing three other writers who work on the account.

Her home is in Bethel, Connecticut, but she has literally travelled the world — from Cuba to Zanzibar, and many places in between. Wendy also plays ukulele with a band called the Edukated Fleas.
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Caryn Russ

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Caryn took an unconventional path to a writing career. At the University of Pennsylvania, she earned bachelors degrees in psychology and elementary education, and a masters in reading education. But she has spent the bulk of her professional career turning complex technical ideas into understandable narratives. Her success is built on nearly 30 years supporting the changing communications needs of technology companies.

Entering the job market at the start of the PC boom, Caryn parlayed her early successes as an editor for a children’s book publisher and as a print shop copywriter into a new field called technical writing. For two years, she produced user documentation, training materials and video scripts for the banking industry. She spent the next 11 years at GTE Data Services. In 1995, Caryn left GTE (now Verizon) and begin her career as a freelancer. And since 2001, she has worked solely for CWMC, developing a wide array of IBM collateral. She has distinguished herself writing numerous executive-level white papers and developing point-of-view presentations on a broad array of topics.

She spends her downtime landscaping, cooking and idea-hunting for the next great travel excursion or DIY design project. A New York-native, she currently resides in Tampa, where she has raised three children, two dogs and a husband.
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Jaki Suter

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With over 30 years of experience in virtually every facet of communications – from print and interactive advertising, direct marketing and white papers to sales promotion, corporate communications and social media – Jaki has handled strategic development, creative direction, copywriting, research and project management. She’s been the writer and /or creative director on projects for IBM , Intuit, InsightExpress, Information Builders, ACT Software, BellSouth, Gartner, MetLife, Pfizer, The Hartford, Fleet Bank, McGraw-Hill, Cadbury Schweppe’s, Guinness, Haagen-Dazs, and British Airways, developing award-winning work in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer arenas.

Jaki has worked with CWMC owner Christopher Wright in a variety of capacities since they first shared responsibilities on a project for IBM PCs in 1993. One of her longest-running projects with CWMC for IBM involved building and managing an online community designed to help IBM sellers launch and build successful relationships with C-level clients around the world. In that role, she developed strategy, produced and directed the production of content for the community — including email communications, seller tool kits, a biweekly newsletter, and a highly popular webinar series. Over the course of four years, she played a key role in growing the membership of the community (and the corresponding audience for C-suite-related sales enablement materials) from 900 to over 11,000.

Jaki’s career has included stints as: senior vice president, group creative director at Brann Worldwide (Euro RSCG); president of Suter Group Marketing and Communications; associate creative director, Bell & Partners; and marketing manager, Survey Sampling (marketing research). She holds a BA in journalism from Rutgers University and an MA in public policy from George Washington University. Jaki lives in Westport, Connecticut — along with a number of famous people, most of whom she neither recognizes at the supermarket nor knows personally
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Gina Morabito

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Gina joined CWMC in 2003 to support one of IBM’s education teams. Since then, she put her 20 years of experience in training development to good use, helping to make it easier for thousands of IBMers to do a better job — no matter what that job might be.

Before coming to CWMC, Gina held various IT positions in both the banking and telecommunications industries. She is a trainer and business analyst who believes that the same skills are required to be successful at both. That’s why she’s the go-to person when our clients need help communicating complex information and ideas in a way that’s simple, straightforward and enables people to do their jobs.

The constant thread in Gina’s diverse background is good timing — being there on the ground floor as departments and companies kicked off new processes and ideas. When Computhrift first began check processing, she was part of the team automating statements and balancing with the Federal Reserve Bank. When computer-based training was new at Citicorp Global Payment Products, Gina supported the training team and the company by creating two award-winning courses that were instrumental in delivering training on a division-wide system conversion. At Z-Tel, she independently researched order processing regulations and established the service request process. She has worked in many start-ups and has the analytical abilities and commitment to support debugging a new process and developing it into an efficient and profitable process. Gina calls St. Petersberg, Florida home.
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Mary Ellen Moore

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Mary Ellen has nearly 40 years experience in writing and marketing activities. As a CWMC writer since 2003, she has prepared sales enablement packages for numerous products and services; internal and external presentations; case studies and success stories; web pages; catalogs; data and solution sheets; podcasts; and a variety of other collateral designed to enable IBM sales teams within different business units.

Prior to joining CWMC, she was marketing director for The Technical Resource Connection (TRC), a technology consulting firm and subsidiary of Perot Systems Corporation, for eight years. Her work there included planning, budgeting and executing internal and external marketing activities, graphics, public and media relations, lead generation, direct mail and other marketing-relevant activities. She also directed recruiting and image advertising campaigns and media buying; coordinated conference trade shows, exhibits and speaking engagements; and planned, wrote, edited, designed, and produced all external graphics needs. As if that didn’t keep her busy enough, she also coordinated community relations efforts and wrote and edited technical documentation, including proposals, white papers, and architectural documents. Before that, Mary Ellen was partner/vice president and co-owner of McShane & Moore Communications, an advertising and marketing agency in Tampa. With the majority of her client base comprised of technology organizations, she handled a variety of needs for national and local clients, including Ascom/Timeplex, General Telephone Operations/GTE South, GTE Data Services, Walter Industries, IBM/Advantis, Tech Data, Time Warner Cable, CH2M HILL, City of Tampa, RISCORP, The Associated Press, Memorial Hospital of Tampa, Esteem International, The Technical Resource Connection, and others.

Mary Ellen began her career as a newspaper and magazine journalist. She was also a syndicated music columnist and has authored numerous books. Amazingly, she still finds time to leave her desk — to work as a part-time personal trainer and occasional marathon runner.
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Nikki Medinger

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Nikki is an experienced marketing communications professional with a sharp eye for details and an impressive aptitude for planning, creating and bringing new concepts to life. She has 20+ years of experience with IBM, where she has worked as a member of cross-functional teams, in a variety of roles, including: website management; writing newsletters, speeches, and copy for electronic and print media; graphic design; marketing campaign project management; event planning and sales education delivery.

She began working with CWMC on the IBM account in 2009, after leaving the company as an employee. A resident of San Antonio, Texas, Nikki has also worked with Panama Vacation Quarters, Advantis, TechData, Chambers of Commerce, and Adams Atomic Engines.
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Sarah Lightfoot

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Always ready for a new challenge, Sarah has written across industries and media for major B2B and consumer brands at New York agencies. After earning a B.A. in English at Yale, she began her copywriting career with catalogs and magazine and newspaper ads for IBM’s consumer and small business products. While at EuroRSCG 4D, she created interactive experiences for diehard Guinness beer fans and sold mortgages and credit cards for Fleet Bank and Canadian Tire Financial Services. At Wunderman, Sarah engaged IT pros and developers with interactive campaigns and direct mail for Microsoft’s Server and Tools division. With her colleagues at Razorfish, Sarah launched the website for Garnier Nutritioniste skin care products, and in partnership with American Idol, they developed promotions for Garnier’s hair care line. Her Razorfish clients also included Maybelline, EMC, XM Radio and All detergent. As associate creative director at DraftFCB, Sarah and her team put together educational and compelling direct mail packages for United Healthcare’s AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans. Sarah also wrote TV spots for pharmaceuticals and ads for Nivea skin care and Kraft Foods. Now Sarah’s back to writing for IBM—this time creating seller enablement and B2B communications for the company’s Global Technology Services group.

You’ll find her at the other end of Metro North’s New Haven line — in Bethany, Connecticut — along with her Indian Runner ducks, Cochin chickens and field-bred English Springer Spaniels.
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Letisha Leach

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Tish’s specialty is in writing collateral materials that focus IT solutions. She has written executive summaries, brochures, data sheets, press releases and client presentations. She has also created web content, scripts for video/online presentations, trade journal advertising copy and assisted with RFPs. With more than 20 years of experience in marketing communications, Tish is a pro at developing and executing the creative direction that best communicates her client’s message. What’s more, she’s equally skilled at getting buy-in for that direction with upper-level managers. Tish calls Atlanta home.
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Kate Larson

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Kate has been immersed in marketing since she was born. Her father was an advertising copywriter, and her first storyboard for a TV ad involved butterflies and pantyhose. She was six at the time.

After obtaining a degree in journalism/advertising from the University of Oklahoma and continuing her studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Kate went to work for Lowe & Partners, an Interpublic company. She continued her stint in general advertising at Davidoff & Partners. Making the transition to direct marketing, Kate worked at Ogilvy & Mather Direct (Ogilvy One) and BrannBlau (Euro RSCG) before going freelance in 2000. She has been associated with CWMC since 2006.

Kate has extensive experience in the technology and financial markets sectors — including 15+ years creating materials for IBM and Lotus Software. Her 25+ years of marketing experience also includes everything from brochures for the Venice-Simplon Orient Express to mini women’s magazines for Ziploc and Spray ‘n Wash.Kate Larson lives in Southwick, Massachusetts, with her husband and Tibetan terriers named Aidan and Gillian.
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Suzanne Douglas

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Suzanne has worked for more than 25 years as a writer, editor, researcher and project manager in the computer and telecommunications technology fields. Since 2005, she’s been providing editorial expertise and support to CWMC, writing and editing articles and white papers, creating presentations and marketing materials, and crafting web copy for IBM. From 1994 to2007 she was vice president and co-founder of NewsScan, an Internet publishing company producing a variety of daily and weekly customized news feeds and webzine under its own brand and on behalf of clients such as Arthur Andersen, the Association for Computer Machinery and Florida Blue Cross-Blue Shield. She also served as assistant vice president of Educom, a Washington, DC-based association of 600 colleges and universities committed to transforming education through information technology. And before all that, Suzanne was director of research and information for the Public Service Satellite Consortium, an alliance of 100 nonprofit institutions and organizations dedicated to satellite-delivered interactive video. While there, she directed studies and projects for organizations like Apple Computer, Comsat, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NASA, the National Association of Broadcasters and the U.S. Department of Education.

When she’s not at home in Asheville, NC, gardening and cooking, Suzanne is most likely on her way to or from yet another country on her long list of places to see and things to do.
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Lisa Currin

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Lisa began working with CWMC on the IBM IT Education Services (now IBM Training) account in 2004. She has been an integral part of this team ever since, with responsibility for creating, updating and managing a substantial amount of content and supervising other contributing writers. Among her larger projects: internal sales and client-focused presentations; updates and maintenance of marketing pages on ibm.com and IBM’s dedicates website for its business partners; strategy and execution for special promotions on internal and external websites; and maintenance of in-house repository of IBM Training content.

In more than 25 years as a professional writer and editor, Lisa has written extensively on a wide variety of topics, including change management, e-learning, child abuse, interpersonal relationships, technology and telecommunications. As a freelancer since 1987, she has worked for numerous clients, primarily writing internal and external communications for GTE Data Services (GTEDS) and GTE Information Services. She launched GTE’s first daily electronic newsletter, relying on then-primitive Internet technology to keep more than 5,000 employees up to date on company and industry news. Her GTE work laid the foundation for her extensive knowledge base in telecommunications technology. In early 1995 she took over editorial management of GTE’s four-color bi-monthly magazine, Telops News, first as an onsite employee, then as a freelancer. Lisa lives on Long Island.
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Laura Spinale

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Laura’s broad-reaching experience and award-winning expertise were gleaned from 20+ years spent as a professional writer and editor. During the course of her career, Laura has published thousands of magazine and newspaper articles, written copy for hundreds of advertising and marketing projects (print, radio and online) and published several books. Currently based in New York City, she began her professional life as a reporter, writing business and general-interest articles for periodicals ranging from The Philadelphia Inquirer to Forbes Newspapers. Her cross-media work as an advertising and marketing copywriter helped the Florida Commission on Tourism, AOL, Time Warner, McDonald’s, Dollar Rent-A-Car, MarineMax, Valpak and C.B. Richard Ellis. But wait — there’s more! Laura’s marketing experience extends to custom publishing. She has penned long articles translating complex subject matter into material easily understood by a readership ranging from professionals-in-their-fields to laymen. Clients included a variety of US government, and private entities such as the American College of Sports Medicine, Steinway & Sons and Rolls Royce.

Keep reading and you’ll learn that Laura has also published several books. Two of the most significant are The Smart Guide to Estate Planning (John Wiley & Sons, New York) and the children’s title Journey to Freedom: The Biography of Sojourner Truth (The Child’s World, Chanhassen, Minnesota).
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Kathy Gillis

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Kathy graduated from the prestigious College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida in 1968—just after the Gators’ Steve Spurrier won the Heisman trophy—and has been working as a communications professional ever since. As a senior copywriter at a leading regional advertising agency, she wrote and produced effective, results-oriented advertising for a broad range of clients including Tampa Electric, GTE and GTE Data Services, X-14, Publix Super Markets, Florida Federal Savings and Loan, McDonald’s, Verizon and Verizon Business, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, The Tampa Tribune, Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Tampa Museum of Art, Florida Orchestra, and numerous other corporate, retail, hospitality, and real estate accounts.

Kathy’s work has won numerous local, regional, and national awards, including a National Addy Award for a 30-second, network television spot. Most recently, Kathy has been specializing in thought leadership white papers and marketing materials for IBM—on a variety of topics including security analytics and intelligence, storage optimization, future planning, cloud computing, and innovations in outsourcing.

Kathy currently lives in suburban Central Florida, close enough to the beaches but far enough from the theme parks.
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Kellar Alpert

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Kellar has been CWMC’s resident art director and designer since 2009. Working with writers to align words and visuals, Kellar has created a variety of deliverables for IBM including Flash animation, web banners, PowerPoint presentations, interactive and print design. With over 10 years experience in the design field, Kellar has previously held creative posts for McShane Communications, WCI Communities, Inc. and ClearChannel Outdoor.

A graduate of University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and a concentration in photojournalism, she was born and raised in Tampa — where she still lives. But now her home is with her husband and son. When she’s not with them, Kellar can often be found riding her horse, Bella.

 

Yeah, we noticed that, too…

If you’ve just realized that our agency roster is devoid of males, congratulations—you’ve uncovered our not-so-secret little quirk. It’s not that we set out to create an all-female agency. In fact, it’s not something we even think about very much. It’s really just turned out this way. At least so far.
We’d be happy—thrilled, even—to have a member of the opposite sex join our team. So if you know of any great candidates of any gender, by all means, send them our way!