Change begins with the right people.
Our Fearless Leaders
Chairman + Chief Creative Officer
Former Wall Street Journal reporter turned marketer... led original "truth" antismoking effort... idea person and copywriter... frequent speaker across the globe on social marketing... lots of creative awards (Silver Anvil, Emmy, Gold Davey, etc.)... terrible dresser... met wife on plane to Amsterdam
April Salter, APR, CPRC
President + Chief Operating Officer
Counselor to top public officials and corporate leaders... former communications director under Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles... has alphabet soup of credentials (APR, CPRC)... native of the Conch Republic (Key West)... campaigned to save libraries and rhinos from extinction... sold rhino poop on eBay.
Devoted to making complex information simple ... her creative ideas have led to happier marriages and prevented the pollution of Tampa Bay ... loves trains ... wants to be on The Amazing Race ... likes her design like she likes her house: clean ... has a dog that is blind in one eye ... started career as a photographer
Vice President + Behavior Change Marketing
Spent 10 years in traffic safety... pushed initiatives for tweens and teens... global speaker and trainer on behavior-change marketing... data driven... led campaigns on clean water, health, sex education... vegetarian... met husband at punk show... plans to be rock star in next life
Economist turned pollster turned social-marketing researcher... would call himself a "data anthropologist" if he knew what it meant... diverse range of assignments spans from promoting Las Vegas tourism to preventing youth suicide... interests include behavioral economics, complexity science and South Park... takes jujitsu as an excuse to wear pajamas in public
Heidi Otway, APR, CPRC
Vice President + Public Relations & Social Media
Seasoned PR strategist... Social media influencer... attention-getter... former TV news producer... loves a wild pitch... has the creds (APR, CPRC) ... forged campaigns to help households get out of debt and to sign up tens of thousands of kids for health insurance... don't mess with her softball game... loves coffee
Digital Director + CTO
From full stack web frameworks to rocket launches, Alex knows the ropes of website development and software engineering. While he is a rocket scientist at heart, web development is his true passion. He's grown an appetite for challenging problem solving and leadership and is driven to learn the latest and greatest technologies. A good day for him is a day full of head scratching and tinkering.
Behavior-change marketing strategist and word nut... has headed up some of our most talked-about campaigns... likes leading workshops on social marketing... former reporter and editor... specializes in teen safety, health, and the environment... known to Sharpie in missing apostrophes on signs... with three teens at home, is always willing to work late
Director of Administrative Services
Finance and admin whiz who keeps Salter>Mitchell on track and on budget... former account technician with the U.S. Attorney's Office... has master's degree in mass communication theory and research (emphasis in corporate marketing)... eclectic taste in music... feng shui-ed her office
Chris Mantzanas, Quiet but Forceful Creative Leader
Chris Mantzanas is a quiet but forceful creative leader in our Tallahassee office, an art director with a decade and a half of design experience and a whiz-bang website designer who led the effort to design this very website. The problem is he doesn't look like an art director.
He doesn't wear Chucks or graphic tees. No black-rimmed glasses or leather laptop satchel. He prefers Hank Williams Jr. and Jimmy Buffet to indie I-knew-them-before-they-were-cool bands. And he's into hunting, fishing and college football. Yes, that's right. Our art director kills animals. Then he eats them.
The problem is he's so damn good at what he does. I mean one quick look and you say "I bet this was done by a leather-satchel-wearing, indie-music-listening art director with black-rimmed glasses who only buys clothes at Urban Outfitters." But you're wrong.
We sat down with Chris to find out why he is not a building contractor or a country music star, and whether he prefers Miller High Life or Coors. We started with a trick question.
Q: Why are you not a building contractor or country music star?
A: I am a building contractor in my spare time, building out the basement in my house. Framing, electrical, hanging dry wall, trim, paint. Putting in theater-style seating and a big screen.
Q: I'm sorry, theater what?
A: Let me make it simple for you. Two words: Man cave.
Q: So you actually hunt?
A: Shot doves Saturday.
Q: And that means you have a gun?
Q: And that means you could have a gun on you right now.
A: Any more questions?
Q: Um. Let's switch to fishing. You like to fish, right? What do you like about fishing?
A: You never know what you're going to catch. I've caught nothing one day, twenty red fish another. I caught an 8-foot shark once. It's so peaceful and so nice. It's about being outside.
Q: You have a 6-year-old son. Does your son like fishing?
A: He likes the snacks. And yeah, he likes getting out on the water. I mean, who doesn't? You're inside all day, working on a computer, staring at a screen. It's great to get outdoors. You get to see stuff like www.youtube.com/FLWildlifeCorridor.
Q: Wait a minute. This is an interview. It's supposed to read like you're talking. You can't just throw out a URL like that. Are you trying to get us to look at your work?
A: You mean like www.findthefunnow.com ,www.makemeafirefighter.org and www.floridawildlifecorridor.org.
Q: Okay, that's enough. This interview is over!
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Phil Powers, Enforcer
We work with a lot of different organizations -- other companies, governments, nonprofits and foundations -- and you know what they all have in common? They all like the accounting and contractual stuff in perfect order. Clients want clear and accurate invoices. Vendors want timely payments. We understand. We're the same way. We really, really, really enjoy getting paid.
That's where Phil Powers comes in. His title is modest -- financial analyst -- but his impact is vast. He's the behind-the-scenes guy who processes the paychecks, tracks reimbursements, keeps invoices moving, and plugs our every accounting maneuver into our fancy government-approved accounting system. He's so efficient, so calm and so competent, you might even forget how important he is.
Until you don't get your timesheet in on time. Phil does not like late timesheets.
That's when you remember that Phil is a 6-foot 3-inch 250-pound former offensive lineman with the ability to (not just figuratively) twist your arm. Nothing motivates like a terse email from Phil. Those behind quickly catch up. The pieces move into place and all the systems run on time.
We sat down with Phil to better understand what makes someone so obsessed with timesheets tick.
Q: Given your focus on timesheets, I'd like to ask about rapper Flava Flav. I hear he's quite a fan of clocks, watches, and general timeliness.
A: You want me to tell you about Flava Flav? Really?
Q: Maybe if you could just answer like Mr. Flav. He's a celebrity and people love reading about celebrities. Maybe you can bust out a rhyme, a rhyme about time. I'll provide the beat-boxed background!
Q: Puh pa chuh, puh puh pa chuh
A: So it's my time to rhyme?
Q: Puh pa chuh, puh puh pa chuh
A: How about you give me a chime, when you finish on time.
Q: Puh pa chuh, puh puh pa chuh
A: If not, I'll consider that a crime and I'll squeeze you like a lime.
Q: You would, wouldn't you? Well, let me ask you this, what kind of things do you do off the clock?
A: I unwind by using the sun to tell time. Are we still rhyming? Really, I like to spend my time outdoors. (racing, sports, barbequing, etc.)
Q: Racing, sports, and barbequing?! Those all sound riveting and mildly dangerous (especially barbequing) Are you sure you're a bookkeeper?
A: Well racing involves clicking off fast lap times, sports have rules and regulations, and in barbequing you have to turn the food in on schedule. So, I guess I really am a bookkeeper.
Q: Any creative insults for colleagues who don't turn in their timesheets?
A: Well, I would never insult my fellow colleagues. I just trick them with misleading email titles reminding them to finish their timesheets.
Q: But you've never done anything like that to me, right?
A: Yea sure, whatever you say.
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Lisa Cline, Writing Wrongs
Lisa Cline is an old school advertising copywriter whose first paid gig was naming nail polish colors in the Big Apple. Her early years also included writing ads for (gasp) cigarettes and high-interest credit cards targeted to college kids - not at all what she had "signed up for." A few agency hops followed.
She comes to us from Boston, where she was an Associate Creative Director at Hill Holiday writing print, radio, TV, direct mail and annual reports for banks, retail stores and telecom companies. As a middle child, she's always been adept at listening to all points of view and synthesizing diverse ideas into one distinct message, such as, "Shut up. I can't hear myself think."
At Salter Mitchell, Lisa eagerly uses her copy power for good, selling rain barrels for EPA, child safety for Safe Kids Worldwide, clinical trials for NIH and physical activity for various anti-obesity initiatives. She also wrote most of the copy for this website.
So we asked her: Hey Lisa, could you take a moment and interview Lisa?
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
A: I won a poetry award in about 8th grade. The poem was the culmination of lots of pubescent angst. I think the judges just felt sorry for me.
Q: Best job ever?
A: This one, of course.
Q: Okay. Second best job?
A: I worked at the New Yorker summers during college. I wore a lot of black those summers. And sharpened a lot of people's pencils.
Q: Worst job ever?
A: That's a toss up. Trimming raw chicken. Working in a bridal shop.
Q: Favorite recent project?
A: Safe Kids. We spread the word about hyperthermia (fancy word for heat stroke) and how it only takes minutes for a child left alone in a car to be in serious, fatal danger. I honestly feel like the posters we've done for daycare facilities are making a difference. Deaths were down this year. Parents need to know about this, and they don't.
Q: Do you read as much as you write?
A: My son and I are reading all about NASCAR at the moment. Did you know that stock cars don't have real headlights? They're just big stickers.
Q: How did writing commercials for Marshalls help you land a job at Salter Mitchell?
A: I'm sure my ability to confidently mix patterns didn't go unnoticed.
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Meisha Thigpen, E = Meisha²
One day she decided she wanted a job here. A few months later, she had it. She quickly blossomed into a talented copywriter while simultaneously managing high-profile work for clients like the EPA, CDC, and Safe Kids USA. Just to keep things interesting, Meisha also became a SEM aficionado, getting certified in Search Engine Marketing so she could add new energy to our online buying work. Plus she's funny. Plus she's nice. Plus she has a pretty awesome fro.
To be honest, it won't be long before she runs this place. We all want to get in her good graces as quickly as possible.
We sat down with Meisha to see how she does it and to ask if her master plan involves world domination.
Q: Meisha, can we ask you a few questions?
A: Can you keep them to 2.3189 seconds each? My hands are pretty full today!
Q: How do you do so much stuff (copywriting, coordinating, SEM buys) all at one time?
A: Smart phone. Caffeine. Repeat. Next question?
Q: How did you first get interested in Salter>Mitchell?
A: The year was 2007, my first year of college, and the first time I'd heard of "behavior change marketing." I checked a Philip Kotler textbook out of the library to read for fun (don't you judge me), and I found the Save the Crabs campaign. It was love at first sight.
Q: How did you get your job here so quickly?
A. While some might call it stalking (I refer to it as "Let's see how many times I can email and call them before they call the police.") So I did just that... once, twice, 500 times... who's really counting anyway?
Q: What makes working at Salter>Mitchell fun?
A: Is it bad that I'm torn between the people and our wine rack? I think the right answer is the people... let's go with that.
Q: What's been your favorite project?
A: That's like asking a mother to choose a favorite child!
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A. I'm sorry I'm not familiar with that term. Can you use it in a sentence?
Q: How much longer until you are my boss?
A: You seem to have a few more good years in you... we'll see how things go.
Q: What is the question I should be asking but haven't yet?
A: How can I grow a fro like yours? I really thought that was the theme of this whole interview!
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Zack Boileau, Most Valuable Researcher
Talk to Zack Boileau for 3 minutes and you'll like hear about one of two things: consumer research or his passion for horrible, really bad, kinda sucky Philadelphia sports.
When you think about it, Zack has no reason to love horrible, really bad, kinda sucky Philadelphia sports. He grew up in West Virginia, studied Journalism in Ohio, and moved to D.C. where he initially worked in corporate research and PR for 6 years. During this time, he honed his skills in turning hard numbers and facts into key insights for clients, managing projects for large and small businesses alike. He also honed his skills at yelling obscenities at his TV. This is, of course, because he loves horrible, really bad, kinda sucky Philadelphia sports.
Now that Zack has joined the world of behavior change marketing, he uses his research and project management skills to help organizations like Safe Kids Worldwide and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services motivate people to live safer, healthier lives. Despite the career change, Zack has been unable to change his own behavior by choosing a few new sports teams... perhaps those of the winning variety. We sat down with Zack to learn more about his research chops and more importantly, find out why on earth he loves Philly sports.
Q: So I see you're wearing an Eagles jersey. And a Phillies hat. And a 76ers wristband. Please tell me you don't have a Flyers logo tattooed across your back.
A: Of course not. It's on my chest. I like to face my shame daily.
Q: But you're not even from Philly. Why do you support so many teams that don't win big? Do they give you free beers?
A: My dad is from Philly. He taught me to boo while I was in diapers. So I guess like many horrible illnesses, Philly fandom is genetic.
Q: Sounds like you'd be the perfect research subject for a study on illogical fan loyalty. How'd you end up in the research world anyway?
A: My first love in undergrad was Sociology, but I couldn't give up the time it would take to finish a doctorate and dissertation, so I got a 9-to-5 at a PR vendor. Once that job sucked enough of my soul away, I went to grad school and figured out that consumer research was the perfect match for my interests.
Q: And if there was an annual Research Bowl, what would make you win MVP?
A: The greatest players make their entire teams better by making life easier. I try to empathize with everybody (clients, bosses, co-workers, vendors, even Cowboys fans) to figure out how we connect and how I can help make their job easier. I've found that this approach helps projects and relationships run smoother and happier. It also happens to be the essence of consumer research: seeing the world through other people's eyes.
Q: But you're not a total couch potato; you're also an athlete in your own right. I hope your idea of an athlete isn't being the Phillies mascot.
A: I don't know how you land that gig, but it's probably the best job in Philadelphia sports: little to no risk of being boo'd. I played soccer year-round through high school so I have pretty good endurance. I ride my bike a lot and run, which are both pretty boring. Thank god for podcasts and Tough Mudders.
Q: Supposedly you're getting married next year. I'm guessing you've already rented out the Eagles stadium for the big day?
A: Not a chance. I'd like this marriage to succeed.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Philly fans have a horrible, mostly deserved, reputation. Everybody likes to point to Eagles fans throwing snowballs at Santa Claus (actually happened) as the ultimate example of their bad behavior, but that Santa was drunk and ruining halftime.
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Meghan Sansivero, First Place Finisher
We're not sure if it's the fact that she runs half marathons, for fun, or if it's her "get it done", New Yorker attitude, but one thing's for sure, Meghan Sansivero frightens us. She gets stuff done. You want her take on Coca Cola's lineup of sugary drinks. No problem -- she'll reduce consumption well beyond a like-community's average. You want trees planted? She'll invent popular events called tree-ups to rally those without a green thumb to go green nevertheless. And don't even get us started on her oral health work or her policy work with CDC. Just take it from us, please, please, please floss before you meet her.
We couldn't catch her at a dull moment so we decided to learn more about Meghan during a lap around the office (her idea, not ours).
Q: So you've done mud runs, half-marathons, and mid-day office laps. What's the next athletic feat you're looking to conquer?
A: I'd like to try trail running. I love hiking and being in the woods. I can barely keep myself interested in running on the street. Don't even get me started on treadmills.
Q: And are you into this stuff because of your love of public health? There are less-intense ways to practice what you preach you know.
A: I think my love for intense athleticism preceded my love for public health. It's less about the long-term outcomes for me than it is about the immediate payoff of working hard then feeling great: mentally and physically. No one wants to listen to me preach, and I'm not here to judge people for doing or not doing what public health tells them they should. I would rather present someone with a new perspective on an old idea, create a new service that makes it easier to do the behavior, or put a fun twist on an activity that used to be unappealing. Behavior change marketing recognizes that and I guess that's why I am here.
Q: And what about research, what's the pull there? My guess would be the awesome focus group food?
A: I know I talk about food a lot and my last name is extremely Italian, but no. The granola bars don't get me as much as the incredibly interesting things that people say. Talking to people about themselves can be fascinating. The best thing about research is finding out your original hypothesis was totally off base. I love it! Without research, you run the risk of developing an entire program based on false assumptions.
Q: Speaking of food, word at the water cooler is that you love to cook. What's your favorite dish?
A: Which meal? Which course? This is too hard. Bagels, risotto, figs, cheese, anything dark chocolate. Not in that order.
Q: Are these all foods you New Yorkers love?
A: New Yorkers of Italian decent (note: the ginger-ness comes from my Irish half)? Yes. This was standard fare growing up in Albany.
Q: What's one final, crazy thing we don't know about you?
A: I am a wicked hula hooper.