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President,
Brand Strategist

Kara Schwandner

With 20+ years of deep marketing and brand strategy experience, Kara collaborates with the agency’s leadership team to set the strategic vision for Orchard and the delivery of its offerings to best meet client’s business challenges in an ever-changing digital world. Kara’s focus is customer-centric. She believes in the power of making a 1:1 connection with audiences by understanding the customer and discovering the qualitative and data-driven insights that lead to effective communications and compelling website experiences.

Kara’s considerable experience includes a wide range of national fortune-500 brands such as Procter & Gamble Novartis Consumer Health and Microsoft Health Solutions. She has leveraged her considerable expertise to help consumer and business to business brands including premier senior living communities across the US to generate leads to grow their business.

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COO

Richard Walker

Richard began his career in production executing work with nationally recognized directors and photographers. During that time his right brain fought with his left brain and the left side won. With over 20+ year’s experience in agency operations, Richard has built and is dedicated to growing organizations rooted in a strong culture, diverse talent and the delivery of high-quality work. He is a visionary that leads client and agency teams alike in elevating the mindset of what’s possible and building toward solutions. As a Founding Partner of Orchard, Richards’s experience on national and global businesses has been paramount to the agency’s success and exponential growth rate.

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Partner,
Director of Data Analytics

Matt McKeown

Matt is a Founding Partner at Orchard, leading the agency’s technology and analytics practice in the strategic integration of platforms that connect marketing activities to business results. Matt and his team develop, implement and optimize structured measurement models that provide deeper knowledge and insights for smarter, data-driven marketing decisions. He is an evangelist for digital transformation, guiding brands toward a mindset shift and a focus on developing a data-driven culture. With a background in economics, his expertise is rooted in a deep understanding of business analysis that began during his time as a risk analyst at a national leading investment firm.

Matt’s experience includes performance analysis and insight development across consumer and business to business verticals including many fortune 500 companies and premier senior living communities across the US.

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Account Director

Pam McDonnough

With over 14 years experience in digital marketing—including a deep knowledge of search (SEO and PPC) and its key role in holistic marketing strategies—Pam oversees all aspects of account strategy. She’s passionate about utilizing data and knowledge of user behavior to develop unique, integrated marketing strategies that help clients meet their business objectives and goals. In addition to her expertise in senior living, Pam has worked with a wide range of clients across a variety of businesses including healthcare, e-commerce, and B2B.

What did you dream you would be when you grew up? A lawyer or a broadway star

Is there any one book, person, place or thing that has influenced you the most? I have been fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my life and career that have helped shape who I am. Overall, my family and the way they raised me to work hard, while never shutting down my curiosity, independence or drive even if they didn’t agree was so incredibly important to where I ended up.

What excites you about the agency business & marketing? I get to help people make smarter decisions that impact their business. No day is ever the same and I get to work in lots of different industries and utilize those learnings across disciplines.

Where did you grow up? A rural Iowa setting, that used to be a town called Lima. Think gravel road in the middle of nowhere, with my close neighbors being an old church and cemetery as the only remaining buildings of the past. Growing up I couldn’t wait to leave this setting, however I do appreciate the love of nature and the outdoors, respect for history, and my imagination that grew from this setting.

Do you have any passion projects outside of Orchard? I love to travel whenever possible! Also, the last year and a half has been filled with restoring our 1962 Mid-Century Modern house, which has been one big labor of love – a passion project that will continue for many years!

Describe your family (husband, dog, cat & bird….) My husband Grant and almost 3-year-old daughter Caitrin. Then there’s Murphy, our dopey but sweet Bernese Mountain Dog. As my daughter calls it – we like to “go on adventures” and are always keeping busy, whether that is travel, friend time, concerts, hiking, picnic’s, or stopping in our favorite brewery.

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Creative Director

Steve Stenken

Steve is an experienced creative leader with a history of building effective, multidimensional campaigns. His skill at identifying and teasing out relevant consumer and cultural insights drives compelling communication strategies. With a strong background in writing, Steve has extensive expertise in digital, social, and content strategy, integrated performance marketing, and traditional advertising. In addition to Steve’s expertise in senior living, his career spans over 25 years of creative guidance for clients as diverse as P&G, Comfort Keepers, Life Care Services, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Lexis-Nexis, IBM, Scotts, and Teradata.

As a kid growing up in Northern Kentucky, Steve fell in love with three things: sports, music, and the radio. Luckily, he was able to combine his interest in two of the three and parlay it into a decade-long career in broadcasting as an on-air personality and station program director. Eager to stretch his creative muscles, he left radio behind and entered the world of advertising and marketing, where he’s enjoyed creating multimedia campaigns and marketing assets for brands of all sizes for over 25 years. Steve lives in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati with his wife, four boys, and two dogs.

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Website & UX Strategist

Heather Shelton

Heather takes a user-first approach in overseeing the creation of high performing and engaging website experiences. With her deep expertise in understanding user needs and mapping those to business and brand offerings, she architects site experiences that are rich with design, relevant with content, and easy to navigate. Heather leads all website initiatives at the agency and has been at the helm in studying a depth of data in the senior living category to create the optimal senior living website experience; one that engages and drives inquiries.

What did you dream you would be when you grew up? I am fascinated with true-crime and wanted to be an investigator or lawyer when I was younger. While agency life is quite the opposite of that, there are similarities in the research, focus, and problem-solving required for both disciplines.

Is there any one book, person, place or thing that has influenced you the most? Raised in a Catholic family of seven, I am the second oldest of four brothers. Growing up with all boys definitely contributed to my competitive nature.

What excites you about the agency business & marketing? The fast-paced, thinking on your feet atmosphere excites me. Problem-solving paired with creative thinking are two of my favorite pastimes.

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Northern Kentucky. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school and UK for college where I studied Integrated Strategic Communications and Digital Media and Design.

Do you have any passion projects outside of Orchard? I love working on my craft and Cincinnati has a great UX community that is constantly hosting events and workshops led by SME that I always try to attend. In my free time, I enjoy organizing, working out, playing all and any sports (especially soccer) and running while listening to true-crime podcasts.

Describe your family (husband, dog, cat & bird….) My fiancé is an English teacher and basketball coach at Beechwood High School. It’s amazing to see the passion he has for his job and gives me such a respect for teachers.

Any special awards or recognitions? I am the proud recipient of the “Most Likely to Rule the World” award presented at the 2018 Orchard Christmas party.

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Senior Account Manager

Samantha Schmidt

What did you dream you would be when you grew up? A teacher (which I was).

Is there any one book, person, place or thing that has influenced you the most? I was most influenced by my time living on a Native American Reservation. It changed the way I seek peace in the world. By living simply and giving generously.

What excites you about the agency business & marketing? The most exciting thing about being “agency side” is seeing the inside of so many businesses. Each is unique. Each has different goals. Each pushes me to use all my knowledge and skills to make an impact to drive results. For as long as I’m in this industry, I will always be learning.

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH.

Do you have any passion projects outside of Orchard? I love creating handmade gifts (cards, candles, calligraphy signs, memory quilts, etc.)

Describe your family (husband, dog, cat & bird….) I have two rescue dogs, Lucky & Bailey.

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Account Manager

Sam Markle

With deep experience in senior living, including exceptional knowledge of digital marketing programs for Life Plan and rental communities, Samantha is dedicated to building strong relationships with clients and helping them utilize marketing to meet their occupancy goals. She is responsible for day-to-day account management, as well as financial management of projects, overseeing all aspects of integrated marketing programs to ensure strategic, creative and performance delivery. Her goal is to exceed client expectations in communication and project outcomes.

What did you dream you would be when you grew up? Well, a few different things. In third grade we went to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and I wanted to be an astronaut. Then when I was older and started babysitting, I thought I wanted to be a teacher.

Is there any one book, person, place or thing that has influenced you the most? My dad! He was the kindest person I have ever known. He was smart, funny, and incredibly supportive no matter what I did!

What excites you about the agency business & marketing? Being able to build relationships with my clients and help deliver on their business needs and goals.

Where did you grow up? Fun Fact: I was actually born in Canada and have dual citizenship. My family moved to Florida when I was two and lived there for eight years before moving to the Cleveland area, where I lived until I went to college.

Do you have any passion projects outside of Orchard? Nothing big, but I am trying to read and get outside more. I also like to try new restaurants + bars!

Describe your family (husband, dog, cat & bird….) I am not married and don’t have any kids yet! I think about getting a dog almost daily, so that will surely happen soon. ?

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Director of Media Integration

Matt Weinland

With 20+ years of demonstrated success, Matt is a strategy-oriented media, direct marketing and digital expert focused on results. His work with C-level business and industry leaders creates paradigm shifts in the digital marketing value equation, delivering award-winning B2B and B2C organic and paid social, trade show, direct response, lead generation, customer acquisition, content marketing, and brand awareness campaigns. His certifications include all major social media platforms, plus AdWords, Google Analytics, DoubleClick, Hubspot, SharpSpring, Acquisio, WordStream, Sizmek, Marketo and Eloqua. Matt has extensive experience with a variety of healthcare accounts, including Anthem, EyeMed, Johnson & Johnson, Asensia Diabetes Care, and Skin Cancer Center.

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Associate Search Specialist

Augie Giambrone

What did you dream you would be when you grew up? When I was growing up, I dreamt I would be a videogame designer.

Is there any one book, person, place or thing that has influenced you the most? Pema Chödrön, a Buddhist monk, would always say “Fail. Fail again. Fail better.” Which is one quote that I live by when thinking about how to be successful through failure and learning.

What excites you about the agency business & marketing? I love learning new things, especially when their platform is constantly evolving. This creates new challenges for me to overcome.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio in a town called Mt. Washington on the East side.

Do you have any passion projects outside of Orchard? I am fluent in Japanese (speaking, reading, listening, and writing). I love learning Japanese and continue to do so every day to improve. The Japanese language is my greatest passion.

Describe your family (husband, dog, cat & bird….) I have a dad, mom, stepfather, a younger sister, a cat, and a dog.

Any special awards or recognitions? I have a certification for passing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test level N2. N stands for native. There are five levels (N5, N4, N3, N2, and N1). N5 being the easiest, and N1 being the hardest. I also graduated college as Summa Cum Laude.