“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong” – Joseph Pearce
Whitney is our “Social-ite”. Suspending the typical definition of the term, Whitney’s “social prowess” comes in the form of cleverly mastering the social sphere. She has an inherent knack for engaging in all areas of community awareness, client relations and digital marketing – servicing a variety of clients in the food and beverage industries.
Whitney is always incorporating and promoting the strengths of clients by using her innovative mindset, creativity and lifestyle experiences. A self-proclaimed type A personality (trust us, she is), Whitney impressed our CEO from the first interview with her “never give up” approach, earning herself the “bulldog” nickname that she wears proudly, even today. Whether leading full-scale, multi-market programs or strategically securing flagship media coverage, she stays on top of the newest social, lifestyle and pop culture trends to enhance our clients’ marketing success. Plus, that’s just who she is.
Whitney graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2011 receiving her Bachelors degree in public relations with a minor in business administration from East Carolina University. Whitney started her career at McKeeman and worked her way up the ranks from an Account Coordinator to an Account Supervisor.
A resident of Greenville, when Whitney’s not dreaming up her next beach adventure you can find her hanging with her husband and dog Kelso at a local brewery, checking out the latest snapchat filters or enjoying an evening with friends over tacos and Netflix.
“People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.” — Seth Godin
Clients tell us Kim is all things you want your agency partner to be—personable, insightful, accountable, and not afraid of working to do “the impossible.” And, sometimes that means changing the conversation on “what people tell themselves”.
Kim founded McKeeman Communications more than 20 years ago with a mission to help businesses and non-profits achieve their goals. “There has to be a way” is part of her ongoing thought process, whether it happens on the first, second or fifth try. Her creative counsel, attention to detail, and passion for personal and total team growth has produced an agency that attracts and retains top-tier talent and nationally-recognized food, beverage and retail client partners.
Using an “un-agency” model, Kim believes strongly in working alongside McKeeman team members who confidently share their best thinking with a “once-around-the-table” approach, regardless of whether it differs from that of a supervisor, the CEO, or the client. At the end of the day, it’s another idea, and that thinking fuels everyone.
With a passionate vision for combining food companies, charitable outreach and “thinking like a customer,” Kim enjoys the challenge of helping companies share their unique gifts and stories to help fulfill community and customer needs. This unwavering vision, paired with award-winning counsel, is what clients say they value most.
“It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” Eleanor Roosevelt
At first glance, you might not guess this seemingly quiet and highly-optimistic North Carolina native could be such a force. This girl packs a heavy punch with hard-hitting and award-winning client relations, media oversight and account management – all with gumption and tenacity.
Her penchant for planning and creative thinking, combined with her meticulous attention to detail and knack for organization, serves her well as Kim’s second-in-command, helping run the agency and provide top-tier client counsel.
Whether she is leading the charge for a new client strategy session or planning a media relations blitz, she does it well with an unwavering passion and determination.
Coming from a family of TV journalists, Caroline understands the value of what makes solid news and puts those skills to work in translating good client stories to traditional and social media.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Mass Communication from Peace College in Raleigh, where she served as editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. A self-proclaimed foodie and passionate fan of all things restaurant, brewery and wine bar-focused, Caroline is a 12-year resident of the Oak City where she resides with her husband, two small children and two dogs.
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett
Anna migrated to Raleigh from the great north last June, where she earned her degree at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. Her northern exposure is probably why she keeps it real cool in any situation. Her focus in college was in strategic communication, public relations and late night study sessions from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Anna has a fresh and vibrant way of telling a story or managing a client project, whether it’s about a person, place or product. The inspiration behind Anna’s passion for marketing communications comes from her background in representing authentic lifestyle brands during her college career including teaching kids’ yoga at Bikram’s Yoga College of India in Minneapolis and in the marketing department of the Department of Recreation and Wellness at the University of Minnesota.
A strategic thinker by nature, Anna’s often known to start a conversation by saying, “Tell me about yourself.” “Do you know why?” She has a quest for wanting to know more with a belief that every person, every company has a story worth listening to, and she’s ready to help you share it in a big way. In her short time with McKeeman, she has found a passion for social campaigns, production management and was recently promoted to Account Executive.
In her free time, Anna enjoys exploring the Carolinas with her Minnesota boyfriend and their dog Cal at Umstead Park and you can catch her out on Saturday mornings searching for the Triangle’s best breakfast spots.
“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” – Steve Jobs
Born and bred in the Triangle, Ashley didn’t have to travel far to kickstart her PR career. Dubbed as our “Kerry Washington” for her stellar problem-solving skills, this small yet mighty gal is passionate about developing close media and client relationships and her in short time with McKeeman, has already garnered award recognition for a reputable non-profit. She powers through the day making great use of all resources in a creative approach.
A graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree from the School of Media and Journalism and a concentration in public relations, Ashley spearheaded several large-scale events at the University and served as the President for the Carolina chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America, which helped shaped her into a strategic thinker. Through these busy years she gained invaluable experience in marketing and PR, research, leadership, networking, event planning and so much more. Her undergrad experience, paired with her organizational skills and attention to detail, has allowed Ashley to succeed in delivering top tier results to clients. Most of all, Ashley prides herself on her personable and friendly demeanor, and binge-watching the latest season of her TV faves in a weekend.
When taking a breather from her PR duties, Ashley can be found getting lost in the latest novel, exploring local cultural and food festivals, and cheering her Tar Heels on during football or basketball season.
“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” – Michael J. Fox
No stranger to news, Becky started her career in Washington, D.C. as a desk clerk and news assistant with Gannett News Service after graduating from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. In addition to strengthening her writing chops, she became skilled at zeroing in on the background of developing stories and getting the “inside scoop,” and was soon promoted to news research.
Later, she took a news research position with the Raleigh News & Observer in North Carolina, where she worked for 15 years and met her husband.
After leaving the News & Observer, Becky joined McKeeman as an account team member. Over the last eight years, she has successfully managed countless projects, transitioning into an invaluable client service lead.
The McKeeman veteran has a large social fan base due to her #motherofpearl words of wisdom about life, reflection, and moments with her teen daughter. Her fun-loving and positive attitude is what many appreciate most about Becky, and she powers through the day as living proof that laughter truly is the best medicine.
In her free time she can be found at an early morning boot camp, escaping to the mountains for some R&R, or spending time with her church group.
“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” – Maureen Dowd
Adventurous, wickedly curious, Leah is our resident McKeeman rockstar. Known for her love of rock music and her mad event planning skills, she has a talent for hitting the right notes for our clients. This girl knows the hard work that goes into making successful marketing campaigns, growing brand awareness and maintaining successful client relationships. Her authentic love of people and client service makes her a favorite with the team, and with our clients.
Leah graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a focus on communication and leadership studies. An internship in college fostered her love of radio, and two years later she found herself on–air with a local modern rock station. Moving to the Queen City in 2004 for CBS radio, she pursued a lifelong dream of working in sports for the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats and WBNA’s Charlotte Sting.
With six years as a senior marketing associate at a Charlotte marketing agency, she has learned the value of life-long learning and applying her skills and passions to new opportunities. Whether it’s a product launch or a community-wide event, Leah knows how to make personal connections between brands and customers in ways that truly matter. Her commitment to delivering “surprise and delight” customer service is reflected in her passion for helping clients succeed.
Get to know Leah and you’ll find her laughter and appreciation of good humor infectious. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her fifteen-year-old Siberian Husky, Riley, exploring uptown Charlotte where she currently resides. Other times you’ll find her cheering loudly for the Duke Blue Devils and Carolina Panthers or trying to become a part-time roadie for the band Pearl Jam. After seeing them a whopping 16 times, we’re ready to lobby for her honorary roadie status.
Whether we’re collaborating on a project or grabbing a glass of wine after work – we have fun. Our team’s penchant for freakishly curious problem solving makes for creative solutions. And that’s what makes us different.