Team TSG - TSG
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Meet the Team

Team Website

When you partner with TSG, you will have a full team of experts supporting you on a daily basis.

Our team brings a blend of diverse experience, proven excellence, and a mindset of exploration. We are dedicated to pushing businesses out of their comfort zones and further into digital relevancy.

We are masters at our craft, but recognize the digital environment is constantly evolving. We are practitioners, not simply students, and our goal is to allow our clients to focus on what they do best, while we grow not only their brand, but their actual business.

BENJAMIN SMITHEE – CEO

Ben Smithee is a fun-seeker with an entrepreneurship problem.

His first long-term stint, at the young age of 23, led him to create one of the earliest and most respected Millennial-focused insights and intelligence firms, where he served as CEO until he exited in 2014.

After a brief withdraw from entrepreneurship he fell off the wagon and launched The Smithee Group which focuses on helping brands strategically succeed in the age of digital everything. His clients include some of the largest and most well-known companies around the world including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Comcast, Del Monte, EA Games, Disney, General Mills, Kroger, VF Corp, Signet, Rio Tinto, and many more.

He has spoken to audiences around the world closing in on 20 countries, across 6 continents. He’s regarded as a go-to expert in Digital Marketing, the future of retail, and the Millennial Consumer segment. He’s the recipient of the American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year Award, and has been nominated as one of the Top 10 Youth Marketers in the US. Ben has hosted top-rated TV segments on WFAA’s Good Morning Texas, and The Broadcast.

While he loves helping businesses become rock-star brands and out-perform their competition, he is even more passionate about the work he does with The WarrenCenter in Dallas, which helps families and their children that have developmental delays, and his work with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization where he currently resides, in New York City.

Ben currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Jewelry Association and on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Trustees. He is an active member of Liberty Church in NYC.

Ben Smithee website

ALEXANDRA BROWN

Director of Operations

Alex’s success and approach to growing businesses has taken her from her native Australia, to London, and now NYC where she has fully embraced the expat life with her husband and twin girls. Her experience leading operations in the retail, non-profit, and agency realms has provided her with extensive experience building brands, leading teams, and creating foundational principles and processes that provide a platform for businesses to grow and thrive.  Alex currently leads the operations for The Smithee Group and is a Partner in its incubator, TSG Labs, ensuring TSG stays on the forefront of technology, marketing strategy and advertising. Alex has a passion for people and a desire to see big visions succeed through strong operational diligence and discipline. You’ll usually find her with a cold-brew coffee in hand, music in her ears, and a spreadsheet on her screen.

ELISE POEANA

Brand Director

Elise is passionate about creating beautiful, warm spaces for people to feel right at home. Elise’s experience in marketing and events, has seen her plan and execute high-profile events for business and government leaders in respected venues like the United Nations. She has also coordinated global social media initiatives that connected like-minded individuals and institutions across the world. Her experience has centered around hospitality in the digital age, content creation, communication, and brand strategy. Though she may have called NYC home for the past 8 years, her southern roots (Nashville proud!) instilled a sense of hospitality and friendliness she brings with her into the digital marketplace.

CAROLINE TRAGESER 

Account Operations Manager

Caroline grew up a Florida native and moved to New York City in 2014. She has spent the last 6 years in Event and Project Management which has led to her current role at The Smithee Group. In the office she manages client relationships by helping ensure that their digital marketing is accomplishing their business goals and objectives. While outside the office she’s trying to remember if the show she is watching is on Netflix or Hulu.

CODY GILES

Advertising Strategist

Born and raised in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Cody’s small-town values have never stopped him from dreaming big. He has a passion for helping others and staying involved in his community, proudly representing what it means to be from the Volunteer State. Cody holds a Master of Arts degree in Brand & Media Strategy, a first-of-its-kind program developed through an elite partnership with Adobe, and as an Advertising Manager at TSG, Cody ensures that client ad and media campaigns are launched and optimized for success on a daily basis. For the latest insights on performance and data metrics, Cody is our TSG go-to team members. When he’s not working with TSG, you’ll likely find him at the nearest Apple Store marveling at all of the new tech or binge watching a new series on Netflix.

MELANIE THOMPSON

Advertising Strategist

Born and raised in Florida, Melanie’s greatest loves in life include clever words, good food, and a whole lot of laughter. After graduating from Florida Southern College with degrees in history and communications, she packed her bags for the big city of New York (or Brooklyn to be more specific). As a part of the Advertising Team, she is passionate about creating strategies to best share the stories that make each business unique. She understands that purpose is key and  believes that when we take time to appreciate other people, it is a kind of every day magic. If you need her, she’s probably strolling through the park, enjoying a theatrical production, wandering in a museum,  or cooking (and laughing) with friends.

EVELYN STETZER

Content Manager

Evelyn proudly grew up in sunny south Florida then moved to New York City to pursue a Media, Culture, and the Arts degree from The King’s College. A recent graduate, she now uses her degree and experiences from college to provide attention to detail in copywriting and aesthetic excellence in creative assets and content calendars. Evelyn enjoys finding the perfect balance of organization and inspiration to see clients’ dreams for their companies come to fruition. She also enjoys alliteration. Off the clock, you’ll find Evelyn with a journal in a Brooklyn park or singing & playing guitar at church on a Sunday. 

BRITTANY NAYLOR

Content Manager

Brittany loves dogs, horses, and long walks on the beach. Her quick wit and Journalism degree from Point Loma Nazarene University in sunny San Diego makes her your go-to gal for all things content. In all seriousness, Brittany loves to connect with people and learn about their passions. She’ll take any brand or any moment and create a captivating story. On the weekend, you’ll find her recharging with a good book.

ARTHUR LA MOTTA 

Account Manager

Arthur is a natural connector with strong organizational and relational skills. His passion for learning about people’s stories has taken him across the world, given him multicultural insight, and left him yearning for more. Upon graduating college with a degree in Business Management and a thirst for adventure, Arthur responded to Europe’s call and went on a 5-month voyage full of adventures, new languages, and new friends. With his heart always set on Manhattan, he found his way to the Big Apple and part of TSG’s mission.

ERIN LASHLEY

Content Manager

Erin has spent the last decade serving and working in the local community. Throughout her experience she discovered her love for telling stories that move people to action. Her analytical thinking compliments her passion for creative strategy and execution. You can usually find her filming and editing and don’t be surprised if you wind up on her IG story!

ANDY KALAN

Account Manager

Andy is from Columbus, Ohio, where he served as the lead pastor of a campus church at his alma mater, the Ohio State University. While he will always be a Buckeye for life, he has always had a passion for New York City and in 2018, finally took the plunge and moved his wife and two kids here, where he eventually landed at The Smithee Group. Andy has extensive experience in running teams, customer service, and is a connector at heart. He loves nothing more than sitting across from someone and hearing their story. In his free time, you can find him exploring a new neighborhood with his family, doing something ministry-related, or in a bookstore journaling, reading, and putting the finishing touches on his novel.

LESHEA LOW

Advertising Strategist

Leshea is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University, where she pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies and minors in Psychology and Digital Media Trends & Analytics. Born and raised in sunny Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she is fascinated by people, trends, different cultures, and the complexities they each bring to the media we consume in today’s world. Her passion for all things media and strategy ultimately led her to TSG and NYC – which now marks her third official home since moving from Malaysia! When she’s not lounging around in coffee shops or on the hunt for the next best Flat White in the city, you can find her at the local ice rink figure skating and spinning all her worries away.

STEPHANIE SHELOW

Designer

You will usually find Stephanie immersed in code on the backend of a site, or spending time in Photoshop as she designs a new graphic. She is passionate about missions with a heart especially for Cambodia, where she has spent time supporting digital efforts with local organizations and non-profits on the ground.

FELICIA KALAN

Administrative Assistant

Felicia has an entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for social enterprise, and loves the details! She currently lends her administrative expertise to The Smithee Group and also manages Elevate Her Consulting, a freelancing collective that empowers mom entrepreneurship with a mission to end the gender-based wage gap. She studied Political Science and International Studies, receiving a B.A. from the University of Evansville and studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She and her husband Andy reside in Astoria, Queens with their two children, Zaden and Zaria and serve as supporting team members of the Bridge Community Church in Long Island City. In her free time, Felicia likes to get involved in local politics and is currently running for New York City Council in District 22.