Lt. Colonel Robert
Vice President Client Development Charitable Organizations
About: Jake was called to serve in The Salvation Army for forty-two and one half years. He served in a wide variety of appointments including Corps, Divisional and Territorial Headquarters. He was a Divisional Commander in the Divisions of Arkansas/Oklahoma, North and South Carolina and Texas. Jake brings a wealth of Salvation Army insight, knowledge and experience to our team. He works closely with Client Service and focuses on Business Development, Officer Enrichment, Special Projects and Research.
Key Facts: Jake enjoys ministering to people, spending time with his beautiful wife, Patsy and responding to many requests from his seven active grandchildren and his adopted Summit family.
About: With more than 25 years experience in literally every area of marketing and communications, Kathy put on both her branding and creative hats to work with the U.S. Army in developing the I. A.M. Strong and “Strength in Diversity” programs. By first bringing research to the process, Kathy and our research director used Summit’s proprietary pre-cognitive research process to discover the insights and emotional motivators that have moved the Army audience to action and made these programs Army “gold standards” in the communications arena.
Key Facts: With a degree in Radio-TV Speech Communications, Kathy is an award winning community theater musical comedy actress with leads in Mame, Company and Applause to her credit. She is also a published author of children’s books, a voice-over talent…and is mad about her miniature Schnauzer, Miss Bea.
About: You can usually find Kevin at his desk writing award-winning copy, thinking of big ideas and listening to indie tunes. Kevin graduated from Webster University with a BA in Advertising and Marketing Communications. He’s fluent in many languages, including The U.S. Army, Tide Dry Cleaners, American Red Cross and SelectQuote Senior, to name a few. Kevin’s experience includes writing for both B2B and B2C audiences in a wide variety of mediums. Kevin feels rather uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person.
Key Facts: Kevin married his high-school sweetheart and they are the proud parents of three fun-loving boys. He’d like to get a new car, but all three boys recently began playing the costly sport of ice hockey. Now he’s looking for a bumper sticker to place on his current car that reads, “I’d rather be driving a Zamboni”.
About: A third generation graduate from Kansas University, Natalie majored in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. Her assignments at Summit have been varied and rich in experience to include: franchise development, B2B promotions, market expansion and new concept strategies, competitive intrusion mitigation planning, and integrated media campaigns. She is best described as a fantastic multi-tasker who is motivated by a good challenge.
Key Facts: Natalie is a fun loving individual with dreams of becoming America’s Next Best Shopper. Former opera singer, she enjoys planning weddings and loves to travel to cool destinations with her family.
Vice President of Technology & Development
About: Lance began his career by joining the U.S. Army Reserves and going to basic training between his junior and senior years of high school. Three years later he joined Summit’s data processing department. After 22 years of service to his country and to Summit, Retired Sergeant Major Meerkatz now heads Summit’s Information Technology department. Utilizing his education in Computer Science and Project Management and drawing upon his military operations experience, Lance enjoys providing IT solutions that meet clients’ challenges.
Key Facts: On most Saturdays, Lance can be found juggling sporting activities with his wife and 3 boys. Lance grew up in central Nebraska and enjoys outdoor activities, especially hunting, fishing and golf. His favorite part of any major event is the military flyover.
Heather Schowalter, PMP
Senior Account Executive
About: A graduate from Baylor University with majors in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and a member of the Project Management Institute, Heather has led the internal and external communications strategy for several Fortune 500 clients in two of the five largest U.S. DMA’s. At Summit, Heather enjoys developing strategies that solve client’s communications challenges. As a natural multi-tasker, Heather effectively manages client projects ensuring they are delivered on scope, on time and on budget. She also writes technical responses for multi-million dollar solicitations and assists in the finalization of RFP responses.
Key Facts: A bucket list individual that enjoys new adventures and experiences. Former 60-MPH pitcher, information junkie and lifelong student.
About: Dan began his career at what is now PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm where he led audits of Fortune 100 and government clients. After business school, Dan spent 10 years at Anheuser-Busch Companies, in strategic planning and as General Manager of the Promotional Products Group. Dan founded Summit Marketing in 1996 and through his vision and leadership, Summit Marketing has evolved into a communications partner with the capability to deliver fully integrated marketing campaigns from strategy and planning through creative and execution. (We have an agreement with Dan – he lets us handle the Meaningful, Memorable, Motivational part of the Marketing equation; he makes sure we nail the Measurable. It all works.)
Key Facts: Dan is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Missouri, where he received his B.S.B.A. in Accounting. His degree from Mizzou (he reluctantly admits to having two wayward, Kansas Jayhawk daughters) was followed by an MBA from Harvard University. Dan is an avid golfer in constant but elusive pursuit of par. He loves the new travel opportunities being an empty nester affords he and his wife – mostly traveling to see their 3 children, listening to country music and trying new wines and craft beers. And, based on his car, shirts and suits – he really, really loves the color blue!
Natalie Malphrus, CPA
Senior Vice President of Strategic Services
About: Natalie started her career working with numbers and people – and it has not stopped for 25 years. She now oversees the Data, Analytics and Support Services across Summit . . . working closely with the various Client Service departments throughout the company. Natalie leads strategy teams from Donor/Customer Modeling to Testing Strategy to Production. Through cross functional groups, our clients enjoy superior and consistent results thanks to Natalie’s leadership.
Key Facts: Natalie is a person who loves to “work” with the numbers. She graduated from Western Washington University with a BS in Accounting and has a MBA degree from St. Thomas University. In Natalie’s free time she enjoys outdoor sports, traveling and hanging out with family and friends.
About: From his humble beginnings as a junior copywriter, Tom has always understood the importance of gathering all the facts and key insights to deliver intelligent, impactful solutions. Today, he applies that same approach – albeit in a more sophisticated form – to the development and implementation of comprehensive strategic marketing plans for Summit Marketing’s clients across commercial and government divisions. With a passion for developing performance-based campaigns and a wealth of experience designing, managing and analyzing market research, Tom looks forward to generating results – and success – for Summit’s clients.
Key Facts: Former NAIA and Division III baseball player. Graduated from Webster University with a degree in Journalism. Enjoys coaching youth baseball, playing the occasional round of golf and cooking.
Tammy Nigus, PDM
Vice President, Creative Service
About: Kansas native and Kansas State University alum, Tammy started her career in marketing more than 20 years ago in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Married to an Air Force officer, her career took a turn when they moved to Fairbanks, Alaska. There she oversaw the correspondence study program for the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Eventually the family thawed out when they returned to the Kansas City area, where she has worked in advertising and marketing ever since. Tammy received her professional direct marketing certification from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. The rapid adaptation of social media fascinates her and she is excited by all the new marketing opportunities available.
Key Facts: Average golfer, iPad addict, catering hobbyist with mad cupcake skills, reality TV challenge show junkie and mom to a college student — Go Cats!
About: Michael Tritt has lived and loved the fast-paced agency life for more than 26 years. Along the way, he’s covered Copywriting, Creative Services, Research, Client Development and Agency Marketing, before moving into Senior Management. For the past 9 years, Michael has leveraged the voices of the agency and our many client partners to help build a truly diverse team of brilliant marketers…now service the commercial, non-profit and government sectors. It life is a highway, Michael loves the journey and is never content unless he’s on the leading edge of innovation and inspiration. Michael is frequently heard saying, “Find a way to say YES to our clients, our company and to each other!”
Key Facts: Michael’s office displays the following: Aerial photo of the Pentagon; watercolor painting from his son’s 3rd grade year (not certain of subject matter); collection of Boy Scout Norman Rockwell coffee mugs; a metal sculpture proclaiming “It’s All Good!”; and a cigar box filled with treasures from the road that simply can’t be thrown away – but have no real purpose.
Director of Data Management
About: Nancy is always eager to help data meet the challenges of today’s competitive marketplace. She brings our clients a broad knowledgebase on a variety of database platforms being used to market and record customers’ activities. She enjoys looking at data from different perspectives in an effort to keep clients on top of the game by locating potential niche markets. A big picture team member, Nancy also guides the day-to-day efforts in Summit’s Data Entry and Treasury Management services to deliver on client expectations.
Key Facts: Nancy is an inquisitive person who surfs the web in search of the next greatest thing. She’s a lifelong Kansas resident who graduated from Central Missouri State University.
About: Martha Holle graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design. She excelled as a Graphic Designer for the Kansas City Star newspaper before joining Summit Marketing in 1999. Martha’s primary responsibilities include the design of direct mail pieces, advertisements, signage, brochures, POP materials, branding programs, logos and websites. Martha’s goal is to help Summit’s clients grow to the next level through impactful design and branding strategies.
Key Facts: Martha is an identical twin and she enjoys playing volleyball, boating, skiing and spending time with her friends and family.
Senior Account Executive
About: Susan received her Marketing Degree from Pittsburg State University – home of the Gorillas! Her primary role is to be the day-to-day point of contact, strategic thinker and fundraising council for the Summit clients she feels blessed to serve! Her everyday responsibilities include, but are not limited to, strategizing with clients, analyzing results, ensuring end-to-end quality and staying on top of direct marketing and outreach trends.
Key Facts: Susan is married to her college sweetheart and is the proud mom of three young children. She loves to attend her kids’ sporting events and is a huge KU Jayhawks and KC Chiefs fan.
Software Implementation and Training
About: Cindy has been part of the Summit family for more than 15 years. She is a graduate from Kansas State University with a degree in Computer Science. While at her first job out of college, Cindy was asked to show a client how to use a program she created. From that point forward she has been involved with software training and support. Cindy is definitely a people person. She enjoys working with and building friendships with clients from all sides – commercial, government and non-profit. Cindy is also involved with testing and documentation of new Summit products.
Key Facts: Cindy has been with Summit since her three children were in pre-school. She enjoys photography, attending her children’s sporting events, scrapbooking, volunteering at school and having coffee with friends.
About: Jeff started his career as an Accountant in the private sector for a successful retail chain. Over the years, he has gained experience in all areas of accounting through work with a chemical company and an automotive parts manufacturer. Since 2006, Jeff has been the Controller for Summit Marketing in Kansas City, where he oversees the accounting functions for the division.
Key Facts: Jeff is a graduate of Missouri State University with a BS in Accounting. He enjoys spending his spare time with his family and attending his kids’ school and sporting events. Although he will soon be fighting his twins for the car keys, he also loves traveling to new places and finding great restaurants with his wife.
About: Megan is a graduate from Kansas State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Public Relations. In her current role as a Marketing Coordinator, she assists on various major accounts with future plans to work as an Account Executive.
Key Facts: Megan loves movie nights, scrapbooking, being around her friends, and family vacations on the beach. Her favorite place to go if forced to stay in Kansas is Manhattan (her “second home”) where she has been attending K-state football and basketball games since she was five years old. Go Cats!!
About: Michele has been with Summit since 1995. In her current role, Michele works across all three Summit business lines and excels at each. In addition to leading the KC Design Team, she also regularly rolls up her sleeves and participates in crafting award-winning advertising and keeping her skills sharp.
Key Facts: Michele is a graduate from the University of Minnesota. When she has free time, she likes to travel and is often found at one of her two children’s hockey, basketball, soccer, softball or baseball games. (Yes, she drives a mini-van.) She also enjoys attending concerts and searching for treasures at garage and estate sales. (If you need help cleaning out your attic, Michele is there. Just tell her you once heard there’s some amazing history hidden in the rafters.)
About: After teaching elementary school for many years, Francie became an Associate at Summit Marketing in 1997. As a longtime member of our strategic fundraising department and a team leader, Francie has served our Salvation Army clients in a number of different capacities. Currently, she serves as the Client Service Representative for two divisions of The Salvation Army, meeting the various needs of multiple departments and offices in these divisions. In addition, Francie is a key member of Summit’s fundraising resource guide committee and testing team. She credits The Salvation Army for pointing her to the Lord and calls it a “good day” when she is able to help someone at The Salvation Army in return.
Key Facts: Francie is the mother of two children (Patrick and Ellen), alum of the University of Southern California and enjoys daily walks, black coffee, trying new recipes and visiting with friends and family.
About: Born in Honolulu, raised in Denver and schooled in Kansas, Susan majored in English and minored in art at St. Mary College (now University of St. Mary) in Leavenworth, KS. She earned a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas. Before joining Summit Marketing in early 2009, she worked at magazines, newspapers, in nonprofits and marketing for more than 20 years. Susan is very interested in clever and effective uses of social media and loves the challenge of writing memorable headlines and taglines.
Key Facts: Susan has one son (Jack), is a Kansas basketball fanatic, jewelry maker and Bruce Springsteen concert junkie.
Chief Development Officer
About: From the young age of four, Michelle grew up in customer service training through her family’s 24/7 real estate business in Colorado Springs. The hallmark of her family’s business was always going above and beyond to serve and meet the needs of each and every client. Michelle excelled in marketing, sales and product development throughout the early years of her career. Prior to joining Summit Marketing in 2000, she was the Chief Operating Officer of a nationally ranked Prudential Brokerage and owned two Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzel franchise locations. Michelle has served as both Chairman and Committee member for a variety of not for profit organizations such as Easter Seals Society, The Catholic Diocese Board of Education, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Mount St. Scholastica Academy and The Ronald McDonald House, just to name a few. Michelle has a unique management and customer service style of combining her business principals with her Christian values, which result in a holistic “Total Team” approach. She attributes her philosophy to the servant leadership modeled and mentored by her mother as well as Michelle’s years of studying to enter a Benedictine Convent where the focus of “Ora et labora”, which means work and prayer is a way of daily life.
Key Facts: Michelle has been married to her husband Scott for 28 years. They have two children, Morgan and Spencer, a son-in-law, Luke and a new grandson named Braxton. When not involved in multi-tasking a variety of exciting creative and client endeavors, Michelle enjoys quiet moments with friends and family and coaching figure skating on the weekends.
About: Rexanne has been with Summit’s Strategic Fundraising group for 16 years. She started as a Client Service Representative for the first eight years and then transitioned to Production Specialist for the next eight. Rexanne still enjoys bringing many aspects of the CSR job to our clients. She currently works with three Salvation Army Divisions and the American Heart Association. Before coming to Summit, Rexanne was in Property Management. She managed 60 single-family homes and handled the accounting (rent collection, accounts payables and managing owner statements) for 200 homeowners. Rexanne loves her job, especially working with her clients over many years. She finds it fulfilling to know that she can help clients, who in turn, are helping those in need.
Key Facts: Married for 40 years with two daughters and two grandsons. Rexanne likes going to the lake, boating, shopping, reading, watching movies, cooking, biking, walking and going to her grandson’s many sports games.
About: Joanne began her Accounting career in a small law firm located in St. Louis, MO. After receiving her Masters in Business Administration – Concentration in Finance from St. Louis University, she was off to the East Coast. She soon became a Division Controller for Summit Marketing. Eight years later, Joanne was offered Summit Marketing’s position of Corporate Controller in St. Louis. With a chance to come home to be near her family, she jumped at the opportunity. As Corporate Controller she is responsible for the oversight of Summit’s financial activities and reporting, management of the Accounting staff, Government reporting and contract maintenance.
Key Facts: Joanne enjoys running. She has participated in many races over the past 3 years benefiting multiple charities. She loves spending time with her pound puppy, Cheyenne, and enjoys hanging out and traveling with her family and friends. Her guilty pleasure?…watching drama-filled reality programs every chance she gets.
About: Robert develops and implements strategic communications plans for a variety of government clients. As a member of top agencies and consulting firms, Robert has advised leaders in government on strategic communication concepts, media relations and event management. He provides ongoing strategic communications counsel to the U.S. Army’s Compensations and Entitlements Branch – Special Projects. Robert holds a Master of mass communication degree from the University of South Carolina with focuses on integrated communications, issues management, crisis communications and media analysis.
Key Facts: Robert is an enthusiastic writer with a passion for politics. He is also an avid golfer and outdoorsman.
Teri Buek, CFRE
National Account Executive
About: After 25+ years in the nonprofit sector (management and fundraising), Teri made the jump to Summit Marketing to help build our nonprofit client base. Her focus is in overall fundraising strategy, working through discovery phases with prospective clients to determine how Summit can best partner with them to raise the most funds. She works with clients to keep their needs and audience “top of mind” for the client service and creative teams. In addition to her years of nonprofit experience, she carries a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, as well as her certification as a CFRE.
Key Facts: Many times called “a tomboy”, Teri prefers to call herself an outdoorsy, adventuresome person. Favorite activities include golfing and fly-fishing. Her goal is to do both activities in as many states as possible.
About: Amy received her BBA from Washburn University (go ‘Bods!) and is a proud graduate from the Institute for the Study & Practice of Leadership’s inaugural class. Her primary role is to be the day-to-day point of contact, problem solver and strategic thinker for Summit’s clients. Her everyday responsibilities include preparing and presenting integrated marketing and fundraising efforts, reviewing campaign performance, project management and making sure she and those around her are having fun while doing so.
Key Facts: Amy loves to bake, play softball, dance and most of all laugh. She is also a Price is Right Showcase Showdown winner – yes, we have the video to prove it!
About: Debbie brings organization to proposals, presentations, contracts and conferences. She makes sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, ensuring everything is in perfect order. Debbie works directly with the Strategic Fundraising Department as well as assisting with Executive level meetings. Debbie was previously a Sales Manager for an award-winning Prudential Real Estate office in Kansas City. She understands customer service from the inside out, going to the extreme to be sure our clients have what they need, when they need it.
Key Facts: Debbie and her husband have a daughter, Lori and a dog, “Kramer” and they like to spend all of their free time at their house in the Lake of the Ozarks.
About: For more than 12 years, Julie has provided strategic behind-the-scenes processing and project management services that are a vital part of the directing marketing process. She is central in communications with internal creative, client services and production teams to ensure accuracy is maintained throughout a complex process of bringing ideas to life and putting meaningful messages in donors and prospects hands. As a member of an integrated management team inside Summit, Julie brings extensive knowledge to all aspects of the production process, as well as the critical front-end client experience.
Key Facts: A lifelong Kansas-native, Julie enjoys going to both of her son’s baseball games. She enjoys watching football (Go K-State!!!), doing Yoga — although she wishes she had more time to do it (or really any time to do it.) She also loves the ocean, palm trees and lots of very hot sun. This obsession, however, is problematic living in Kansas.
About: Capin was born and raised on the beaches of sunny San Diego, CA. She prides herself in being a forward thinker and solution-oriented. Her daily responsibilities are to ensure her clients’ fundraising campaigns are consistently and successfully delivered from the initial strategy to final execution. Capin has more than a decade of experience in the event marketing arena, specifically focused on non-profit fundraising and consumer-centric, interactive marketing.
Key Facts: Capin is the proud mom of a beautiful, sassy little girl. She loves scary movies, her alma mater SDSU, Harley Davidsons and is a self-proclaimed dog whisperer.
Director of Commercial Accounts
About: Jayland began college as an Accounting major and was on his way to a career of managing balance sheets and financial statements, until the mandatory Introductory to Marketing class changed his course. With a BA in Marketing from Wichita State University and an MBA from Pittsburg State University, Jayland is well into his second decade of driving marketing strategy and solutions with his analytical approach and has the grey hair to prove it.
Key Facts: In his teens, Jayland was a top-10 ranked tennis player in the state of Kansas. These days, however, his body is more agreeable when he watches from the bleachers. Jayland likes to mix his love for travel and sports and watch as many games in different stadiums as his schedule and budget will allow.
The means to generate great results has changed dramatically for companies and is continuing to evolve as the role of social media becomes more prevalent. But the way to get those great results has not. Hire smart people who are passionate about the work they do and the clients they serve. With Summit Marketing, our professional teams consist of:
- Full-Service Account, Creative, IT & Database Teams
- Award-winning creatives
- Certified Fundraising Executives (CFRE)
- Certified Project Managers (PMP)
- Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)
- Postal & Leadership Professionals
- Innovative Mail Professionals
- Certified Public Accountants (CPA)
Plus many others who serve or are actively involved with professional organizations and councils with focuses on interactive, social media, direct marketing, public relations and postal services.In every department, with every employee, our success is all about yours.
Click on any of our team members to learn more about them.