The Brand Architects®

Christopher T. Spiro

President, CEO & Chief Creative Officer

Chris launched his advertising career as an art director 30 years ago and furthered his expertise as a designer and creative director, and then set up this shop as The Spiro Group Inc. in 1989. His experience spans many industries, including hospitality, real estate developments, home building, automotive, marine, law, government, medical, health care and way too many more to name here.

Always civic-minded, Chris is active throughout Southwest Florida, including serving on a number of boards of directors and executive committees. He loves the architectural challenges involved with building or evolving clients’ brands.

Bill Turner

Chief Operating Officer

Bill Turner is the newest Brand Architect™ to join the Spiro team. As Chief Operating Officer, he works with the entire organization, overseeing daily operations, collaborating on plans for growth and evolution, and ensuring all program initiatives align with the Agency’s core values and culture. In other words, he makes sure we keep our noses to the grindstone.

A University of Florida graduate, Bill brings a wealth of business experience and a great deal of knowledge of the banking and financial industry to the marketing sector. Prior to joining Spiro & Associates, he spent almost 20 years in banking, serving in commercial lending, branch administration, underwriting and corporate training. Due to his background, Bill is our guy when it comes to finance and budget administration decisions.

He is active within the community, having served on the Board of Directors for the Estero Chamber of Commerce, president of the Southwest Florida Gator Club, Lee County Chair for the March of Dimes’ March for Babies, and president of the Edison Festival of Light, as well as a selection committee member for the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools’ Golden Apple Teacher Committee.

When he is not at work, Bill can be found with his wife, Suzanne, and their two sons at either Gator sporting events in Gainesville or at Walt Disney World, where Bill displays his inner child as often as possible.

Robert Armstrong

Creative Director

Robert’s marketing and advertising experience spans decades of some really cool assignments, including being a copywriter at TV Guide. His first real “agency gig” was with Munroe Creative Partners, a division of Earle Palmer Brown, bouncing between its Philly and New York offices as senior copywriter. Born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, he moved to Naples in 2006 and went to work for an ad agency where he accomplished some kick-ass award-winning work. He joined Spiro & Associates in 2015.

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Lynsey Yuknus

Senior Art Director & Director of Operations

Lynsey works with the other creative types in creating visual concepts for clients.

Before joining Spiro & Associates in 2013, Lynsey was an art director at The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee for five years, and a graphic designer at Peter Mitchell Associates for three years.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Florida State University, and was also a student at the Portfolio Center, a two-year school program for creative communication arts in Atlanta.

Mark Heideman

Senior Art Director

Mark’s design experience brings creative concepts and ideas to life for our clients’ campaigns — everything from online to print. His career prior to joining Spiro & Associates includes working for clients such as Kraft Foods, Adidas, American Heart Association and the Indiana Pacers, as well as writing and designing publications for major corporations such as Intel. Off duty, he is a zealous traveler, gym rat, runner, trail blazer and cyclist.

Christa Hoskins

Art Director

Christa is one of the Agency’s Graphic Designers responsible for creating solutions that have a high visual impact for a variety of online and print marketing materials.

She was destined for this line of work because by the time she was a teenager, she already had about nine years of experience in drawing.

She has a degree in digital design, and is working diligently on a bachelor degree in illustration.

We love her style since joining us in 2013, and are happy to supply her with all the materials and creative opportunities to help keep her artistic flair flowing.


Jason Zulauf

Graphic Designer & Website Developer

Jason is a man of few words. While large in stature, he is also big on perfection — 110 percent satisfaction, he’ll tell you. Turns out that’s great for our clients.

Jason is also a man of many talents, having been in the design industry since 2002. He brings a wealth of design, layout and advertising knowledge, as well as cutting-edge ideas and concepts.

He supports the website team in design and development, as well as crafting eblasts for multiple email marketing campaigns.

When this Brand Architect is not concepting and designing anything from logos to brochures to online collateral, you’ll find him spending quality time with his wife and two sons: watching movies, playing games, reading or having fun with — what else — art projects.

Oh, and he’s also a perfectionist at home, especially with the kids – perfecting the art of causing a lot of headaches for mom. Way to go, Jason The Flawless.

Phil Barrera

Senior Art Director & Website Developer

Phillip is a Senior Art Director and Web Developer with a unique blend of creative and technical skills. He plays a key role in the development of the Agency’s creative ideas and strategies, including designing and developing websites for various clients in multiple industries.

Prior to joining Spiro & Associates in 2015, Phil was flexing his ingenuity and expertly honed design skills for companies in a range of industries, including print shops, design studios, national and international publishers, pre-press departments, corporate art departments, advertising agencies, and non-profit organizations.

If this Brand Architect had a super-hero power, he says it would be to troubleshoot and solve a wide variety of creative and technical problems — on time and on budget.

Yet Phil proves he possesses that super power every day. Like jumping in at the end of the day to re-create an ad and get it approved by the client by … well, the end of the day.

In his spare time, Phil is furthering his website development skills, and enjoys walking and bike riding with his wife, Kimberley. 

Jeffery Abbott

Software Engineer
& Senior Website Developer

Jeffrey is a leader in software engineering with 20 years of experience in the analysis, design, development and implementation of high-performance technology solutions.

He gained all that knowledge working for International Business Machines for 12 years.

Jeffrey holds a Graduate Certificate in Creativity Studies and Change Leadership from Buffalo State University); a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati; and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Analysis from Miami University in Ohio.

When he’s not toiling away on technology solutions and websites since joining us in 2016, our nerd dad enjoys “kitchen chemistry,” engineering experiments, and building robots with his sons.

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Sydney Vermette

Account Executive

You might say some of Sydney’s upbringing makes her a good choice as an account exec as she became a working “adult” at the ripe-old age of 12, taking over the family’s babysitting responsibilities at home in Andover, Minnesota.

Yes, imagine being in charge of five younger siblings! Not that babysitting is part of the Spiro world, but it does require someone who is reliable, caring, trustworthy and responsible.

We also love her business sense: Take for instance the day she realized the rate of pay for babysitters versus the investment of time wasn’t quite adding up. So, in her senior year of high school she took on two part-time jobs, discontinued after-school activities, and began preparing for her studies at St. Cloud State University where she would graduate with a degree in mass communications and public relations.

During that time, Sydney also worked at Granite City Food and Brewery, where she orchestrated highly successful beer-tapping events. And what’s not to like about any event that centers around tapping kegs of brew, right?

When she’s not at work, one of Sydney’s other passions shines bright: music. She attends music festivals around the United States searching for the next big artist.

With her short haircut, edgy style and hard-working attitude to succeed, Syd fits right in with the rest of the Brand Architects at Spiro & Associates!

Erin Donati

Traffic Manager & Production Assistant

Erin’s professional career includes employment for eight years at Chico’s FAS, the specialty retailer of women’s private branded, sophisticated clothing and other items with its world headquarters in Fort Myers. She wrote and developed processes for product activation and sample management, and assisted in creating the workflow process for project management for the creative department.

She held various other posts with Chico’s as well, including website specialist and associate manager of creative operations for e-commerce managing the Soma and White House | Black Market brands.

Those types of process- and timeline-driven experience make her a valuable part of the team here where we live or die by deadlines.

Rachel Spiro

Chief Financial Officer & VP

Rachel crunches numbers, submits payments, deals with HR issues, and also has to put up with the CEO 24/7. Her eye for detail makes her the best person to act as a steward of agency dollars. Rachel joined us in 2009 “just to help out,” but we haven’t been able to do without her since. Before joining Spiro & Associates, she ran one of the largest commercial insurance firms in Southwest Florida — Risk Management Insurance.

Don Gross

Senior Media Director

Don has come full circle back into the media profession that he loves, which started in high school and followed up at Florida State University, where he graduated with a degree in mass media communications. He’s also a former commercial real estate professional, specializing in retail, negotiating large acquisitions for big investors, locating tenants for shopping centers and the like.

And if all that weren’t enough, he also was a financial advisor dealing with private wealth management. Additionally, Don is one of the only guys we know who has worked in both media and sales positions for radio, broadcast TV and cable TV in Southwest Florida. With that kind of background, our clients get a lot of insights, and media buying and negotiating power, and spot-on advice about selecting the right media for the best possible return.

Amy Court

Media Director

Amy Court is one of our Media Directors who works hand-in-hand with clients, the account management team and the creative department in planning, purchasing and evaluating media buys, including online, print, cable and TV broadcasting, radio and outdoor.

Prior to joining Spiro & Associates she spent eight years at Waterman Broadcasting in Fort Myers as Digital Media Manager where she developed digital advertising platforms, optimized digital campaigns and grew advertising revenue.

Amy began her career in Atlanta where she held various sales positions with Landmark Communications Inc., and then moved up to Account Executive and Regional Sales Manager for The E.W. Scripps Company. She moved back to Southwest Florida in 2007.

Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications-Radio/Television from the University of Central Florida.
With the growth of the agency’s digital media needs, Amy’s knowledge is a great addition to the expanding media department. She hit the ground running from Day One, quickly making an impact in understanding clients’ needs and helping them get the most out of their digital campaigns.

Patricia Crump

Social Media/Digital Marketing Specialist

Patricia is our newest Brand Architect™, dedicated to developing, managing, executing, targeting and placing social media, digital campaigns and ads across all platforms for the Agency and its clients, as well as assisting the web department with website design and development.

Her experience stems from her studies of the marketing industry while a student at Florida Gulf Coast University, as well as two years of social content coordination at Moore & Scarry Advertising in Cape Coral.

But generating Facebook, Instagram and Twitter content is not Patricia’s only passion. She happens to be a travel aficionado — having already toured England, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and most recently, Italy and Greece. She is also incredibly health conscious, having lost 65 lbs. since last year and participated in 5Ks and obstacle course events such as mud runs. Yes, she and Mark Heideman have a lot to talk about! And when Patricia is not working out, you will find her at one of dozens of concerts — perhaps you spotted her at some of the 25 live performances she attended to commemorate her 25th birthday — or reminiscing about One Direction (keeping Harry Styles top of mind, of course).

When Patricia gets home, it is time for another episode of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” a traditional 90s kid’s pastime. In fact, home for her is and always has been Fort Myers, where we have our headquarters. That being said, Patricia has never seen snow! But despite her intense dislike for cold weather, The Brand Architects™ foresee a new “number one” on her bucket list in the not-so-distant future.

Kandice Hayes

Senior Public Relations Specialist

Kandice Hayes is the Senior Public Relations Specialist at Spiro & Associates, joining other Brand Architects®
who specialize in all thing public relations. She is responsible for public relations communications projects for assigned clients, from business meetings to news media “pitches” to news release development and dissemination, she guides the plans and tactics through successful completion.
Kandice has a diverse background in marketing and product management working in a variety of industries including medical equipment, consumer packaged goods and homebuilding. Prior to joining Spiro & Associates, she spent five years at Tervis Tumbler headquarters in Venice, Florida, as Product Development Manager where she managed activities that stimulated the development and introduction of new products and packaging.
She was born and raised in Northeast Ohio and moved to Southwest Florida in 2005. She earned a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management / Marketing from Ashland University, is an avid Cleveland Indians fan, and enjoys yoga and cycling.

Kandice’s diverse background and project management skills fit nicely with the agency’s portfolio of clients as the agency moves forward and continues to grow.

Kaitlin Sherman

Public Relations Specialist & Writer

Kaitlin may be the first on our Brand Architects team to play a part in saving a person’s life. Long story short: she was 19, a student at Penn State University, and had to track down someone at 1a.m. to come to the rescue of a man slumped over in his wheelchair. Remarkably, he survived.

While we do not know the whereabouts of the person, we are happy to know that Kaitlin can help any one of us should we be in dire need of being saved.

Prior to joining us, Kaitlin was a Line Producer for CBS-affiliate WINK-TV News in Fort Myers.

Kaitlin was also a Communications Coordinator for the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce in Staten Island, N.Y., where she was born and raised.

She moved to Bonita Springs in 2014 and joined Spiro & Associates in October 2016. She is a 2012 graduate of Penn State with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Journalism and Political Science.

Kaitlin is pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Florida. (Can we stand yet another Gator Nation fan? Sure!)

When she’s not saving lives — or breathing new life into copy assignments — you may find Kaitlin in leisurely pursuits like watching movies, dining out, lounging in the pool or hot tub, or writing.