The Brand Architects
Each Brand Architect not only brings a unique skillset and outstanding marketing expertise, but also a one-of-a-kind personality that allows them to shine professionally.
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.
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.
Some would say Robert is quite the character. And they would not be too far off the mark, as our Creative Director has acted in six stage productions with The Naples Players at Sugden Community Theater. He also appeared in an episode of “Magic City,” a Starz Network original series set in 1959 Miami – picture Miami’s golden age of Art Deco, glitz, classic clothes and vintage vehicles.
Just like his on-stage and on-screen gigs, his career also has been a class act all the way. Robert’s marketing and advertising experience spans decades of some really cool assignments, including being a copy editor at TV Guide. Sometime after graduating from Stanford University in California, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Spanish, he returned to his home turf on the east coast. That is where he landed his first real agency gig in 2001 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, where he was the copy director for a boutique agency and accomplished some kick-ass award-winning work in his first year. He joined Spiro & Associates in 2015.
Here is an interesting tidbit you can talk to Robert about: He was one of two finalists in J. Walter Thompson’s national copywriter search. In case you did not know, it is kind of a big deal because J. Walter Thompson is one of the world’s best-known advertising agencies that has been building enduring brands and business for more than 150 years.
Don has come full circle back into the media profession that he loves, which actually started out while in high school and followed up in 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 of that wasn’t enough, he also was a financial advisor for several years dealing with private wealth management. Additionally, Don is one of the only guys we know who has worked radio, broadcast TV and cable TV in Southwest Florida in terms of media and sales. With that kind of background, our clients get a lot of insights, media buying and negotiating power that is more like investing, and finding the right media for the client to get the best possible return.
Traffic Manager and 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.
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!
Junior Account Executive
With a name like Hope, this Brand Architect™ is expected to inspire people and always manages to deliver. In fact, management is a very big part of her job — things like Agency-wide campaigns and working with the account team to complete client services.
But long before she was added to the Spiro & Associates team, she was bringing HOPE to her hometown of Cape Coral and throughout Southwest Florida. She started by taking three levels of American sign language at Ida S. Baker High School and then studying health science at Santa Fe College in Gainesville via two scholarships — one for her interest and potential in the field of science and the other for her involvement in cheerleading and community service.
Since rallying behind causes and organizations that mean a lot to the people whom you serve is something that we often preach to our clients, please pardon us while we brag about how Hope spends her free time. She is actively involved with the PACE Center for Girls Lee County, particularly Love That Dress events, as well as the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral’s Red, White and Boom and Holiday Festival of Lights. And for 10 years, Hope volunteered for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, following a relative’s breast cancer diagnosis. In short, I guess you can say that we continue to find love in a HOPE-filled place.
Senior Art Director
For Gail, affectionately called GG, all roads seem to always lead to Spiro & Associates. Sure, she may have taken a six-year hiatus to pursue her own design studio out of Cape Coral, but she’s back and ready to take on more outstanding concepts, filled with depth and imagination.
Gail’s journey to agency life started in Singapore, her native country, which she left for California at the age of 18 — for ambitious reasons, of course. She graduated from the University of San Francisco/Academy of Art College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in advertising design. This degree opened the door to art director jobs in Southwest Florida like those at WCI Communities and the former AdWorks, Inc.
But it was in 2007 that Gail first graced us with her presence at what was then Spiro & Waites. Ultimately, her ambition inspired her to launch Gohman Design, a boutique shop serving companies of all sizes — even to this day.
Thankfully, though, she returned to good ol’ Spiro & Associates in 2018, transitioning into a Brand Architect™ and continuing to become an integral part of our growing design team.
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 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.
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.
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.
Software Engineer & Website Developer
While most of us spent the eighth grade taking the SATs, playing videogames and running around with our friends, little Jesse Robinson was learning how to develop software. And while we spent our last year of high school driving to the mall and thinking about prom, he was preparing for his first software-developing freelance position. Today, the fruits of that labor can be seen on TheMakoGroup.com, WorkforceSolutions.com and WingsNY.com, just to name a few.
After obtaining an associate degree from Nassau Community College, Jesse took a walk on the wild side when he was accepted into South Carolina’s former Iron Yard — a six-month-long cram school where he earned a certificate in Ruby on Rails full-stack software development. This prompted a General Software Engineering position with an advertising and marketing agency on Long Island, New York. He then relocated to Fort Myers, took on a freelance position with Spiro & Associates, proved himself and the rest — as they say — is history.
Today, Jesse continues to create killer websites, enhance search engine optimization, develop apps and execute the e-mail campaigns that everyone knows and loves. But when he’s not working, you’ll find him jamming with his band or playing piano and solo singing during events at Lee Memorial Hospital, Hurricane Charley’s and 88 Keys. Yes, he’s pretty cool in a techie geek, musician-like sort of way!
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.
Senior Public Relations Specialist
Kandice Hayes is the Senior Public Relations Specialist at Spiro & Associates, joining other Brand Architects™ who specialize in all things 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.
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.
Bookkeeper and Media Planner
Around here, Ashley is known as the numbers cruncher, managing accounts payable/receivable for all clients and processing payroll for us — all while assisting the media department with media purchases and planning. And it was a series of administrative roles in a variety of industries that prepared her to complete such important missions — those regarding Microsoft Office, data analysis, inventory management and helping c-suites achieve key performance indicators.
For two years, Ashley managed the office side of her husband’s landscape business, becoming an expert in QuickBooks, as well as Santa Claus on paydays. But before and after that, she took her administrative skills to the medical level — first as a Unit Secretary for NCH Healthcare System’s oncology unit, then for Lee Memorial Hospital’s emergency department and ultimately for NCH’s WCP Microsystem, Sodexo (facilities management and engineering) at NCH, Entech Computer Services and The Laurie Johnstone Group with Coldwell Banker.
With an impressive ability to create and formulate spreadsheets, plan budgets, grow the media department and present new paid media opportunities to those the Agency serves, Ashley is on the ball and always keeping us on our toes.