Chris Burns Chief Strategy Guy

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Founding partner, Chris Burns, is Summit Marketing’s Chief Strategy Guy. Chris brings a strong background of over 25 years experience in corporate and entrepreneurial leadership in the area of strategic brand delivery. When it comes to website development, he has a unique ability to imagine the site from the customer’s point of view, thereby leading to sites that are easy for both the target audience and staff to understand and navigate. Many of his SEO strategies are considered cutting-edge as he matches a deep understanding of search engine platforms and the incredible power of Joomla’s programming flexibility to the content-based information of Summit’s clients. If that seems highly technical, just spend a few minutes with Chris and he’ll quickly relate how it can work within your website strategy. In addition to his passion for business, Chris has been honored to lead many non-profits in Western NC including the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, Pardee Hospital Foundation, Hendersonville Rotary Club, Friends of the Ecusta Trail, and Hendersonville Country Club.

Tony Seagle Creative Director/ Partner

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Creative Director, Tony Seagle began his career in creative design 20 years ago. A native of Hendersonville his love for the mountains continually fuels his passion for beautiful and relevant design. His designs consistently win regional and national acclaim from organizations such as The American Advertising Federation, The Printer’s Association of the Carolinas (PICA), and the Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina. As an entrepreneur, his understanding of brand strategies and visual communication results in powerful and memorable designs for websites, internet-based marketing and print campaigns. He continually strives to strengthen the Henderson County community by volunteering and serving on various non-profit boards. He is a past board chair of Hands-On! of WNC, an interactive childrens educational gallery, and a past board chair of St. Gerard House, offering evidence-based treatment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Marybeth Burns Founding Partner

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Communication expert, Marybeth Burns has over 25 years experience in copywriting, editing and strategic media plan development. She specializes in developing fully integrated media plans. Marybeth’s expertise in fully understanding and implementing our internet-based campaigns allow Summit to stay at the forefront in getting our customer’s messages to their customers. In addition to serving as marketing director for several professional and service-related businesses in the Southeast, Marybeth has also had a successful career as a freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in prestigious regional publications such as Business North Carolina, Our State Magazine, and many domestic and international in-flight magazines. When not behind the computer, you will find Marybeth enjoying the back roads or trails of Henderson County on her bike.

Jennifer Marlowe Creative Specialist

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Jennifer Marlowe is Summit Marketing’s copywriter and creative specialist. She has a knack for taking the verbose and crafting a succinct, memorable message. In addition to a degree in Elementary Education, she also has a degree in Communications/Marketing and Advertising from Appalachian State University. Jenn researches clients’ needs to develop concepts and in-depth campaigns. Her strong command of social media also makes her the go-to person for clients needing help in this ever-changing area. Jenn has a rock and roll/punk soul, enjoys the craft beer scene and is fond of Fluevogs and Dr. Martens. 

Karen Kater Marketing Coordinator

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Karen Kater is in her tenth year as Summit’s Task Master. Her skills ensure that our clients’ projects and media campaigns are flawlessly executed on time and within budget. Karen is a native of Massachusetts with a degree in Mass Communications focused in Media Systems. She is a freelance writer, photographer and musician. With Karen at the helm, projects remain on track; ads are created, approved, and actually delivered early...what a concept!

Zach Cioffi Digital Manager/Google Specialist

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Zach Cioffi is Summit's Digital Content Manager and Google Specialist. With an MFA in Writing and extensive work in tech business journalism, he combines any creative effort with a lean writing approach. These skills lend themselves to optimizing websites and Google Adwords campaigns, where success relies on speaking the many different languages of client personalities. Originally from the Pennsylvania stretch of Appalachia, Zach is glad to be home again in the mountains, where he can enjoy the excitement and quiet equally, and has more time to hone his mediocre guitar skills.

Caroline Ellis Account Executive

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Caroline Ellis is Summit’s Communications Specialist. A Hendersonville native, Caroline is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. Caroline is excited to approach her first “real” job with the same passion and enthusiasm for Marketing that she found in the classroom and in her various internships. Her role at Summit includes managing and creating content for websites, crafting relevant and unique monthly, weekly or quarterly newsletters and utilizing her graphic design skills on various projects. In her free time, Caroline enjoys freelance writing and cheering on the Heels—she firmly believes that the sky is Carolina Blue in honor of the Tar Heels.

Emily Pfahl Graphic Artist

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Emily Pfahl is a graphic artist with the Summit Team. She has a wealth of creative knowlege and talent including a Bachelor's degree from NC State's College of Design and a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of the Arts in Philadelphia.   For the past several years she has put her talents to work teaching graphic design through the Arts Council of Charlotte while also working as a designer for a prominent Charlotte archetectural firm.  Emily is a ninja when it comes to color palettes and making the ordinary look extraordinary.