Katie Wagner, President
Katie spent more than 15 years as a journalist. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Boston University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and a B.A. in International Relations, she began her career as an investigative reporter, and then spent a decade as a television and radio news anchor. Katie has worked at CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN and National Public Radio. In addition, she has appeared on dozens of commercials, educational videos and websites. She has hosted her own talk show, had columns published in major newspapers and blogs, and is a popular public speaker.
Katie has built a reputation as an engaging and credible storyteller.
In 2010, Katie realized that she could use the skills that she learned in the newsroom to help business owners connect with their clients online. She opened KWSM to help companies and organizations tell their story, building the agency with journalists, whom she knew understood how to establish a relationship with their audience and convey information in an engaging and educational way.
First introduced to the tools as a way to promote her news stories, Katie has always believed in the power of social media to engage an audience and build credibility. She is passionate about helping business owners integrate social media into their traditional media marketing plans. Over the years, Katie has helped set digital marketing strategy for hundreds of clients in a variety of industries.
Katie sits on the Advisory Board for Web Wise Kids, a non-profit focused on keeping kids safe on the internet and social media. In 2012, she was honored with the organization's 'Champion for Children Award.' She is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Chapman University's Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics, and serves as a Mentor for Chapman's MBA Program. Katie is also a certified first responder with the American Humane Association (She was one of the first rescuers allowed into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina) and has worked and volunteered in dozens of animal shelters across the country. In her free time, you can find her at the barn with her horse, Gitan.
Stephen Wagner, Director of Operations
Stephen has a finance background and an entrepreneurial heart.
With a degree in Finance from Oregon State University, Stephen has worked in Finance & Operations Management at two Fortune 100 companies. In addition, he spent 5 years as a small business consultant, working with clients in the real estate, food & beverage, retail, and finance industries. Though involved from the beginning, he joined the KWSM Team full-time in 2011.
As an entrepreneur himself, Stephen identifies with the challenges of starting a business and trying to ‘get it all done’ with limited resources. He loves showing our clients how they can level the playing field with an engaging social media presence.
Stephen is well-trained in Search Engine Optimization, and works with our clients to make sure they are getting the most SEO benefit from the work we do. A blogger and social media enthusiast, Stephen holds Yelp Elite status. He brings business savvy to the world of social media, and is looking forward to helping your business build social media channels that further your goals.
Away from the office, Stephen plays the bass and makes his own wine. The third vintage of ‘Wagner Estates’ (a Syrah) will be released this Christmas.
Jeff Soto, Managing Content Editor, Orange County & Las Vegas
Jeff is an effective storyteller with a history of creating engaging, results-driven campaigns for his clients. He loves digital marketing because of the power social media has to connect with consumers.
Jeff graduated from the University of California Irvine with a degree in English.
He worked for 15+ years in TV news in the Los Angeles market as an Assignment Editor, Writer, Producer and Executive Producer and is the winner of numerous Emmy and Golden Mike awards for his newscasts, breaking news and special event coverage.
After transitioning to digital marketing nearly 10 years ago, Jeff gained experience in Content Marketing, Social Media, Community Management and Public Relations, both in agency and in-house roles. He has helped launch PR and marketing strategies for companies in a variety of industries, including medical, beauty, travel, hospitality, food and beverage, consumer products, transportation, shipping, supply chain and logistics.
Jeff’s experience managing a newsroom serves him well as the leader of KWSM’s Content Team, which is made up of journalists. His previous roles in digital marketing have prepared him for guiding successful campaigns for our clients. He joined the KWSM Team in 2016.
An Orange County native, Jeff is married with three children. He is a History buff and a Foodie who enjoys golf, traveling and reading. Even in his free time, you can usually find him on Twitter.
Rick Ormsby, Managing Content Editor, Atlanta
Rick is a multi-faceted leader with a background in logistics, project management, content development and data analysis. He led the creative team at another Atlanta-based agency before joining the KWSM Team.
Rick graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors in Agricultural Engineering and a Masters in Biochemical Engineering. He entered the world of digital marketing through data science and analytics, but his passion for storytelling helped him transition into content creation.
With a love for creating engaging content and a talent for team building, Rick loves leading the KWSM Atlanta team to create integrated digital marketing plans for our clients.
Rick is passionate about conservation and outdoor education. When not at the office, he volunteers as a Den Leader, helping Cub Scouts explore the natural world and serve their community. He loves spending time with his wife and their 7 year old son.
Wendi Liechty, Marketing Solutions Manager
Wendi is a versatile marketing and sales professional with nearly two decades of experience helping business owners find the right tools to tell their story.
Wendi worked as a professional Business Coach for entrepreneurs, helping them define their brand and create an effective marketing strategy. She used her expertise as a consultant to open an agency in Orange County, specializing in branding, websites and marketing strategy, which she ran for 5 years.
Wendi has extensive experience speaking and training on a variety of business topics, including marketing, social media and websites. She has a passion for connecting with people and building lasting relationships.
Before joining the KWSM team, Wendi worked in marketing and business development for Fortune 500 healthcare companies. Her diverse background and experience have given her a deep understanding of what both customers and businesses need in today’s complex landscape.
Wendi grew up sailing, and loves the ocean, beach-combing and treasure hunting for interesting people, places, food, art, music and new experiences. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with her two sons.
Jason Brady, Marketing Solutions Manager
Jason comes to his role at KWSM with 20 years of journalism and television production experience. He spent more than 15 years with CNN in Atlanta.
Jason was born and raised in Georgia. He graduated from Clayton State University with a degree in Business. He is naturally curious and loves to learn about people and their roles. This allows him to dig in and learn about his clients’ businesses, helping them determine the best marketing strategy to achieve their goals.
Outside of work, Jason loves to spend time with his wife, Candice, and their 5 children (ages 19, 16, 10, 6 & 4) and two dogs (a yellow lab and a golden retriever). He’s a softball coach, and serves as Director of player/coach development for a recreational league. Jason loves to be outdoors, and is a firm believer that everyone should wait tables at least once in their lives because it teaches you so much.
Alicia Iorio, Marketing Solutions Specialist
Alicia has more than 10 years of experience in relationship focused sales, business development and operations management in industries including financial services, accounting, technology and healthcare.
Alicia’s varied background allows her to understand the challenges that her clients are facing in a variety of areas, and she loves coming up with creative solutions to help them reach their goals. Her favorite part of her job is building relationships with others, and being a resource for her clients and colleagues.
Alicia graduated with honors from Northern Arizona University, as one of the youngest graduates in the school’s history. (She skipped 6th, 7th and 8th grade!) She attended law school in San Diego, but was recruited during her third year by a technology startup.
When not at work, Alicia enjoys golf, yoga, dancing and hiking. She has a 2 year old Boxer named Max who is always willing to come along for the ride.
Taylor Lizura, Senior Content Editor / Training Manager
Taylor is an experienced digital marketer with a background in public relations and social media for small businesses and professionals. She is a passionate storyteller who gets excited about learning the language of the brands she works with.
Taylor holds a degree in Public Relations from Northern Arizona University, with a minor in Electronic Media and Film. She joined the KWSM Team in 2016.
When she’s not in the office, Taylor loves film and television and is our resident pop culture expert. She also enjoys finding new restaurants, and hanging out with her puppy, Brett Favre.
Taylor Glaze, Content Editor
Taylor comes to KWSM with a background in public relations, marketing and event planning. She has previous agency experience and has worked extensively in the action sports, health and wellness, and beauty industries.
Taylor graduated from Cal State San Bernardino with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Public Relations. She is a pop culture fan and loves uncovering trends and helping her clients leverage them in their marketing initiatives. Her favorite elements of digital marketing are content development and the creative branding process.
In her free time, Taylor loves snowboarding, football (go Broncos!), and spending time with her family, friends, and dog, Matilda.
Layla Lameijer, Content Editor
Layla is a passionate digital marketer who loves showing clients what digital tools can do for their businesses. She has previous agency experience, both in California, and in the Netherlands, and has worked on strategies for clients in apparel, retail, food & beverage, professional services, healthcare, education, and manufacturing – both startups and small businesses and established corporations and franchises.
Layla has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, from Chapman University. She held a position at the Chapman University Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship, and has worked on her own startup company.
In her free time, Layla can be found watching classic movies, playing strategic games like backgammon or Settlers of Catan, or spending time outdoors. She loves traveling, discovering new cuisines and learning the history of the places she visits.
Ivana Hermida, Content Editor
With a background in marketing, event planning, social media and content creation for retail and e-commerce, Ivana takes a holistic approach to her work at KWSM. She understands how digital and traditional marketing work together to meet her clients’ goals.
Ivana graduated from New Mexico State University with a BA in Marketing and a minor in Management. She loves agency work because of the variety of clients she gets to interact with, and enjoys staying up to date with new trends in social media and marketing.
When not at the office, Ivana loves traveling, yoga and spending time with her English Bulldog, Boogie.
Olivia Riley, Content Editor
Before joining the KWSM team, Olivia worked in journalism and public relations. She has previous agency experience, and has worked in-house at non-profit organizations, and on staff at various publications.
Olivia has a BA in Journalism & Communications from Hampton University in Virginia. She holds certifications in marketing and media communications from the University of California, Irvine.
Outside of work, Olivia volunteers on the marketing team at ChickTech OC, an organization that works to increase the number of women pursuing STEM-based careers through community workshops. She enjoys reading (fiction, memoir, personal development), studying French language and culture, and loves beauty and skincare.
Breonna Quash, Content Editor
Breonna has more than 5 years of experience in marketing, graphic design, website design and video editing. She chose a career in marketing and advertising because it allows her to be both creative and results-focused. She loves using social media to communicate with people all over the world.
Breonna earned a degree in Marketing from Alabama State University. She considers herself to be competitive because she wants to be the best at everything she does. She grew up in a military family and likes to experience different places and people, which she says has helped her become a more well-rounded person.
In her free time, you’ll find Breonna hanging out with her 5 year old son, Bentley. She also loves trying new things. She’s been experimenting with scuba diving and rock climbing, and plans to get her sports pilot license. She loves food and music, and her ideal day involves a festival because it’s the best of both!
Meghan Greene, Junior Content Editor
Meghan graduated from the University of West Georgia with a B.S. in Mass Communications and a minor in Marketing. She has experience in social media and marketing for small businesses, and loves content creation – especially shooting and editing video.
Outside of work, Meghan enjoys watching live music and traveling (last year she visited 6 different states and 2 countries). She has been a vegan for the past 3 years.
Enes Ozekin, Content Creator
Enes has a passion for analytics and designing sales and lead generation systems that get results for his clients. He has more than 5 years of experience in digital media buying and management experience, and has worked in both in-house and agency roles. He has helped design digital marketing strategies for clients like Roku, US Olympic Figure Skating, Cirque Du Soleil and HBO.
Enes was born and raised in Colorado, and is the son of Turkish immigrants. He has a degree in Business from Colorado State University, with concentrations in Marketing and Organization & Innovation Management, and certificates in International Business, Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Management. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University and a Master's in Communication and Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication Management from Purdue University.
Enes is fluent in Turkish, Proficient in Spanish, and can read Arabic. He has traveled to 40 countries and is a Certified First Responder, Wildland Firefighter and Swiftwater & Open Water Technical Rescue Diver. When not at the office, he loves backpacking and camping, and trying new foods.
Samantha Dobson, Content Creator
Samantha is an accomplished writer and blogger who has been featured on several online publications and is a contributing writer for a national lifestyle print publication.
She earned her degree in English from Cal State Fullerton, and graduated Cum Laude.
Before joining the KWSM Team, Sam worked in management and marketing in a small business environment, and she understands the importance of a strong online presence for companies trying to attract and build relationships with new customers.
Sam is passionate about animals and volunteers for a dog rescue in her free time. She also participates in a book club and enjoys hanging out with her husband and their three rescue dogs.
Bethany Gustavsen, Copywriter
Bethany has been a professional writer for more than a decade, but her love of words started long before that. As a child, when she was given a blank canvas and paintbrush, she would paint words - telling stories instead of drawing pictures.
Bethany began her career as a senior staff writer and editor in the Governor of Hawaii’s Office of Information. Since then, she has worked as a copywriter and marketer for clients in the auto, travel, sports, video game and food & beverage industries.
In addition to writing and editing, Bethany has experience in event marketing, and spent time launching event marketing campaigns with an agency in LA. She joined the KWSM Team in 2014.
Bethany graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hawaii Pacific University. She has a degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations.
Alexandra Hall, Assistant Project Manager
Alexandra brings a background in marketing, project management, administration and customer service to her role on the KWSM Team. She has held a variety of account management positions in industries from retail to real estate, always focused on enhancing the customer experience.
An Orange County native, Alexandra possesses both a creative spirit and a practical, detail-oriented mindset, which serves her well as the manager of KWSM’s Web and Video Departments.
Outside of work, Alexandra enjoys costuming, writing and participating in community theater, both as a performer and a stage manager.
Angie Smith, Senior Web Designer
Angie has always enjoyed drawing and painting, and has won awards for her work. In college she discovered her love for graphic design, and translated that passion into website design.
Angie grew up in rural Wisconsin and has a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, with a minor in Web Design and specialized training in photography and printmaking. She moved to Southern California and joined the KWSM Team in 2016.
An accomplished designer, Angie has held both agency and in-house roles, working on projects that included website and mobile app design, brand development, packaging design, online marketing and creation of printed materials.
In her free time, Angie enjoys exploring California, spending time at the beach and finding new places to hike with her husband and daughter.
Billy Bates, Web Designer
Billy is a designer and front end developer who loves creating all forms of digital media, from video to websites. He began his digital career in 2011 by designing websites for small businesses. He taught himself to code by taking online classes and constantly pushing himself to learn more.
Billy now has extensive development experience, including a stint as a Creative Developer at Google where he worked in video editing, motion graphics, design and coding. At KWSM, he works in both our web and video departments, and loves that his job combines both his creative and intellectual sides.
Billy grew up in San Francisco, and recently moved to Orange County. When not at the office, he can frequently be found in the studio. He’s an accomplished musician who recently released a record – on vinyl!
Andrew Worley, Videographer
Andrew is a versatile creative with more than 7 years of experience in filmmaking, wedding and fashion photography, print and graphic design. He has created videos and photos for hundreds of businesses and organizations and loves producing creative corporate content.
Andrew attended the Art Institute of Orange County and studied Opera at a Music Conservatory. He is passionate about all types of music, art and design.
Andrew is married to his high school sweetheart. Outside of work, you can frequently find him in a coffee bar. He loves traveling and is 100% obsessed with HGTV.
Janae Raphael, Public Relations
Janae is a dedicated Public Relations professional specializing in the health and beauty industry. For more than a decade she has worked closely with distributors, manufacturers, salons, retail stores and beauty professionals, helping to build brands and garner media attention. Janae excels at helping clients reach consumers and inspire them to act.
Janae holds a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Public Relations from Chapman University. She earned her M.A. in Strategic Public Relations from USC.
Skilled at producing and executing innovative PR plans that generate results, Janae has worked with many established beauty brands, but is equally excited about helping to launch new brands and set them up for success.
In her free time, Janae makes jewelry, and enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Natalie Schleicher, Executive Assistant
Natalie brings extensive experience in management and customer service to her role at KWSM, having worked in the banking and food & beverage industries before joining the KWSM Team in 2015.
Natalie graduated Cum Laude from San Diego State University with a degree in Multimedia and a minor in Television & Film. She has studied illustration, graphic design, video editing and script writing.
In her free time, Natalie likes drawing, reading, watching movies and keeping up with her favorite TV shows. She doesn’t claim to be a great chef, but enjoys eating the work of others.
Jules Wagner, Support Staff
Ella Jules Wagner is an 11 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who has been part of the KWSM Team since the company was founded in 2010.
Jules was adopted in 2007 from the Greenhill Humane Society, where Katie served as the Marketing & Development Director. They met during the shooting of a ‘News Anchors with Adoptable Pets’ fundraising calendar.
Jules brings extensive experience in cuddling, humorous antics, and providing stress relief. When not on the job, you can find her curled up on the couch, or wrestling with her brother, Louie. (Who is not allowed at the office due to being a good dog who makes very bad choices.)
You can connect with Jules on her Instagram account: @SocialBullJules