Cleveland-based independent creative agency Marcus Thomas promoted three longtime employees to vice president roles: Elizabeth Abate, Jordan Laneve and Stephanie Burris. All three women have been with Marcus Thomas since the early 2010s and have been instrumental in taking the agency to new heights.
Elizabeth Abate, vice president, media, joined Marcus Thomas in 2010 as media planner. Her expertise spans digital, social, programmatic, traditional and nontraditional touchpoints, as well as teaching: She has developed and taught a media planning curriculum to junior and senior undergraduate students at Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication. At Marcus Thomas, he leads a team that develops and executes media strategies by identifying the optimal mix of paid, earned and owned touchpoints, exploring new ways to leverage digital and traditional media together on behalf of established and emerging brands, such as Ohio Lottery and Gold Star Chili. She is passionate about work that shifts culture in a positive direction, like the agency’s Ohio lottery campaign “Feel Like a Million” that upended people’s assumptions about “winning” by focusing on the emotional impact that small amounts of money they could have on someone’s life. Her current obsession is artificial intelligence and how different applications of it are influencing communication and mass culture. She also volunteers and serves on the board of Fostering Hope, a local nonprofit that brings joy to the lives of foster children.
Jordan Laneve, who joined Marcus Thomas in 2012, is now VP, Search Marketing, responsible for overseeing the SEO and Paid Search teams, as well as managing the SEM program for the agency’s largest client, Dexcom DTC (USA). He has witnessed the evolution of the search industry, adapting to the ever-changing research space by combining audience intelligence, analytics and technology to deliver solutions designed to outlast trends. Like Elizabeth, Marcus Thomas’ inclusive, collaborative, and respectful culture is what originally drew Jordan to the agency and is what keeps her there. When she’s not immersed in spreadsheets, Jordan relaxes by listening to true crime podcasts, playing beach volleyball, or hiking with Gunner the dog and whatever kids she can get to come along.
Stephanie Burris, VP, Executive Creative Director, began working with Marcus Thomas a few years after Elizabeth and Jordan, but has had a considerable impact on the agency, spearheading creativity on Vitamix, KraftMaid and several new commercial hits. She has a passion for purposeful brands, emotional storytelling and work that creates value in people’s lives. Outside of the agency, Stephanie serves on the board of directors of Shoes and Clothes for Kids and aspires to write a book for her two young children. In her new role at Marcus Thomas, Stephanie’s ambitions include continuing to cultivate the agency’s close-knit culture, boundless curiosity and creative collisions in an ever-expanding hybrid world.
“One of Marcus Thomas’s long-standing core values has been to build from within, both in the community around us and under our own roof,” said Jamie Venorsky, the agency’s chief creative officer. “Our agency is so fortunate to have grown and achieved success thanks in large part to the contributions of these three women, and they now have the titles to match what they mean to Marcus Thomas.”