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An agency built upon the belief, value and importance of teamwork and open communication.


Keeping on top of the latest marketing and digital trends and bringing that curated knowledge forward.


Innovative approaches targeted on business goals.

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Listening to you, your audiences and your organization – gaining insights – focusing on solutions.


Results-driven performance, measured against key goals, supported through data, analytics and reporting.


Thinking through problems and reaching comprehensive conclusions.

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John Zoppi

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Steve Arbaugh

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Myles Kellam

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Billie Knipfer

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Ray Mendez

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John Bauman

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Hide Harishima

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Drew Pyle

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Nandini Austin

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Steve Zoppi

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Mary Jo Bohr

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Jon Baucom

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Mark Gruen
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Mirka Illasova
Public Relations & Social Media Strategist

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Jens Schlueter
Digital Marketing & Business Development Strategist

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Carol Summerfield
Senior Brand & Communications Strategist

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Amy Fox
Client Strategist & Producer

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Jeff Powers
Senior Client Services & Media Manager

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Daphne Rothlisberger
Managing Director

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Zach Weiner
Senior Interactive Design Director

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Jude Abboud, Social Media Manager & Strategist

Jude Abboud is a Social Media Manager & Strategist who is passionate about creativity and helping businesses cultivate a strong, cohesive online presence. She understands the importance and value creating and delivering content that connects with key audiences and drives business performance.  Jude has been able to consistently create a solid digital footprint for clients’ brands by optimizing the use of ads, blogs, and a multitude of social media platforms to get results. As part of her focus, Jude makes sure clients remain up-to-date on keywords, trends and (sounds?) on social media, enabling her to boost her clients’ brand exposure and increase audience awareness and engagement. Jude is based in the Chicago area and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.”

Daphne Rothlisberger, Fractional CMO

As a Chief Marketing Officer, Daphne is a seasoned leader who has successfully navigated companies through various phases of growth and development for over 20 years. With her deep understanding of strategic planning and team dynamics, she has delivered transformative results that have reshaped organizations’ trajectories and improved their bottom lines. Having worked with top-tier agencies such as Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide, Daphne has collaborated with several iconic brands, including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Intel, American Express, Allstate Insurance, Starbucks, and many more. She is passionate about driving business growth and specializes in overhauling organizations at their core by crafting comprehensive plans that optimize operations and set them up for long-term success. Her collaborative leadership and relentless pursuit of excellence make her impact enduring and profound. Above all, Daphne is dedicated to revolutionizing businesses’ digital marketing landscapes. She champions strategic innovations that amplify team productivity, elevate brand visibility, and integrate robust, strategy-driven methodologies to drive performance.

Matthew Crofoot, Technology Director

Matthew has over 25 years’ experience as an entrepreneur and consultant partnering with small and medium sized businesses to build websites, databases and help solve their technology and business problems. He has a business degree from Boston University with majors in Information Systems and Marketing.

Along the way Matthew served as CTO and co-founder of Opinion Lab and has worked with hundreds of companies including: DDB, McKinsey & Company, DEC, Aon Insurance, Nationwide Insurance, State Street Bank, Ziff Davis, NAI and Cushman Wakefield – where he built and maintained a comprehensive Intranet platform for real estate professionals. He has a gift for being the perfect bridge between the business and technology worlds and speaking both languages fluently and in a way that people can actually understand.

Joe Martin, Behavioral Marketing & Business Growth Strategist

Joe Martin is a Chicago business growth strategist who helps companies succeed by focusing on and prioritizing their one target customer.

An author and TEDx speaker, his ideas on company culture have been featured on FOX News, WCIU, and WGN Chicago.
With a strong interest in sports, music and worthy causes, in his spare time he plays ice hockey, performs at open mics around Chicago, and volunteers with the American Cancer Society. 
Joe is a graduate of The Art Institutes and holds a BA, Web Design & Interactive Media.

Billie Knipfer, Digital Marketing Account Director

Billie Knipfer is a marketing strategist and project manager with over 20 years of experience developing brands and communications for companies large and small. She utilizes design and technology as tools for problem-solving business challenges. Regardless of the medium, Billie works with teams to create striking, concept-driven deliverables that differentiate clients from competitors, convey clear messages and intent, and drive results.

Billie has worked across multiple industries, some of which include banking, carpet/flooring manufacturing, construction, entertainment, fine art, food & beverage manufacturing, furniture manufacturing, insurance, mobile phones, non-profit, and retail (food, clothing). A few of her former clients include Motorola, Gucci, Johnsonite Flooring, and the U.S. Mint. Each client has unique challenges and objectives, so Billie adapts and creates design processes that are customized to their specific needs, processes, and budgets.

Myles Kellam, Business & Marketing Strategist

Myles develops marketing solutions that fulfill Client business objectives and he builds, optimizes and systematizes agency positioning and capabilities.

With 20+ years leadership experience in business and marketing focused in formation of omni-channel marketing strategies, client service, contract negotiations and marketing, Myles brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to work for his clients.

Myles spent two decades leading strategy and Client Service for Clients ranging from global, multinationals to pharmaceuticals to luxury brands (including GE, Deutsche Bank, Rodman & Renshaw, Diageo-Guiness, J&J, GSK, Novartis and Tom Ford). Myles became a sought-after strategist and tactician, understanding how various advertising channels could be most efficiently and effectively employed.

Myles has been cited in publications including WSJ.com, NYTimes.com, B2B Magazine, Communications Arts, SFChronicle.com, FT.com and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Myles has led teams to multiple Effies, a Cannes Silver Cyber Lion and a One Show Gold Pencil.

Mark Gruen, Senior Consultant, Integrative Strategies

A versatile, results-driven and seasoned marketing professional, Mark has built an expansive career in digital/direct marketing, advertising, sales, and product development. Broadly experienced, he has a powerful ability to help businesses develop marketing strategies that elevate brand awareness, save costs, reduce inefficiencies, and accelerate growth.

Mark founded and operated a highly regarded marketing agency for more than 20 years, serving some of America’s leading companies, trade associations and non-profits.  He understands how to manage and grow business, utilizing skills in leadership, engagement, strategic planning, implementation, and networking.

Mark has successfully launched four start-ups and many products and services throughout his career. A marketing expert with a strong business acumen, Mark brings to Method Engine an extensive and diverse background, network and expertise.

Hide Harashima, Technology Strategist

Hide is a senior level technologist and entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience at startups and enterprise companies, inspired to build purposeful technology products that engage customers and revolutionize how they work. With a proven track record in taking products from vision to delivery, and value creation through revenue growth, Hide is a committed product owner who takes end-to-end responsibility through leadership and collaboration. The mission is the delivery of quality-driven design and development solutions. Hide provides the strategic and technology direction to build more efficient and effective campaigns through customer data analysis.

Prior to working at Method Engine, Hide founded nLytics, which helped business to leverage their marketing, CRM, financial and digital data to make more informed decisions. Hide was also a CIO at Premier Research Group for 11 years, where he developed products that helped to extract and load data into business intelligence tools that provided cohort analysis for clients such as the NIH, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, and Bayer. He led a global team that resulted in the successful integration of people, culture, and systems for 8 acquisitions, which grew the company by 20 fold (in revenue) over 8 years.


Ray Mendez Brand Strategist & Creative Director

As a brand strategist, Ray’s role is to unearth the most valuable truths of an organization, work with its leaders to envision a new future and collaborate with specialist talents to realize that vision. As a creative director, Ray creates inspiring stories with words, images and digital experiences to connect the employees of organizations to their customers. He has won numerous awards for creativity, including a Cannes Gold Lion.

Ray is an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience as a lead strategist and creative director at small and global network agencies like TBWA Chiat Day, Saatchi & Saatchi, J Walter Thompson and New York boutique, the Concept Farm.

He has a proven track record of leading brand transformations in New York and Amsterdam. Some of the brands he has helped increase trust for are BNY Mellon, the Empire State Building, Institutional Investor, Russell Investments and non-profits like the Dutch Safety Council, the National Women’s Law Center, The Rockefeller Foundation and NY Cares. He has taught ‘Rapid Brand Transformation’ at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY.

Amy Fox, Client Strategist & Producer

Innovative and experienced leader with a successful history in STEM, healthcare business development, communications, client relations, project design, engagement, and implementation in a variety of disciplines/settings with Fortune 1000 clients, universities, hospitals, national organizations, state and local agencies, non-profits, and community-based groups.

Amy brings a history of award-winning writing, editing, creative direction, marketing, public relations, and project management for major publishers and organizations with aligned educational, marketing, strategic sales content, and assessment reporting.

Her work has been recognized and showcased by Florida Surgeon General, Maria Shriver, Illinois House of Congress, NPR, and TIME Magazine, and as a nominee for the Chicago Innovation Award. She is a panelist and presenter in a variety of health and STEM-based regional, and nationally recognized conferences.

Her client experience includes among others: Purina, Budweiser, Pfizer, Lowes, Bloomingdales, AETNA, BCBS, Eli Lilly, Whole Foods, USDA, Sesame Street, PepsiCo, Harvard University, and a variety of leading higher education institutions and state agencies, Virgin, the Pritzker Foundation, the Hilton Foundation, the Nemours Foundation, and a variety of leading non-profits in the health, science, and education space. Fox is a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.A. in English and Economics and currently resides in Chicago.

Jon Baucom, Senior Marketing Strategist

Jon is an enthusiastic and self-driven marketer with 18 years’ experience leading teams to designing, developing and executing digital marketing strategies. He has led the marketing activities for many brands including Henry Schein Inc., Makers Mark Bourbon, Leinenkugel Beer, and Continental General Tire. His work is characterized by an ability to effectively combine a business-owner mindset, strong organizational and leadership skills, and a passion for driving measurable results through multi-channel digital marketing initiatives.

Daphne Rothlisberger, Growth Director

Daphne brings more than 20 years of agency experience, managing teams and partnering with clients.

She began her career in New York City as a media buyer for Ogilvy and Mather working with Ryder Truck Systems, American Express, and General Foods.

A move to the Midwest and a switch to Account Service provided the opportunity to lead teams through creating campaigns, launching new products, and building brands for companies such as Nestle, Intel, Coca-Cola, Target, WalMart and Allstate. Daphne would tell you her knowledge base and experience came full circle having chaired positions on both client and agency side at McDonald’s Corporation one of the greatest marketers in the world.

She is passionate about what she does; getting people, clients, and teams moving in the right direction and translating business problems into actionable pathways. As a steward of her trade, she appreciates that marketing evolves day-to-day and therefore strives to stay abreast of all the latest marketing trends – specifically digital.

Daphne is a graduate of Colgate University with a Major in Spanish and holds several Masters certificates in Digital Marketing.

She currently resides in Iowa and is quick to add she will always be a New Yorker at heart.

Carol Summerfield, Senior Brand & Communications Strategist

In her primary role, Carol provides strategic planning for clients, helping them identify opportunities to expand reach and strengthen audience connection in order to more effectively communicate, motivate and inspire target audiences.

Through her strategic work, she brings a business-centered focus for marketing as it intersects and supports sales, operations and ultimately adds to the bottom line.

Carol is a published author and speaker who has provided strategic planning for museum, education, and cause-focused clients, helping them identify opportunities to expand their audience reach, improve their communication to disparate communities, and incorporate new technology cost-effectively to enhance the client’s narrative.

As a thought leader, Carol hosts “Beyond Brick and Mortar,” a salon series which bring together the leading voices in American museums to discuss and share ideas around the concept of advancing the way museums support their mission and reach a wider audience. She also manages the Museum Revolution blog, where she writes about the rapidly changing landscape of the museum world.

Carol is a graduate of Northwestern University with a B.A. in Creative Writing.

Jens Schlueter, Digital Marketing + Business Development Strategist

In his current role, Jens focuses on business strategy, digital marketing and consumer insights. He brings a unique and pragmatic approach to the work he does for clients.

His perspective is always balanced with innovative, creative thinking and a passion for understanding and applying advances in technology to ultimately enhance business performance and drive tangible results.

A long history of proven client successes has led him to be nicknamed the “Growth Hacker” by those who have worked with him and benefited from his expertise.

Jens is a graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, with a BA, Marketing, and a Minor in German. He also studied at and participated in the Universität Salzburg Exchange Program with an emphasis on International Communications.

Mary Jo Bohr, Communication Strategist & Writer

Mary Jo helps our clients connect powerfully with their audiences … through smart strategy, creativity and deft writing. She’s advised and written for scores of C-level executives and their teams, in sectors ranging from financial services to industrial/manufacturing to food, energy and more. She holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School, an M.A. from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. (Honors) from Loyola University Chicago.

Mirka Illasova, Public Relations / Social Media Strategist

Mirka leads all of our public relations and social media efforts.

She has an extensive portfolio working with clients of all colors and sizes and her multi-language, cross-cultural experience allow her to bring fresh ideas to table.

Mirka’s experience stretches across variety of industries including travel, hospitality, lifestyle, sports/wellness, fashion, entertainment and finance.

As a social media strategist she approaches each client with attention to detail and delivers customized solutions. She is an expert when it comes to media outreach, social media management, new product launches, influencer outreach and strategic partnerships.

Nandini Austin, Marketing, Business Development Strategist & Writer

Nandini has nearly 20 years of experience working within the culinary, luxury lifestyle & hospitality industries. Her work has helped shape some of the world’s most iconic hotel brands, upscale restaurants and bars in the U.S. and globally. She has held key business development and marketing roles within organizations such as Morgan’s Hotel Group, The Metropolitan Hotel, Park Lane London, Colin Cowie Celebrations & Chefs Club.

Her vivacious personality engages others and, through strategic storytelling, her writing enables clients to authentically connect with their audiences in meaningful and relevant ways. Nandini is passionate about spotting new trends, launching products & services. She loves finding ways to reach new audiences through marketing strategy and innovative social media content.

Nandini believes that a strategic approach to social media content, delivered through highly targeted tactics ultimately enables companies to acquire new customers and sell their brands. The work Nandini does within social media, writing and creating content rich video helps clients tell their story to the right audience in the right place at the right time. She uses her industry insights, connections and resources to validate strategy and writing resonate with target audiences.

Nandini currently is a resident of New York City and is a graduate of London South Bank University, U.K.

Jeff Powers, Senior Media Manager

Jeff is the Senior Senior Media Manager for Method Engine, concentrating on strategy, placement and analytics in search and display channels. Previous to Method Engine, Jeff was the Digital Strategy Manager at ESW Partners overseeing search and display placement for Taco Bell, KFC and clients in the financial/insurance vertical. Previous digital marketing and placement experience in the insurance vertical was with National Professional Group (NPG) providing online access to professional liability to association memberships. As Digital Account Manager, Jeff supervised on and off page SEO efforts for each portal as well as search and display advertising placement.

Drew Pyle, Media Director

Drew is an experienced leader in the marketing and advertising industry. Of all of his professional interests he is most passionate about the interactive media space and all things digital. Drew has a special interest in media metrics and analytics and loves to put data to work to improve our clients’ businesses. Drew brings a great deal of digital media planning and buying experience to his role as Media Director. He has worked across many different verticals and he most notably has a great deal of automotive experience both on the OEM side (Ford Motor Company) and on the agency side (where he ran digital media planning and buying for his client Mercedes-Benz USA). As Media Director, Drew heads up our media planning, buying, and strategy efforts including display advertising, pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, and media insights and analytics.

Zach Weiner, Senior Interactive Director

Multi-faceted in design, technology and creative talents, Zach brings a wide array of accomplished skills to the team. His focus and strength in fine art, interaction design, illustration, package design and photography lends itself well to fulfill on a range of creative needs of clients.

With nearly 20 years of experience as a creative professional, Zach is highly skilled at developing innovative online and offline solutions, ultimately delivering transformative business results. Zach’s specific expertise includes Brand Strategy and Implementation, Information Architecture, Creative Problem Solving rooted in Strategy, Adaptive/Responsive Website Design & Development, CMS Platform Implementation, UI/UX Design, Traditional Print-based Graphic Design, Business Photography and Illustration.

Zach has worked with a number of cutting edge organizations in key creative roles at Tandem Multimedia Partners, marchFIRST, TMP Worldwide and Austin Knight. His client experience includes both Fortune 500 companies as well as many mid-tier brands including Lake Cable, Johnny’s Ice House, World Book, The Adoption Center, Anixter and PeerPoint Medical Education to name a few. Zach holds a BFA in Visual Communications from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

John Bauman, Technology Director

John is a formally trained software engineer and rich media specialist. Over the past 30 years he has designed, architected, and programmed multimedia projects, web applications and industrial software in many fields including engineering, medicine, business, education, and advertising. He has extensive experience working with a variety of programming languages, web and mobile technologies, and media types. He is also well-versed in interface architecture and design.

Since John began his career in 1986 he has worked for several companies, including IBM, McDonnell Douglas, William M. Mercer, Cognitive Arts, marchFIRST, and Tandem Multimedia Partners. Past clients include Pacific Bell, Young & Rubicam, Motorola, General Electric, The Order People, The U.S. Postal Service, Lake Cable, PeerPoint Medical Education, and many others.

In 1993, John earned his Master’s in Telecommunication from Michigan State University, where he specialized in the study and application of multimedia and virtual reality technology. John received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Michigan State University in 1986.

Steve Zoppi, Partner, Chief Technology Officer

Steve is the master of all things technology at Method Engine.

Steve brings more than 30 years of technology leadership experience both as an executive-level technology practitioner and a recognized industry analyst. Steve served as Chief Technology Officer at Sportvision, Inc. the pioneer and leader in real-time data acquisition, advanced visualization and augmented reality enhancements of broadcast sporting events. Previously, Steve has served as Chief Information Officer at TiVo Inc., the industry pioneer of Digital Video Recording, and as vice president of Operations for Hotwire, Inc, a leading online provider of discount travel. In 1999, Steve was awarded the distinction of META Group Research Fellow. Prior to this position, Steve held senior technology and programming management positions at Adobe Systems, Oracle Corporation, IBM, NASA/Ames Research Center, Esprit de Corp and Software AG of North America. Steve also guest lectures regularly at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business on a variety of technologies and technology-related business trends.

Steve Arbaugh, Chief Strategy Officer & Client Partner

Steve Arbaugh serves as Chief Strategy Officer & Client Partner at Method Engine.

Steve is a veteran marketer with an extensive and esteemed background. His past experience includes the role of principal at VSA Partners, one of the most prestigious design firms in the US.

Steve left VSA to join one of his longest standing clients, Interface Companies pioneers and leaders in sustainability. Steve worked with and alongside many people at Interface including Ray Anderson, dubbed the “father of sustainability”. During his time with Interface, he was immersed in sustainability business strategy, planning, marketing & communications. His expertise focused on online, in-person and print mediums targeted at investors, media, prospective & current customers and internal employees.

Steve’s client experience is extensive, working with some of the most recognized brands in the world including US WEST/Qwest, IBM, Steelcase/Turnstone, InCapital, Telwares Communications, Cingular Wireless, Allstate, Eli Lilly, Brunswick, Harley-Davidson, Discover Card, Mills Corporation, Leo Burnett, Aetna, Weber Grills, Quantum Printing, First Data Corporation, Mead/Westvaco, BIC Corp, Lands’ End, Blain’s Farm & Fleet, Ameritech.

John Zoppi, Managing Partner

John leads the charge in business development for Method Engine.

John’s career began in network broadcast production with The American Broadcasting Company in Chicago, working with Oprah Winfrey and Eye On Chicago. Later, John produced commercials for John Deere, Burger King, AT&T, and Citibank.

As Director of Media at Cognitive Arts, John led the content team to produce dynamic rich media that supported cutting-edge simulation-based training systems for Fortune 100 Companies.

As a Digital Account & Business Unit Manager with VSA Partners, one of the top brand and design firms in the country, John worked with some of the most admired and iconic brands in the world, including Harley-Davidson, IBM Global Services, and Land’s End.