Get beyond the ‘what’
and the ‘how’
and discover the ‘why’
The Stone Agency
We solve problems by turning the complicated into the simple.
And we do it by engaging in the art of human connection – playing matchmaker between our clients and their audiences through strategic brand integration.
Major brands and leading organizations hire us for one important reason: we help them discover their ‘why’ and weave it into their story in a way that connects them with their audience in a meaningful, sustainable and integrated way.
We deliver results through advertising, marketing, events and opt-in digital and social media solutions to leverage our state-of-the-art strategic communications expertise into a true value exchange between you and your audience.
Let us turn your brand into an icon.
Stone creates human-to-human engagement.
The art of connection is at the heart of what we do. At Stone, we create human-to-human engagement.
We know that, despite all the technological advances and opportunities for connection today, people still interact on a human level with their brains and emotions.
Stone turns the complicated into the simple and discovers ways to motivate audiences to action. We foster genuine conversations that lead to more meaningful brand experiences.
We consider every touch point and medium to create a dynamic consumer interaction – employing the tools of advertising, marketing, events and opt-in digital and social media.
Stone knows the aspirations, desires and unmet needs of consumers. We help our clients meet these needs by solving the most basic of all problems: human interaction.
Stone integrates every aspect of your brand’s story into the conversation.
Stone integrates every aspect of your brand’s story into the conversation.
Every brand, at its core, has a powerfully persuasive and differentiating ‘why’. Once discovered, the ‘why’ is woven into your story to motivate engagement between your brand and its target audience.
Because it’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the jar, Stone helps your brand discover why it exists, who its natural affinity audiences are and which messages resonate and mobilize them to action.
Consumers today want to participate in a relational way with the brands they choose. The most successful brands are those that tell their stories best – and create space for human engagement. And it all starts with your brand’s distinctive answer to its ‘why’ question.
Stone motivates people to action with resonant messaging.
Stone motivates people to take action with resonant messaging.
In the public affairs and corporate arenas, we help our clients discover their own distinctive and powerfully persuasive ‘why’ – creating the emotional basis for personal and collective action. Then we weave your story through an integrated communications strategy that mobilizes micro-targeted audience behavior.
Well-crafted and winsome narratives drive conversations across every demographic in today’s highly segmented environments. Stone cuts through the rhetoric to employ the art of listening and better understand the audiences our clients want to engage and persuade.
We dig, delve and discover insights that reach beyond base constituencies and deliver results.
The jungle of policy and public opinion is fraught with peril. Stone turns the complicated into the simple to help you forge the clearest path to success.
Stone is the national expert on a rapidly emerging and economically powerful sub-segment of the Christian market known as Faith Driven Consumers.
Stone is the national expert on a rapidly emerging and economically powerful sub-segment of the Christian market known as Faith Driven Consumers.
We’ve done our homework on the 46 million Americans – 15 percent of the population – who are Faith Driven Consumers and spend $1.75 trillion annually. And we’re organizing, building, connecting and positioning this audience in the marketplace so that compatible brands can actively integrate with them in ways that deliver bottom-line results.
Our research shows that Faith Driven Consumers are actively seeking brands that are compatible with their values. They see the daily choices of life – including purchasing decisions – as inextricably connected to their faith-based worldview.
The Faith Driven Consumer segment is large enough to matter yet small enough to engage. Stone can help your brand be one of the first in America to connect with this viable and loyal audience.
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At The Stone Agency, We Help Discover Your Why.
With nearly 20 years in the business, Stone is a recognized strategic brand consultancy – motivating and mobilizing action between brands and their target audiences.
We’re independent, integrated, smart and artful – a blend of big agency and entrepreneurial, smaller agency professionals doing powerful and inspiring work for a broad and diverse client base.
Good is the enemy of great. And great brand insights lead to successful communication engagement strategies that transform outcomes.
We discover sharp, explosive, disruptive and great ideas that make our brands famous and successful.
Michele co-founded The Stone Agency along with Chris and serves as President. She began her career in network television sales management and has deep professional roots in media planning, buying, event marketing, strategic planning and business leadership.
With tenacious optimism, creative intelligence and unrelenting drive, Michele loves discovering critical insights that lead to increased return on investment and diversified client revenue streams. Her fresh eyes help solve seemingly intractable problems in ever-changing business environments.
A graduate of Wingate, Michele is a native North Carolinian and avid golfer. She and Chris are the proud parents of identical twin daughters – living proof that sometimes the most amazing blessings come as double portions.
Chief Executive Officer
North Carolina native and East Carolina University graduate Chris Stone is a Certified Brand Strategist and CEO/Founding Partner of The Stone Agency. He specializes in transforming outcomes by motivating action between brands and their target audiences. For nearly 20 years, Chris has led account teams on behalf of major brands and has been the firm’s strategic leader for client initiatives and internal operations.
Chris has long been doing what is now considered critical for companies to achieve success – discovering a brand’s “why” and then weaving this powerfully persuasive and sustainable differentiation into an integrated story that creates communities, engages people and mobilizes action.
Chris’ passions and interests are diverse and eclectic. Full of home-spun, Southern anecdotes and pearls of wisdom, Chris loves to tell stories, fly his plane and work on his farm. An ardent defender of faith, family and American freedom, Chris is a devoted husband to Michele and loving father to their twin daughters.
Jason is a big kid at heart and enjoys working hard while having a good time. During his 16 years at Stone, Jason has worn nearly every hat one can wear in the agency setting and currently manages all agency production projects. He enjoys the daily challenges that large-scale projects present, and finds inspiration in solving problems for our clients and team members.
Jason is a devoted family man and has been known to attend a family birthday party or two over the course of any given weekend. He loves every minute he spends with his wife, Rebecca, their two children and their pack of animals, including one cat and two dogs. Jason is a die-hard Caniac and a proud supporter of his alma mater, North Carolina State University – Go Pack!
Vice President of Strategy
Jackie’s role over her 16 years at Stone has evolved from planner, buyer, and account executive to strategic thinker and vision caster. Truly a renaissance woman, she’s quick-witted and inquisitive by nature – tirelessly asking insight-producing questions to get to the heart of the matter in order to solve the toughest client problem.
As an innovator, Jackie developed the “Stone Way” – an agency process for thinking about and managing the intersection of client messaging across all platforms. This method focuses on ideas and impressions where the rules of the game are set, not by using specific media, but by the exchange of a relevant message at a relevant time. Jackie prides herself on finding and optimizing these connections.
A graduate of Ithaca College in New York, Jackie goes to the mat for the right idea and never backs down from a challenge. With a sparkle in her eyes, Jackie laughs a lot and loves every moment she spends at home with her husband and two daughters.
Chief Financial Officer
A native North Carolinian, Walter graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Accounting. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration from East Carolina University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Walter’s career in public accounting began at Ernst & Young, where he specialized in entrepreneurial services. Subsequent corporate roles included controller of the North American subsidiary of a global commodities company, corporate finance in a Fortune 500 company, and divisional controller with P&L responsibility for one of the world’s largest technology companies.
With this broad background, Walter has a diverse range of skills and experiences uniquely suited for an entrepreneurial environment like The Stone Agency. His expertise includes controllership, corporate finance and investor relations, forecasting and budgeting, business process development, and strategic planning and management. He applies his strong sense of objectivity and stewardship on behalf of Stone’s clients and the agency at large.
Outside of his leadership role at Stone, Walter is a devoted family man to his wife and daughter, and an avid golfer, runner, swimmer, bicyclist and reader.
Traffic Manager / Executive Assistant
As the project traffic manager at Stone, Liz keeps the trains running on time. With an extensive background in customer service spanning two decades at Overton’s WaterSports and MarketSmart Advertising, Liz is responsible for scheduling and managing the project load at the agency. And as a seven-year veteran at Stone, she also serves as Chris Stone’s Executive Assistant.
A native North Carolinian from “down East” in Morehead City, Liz loves the beach and reading books in the sun. There, she attended Carteret Community College and met her husband of 27 years when he was working as a civil engineer on the Atlantic Beach bridge.
A die-hard Tarheels fan, Liz is passionate about UNC sports. She also loves following her son’s baseball career at Guilford College in Greensboro. Liz’s character and perseverance comes from the biblical truth found in Philippians 4, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Jodi brings more than 20 years of account management experience working with a variety of clients spanning several industries. After graduating from Indiana University, she began her career in radio promotions where she developed her love of organizing. Bottom line: Jodi loves the details! And it’s this strength that opened the door to a career in advertising – diving into the details for a wide range of clients including Coca-Cola, Papa John’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Merz Pharmaceuticals, and most recently Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.
Beyond the details, Jodi thrives on connecting and building relationships with people – whether in her personal life connecting with family and friends or connecting a brand to the right consumer. She’s also passionate about the health and wellbeing of children and helped to implement a Wellness Committee at her children’s school encouraging children to live healthy, active lives.
Jodi’s favorite times are spent with her husband, two children and her large extended family. She’s inspired by her faith and after a long day loves nothing more than yoga or a good, long run.
Director of Communication Planning
Having grown up mere miles from a NASCAR track (don’t get him started on how NASCAR blew it by abandoning its roots in places like Rockingham), Ben initially wanted a career in sports marketing after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill. However, finding that perfect entry-level sports marketing job that actually paid enough to cover rent proved elusive and Ben began what he thought would be a brief stint in media planning and buying. Fast forward to today and Ben has 13 years of experience effectively connecting brands with their target audience.
Prior to Stone, Ben managed media campaigns for BB&T, CORT Furniture, Dollar Tree, Old Dominion Freight Line, Scott Safety and more. Whether it’s digital or traditional media on a local, regional, national, or international level, he brings a wealth of experience to our clients. With today’s rapidly changing media landscape, you’ll frequently see Ben checking his Twitter feed for the latest trends.
Cheering on the Tar Heels with his wife Stacey and dog Piper are big events in the Webb household – so much so that nothing gets scheduled if it conflicts with a UNC game. In fact, Ben has rarely missed a home football game over the last decade and a major pet peeve is when people say they’re a UNC “basketball fan” in their bio (ahem, Grant Fitzgerald). When he’s not cooking on his own pig cooker, Ben enjoys great North Carolina barbecue and washing it down with sweet tea or ice-cold Cheerwine. Add some live bluegrass to the mix and it’s the perfect Saturday.
A 13-year veteran at Stone, Anita has 35 years of broadcasting and advertising experience in accounts payable, credit and collections. As the first person you’re likely to meet when you walk through Stone’s doors, Anita excels at maintaining top-notch relations with all of our clients and vendors. Her professional and personal vision comes from the biblical call to love God and care for others with all her heart, soul, strength and mind.
With degrees in accounting, management and ministry, Anita is current earning her master’s in human resources. She’s passionate about giving back to the community and volunteers with numerous organizations including those that feed and shelter the homeless, care for pregnant teens, offer programs, camps and resources for underprivileged youth and work on gang prevention efforts.
Away from the office, Anita loves to sing and she treasures her time spent with her husband, three sons, grandchildren and extended family.
LUIS A. GARCIA-GADEA
Luis was born in Nicaragua and was raised in Costa Rica. His love for the arts began at an early age and was largely influenced by his father’s Asian heritage and mother’s Latin flavor. This colorful combination sparked a fire in him that lights his imagination with creativity and provides the professional framework from which he applies his talents on behalf of Stone’s diverse clientele.
While in Costa Rica, Luis honed his professional skills at La Nación, the nation’s leading newspaper. It was here that he cultivated his artistic experience and knowledge in ways that would expand his horizons internationally and lead to professional positions in Canada and the United States. For the past 20 years, Luis has worked for diverse companies, including the Miami Herald, LGD Communications, Trio Solutions, The King Partnership and The Stone Agency.
Luis and his Colombian-born wife are proud parents of two beautiful daughters. He credits his Christian faith and love for the arts for taking him many places around the world, and is blessed to be fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English, as well as proficient in Italian and French.
Kim started her career at a small agency, working with banking and retail clients, before moving on to McKinney to work on large brands like CenturyLink and Sherwin-Williams. At McKinney, she quickly became the go-to digital planner – providing guidance and tutorials for digital tools and planning to her teammates.
Beyond this, Kim’s broad range of agency experience includes social and digital media as well as traditional planning and buying. At Stone, she works on digital media campaigns, lead generation and traditional media campaigns for a variety of clients.
Outside of work, Kim and her husband enjoy DIY projects around their home and cooking up new recipes. She’s an East Carolina University graduate and a wannabe runner who enjoys the occasional spin and yoga class.
Creativity, charisma and a collaborative can-do attitude – these are the things Shea brings to the table as an Account Executive at Stone. With a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Elon University, Shea excels at project management and loves finding a story to tell and articulating that message to the target audience. Some of her past experiences include interning in London for a communications agency, writing news articles for Scripps Howard in Washington, DC, and assisting with event planning for a local wedding planner.
When she’s not in the office, Shea loves new travel adventures with her husband and is always up for anything outdoors. She also loves serving in her church. A North Carolina girl at heart, she relishes all things Southern and you will always find her adorned with a set of pearls. Her life motto: “Enjoy Every Moment.”
Originally from the Mitten State, Aaron joined Stone in early 2013. After earning his B.S. in Marketing from Ferris State University, Aaron spent a couple of years working on the Ford Credit & Lincoln Automotive Financial Services accounts in Detroit. Great people and great weather, however, ultimately lured this Michigander down to the great state of North Carolina where he currently serves as an Account Executive for Stone.
Although he’s a Yankee, Aaron claims to have been born on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon. Whether catching a country concert or enjoying some BBQ, Aaron is quickly adopting Southern ways like a duck takes to water. And while there are still notable items to check on his bucket list, the three personal goals Aaron wants to accomplish in the next few years are take a trip to Florida on his motorcycle, learn to play the piano and acquire a taste for sweet tea.
A native of the Empire State, Carri’s entire 20-year career has been in account service. Equipped with a degree in business administration and marketing from Miami University of Ohio, she’s worked with enterprise brands of every size and shape and relishes the opportunity to creatively craft detailed business-building advertising solutions for her clients.
Carri’s mantra is “the grass is greener where it’s watered,” and her role at Stone is an exhilarating combination of juggler, mind-reader, miracle-worker, gut-checker and cheerleader. She understands her clients’ business better than they know it themselves and moves heaven and earth to make them look good.
A North Carolina beach girl at heart, Carri leads an active family life of sports and entertaining with her husband, who’s a chef, and their high school son, who’s a hockey fanatic. And on weekends Carri can often be found scouring local flea markets adding to her budding collection of antique McCoy pottery.
A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Grant handles public affairs accounts and uses his journalism experience to help brands tell their stories. He also conducts research and applies the valuable insights garnered into the development of client strategy. With an astute political acumen rare for a guy his age, Grant has a remarkable ability to connect people through his extensive network on behalf of Stone and its clients.
Although his family roots run deep in Texas, Grant has spent his whole life cultivating a love for all things North Carolina—especially BBQ and Tar Heel basketball. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching basketball, reading historical novels, rock climbing and fully partaking in copious amounts of barbecue, which in North Carolina is a noun, not a verb.
Driven by a saying ground into him from an early age by his father and grandfather – “No step for a stepper” – Grant lives by the idea that we can achieve anything we set our minds to. Or, as the great Jim Valvano would say, “never give up.”
Executive Director of Public Affairs
Matthew oversees public affairs strategy, and manages day-to-day client operations in this arena. In addition to being an award-winning television producer and serving in nonprofit leadership roles, Matthew has a broad array of experience in Washington, DC, where he served the U.S. Secretary of Labor, senior government officials, a prominent mid-western Congressman, and the president of a high-profile business organization.
Most recently, Matthew helped build and grow an organization reaching the Millennial Generation – successfully engaging more than 4 million young adults nationwide, including more than 100,000 in North Carolina. Today, Matthew applies his unique experience for Stone’s clients, where he helps companies, nonprofits, and others in the public arena build vibrant communities and connect with their customers and constituents in the ways they want to be engaged – by fusing smart and micro-targeted messaging with the most cutting-edge digital strategies.
A graduate of Calvin College, Matthew’s personal and professional inspiration is rooted in his Christian faith and the Golden Rule. He actually likes long walks on the beach is passionate about his beautiful wife and three young children. A self-proclaimed world champion thumb wrestler, Matthew is also a rabid Boston Red Sox fan.
Executive Director, Faith Driven Consumer
Kermit leads research, operations and communications for Faith Driven Consumer, a Stone initiative that is creating an affinity in the marketplace for corporate America to engage this rapidly emerging and economically powerful movement of Christian consumers. With broad experience spanning both secular and religious spheres, Kermit served nine years in the Washington, DC, trade association sector in various sales and marketing roles followed by a six-year stint as a public policy analyst for a prominent Colorado-based ministry.
A unique combination of social scientist and theologian, Kermit has a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and a master’s from Western Seminary in Portland, OR. He specializes in the cultural intersection of markets, politics, education, media and theology. A strong communicator and strategic thinker, Kermit’s work has appeared in numerous newspaper, magazine, blog, book, website and radio outlets.
Continually on the move, Kermit did postgraduate scholarship studies in Australia and has traveled in all 50 U.S. states and 40 countries. He loves to run, hike, ski, work in his garden and spend time with his dog. And as a language nerd, Kermit speaks Spanish and has studied German, French, Portuguese, Greek and Hebrew.
LEONARD O GOENAGA
Director of Digital Engagement
Affectionately known as “O” – for his middle initial – Leonard is a California-born, Miami-raised Cuban of Basque descent. While earning two bachelor’s degrees from Florida International University (Religious Studies and Political Science), O organized famine and poverty relief, served as the Chief Justice of the FIU Student Government Judiciary and interned with Speaker of the House Marco Rubio. He has since completed a Master of Divinity and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics and Political Theology – both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Leonard comes to Stone with a proven track record mobilizing digital communities to successful action. He was awarded the prestigious Williams-White Award for the Practice of Christian Social Concern for his efforts as the Grassroots and Digital Director for the Vote FOR Marriage NC campaign, which successfully amended the state constitution. And he served as the Digital and Events Director for the Romney presidential campaign and NCGOP in North Carolina – the only swing state to be won by the candidate.
In addition to his public service, Leonard pastors a Filipino church in downtown Raleigh. He and his Key West-born, Puerto Rican bride, Katrina, are the doting parents of one beautiful daughter – with a second child on the way. Leonard and Katrina’s life calling is found in Mark 12:28-34 and 16:15.
All brands possess a powerfully persuasive and sustainable differentiation that sets them apart. Stone helps you discover and articulate yours.
STONE TURNS THE COMPLICATED INTO THE SIMPLE BY OFFERING A COMPREHENSIVE SOLUTION FOR THE PROBLEMS YOUR BRAND NEEDS TO SOLVE.
The art of connection is at the heart
of what we do.
During its nearly twenty-year history, Stone has transformed outcomes and brought success to a broad client base spanning diverse sectors:
Let’s start a conversation.
LET'S START A CONVERSATION