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.
Vice President, 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.
Vice President, Account Leadership
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.
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.
Director of Implementation
Jason is a big kid at heart and enjoys working hard while having a good time. During his 20 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!
Traffic Manager / Office Manager
As the Traffic Manager at Stone, staff veteran Liz keeps the trains running on time. She leverages her extensive background in customer service spanning two decades at Overton’s WaterSports and MarketSmart Advertising to schedule and manage the project load—while also serving as Office Manager.
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 28 years when he was working as a civil engineer on the Atlantic Beach bridge.
As a die-hard Tarheels fan, Liz is passionate about UNC sports—a tough sell in a household where both her husband and son are NC State grads. Liz’s character and perseverance comes from the biblical truth found in Philippians 4: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
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.
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.
Director of Targeting Strategy
A proud North Carolinian from the mountain town of Blowing Rock and a Duke University graduate, Pearce returned to his southern roots after beginning his career in Washington, DC. Pearce has worked on Capitol Hill for a U.S. senator and spent years conducting voter and consumer microtargeting for presidential and statewide campaigns as well as major brands.
In his role at Stone, Pearce gains a deep understanding of an audience – deriving actionable insights to determine which individuals a brand should target and which tailored messages best resonate with them on a personal level. His precise and targeted messaging increases both the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing campaigns – and ultimately optimizes client return on investment.
Having grown up a rabid Tar Heel fan, Pearce saw the light and joined the Duke dark side. Now he relishes college basketball along Tobacco Road and fondly remembers the many months he slept in a tent for the Duke-Carolina game. In addition to North Carolina BBQ, Pearce has a passion for the people of Uganda, where he served for six months between his stint in DC and returning home. He is driven by a desire to glorify God in all he does and loves nothing more than enjoying the blessings of friends and family, especially his beautiful wife Chrissy.
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.
After spending much of her formative years living and traveling abroad as the daughter of an oil-patch expat, North Carolina native Farah is happy to be home again in Raleigh, where she serves as an Account Supervisor at Stone. Here, she works on a wide range of projects and brings 12 years of marketing experience to the table—from big brand advertising for British Airways, Neutrogena and Kodak to developing grass roots community and digital engagement plans for Whole Foods Market.
A graduate of the Bryan School of Business at UNC-Greensboro with a double major in Marketing and Economics (she claims this was her attempt to balance her left and right brain), Farah is not one to stay still for very long. Between work, raising three kids—including a set of twins—and training for marathons, Farah’s daily mission at both work and home is to set the tone for a fun, creative and innovative environment. In her free time, she lives out her foodie quest, experimenting in the kitchen or trying the newest local farm-to-table restaurant with her husband.
Calm, cool and collected are words that come to mind when we think of Michelle. And she beautifully employs these traits in her Account Supervisor role at Stone—where her goals are to strengthen client relationships and exceed expectations by providing highest-level marketing strategies and project execution—all with the best resources possible. To fulfill this personal and professional calling, she brings extensive experience as a media planner/buyer, experiential event planner, creative manager and strategist working with industry-best clients like McDonald’s, Caesar’s Entertainment and the U.S. Army.
Born and raised in Raleigh, East Carolina University grad Michelle is happy to be back in her hometown after an eight-year stint in Las Vegas. With a love for hole-in-the wall places, she someday hopes to drive an RV across America and hit the best diners, drive-ins and dives along the way. Meantime, Michelle’s passion is for her family—particularly in her role as a single mom raising a young daughter. And while this means 100% of the work falls on her, it also brings 100% of the love.
Jessica and her dry, understated wit make for a welcome addition to the Stone team, where she brings more than 10 years of agency account management, strategy and digital media planning and buying experience to her role as Account Director. Most recently, Jessica served at a location-based mobile start-up in New York City, and more than anything she loves to collaborate on team projects and achieve success together in pursuit of common goals.
Although Jessica grew up in upstate New York and graduated from SUNY-Albany with a degree in English, she’s been a Duke basketball fan for most of her life. In fact, when her husband landed a job in Raleigh, Jessica’s first thought was how close she’d be to Cameron Indoor! Together, she and her husband are patiently waiting for their new Corgi puppy, Charley, to be discovered as the Next Big Thing.
Senior Account Executive
Michigan-born, NC State grad Kelli Lynch brings an extensive background in brand management, strategy development and creative execution to the plate in her role at Stone as a Senior Account Executive. Here, she applies her marketing management and high volume sales backgrounds as she fosters collaborative relationships between Stone clients and staff—all with the goal of providing effective marketing and advertising solutions that strengthen our client’s brand and help generate business success.
Always up for an adventure, Kelli lives a life of gratitude and loves to connect with people, learn new things and grow in new and unexpected ways. A unique blend of North and South, city and country, Kelli is married with a young son and two dogs. Together, they love everything outdoors that North Carolina offers—gardening, hiking, biking, beaches and mountains.
Fueled by a sense of adventure and desire to live life to the fullest, Stephanie and her husband recently picked up and moved from Utah to North Carolina, where she now serves as an Account Executive at Stone. Here, her responsibilities include managing the day-to-day of client projects, building relationships and helping drive strategic objectives and tactics.
As someone who loves to ask educated questions, Stephanie leverages her extensive background in digital and B2B marketing, traditional media, and website design and development to help brands be successful by connecting with their audience on an emotional level through compelling story telling.
A University of Utah grad, Stephanie is passionate about great food and spending time outdoors—biking, running, camping, and playing volleyball and water sports. And to the degree that the Nielsens can include their two 70-pound dogs—a Black Lab and a German Shepherd—into the mix, even better.
Senior Communication Planning Specialist
As an amateur archeology buff and North Carolina native, Andrew Lada honed his penchant for “digging” deep at the University of North Carolina, graduating with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication and minor in geology. His inquisitive nature and habit of always questioning the status quo pushed Andrew toward the wild world of media. He has extensive agency experience in a variety of sectors—ranging from healthcare and government to education and entertainment.
At his core, Andrew is a numbers guy who knows how to create media plans and negotiate media buys—with considerable expertise in digital and broadcast. Here at Stone, he applies his holistic, detail-oriented, smart-work philosophy to his communications planning role, where his dynamic personality and strong relational skills have quickly earned the trust of colleagues and clients alike.
When he’s not exercising his media prowess at Stone, Andrew enjoys activities ranging from cheering on the Tar Heels and watching history documentaries to golfing and the great outdoors with his new wife and their two rescue dogs. Together, they love to travel, collect board games and hit theme parks across the nation with die-hard determination and enthusiasm.
Digital Engagement Specialist
As a Digital Marketing professional with wide-ranging experience, North Carolina native Nick does it all—SEO, SEM, display campaigns, coding, creative strategy, website build project management, content creation, tags and more. And with his dedication to constant improvement and quality, Nick loves to apply his Communications and Marketing degree from Campbell University to deliver high-quality digital engagement and ad development and implementation to Stone clients.
As one who lives by the motto, “You don’t need a reason to help people,” Nick is a servant-hearted guy who volunteers with several local secular and church charities—including a regular gig as “Captain America” for a group that visits children’s hospitals to offer hope and encouragement. Beyond this, Nick is a dedicated to hitting the gym every morning and spends his evenings connecting with friends through his church—as well as reading and writing fiction and sci-fi novels.
JORGE MANUEL ACOSTA
Director of Digital Engagement
Michigan-born, Miami-raised Jorge takes pride in his rich Cuban-American heritage and broad global perspective. Before arriving at Stone in 2014, Jorge graduated cum laude in the honors program at Florida International University with a B.A. degree in History and Asian Studies—with an emphasis in Japanese history and language—and a minor in Religious Studies.
After teaching high school history and criminal justice for three years in Florida, however, Jorge was drawn to North Carolina to pursue graduate studies in Christian apologetics and focus on his deep love for computers, technology and all things digital. Once here, he met his wife, Andrea, and honed his social media chops on the Romney Victory Campaign helping mobilize key minority communities.
Today, Jorge’s deep love for history goes beyond books and is brought to life through his hobby as a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, where he reenacts armored combat scenes as a 14th century persona. And when he’s not planning and implementing digital operations plans for Stone clients, Jorge loves to cook Cuban food for his wife and their friends.