About

We talk the talk and walk the walk.

Welcome to OBI, a brand strategy, advertising and experience firm. Founded by Mary Ann O’Brien in 2001 as a project for former Gateway Computers, our client roster now spans the globe due in part to our hustle, Midwestern charm and customer-first approach. We listen to clients, consumers, trends, industry leaders and one another, continuously applying our learnings. Great work follows.

Our Leadership

Mary Ann O’Brien

Founder and CEO

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From the Midwest to the West Coast and back again, Mary Ann has helped steer the strategic direction of brands from across the globe. A former Fortune 100 CMO, she is recognized as a pioneer in the marketing and technology industries, partnering with brands in the retail, digital convergence and wireless space, to name a few. When not working on brand strategies, she can often be found traveling the country to soak up what’s next.

Louise Pickens

President

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Louise brings experience in financial management, business process improvement and strategy to the team, as well as an appreciation for art and all varieties of spray paint. Her core responsibilities include strategic planning, organizational processes and financial sustainability and she oversees business ops, including accounting, HR, corporate policy and process, contracts and IT. All in a day’s work.

Ann Pedersen

Vice President, Public Relations

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Ann is a news anchor turned PR specialist turned VP of marketing and communications who built her career on-air and off, a perfect combination for her strategic, analytical and storytelling talents. Just as she appreciates and enjoys all forms of communication, she enjoys travel and hopes to communicate fluently in Italian on her next visit to Tuscany, her all-time favorite destination.

Sean Conlin

Vice President, Strategic Development + Insights

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With a passion for analytics and emerging technology, Sean leads the team in developing solutions to track and analyze marketing data and to help clients identify and meet KPIs. Fun fact? Sean hails from a long line of funeral directors, and though he chose a different career path, he always delivers ideas and insights with care and creativity.

Sarah Whipkey

Vice President, Creative

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Sarah thrives in a conceptual world, turning complex ideas into tangible, strategic campaigns. With a background in copywriting and creative direction, she is a firm believer in collaboration and that a great idea can come from anywhere. She’s also a big fan of crime dramas, the darker the better.

Karisa Malchow

Vice President, Client Services

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A former college athlete with a competitive (understatement) streak, Karisa has spent the last decade working both agency and client-side. At OBI, Karisa leads the client services team to deliver strategic, innovative and creative wins for our clients through trusted partnerships and transparent relationships.

Joe Menaugh

Vice President, Operations

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Joe is a sports and event marketer turned agency man who thrives in fast-paced environments (like advertising) where he currently oversees project management for all accounts and all things process. Before exiting the sports arena, he worked with the PGA TOUR, the NFL and various levels of college athletics. Favorite team? He’ll never tell.

Justin Eveloff

Vice President, Performance Marketing

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The great face of digital, Justin has lived in digital marketing, media buying, eCommerce, web dev and omnichannel marketing his whole life (almost). He excels at developing data-driven customer acquisition and retention strategies with high conversions in competitive categories and at creating animatronics and lighting shows for his neighborhood at Halloween. His favorite holiday.

Erin Dittman

Director of Organizationl Performance + Insights

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Erin joined agency life by way of the human services sector where she excelled in performance management, quality improvement and compliance. And still does. Well versed in business support solutions and house plants of all kinds, she continuously seeks ways to improve organizational efficiency and keep the agency running smoothly.