Welcome to envisionit! Recent Additions to our Growing Team

The past year was big for envisionit. So big that we didn’t have time to introduce some of our newest hires! Here’s some fun facts, solicited opinions and at times, useful advice from envisionit’s latest crop of talent.


Jim Barrett

Jim Barrett, Digital Project Manager

From: Memphis, TN

What is something (non-work related) that you are proud of?
I started the Bob Ross Bar Crawl and ran it for five years. In that 5 year span, we had over 200 Bobs come out for the event and it was featured in a New York Times article about Bob Ross.
Got any tips?
If you plan on going to the Regal Webster movie theater, make sure to park on the 3rd floor. A lot of people don’t know this but the 3rd floor has direct access to the theater lobby. Most people park in the first spot they see, but that is always further away from the theater, plus the 3rd floor is always empty, so you are guaranteed a good spot.
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Of course it is. It has bread and something in-between. If we start saying hot dogs aren’t sandwiches then I guess we have to say that sub sandwiches are also not sandwiches. A sub, like a hot dog bun, is a hinge-based bread. While we’re here, a burrito is a sandwich. So are pop-tarts. Oh, also sushi.
Recommend a book.
Ok, you need to wait until a blizzard is coming in and it is really cold out. Then read The Terror by Dan Simmons. It’s like Alien meets Master and Commander.
What is your favorite chain restaurant?
I love chains! You know a place is good if it is a chain. If it wasn’t any good, there wouldn’t be dozens of them. Chilis and Benihana have to be 1a and 1b for me. You guys remember Bennigans? I miss those guys.

 

Darby Ellis

Darby Ellis, Senior SEO Strategist

From: The Biggest Little City in the World: Reno, NV

What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
I’m a gamer. I never competed professionally, but I used to belong to MMO guilds of core players where we could take our group and fight 3-4 times our number at once and win. My heyday was during Dark Age of Camelot back in the early 2000s, but I’ve also played some World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, Planetside 1 and 2, DC Universe Online, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, and many others. Now I’m relegated mostly to console games during the hour and a half on weekends when my son takes his nap, but I’d probably still kick your n00b butt. I’m currently slowing playing through Horizon: Zero Dawn and Star Wars Battlefront 2.
If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose?
I’ll use one word to describe it: BAMF! Maybe not quite Nightcrawler’s exact version, but someone like Blink that can put multiple people anywhere. I’d love to just open a rip in time/space and be able to take people along with me anywhere. Want a weekend on a beach in Australia? BAMF! Craving sushi for dinner? BAMF – you’re in Japan. Late for work? Call in sick and go drink in Cancun. You thought I was going to say teleport to work, huh.
Recommend a book.
I’d actually recommend a young adult book series called Unwind by Neal Shusterman. It’s set in a dystopian future in the USA following another civil war where when children reach a certain age, their parents can choose to “unwind” them. The kids are sent to harvest camps where they are “unwound” and their parts go to others in need. Society doesn’t consider it a death because they “live on” in some other capacity. Some really crazy stuff happens over the four-book series, and it’s scary to think that with some of the ways that people think today that this is not a completely inconceivable idea. It made me think about and value life and choice. It’s quick and easy, but a fun read.
Who/what inspires you?
My wife – Aimee. She’s not only my best friend and partner in crime, but she is a hell of a gal as well. She’s got a PhD, makes some kick butt garlic pretzels (ask my colleagues here at envisionit their thoughts on the pretzels), she can find the time to fit in 8 hour days into 5 or 6 hours, she keeps the house running, she is able to shuttle the kid to preschool each morning, she is the main cook, she challenges me to be a better human every day. I honestly don’t know how I’d remember to get dressed in the morning without her. She’s always positive while being funny and keeps things real.
What are you passionate about?
Star Wars. I never liked it as a little kid, but in my teens – this became my thing. I’ve been a long time fan ever since. I’ve read sourcebooks and technical books, role played, read most of the (now legends) books, read the current books, play games, watch the movies. I’m proud that my son knows who Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker, Rey, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Chewbacca are. I’m also a defender of the prequels and The Last Jedi. Yes, that’s right. Come at me, bro.

 

Jenny Laverty

Jenny Laverty, Senior Digital Media Planner / Buyer

From: Born in Florida, raised in Chicago

What is your go-to karaoke song?
That is uncharted territory.
Recommend something.
Become a Cubs fan.
You are stranded on a desert island, a mirage pops up, describe it.
A white bottle that has the letters SPF and the number 100 across it.
Got any tips?
If you love someone let them nap.
What is your favorite family tradition?
Getting my birthday presents every year.

 

Judy Giannetto

Judy Giannetto, Senior Copywriter & Content Strategist

From: Bristol, UK

What is your favorite thing to cook?
Toast. It’s vastly underrated.
You are stranded on a desert island, a mirage pops up, describe it.
Benicio del Toro holding a bottomless vodka tonic – and a puppy.
What was the last thing you binge-watched on Netflix?
Ash vs. the Evil Dead…Bruce Campbell, chainsaws and the undead – three of my favorite things.
What is something (non-work related) that you are proud of?
My house. I converted a 1950’s silkscreen factory along the 606. Among the original features – bow trusses, a timber ceiling, and a urinal (the urinal usually gets the most attention).
Would you rather have to do laundry every day or every time you open anything it opens into an endless void?
I already do laundry every day, so probably the endless void.

Ryan Kenealy

Ryan Kenealy, Associate Creative Director

From: Cleveland, OH

What is your favorite thing to cook?
Omelet: I don’t use any utensils beside the pan. I like flipping it in the air. Pro Tip: Get it off the heat while still a little wet. It continues to cook and will dry if you don’t take it off heat early.
What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
Read the newspaper, cook omelets, share fart jokes with my 4-year-olds
Do you have a cool celebrity story?
I was working as a doorman at a boutique hotel in the Gold Coast. R. Kelly pulled up in his convertible Benz. He was having an argument with his passenger when he turned to me and said Hey, Manana that means Money doesn’t it? I said Yes, Mr. Kelly, it means Money.
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Yes. Sandwiches were created to facilitate gambling (edible in one hand, cards in the other)
Recommend a book.
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Really funny, tons of great metaphors, it’s about personal resilience and strength and not getting sucked into a movement or tore up by a society that doesn’t know how to value you.

Owen O’Riordan, Copywriter

From: Western suburbs of Chicago

Would you rather be able to Copy/Paste in real life, or Undo?
I would copy and paste. I could help people in need, solve a lot of my material needs for cheap and you can still make mistakes with undo, so it wouldn’t solve that many problems.
What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
Board games, space opera books, video games, comics. Kinda the normal gamut of 2017 nerdy stuff.
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
According to Tax Bulletin ST-835 (TB-ST-835) of the New York tax code, yes.
What is your favorite chain restaurant?
It’s less about the food and more about the ambiance and mystery, but the answer is FUDDRUCKERS.
Would you rather have to do laundry every day or every time you open anything it opens into an endless void?
With an open to an endless void, I could solve some of our waste issues and make a pretty penny at the same time. Got some nuclear waste? Here, let me open a nearby door. Then send them an invoice. Bam. I made money and helped the environment.

Ed Prokop

Ed Prokop, Sr. Manager Paid Search

From: Batavia, IL

Top doughnut?
Vanilla long john from Dimples Doughnuts in Batavia, IL.
What, if anything, have you ever re-gifted?
A cheese plate…..which one would expect to be re-gifted.
On a scale of 1-10, rate Face/Off starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage.
11. It’s the best 90s dad movie ever.
What do you put on your pizza?
Green peppers, onion, and sausage. Actually, go to Peaquods and have them do it for you.
Recommend a book.
Anything by Erik Larson. In The Garden of Beasts, Dead Wake, or Devil in the White City…..who doesn’t want to learn about a serial killer and the Chicago Worlds Fair all in one book?!

Will Rossberger

Will Rossberger, Senior Account Manager

From: Arlington Heights, IL

What is your favorite thing to cook?
It is my regular go-to meal, inspired by Chipotle’s burrito bowl: white jasmine rice, tilapia, guacamole, lettuce/veggies, giardiniera, salsa, all mixed together in a bowl.
What was the last thing you binge-watched on Netflix?
I have actually never binge-watched anything. I have commitment issues and struggle with sitting down and only watch tv for longer than 1 hour at any given time.
What is something (non-work related) that you are proud of?
I’ve never had a dental cavity.
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
No! A sandwich requires two slices a bread. A hot dog is only comprised of a single piece of bread.
If you were in the Olympics, what would be your sport?
Water polo. I was the captain of my high school’s water polo team.

Cassie Swanson

Cassie Swanson, Associate Digital Project Manager

From: Omaha, NE & Kansas City, MO

What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
I recently started playing Dungeons & Dragons with a group of friends. I play a high elf sorcerer! I can’t believe I just shared that…
What was the last thing you binge-watched on Netflix?
My most recent binge session was Black Mirror. Per the words of Wikipedia, “It examines modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.” I enjoy shows that shock me and provoke discussion.
Who/what inspires you?
As many people know, my favorite artist is Lights (Yes, that is her name). She’s mostly known for her music, but she recently wrote and illustrated a comic book series that ties in with her latest album. She’s gifted in so many ways and always remains humble. If she has taught me anything, it is that if you apply yourself, hard-work can pay off. She also inspires me to embrace my inner-nerd and to never be ashamed of who I am or what I believe. She is, quite literally, a rockstar.
What is your favorite chain restaurant?
Chuy’s! I used to live very close to a restaurant when I lived in Kansas City, so my roommate and I would often go there to “unwind”. They have delicious Tex-Mex and I’m obsessed with their creamy jalapeno dip. Unfortunately, you can’t find Chuy’s in the city, but they are building more in the suburbs surrounding Chicago. :)
What are you passionate about?
I’m very passionate about music and I’ve always been involved in activities involving music whether it be competitive dancing to singing and playing guitar at home. In the words of my favorite artist, “We find music that reminds us of ourselves or who we wanna be. It’s our clothes, a lifesaver in a riptide, a blanket in exhaustion, our dynamite, our yearbook.” As cliche as it sounds, music is the universal language that brings people together. A song doesn’t even need words and it can convey an emotion that all people feel. I think that’s magical.

 

Chris Van Meter

Chris Van Meter, Project Manager

From: Los Angeles & Denver

Do you have a cool celebrity story?
When I was living in Los Angeles, my office was in the same building of some entertainment company so it wasn’t uncommon for celebrities to be in the elevators. One day my black lab went up to Kiefer Sutherland and sniffed his crotch. Kiefer was really cool about it, kneeled down, pet her and said she was a beautiful animal. She was quite the star-sniffer. She also sniffed Adam DeVine and Kathy Griffin’s crotch.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
U2 – With or Without Youuuuu, With or without you oh oh, I can’t livvvve..
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about learning. If something interests me, I become obsessed with learning as much as I can about it. I have to tear it apart and put it back together or build my own from scratch.
Where would you want to go on a road trip?
I’d love to drive a Happier Camper up the coast from Big Sur up to the Redwood Forest and read Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac novels.
Recommend an album.
My dog is named Stevie Nicks so I have to say Rumours, but I’ve really been feeling Leon Bridges – Coming Home lately. Oh and Sharon Jones – 100 Days, 100 Nights.

Kate Winston

Kate Winston, Agency Lead, Strategy & Growth

From: Western suburbs & New Jersey

What is your go-to late night food?
It’s Easy Cheese, I know, gross.
Got any tips?
Use the double strand flosser, it’s sooo much better.
What is something (non-work related) that you are proud of?
I did the interior of Erin Andrews’ apartment in Manhattan.
What do you put on your pizza?
My pizza has everything and anything except sausage and anchovies as often as I can.
Recommend something.
Sauna heaven: kingspa.com/chicago