Team Leaders

Meet our brand experts. Behind every great idea, there’s a great team.

At Strategic Insights Brand Marketing, that team includes you. Our policy is to pair up our senior brand experts directly with our clients. Below, you’ll meet some of our agency talent leaders. Memorize these faces, you’ll definitely be seeing (people that look like) them again:

Bill Cokas

Creative Director

You can’t bore someone into buying your product.

View Bill's brief bio

b. Washington, D.C. Followed grandma’s roots and ended up at UNC. Followed job offer to Chicago. After Tony Bennett put his words to music in a radio jingle, decided work there was done.

Returned to NC to build big brands for small companies–and because it was closer to Key West, ground zero for Parrotheads. Returned to UNC to teach big ideas to tomorrow’s underpaid ad hopefuls.

Distinctly recalls being influenced by ad icon-wannabes like Goofy Grape and the walking, talking Koogle jar, which advertised products that were parity and disgusting, respectively. Abhors irrelevant celebrity spokespeople and contrived cross-promotions. Currently admires the strategy and tagline (but not so much the executions) of Expedia’s “Travel Yourself Interesting” campaign.

Since social media has spawned countless self-proclaimed “experts” on every subject under the sun, Bill would like to stake his claim on the following:

  • Jimmy Buffett: Crowned Raleigh’s Biggest Parrothead by Raleigh News & Observer.
  • Frank Sinatra: Ever since high school, where it did little to build his popularity.
  • Vintage Popeye cartoons: Black and white, hand-drawn, pre-War…nothing funnier.
  • Microbrews & Homebrewing: Has actual samples in office, of indeterminate age.
  • Newspaper Comics: In general, Peanuts in particular.

Want more quotables from Bill? Read on:

Read all posts by Bill

Chris Griffin

Associate Creative Director

Long gone are the days of the set-it-and-forget-it mentality for your online presence. Your web identity is a living, breathing entity and without regular maintenance, it can wither, atrophy and eventually die.

View Chris' condensed chronicle

b. Rochester, NY; driven to NC, where blizzards are only available at Dairy Queen. Resident web site, design and illustration ace.

Fueled alternately by fast food and Dr. Pepper in alarming quantities.

Currently an unwitting fan of the belVita commercials–its “Morning Win!” mantra has lodged itself permanently in his eustachian tube. Questions the company’s wisdom in giving its product a name so close to Velveeta, the orange brick of vinyl which is clearly not a morning win. Conversely, wonders if there is anyone left on the planet who actually looks forward to the next appearance by the Geico gecko–he’s completely animated, yet somehow he manages to phone it in.

Should you wander into Chris’ office, be prepared to be outgunned in his areas of expertise:

  • Zombie Culture: TV shows, video games, even plush dolls…yes, this trend should be dead by now, but it can’t be killed.
  • Video Games: With or without his sons, finds virtual carnage quite cathartic.
  • Lawnicide: Through his efforts to help them “thrive,” has reduced many a lawn to brown straw over the years.
  • Jack-of-All-Trade-ness: His career has been based on knowing just enough about just about anything to get the job done, and done well.
  • Futurama: Still mourning its second cancellation and pondering a grass roots movement to re-resurrect it.

Want more quotables from Chris? Read on:

Read all posts by Chris

Jenn Soloway

Senior Art Director

Your brand defines your business to the world. Ignoring the brand doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it just means you're letting everyone else decide who you are and what you're about.

View Jenn's short spiel

b. Springfield, Mass., grew up in Monson, Mass. noted for having more cows than people and exactly zero stoplights. Received Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Endicott College, also in Mass., but with fewer cows and more stoplights. Fearing stimulation overload, left Mass. for Raleigh and joined the working world as a web designer. Resident WordPress whiz.

Fondly recalls Oscar Mayer Wiener spots from youth, mainly for daring to use the word “wiener” on television. These days, you may find her “humming” along to the Prius advertisements, which immediately put her in a good mood with their easy-going soundtrack and cheerful imagery. Believes rampant pharma advertising has turned medicine into a commodity and undermines doctors’ credibility. Although…there may be a pill for that.

An avid Tweeter, you might find Jenn having her 140-character say on such subjects as:

  • The Beatles: There is some dispute as to who the true office expert is.
  • Friends: “The One That Jenn Quotes All the Time.”
  • Wine Tasting: Her degree included a class in it, after all.
  • Muscle Stretching: Go ahead–give her a muscle, she’ll give you a stretch for it.
  • Six Degrees of The Pizza Delivery Guy: This arcane talent involves watching a movie and listing off other movies a nameless/background character has been in.

Want more quotables from Jenn? Read on:

Read all posts by Jenn

John Rowley

Agency Zeitgeist/New Business

It's not up to you to tell everyone how great you are – that's your customers' job.

Read John's abbreviated adventures

b. Philadelphia, PA. John was nine weeks premature and there is still some doubt as to whether he’s attained full size yet. A lifelong learner and mediaphile, John vaulted straight from the campus of Rowan University into the communications industry and has been causing trouble there ever since.

Described by former clients as “the good kind of crazy,” John got his career off to an auspicious start by launching three separate cable TV magazines after someone suggested that merely launching two magazines lacked ambition. Still in business development mode, John jumped from publications to an ad agency and found his true calling. Within six years, the company had grown from 10 to 120+ employees and attracted a buyer. Seeking a fresh challenge, he worked his magic with a pair of other agencies and even worked in fan development with the Philadelphia Eagles in the midst of transplanting his family to North Carolina.

John’s Irish heritage means he has a wee bit of the storyteller in him. Consider these the opening sentences of “the stories of his life.”

  • His passion for Philadelphia sports is chronic and untreatable.
  • Penn State football afflicts him in a similar fashion.
  • He enjoys volleyball and scuba diving, although not at the same time.
  • Flavored coffee is the devil’s work.
  • He vows to never (again) party with anyone named “Mitzi.”

Want more quotables from John? Read on:

Read all posts by John