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Professional Partners

We consistently collaborate with a trusted core of professional partners who provide valued contributions to our projects

Dan Bauer Professional Partners
Senior Director for Marketing Strategy

Dan Bauer

Dan is a Chicago-based marketing expert whose insights and impact span for more than 40 years. Dan has provided strategic guidance for over 70 companies across 30 industries. His past employers and clients range from Citibank and MasterCard International to bold startups and mid-size businesses. He founded and led The MBA Exchange, an education consulting firm that ranked among the Inc. 5000 as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies.

A Harvard MBA graduate, Dan brings a powerful perspective to MonogramGroup’s clients that combine business strategy, competitive analysis and communications savvy. His ability to discover, analyze and leverage factors that define brands and drive profitability makes him an invaluable asset. Dan has worked with MonogramGroup, first as a client and later as a colleague, since 1998.

Guy Bauer Professional Partners
Video Director

Guy Bauer

Guy is the CEO and Creative Director of Umault, an agency that specializes in making videos that simplify complex sales messages. Umault’s services include video marketing strategy, creative development, video production and distribution and optimization. Guy’s been in the video production industry since 2010 and has worked with brands such as KitchenAid, Dell EMC. MassMutual and BeamSuntory.

The two agencies have worked together since 2017 and have generated creative solutions and a level of video production that is hard to find elsewhere. Umault has collaborated with MonogramGroup on video production projects for MonogramGroup clients Geremarie, Prairie Capital and TitanHouse.

Miles Boone

Miles Boone

Miles is a Chicago-based photographer and had been interested in pursuing a career in the photography industry since he first picked up a camera in high school. After college, he built this hobby into a career and for nearly 3 decades has been a commercial portrait and lifestyle photographer. Miles has worked for advertising agencies, corporations, graphic design studios, and magazines. Notable clients he’s worked with include United Airlines, Invesco, Nicor Gas and TCF Capital.

The combination of his passion for photography and love for meeting and interacting with people results in Miles’s ability to excel. Additionally, his ability to tell a unique story for each client makes him a valuable partner for MonogramGroup. Miles has been working with MonogramGroup for over 20 years.


Michael Cheng

Michael is a New York-based financial copywriter who worked in the investment banking world for over eight years, which he left to pursue a deeper passion of his: writing. Michael has worked as a writer and consultant with some of the largest asset managers in the world, such as Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon, RBC, Invesco, and Loomis Sayles.

Michael combines his unique perspective in finance and his passion for storytelling to breathe life into his copy for MonogramGroup. Michael’s ability to collaborate and simplify complicated ideas makes him a valuable partner. He has been working with MonogramGroup since 2018 on projects for Abacus Finance and Rotunda Capital.

Abe Cohn Professional Partners

Abe Cohn

Abe is an attorney at Cohn Legal, PLLC, a New York-based law firm designed specifically to provide a boutique and highly specialized suite of intellectual property services. Abe has worked with companies in a variety of industries including food-beverage/CPG, tech, cannabis, fashion, and real estate.

Abe absolutely relishes the opportunity to work with companies on developing and protecting their brand assets, making him a valued asset to MonogramGroup. Abe has been working with MonogramGroup for the past year and has assisted in vetting a variety of prospective brand names for trademark viability.

Sam Crockett Professional Partners
Web Developer

Sam Crockett

Sam is a Southeastern-based web developer with more than ten years of experience in web, software and app development. Sam has worked with organizations across the globe to develop their digital presence in industries ranging from legal, transportation, eCommerce and healthcare.

Sam’s analytical mind, task-oriented communication skills and problem-solving capabilities make him a valuable partner. Sam has worked with MonogramGroup since 2017 and has collaborated on projects for Graycliff Partners, CenterOak Partners, SFNR, WJ Partners, Ferndale Realty Group, Longwater Opportunities and PSP Partners.

Rod Holmes Professional Partners
SEO Specialist

Rod Holmes

Rod is the Managing Partner and the Director of Sales at Pilot Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based web agency that provides services such as web development, paid search, search optimization and local SEO. Prior to co-founding Pilot in 2009, Rod founded and sold an e-learning technology company and a corporate training firm in Tokyo, Japan. Rod has been working with the web since its inception in the mid-90s and has been focused on digital marketing for more than 10 years. Notable clients he’s worked with include Advocate Health Care, Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, Bradford Systems and the American Parkinson Disease Association.

Rod’s extensive experience in web development, proficiency in the technical aspects of SEO and ability to educate others on the fundamentals of digital marketing make him a valued partner for MonogramGroup. Rod has been working with MonogramGroup since July 2019.


John Kistner

John is a Chicago-based Creative Director and Copywriter with 20+ years working on some of the world’s best-known brands. He’s produced award-winning work for Allstate, American Heart Association, Caribou Coffee, CDW, Disney, Harley-Davidson, Navistar, Starbucks, State Farm and Walmart to name a few.

From Leo Burnett to Ogilvy & Mather, John’s maintained that constant curiosity is the key to the best ideas. He loves digging into a client’s challenges, uncovering human insights and blending it all together to deliver a fresh perspective and creative solutions to help drive businesses. John’s is right at home with any assignment, whether it’s branding, broadcast, digital, experiential or social. Always looking beyond the brief on behalf of his clients.

His range of experience and quest for unexpected ideas makes John an ideal partner for the MonogramGroup.

Jim Phillips Professional Partners

Jim Phillips

Jim is the Consulting Executive and Creative Director at Ridge Road in Knoxville, Tennessee. He’s a senior creative with over 30 years of experience in print, publication, interactive, motion graphics, digital film production, and event design. Jim works with Fortune 500 companies, small startups, and everything in-between. For the past decade, his primary focus has been in the technology, financial, entertainment and pharmaceutical industries. Disney, WebMD, IQVIA, Deloitte, and Red Hat are a few of the notable brands Jim has collaborated with.

Jim brings a wealth of road-tested experience to the table and knowledge that covers a broad spectrum of skill sets and capabilities, making him a valuable partner. The fun and imaginative work collaboration between Jim and MonogramGroup make each project engagement unique and intriguing. He’s been working with MonogramGroup for the past 2 years as a creative consultant, motion graphics artist, and video editor.

Brand Strategist

Bob Rytter

Bob is a brand strategist and agency owner with 40+ years of experience in marketing, visual communications and branding. He founded two agencies, R.S. Jensen and Robert Rytter & Associates, where he was creative and strategic lead, as well as being responsible for account supervision. He’s worked with local, national and international brands in the education, healthcare, finance, architectural, construction and engineering sectors. Notable clients have included BlueCross BlueShield, Dentsply, the University of Arizona, T. Rowe Price, M&T Bank and Ace.

Bob’s deep experience in branding and visual communication makes him an integral asset to MonogramGroup. He’s a strategic thinker who offers a distinct point of view in a multitude of areas, including branding, design, video, copywriting and photography.

While he began collaborating with MonogramGroup in 2019, he’s known our President Scott Markman for over 35 years, having served as his boss and mentor in a previous life.

Kari Sharp
WordPress Developer

Kari Sharp

Kari is a professional web developer specializing in WordPress sites for a national portfolio of corporate as well as private clients.  She augments her development work with professional design consultation ensuring both visual and message design are locked on her client’s requirements.  With a 30-year technology career and over 7 years of proven web development experience, Kari’s broad web knowledge, acute attention to detail, and strong technical skillset qualify her as a top developer in Chicago.

For over 3 years, Kari has contributed clarity and vision to MonogramGroup’s web development offerings.  She’s a great team player and an excellent partner to clients and staff alike.  Her ability to turn design-vision into web-reality is what sets her apart from other developers and why she is one of MonogramGroup’s chosen web developers. Recent clients include McMillanDoolittle, PennantPark and Industrial Opportunity Partners.

Steve Spartana Professional Partners

Stephen Spartana

Stephen is a mid-Atlantic based, award-winning photographer who’s enjoyed a successful career for over 30 years. Stephen has shot photography across the globe for various companies in the corporate, institutional, healthcare and advertising sectors. AT&T, Drexel University, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Rubbermaid and T. Rowe Price have been a few of Stephen’s distinguished clients.

Stephen brings a unique creative vision, resourcefulness and keen eye that has added tremendous value to MonogramGroup. Additionally, his ability to collaborate and exceptional editing skills make him an invaluable asset. He’s been working with MonogramGroup for more than 25 years and has captured photography for MonogramGroup clients such as AIM13, Abacus Finance, Catholic Theological Union, CHS, HKW, IOP and the University of Florida, among others.

Christa Velbel

Christa Velbel

Christa is a Chicago-based copywriter with more than 30 years of experience telling brand stories. She studied journalism and communications at Northwestern University, explored consumer advertising at global agencies in her professional first act, and shifted to a B2B emphasis in her own consulting practice, which she opened in 2000. Brands to which she’s contributed range from JPMorgan Chase, Antares Capital and Humira to Whirlpool, Gatorade and Kraft Cheez Whiz.

Christa thrives on creating copy and concepts that capture intellectually challenging subject matter, pulling brand voice through every conceivable tactic, and learning her clients’ businesses inside-out, making her a valuable partner to MonogramGroup. Christa has partnered on projects with MonogramGroup since the early days of the millennium.

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*MonogramGroup is working virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic and are directing all calls to Scott Markman’s cell phone (listed below).

Scott Markman, President