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Leadership

French | West | Vaughan

Rick French

Rick French
Chairman & CEO

Opened FWV: 1997
Primary Responsibilities
Senior counsel and chief promise keeper to clients.
Alma Mater
Oakland University, Rochester, MI
Outside Interests
Live music, sports, and travel.
What to know about Rick
He is a 2018 N.C. Media and Journalism Hall of Fame Inductee; a national trustee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum; co-owner of the Daytona Tortugas, the Advanced A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, and he is Managing Partner of Prix Productions, a feature film and documentary production company.

David Gwyn

David Gwyn
President

Joined FWV: 1999
Primary Responsibilities
Senior counselor, client and associate relationship manager, new ideas.
Alma Mater
Wake Forest University – Babcock Graduate School of Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Outside Interests
Anything near a beach, live music and sports, golf, raising good kids, arriving in a new city with no plans and just letting it happen.”
What to know about David
He has more song lyrics in his head than you could ever imagine… and he uses them every day.

Natalie Best

Natalie Best
Chief Operating Officer

Joined FWV: 2002
Primary Responsibilities
Account service head, manager, strategist, marketer. Whatever challenge the day holds.
Alma Mater
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Outside Interests
Running, spinning, travel, golf and learning every day about how to be a parent.
What to know about Natalie
She is currently on the Board of Advisors of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism & Media, the Board of Directors of the Wake Tech Foundation and the Global Board of IPREX. She previously served on the boards of the Alexander Family YMCA, NC Child and Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education. She is a Triangle Business Journal​“40 Under 40” winner, a Business Leader Magazine​“Mover & Shaker,” and was recognized nationally by PR News as one of the​“2017 Top Women in PR.”

Barrie Hancock

Barrie Hancock
Senior Vice President

Joined FWV: 2000
Primary Responsibilities
Management oversight for a wide variety of agency clients within the consumer marketing practice area.
Alma Mater
University of Connecticut
Outside Interests
Tennis, reading, and obsessively following UConn basketball.
What to know about Barrie
An old school grammar purist, she’s a N.Y.-born, Conn.-raised, happily acclimated Southern transplant striving for that perfect work/​life balance.

Jenny Pelewski

Jenny Pilewski
Senior Vice President

Joined FWV: 2004
Primary Responsibilities
Trainer of happy employees and cultivator of satisfied clients.
Alma Mater
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Outside Interests
At the moment? All things baby.” In my dreams? Decorating houses, going for a jog, listening to music, going to a movie, and watching the game.
What to know about Jenny
She is a new mother, lover of laughter, total neat freak, committed to mastering an attitude of gratitude.

Kristen Levine

Kristen Levine
President, FWV Fetching

Joined FWV: 2017
Founded Fetching Communications in 2003
Primary Responsibilities
Leadership of pet and veterinary accounts and development of pet strategies for corporate clients and consumer brands.
Alma Mater
St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, FL.
Outside Interests
Ballroom dancing, music, fashion and football. Kristen is a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader!
What to know about Kristen
Nationally-known speaker, media personality, author, blogger and influencer, reaching passionate pet lovers across the country.

Chris Goddard

Chris Ann Goddard
President, CGPR

Joined FWV: 2019
Primary Responsibilities
CEO/​founder of CGPR, working in the trenches with and amazing team and iconic consumer lifestyle brands with an outdoor passion.
Alma Mater
Connecticut College
Outside Interests
Racing sailboats, road cycling, and spending time with our labrador retriever Jolie (will be adding to the family soon).
What to know about Chris
Loves classic sailboats, Newport Beach’s Wedge and devouring the Sunday New York Times.

Jack Glasure

Jack Glasure
President, Sports & Entertainment

Joined FWV: 1997
Primary Responsibilities
Connecting the dots for brands to reach the fans and friends of athletes, artists and entertainers.
Alma Mater
Saint Leo University, Tampa, FL
Outside Interests
Hiking, travel, and photography.
What to know about Jack
Was the first associate of FWV (formerly Richard French & Associates) when the agency was founded in 1997 & has managed the Tampa office since 1999.

Charles Upchurch

Charles Upchurch
Senior Counselor

Joined FWV: 1998
Primary Responsibilities
Public relations strategy, message development, brand communications, copywriting, media relations and editorial oversight.
Alma Mater
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, School of Journalism
Outside Interests
Family, UNC, screenwriting, photography, sons Devlyn and Blake and a Brittany spaniel named Chelsea.
What to know about Charles
Favorite novel is The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy. Gives excellent guided tours of New York City. Knows all the words to the Texas A&M Aggie War Hymn. Aspires to be William Goldman. Once rode in a car with Roger Daltrey. Oyster aficionado.

Leah Knepper

Leah Knepper
Vice President

Joined FWV: 2012
Primary Responsibilities
Oversees FWV’s Travel & Tourism practice.
Alma Mater
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Outside Interests
Travel, health/​fitness, and dogs.
What to know about Leah
She has marketed destinations including Delray Beach, Fla., Fayetteville, N.C., and Wilmington, N.C. She currently serves as a volunteer for AnimalKind, a non-profit based in Raleigh.

Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson
Vice President

Joined FWV: 2007
Primary Responsibilities
Account management spanning PR, branding, collateral, events and social media.
Alma Mater
North Carolina State University
Outside Interests
Volunteering at SPCA of Wake Country, traveling (favorite cities are Paris, NYC, Istanbul, and Kyoto), and running.
What to know about Katie
She has extensive experience in PR and social media marketing within the western and fashion industries, winning awards on behalf of clients Wrangler Western and Tony Lama Boots, among others.

Rachel Wing

Rachel Swanson
Vice President

Joined FWV: 2012
Primary Responsibilities
Knowing everything there is to know about integrated marketing. Building and positioning consumer brands to break through their category clutter, reach and build affinity with their target audiences and meet/​surpass their business goals.
Alma Mater
University of Rhode Island
Outside Interests
Just about anything DIY, music, coast/​beach, discovering new places, reading, and getting roped into just about every sporting event these days … but the tailgating’s fun!
What to know about Rachel
Over 12 years in the marketing and advertising industry, Rachel’s experience with consumer brands spans across many verticals from retail, apparel, telecommunications, professional services, to quick service restaurants/​fast casual restaurants and home improvement. She is self-driven, eager to take on challenges and never backs down from a good spreadsheet.

Kerry Branon

Kerry Branon
Associate Vice President

Joined FWV: 2019
Primary Responsibilities
Communications strategy, client liaison, media relations, team integration, business development.
Alma Mater
Suffolk University, Boston, MA
Elon University, Elon, NC (MBA Candidate)
Outside Interests
Nature, family, daughter Isabella and pets Oliver, Edie and Kinana.
What to know about Kerry
Produced a feature documentary Huntwatch narrated by actor Ryan Reynolds. Adoption advocate for both kids and pets. Played ping-pong with a Maasai warrior in Kenya on her birthday. Fell in love with India at first sight. Was once spotted leaving a bar in Jackson Hole, WY with a tiger.

John Moore

John Moore
Creative Director

Joined FWV: 2018
Primary Responsibilities
Guides all creative and production.
Alma Mater
North Carolina State University
Outside Interests
Spending time with family and friends, traveling, running and exploring the ever growing craft beer scene.
What to know about John
The son of an art teacher and an architect (turned professional sand sculptor), John has never lacked for creative inspiration. It runs deep in his native Raleigh roots. In fact, in 1945 his grandfather opened the very first advertising agency in Raleigh, NC.

Meryl

Meryl Radar
Client Services Director, CGPR

Joined FWV: 2019
Primary Responsibilities
Account service director for CGPR clients, focused on consumer lifestyle brands.
Alma Mater
Rutgers College, New Brunswick, NJ
Outside Interests
Hiking, entertaining, concerts/​plays/​movies, writing, DIY home projects.
What to know about Meryl
Passionate dog lover and also passionate about social change; equally passionate about writing the one novel in me (which has been 10 years in the making — this is THE year!).

Nothailah Meehan

Nothailah Meehan
AVP, Media Director

Joined FWV: 2017
Primary Responsibilities
Media strategy and planning, new business, and client relations.
Alma Mater
State University College at Oneonta
Outside Interests
Spending time with my beagle Zola, traveling, yoga, music, trying out new restaurants, and gardening.
What to know about Nothailah
She relocated to Raleigh from New York and is enjoying all the South has to offer. Nothailah has worked on accounts across a variety of categories including Banking, Energy, Healthcare, Higher Ed, and Transportation. Nothailah brings deep knowledge working on integrated campaigns and assisting clients in making the shift towards digital integration. She is a strong negotiator and relationship builder with many established media contacts.

Abigail Quesinberry

Abigail Quesinberry
AVP, Social Media & Influencer Marketing

Joined FWV: 2015
Primary Responsibilities
Social Media Strategy, Influencer & Experiential Marketing.
Alma Mater
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Outside Interests
Travel, food and wine, live music and Tar Heel basketball.
What to know about Abigail
Has a hard time resisting a good (or bad) pun.

Rich Griffis

Rich Griffis
Senior Art Director

Joined FWV: 2012
Primary Responsibilities
Art direction and graphic design.
Alma Mater

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Outside Interests
Spirituality, travel, politics, and running.
What to know about Rich

He enjoys all things family related — traveling with his wife, spending time with his two daughters, and understands the importance of self-care; making sure your mental, physical, and spiritual needs are cared for.

Jerstin Crosby

Jerstin Crosby
Senior Social Media Art Director

Joined FWV: 2017
Primary Responsibilities
Crafting engaging and award-winning concepts that break through social noise to reach new audiences. Storyteller with a passion for producing premium content that commands attention.
Alma Mater
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, MFA
Outside Interests
All things art related including hosting open studio and art gallery events in Chapel Hill and beyond.
What to know about Jerstin
Experienced Senior Art Director with an emphasis in working with social platforms, digital marketing, web and all points in between. He works to constantly elevate clients’ online presence through his hands-on approach to nurture big ideas through production and out into the world.

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