Hello, business strategy. Meet marketing strategy.


Pennebaker knows how to make these two get along.

Pennebaker is a 30-year-old branding and marketing communications firm that helps businesses grow, change, and prosper. Our unique, award-winning approach to branding, advertising, investor relations, and employee communications starts with developing a targeted strategy, then implementing the most powerful creative marketing imaginable.

If the creativity doesn’t move the ball, it’s just art. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Capabilities


You know it’s getting harder and harder to stand out in today’s marketplace, right? What we do is help crack the code and break through the clutter.

We’ve built a creative agency that’s steeped in business acumen. We’ve wrangled with our clients’ toughest business challenges, then helped develop marketing strategies to grow their brand.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Team

Ward Pennebaker


  • CEO
  • Chief Strategist
  • Pink Floyd Fridays

ward

Ward received his B.A., cum laude, in psychology from Harvard. Prior to starting the agency in 1984, he worked in advertising agencies and the company formally, and formerly, known as Exxon.

Today Ward serves as our chief branding and marketing strategist. He has led research projects and conducted his proprietary messaging and positioning process, Strategic Guardrails®, for companies throughout the world.

Ward serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Houston Grand Opera and the advisory boards of Houston Center for Photography and Opera in the Heights. He is a former board member of the Houston Advertising Association.

He is a frequent lecturer on branding, litigation support, marketing strategy, and the importance of humor in all things.


Do you prefer classical, opera, indie, or rock?
Yes.

Live or on recordings?
Yes.

What are your mandatory fashion accessories?
A camera, an iPod, and a cell phone. Oh, you’re saying an iPhone can do all that?

Susan Pennebaker


  • Principal and Chief Operating Officer
  • Strategic Diva
  • Perpetual Motion

susan

Susan received her B.A. and J.D. from Louisiana State University. She began her legal career at Exxon and thereafter continued her oil and gas practice at several Houston law firms. In 1990, Susan joined Pennebaker and has since focused on developing strategic marketing and employee communications programs for companies and non-profits. She is currently chief marketing strategist for United Way of Greater Houston, and she recently helped to develop an innovation initiative for HP’s Global Controllership Group. 

Susan is a member of the American Marketing Association, the State Bar of Texas and the Louisiana Bar Association. She was chosen as a Fellow of the American Leadership Forum Class of 2017. Susan serves on numerous boards, including the McGovern Health Museum, the LSU Law Center Board of Trustees, United Way's Women's Initiative Steering Committee, the Woodland Heights Civic Association and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Charitable Foundation. 


How do you relax?
Run, baby, run.

Secret skill?
I’m a dog whisperer.

Jeffrey McKay


  • PRINCIPAL & CREATIVE DIRECTOR
  • IDEA FARMER
  • ROCKWELL KENT GROUPIE

jeffrey

Jeffrey received his B.F.A. from West Texas State University in 1984.

His work experience includes corporate identity development, print collateral design, packaging design, advertising design, and interactive multimedia interface design. His work has received national and international recognition and has appeared in competitions sponsored by Communication Arts Magazine, Print Magazine, Studio Magazine, Graphis, the Houston Advertising Federation, and the Art Directors Club competitions in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas.


Substance you most often abuse?
Bubble gum and chili powder.

Places you go to find inspiration?
Hardware stores, art museums, and silent corners.

How do you relieve stress?
I like to listen to comedians. Especially George Carlin, Chris Rock, and Louis CK.

Halina Dodd


  • PRINCIPAL & ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
  • WHITE SPACE
  • MADE IN POLAND

halina

Halina received her M.A. in education from Silesian University in Poland. She later pursued her passion for communication and earned a graphic design degree from the Art Institute of Houston.

At Pennebaker since 2000, Halina has led many rebranding efforts for clients like AIG Retirement, United Way of Greater Houston, Chevron Technology Ventures, and HCC Insurance Holdings. Halina has designed award-winning marketing materials for many clients, including United Way of Greater Houston, Houston Grand Opera, and AIDS Foundation Houston.


Superpower?
High panic threshold.

Superfood?
Dark chocolate, 70% cocoa content, any brand, large quantity.

Weak spot?
“She’s such a morning person!” said no one ever.

Karin Busby


  • Project Manager
  • Project Juggler
  • Dancing Queen

karin

What would you do if you had more free time?
More trips to the Texas Hill Country to see my precious grand-kids.

Life motto?
Be Kind & Speak Kindly. It’s more important to be nice than it is to be important.

Favorite things to do?
Listen to live music. Dance. Sit at bars at restaurants for dinner — it gives you an opportunity to meet new people.

Richard Byrd


  • Director
  • Content Commando
  • Skeptimist

rbyrd

If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month which one would it be?
Mad Men. Wait, I am trapped in Mad Men...

Favorite sports team?
The Texans

What movie you could watch over and over?
Pulp Fiction. Tarantino's dialog never gets old to me.

Cat Carpentier


  • ADMINISTRATIVE & ACCOUNTING ASSISTANT
  • GO-TO GAL
  • FUTBOL FREAK

cat

Sweet or salty?
Salty.

Who would you like as a dinner guest?
Oscar Wilde.

Childhood hero?
Pelé.

Melissa Carson


  • Digital Marketing Strategist
  • MULTI-TASK MASTER
  • BATTER UP!

melissa

Favorite pastime?
Hanging out with family and friends.

Favorite vacation spot?
Beach resort.

Where do you volunteer?
I’m a Girl Scout Leader.

Carrie Cash


  • DESIGNER
  • EVOKE
  • WIND IN MY HAIR

carrie

Sweet or salty?
Cheesy.

Most desolate place you ever traveled?
Walmart.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up outdoors: creating, playing, immersed in nature.

Jayme Chalkley


  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, ACCOUNT SERVICES
  • STRATEGIST
  • TIME ZONE HOPPER

Jayme 640X740 B

The best day of a year?
Today!

What would you do if you had more free time?
Travel. No, really. Travel.

What most people don’t know about you?
I was deported from South Korea.

Charlie Cosad


  • Strategist
  • Minister of Light
  • Redcou

Charlie 640X740

Charlie completed a 38 year international career with Schlumberger in 2016, working across the company in a number of business lines and headquarters. His first 11 years were in Far East where he began in wireline, then well testing and completions. This was followed by 5 years in the Middle East in operations management, then Aberdeen, including a 4 years secondment to BP as a drilling manager. 

Charlie’s transition to marketing began in 1999 when he became marketing manager for a $1bn revenue acquisition to be integrated across Schlumberger (which included engaging Pennebaker).  This was followed by a series of headquarters assignments including technical manager for the integrated project management business, director marketing communications, and marketing and brand integration manager for both the Smith International and Cameron acquisitions. 

Charlie holds BSc, magna cum laude, in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University and MSc degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Princeton University. 


Book that stayed with you? 
Iron John, a book about men. How to turn boys into men is becoming a lost art.  

Movie you can watch over and over?
The Fabulous Baker Boys. Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff and Beau Bridges—a genius combination. Streets of Fire a close second.  

The best meal you ever cooked?
Toast. Ok, before you go off, I made the sprouted wheat bread by hand. 

DeAnn Decker


  • SENIOR DESIGNER
  • ORACLE
  • SINCE 1988

deann

Holiday you most look forward to?
Thanksgiving.

Your Sunday afternoon?
If raining, curled up watching a movie. If sunny, working in the yard.

What Pantone color would you be?
225U.

Ian DeRanieri


  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, DIGITAL MEDIA
  • TASKMASTER
  • INTERPRETER

ian

What superpower do you want?
I would love to be able to manipulate time. Tired? Freeze time, sleep a full eight hours, then unfreeze time and get back to doing what I love. Tight deadline? Freeze time, do all the work, sleep a full eight hours, then unfreeze time. Imagine the productivity (and how rested you'd be)!

Favorite day of the year?
Super Bowl Sunday. There's nachos, football, and great ads. What's not to love?

What movie can you watch over and over?
When I see Forrest Gump on TV, whatever I was doing before is put on hold for the next 142 minutes. I have left my lawn half-mowed because I caught a glimpse of Forrest Gump.

Katie Gray


  • DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNT SERVICES
  • STRATEGIC LEADER
  • MUSICAL MAVEN

katie

What’s your biggest indulgence?
A gyro and French fries.

Person you most admire?
My mom.

What most people don’t know about you?
I was a major fan of the '80s TV show Remington Steele and have every episode on VHS tape and DVD.

Spenser Hannon


  • Web Developer
  • Code Guru
  • Macrocosm Pillager

Spenser

Where did you grow up?
Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada

Holiday you most look forward to?
4th of July, you get to blow stuff up!

Cats or dogs?
Not Small Dogs

Stacey Hodge


  • Account Manager
  • Path Producer
  • Secret cézanne

Stacey 640X740

Sweet or salty? 
Spicy

Top five musicians and why?
Jimmy Lafave – He gets me.
Metallica – James Hetfield is my hero.
Kanye – Runaway is my alltime FAV!
Dwight Yoakum – Got that country groove and he’s a good actor, who knew? 
Otis Redding – He filled my childhood home.

A place you really want to visit? 
Ireland, to meet my people. #naturalredhead

Robert Legaspi


  • SENIOR TRIAL ANALYST
  • LITIGATION NINJA
  • OCEAN MINDED

rob

Favorite record of all time?
What is a record?

What most people don’t know about you?
Many moons ago, I worked in a kitchen in Israel cooking for 800 people a day, taught English to kids in Prague, and was a care provider for the mentally challenged in Switzerland.

Most interesting place you’ve ever traveled?
Backpacking through Morocco to Chefchaouen.

April Lynch


  • Director of PR
  • Connector
  • Whirling Devish

April 640X740 B

Cats or dogs?
Cats the first half of my life, dogs the second!

Hike or bike?
Definitely bike.  When we travel, I seem to always be looking for someplace to rent bikes. Our favorite bike trip was in Maui for the Mount Haleakala bike tour. It started very early in the morning and no one in my family was especially jazzed to go, aside from me.  It ended up one of our all-time favorite trip excursion.  

Holiday you most look forward to?
Christmas, without a doubt. I typically start buying gifts in July!

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Oklahoma. My first ten years were actually spent in a very rustic log cabin in Southeastern Oklahoma before moving to Norman, Oklahoma, home of the Sooners!

Crystal Pham


  • DESIGNER
  • MAGIC WAND WIZARD
  • AWKWEIRD

crystal

The best day of a year?
Spongebob Squarepants's Best Day Ever.

Karaoke go-to songs?
Destiny's Child songs.

Superpower?
Telekinesis. I'll never have to ask anyone to grab something from the top shelf ever again.

Amol Sardesai


  • ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
  • TRAVELING DESIGNER
  • DJ BOMBAY

amol

Where did you grow up?
Mumbai, India.

Book that stayed with you?
Slaughterhouse-Five.

Cats or dogs?
Dragons.

Meagan Sweigart


  • Account Manager
  • Dot Connector
  • Culinary Wunderkind

Meagan 640X740

Where’s mealtime?
The bar at Houston’s latest hot spot. I like seeing how the magic is made and can’t be bothered to make a reservation.

Life motto?
A house isn’t a home without a dog.

What’s your biggest indulgence?
Music festivals. There’s always room in my budget for a 3-day pass.

Shannon Threadgill


  • Designer
  • Champion of Colors
  • Kanye Apologist

Shannon

Who are your favorite composer/artists?
Porter Robinson, Logic, Dr. Dre and Kanye West (I know, I know…sorry)

Where do you find inspiration?
Comic books, trade journals and beer packaging

Who are your favorite designers of all time?
Chermayeff & Geismar, Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Tad Carpenter and Ty Mattson

Darith Yim


  • FRONT-END DEVELOPER
  • UX MACGYVER
  • MOON WALKER

darith

Who are your favorite composer/artists?
Tchaikovsky and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Breakdancing, gunsmithing, or catching spiders and bugs for my wife.

How do you feel about singing?
I love to sing, rap, and dance, especially during karaoke.

Blue


  • OFFICE MASCOT
  • SENIOR SNIFFER IN CHARGE
  • 10 YEARS OF SERVICE

blue

What’s your favorite quote?
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” You have no idea.

What’s an average day like for you?
I have a lot of greeting and napping responsibilities. It’s pretty endless.

What do you value most about Pennelife?
Nacho Fridays. Duh.

PenneLife


Everybody loves the Pennebaker habitat. It’s colorful, eccentric, and full of weird and wonderful objects that we’ve collected over the years. Including our people — all smart and talented and passionate individuals, from many different tribes.

We do the kinds of things in, around, and to the office that appeal to creative minds. We are skilled in the art of collaboration, which adds zest to the process and strength to the team.

It’s all part of the Pennebaker personality.

  • Pennebaker
  • Pennebaker
  • Pennebaker
  • Pennebaker
  • Pennebaker
  • Pennebaker