The Perks team is made up of passionate, insightful and always-curious individuals who are committed to sharing experiences and incorporate the knowledge gained by being wedged between that sweet spot of startup culture and consumer branding into all of our clients’ work and our teachings. It is in this spirit that we constantly connect the digital to the larger cultural contexts of life today. Our team experience matches the multiple lens approach we bring to our clients.


Lauren Perkins

   

Founder and CEO

Experience: After transitioning from journalism to experiential marketing, she built an expertise in leading digital adoption at lifestyle and tech companies alike. She founded Perks five years ago to help business take advantage of the full brand marketing mix that today’s world of social and digital affords us.
With a genuine love for helping and teaching people, Lauren was attracted to New York’s early tech startup scene in 2008. She is an active mentor and teacher in the emerging New York City tech and entrepreneurial education community.
Guilty pleasure: Tiramisu for breakfast
My Game Changing Moment: Swimming the 100 meter butterfly as an age group swimmer, I had less training experience than the other swimmers in my age group. I learned to swim half of my laps underwater to save energy and leverage speed underwater. This method required greater pre-race training and preparation but it got me to trials of the junior olympics was my first lesson in the art of the third way. I learned there’s always a smarter, alternative way to win if you’re willing to try new things. This served me well in the pool and now in the world of business.

Christina Vuleta

   

managing director

Experience: Christina has worked on positioning big brands for a big future and creating brands from scratch. With a unique background combining consumer insights and brand futures, she specializes in providing creative, high level strategic solutions that inspire new thinking and create actionable ideas. She spends her spare time running 40:20 Vision including mentoring salons between older and younger entrepreneurs.
Guilty pleasure: Dairy Queen and Alexander McQueen.
My Game Changing Moment: The day I realized I never was going to master Pilates – but rather it was a series of achievements and aha moments that always lead to a new challenge. This became a metaphor for life and drive to find the next aha moment.

Chris Agnos

   

COO

Experience: Chris spent the first decade of his career managed consulting teams installing major software implementations for large corporations at Accenture. With this pedigree, he developed an expertise in large-scale project management, which he brought to Perks and paired with agile technology thinking to develop custom project estimating, planning, and management tools specific to Perks business processes.
After earning is Masters in Sustainable Management from Columbia University, Chris spends his free time engaging in social causes that lead to a more sustainable world.
Guilty pleasure: Electricity and warm showers
My Game Changing Moment: The day I finished reading “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”

David Holloway

   

Corporate Development

Experience: A reformed international attorney and MBA with a sharp sense of professional curiosity. A seasoned executive, David has worked in business development, human resources, general management and organizational development at companies like BMG, Microsoft and AOL. A professional facilitator and a qualified executive coach, he also has extensive consulting experience in corporate strategy, enterprise business development and change management.
Guilty pleasure: 9pm show at Eastville Comedy Club, and a heavy peppery red wine
My Game Changing Moment: It’s a tie. Moving to Hong Kong in 1990 and New York City in 2006. In both cases, I was reminded that I belong in dynamic, energetic cities with smart people around me.

Laura Haykel

   

Strategic Relations

Experience: Laura’s 12-year career in new business development, and marketing taps into her natural strength in developing and nurturing relationships. A passionate connector & community builder, Laura brings countless mutually beneficial collaborations with Fortune 1000 companies to her role at Perks Consulting.
Laura also created a group to support female entrepreneurs claim their worth by taking steps to actualize their projects and businesses.
Guilty pleasure: World travel, Senegalese Sabar dance classes and grande iced soy lattes on hot summer days
My Game Changing Moment: While rebuilding my life as a single mom, I realized that getting ‘there’ is an illusion, life is what you make it right here, right now. And everything I need to create the life of my dreams is within me. This ‘Aha’ moment empowered my work as a business development specialist and gave me the inspiration and courage to start my first business.

STEPHANIE PATAFIO

   

Digital Marketing Director

Experience: Stephanie has over 10 years of digital marketing and management experience with entertainment, e-commerce/retail, consumer packaged goods and luxury brands at diverse organizations such as Live Nation, Thirteen/WNET (New York’s public television station) and Sony Music and for clients including Bacardi and Grey Goose Vodka. She is skilled in the breadth of digital brand marketing disciplines: strategy, product and platform planning, digital production and project management. She has ample experience managing multiple stakeholders and leading multi-agency and cross-functional teams to deliver innovative and creative digital initiatives with documented results. Such engagements have allowed brands to beat sales goals by 150%, consistently increase user traffic and engagement while gaining thousands of social media followers that have become brand advocates and customers.
Guilty pleasure: An intensely hoppy IPA style beer and karaoke
My Game Changing Moment: While taking care of a sick family member, I realized that life is too short to not follow your dreams and live life to the fullest. 

JoniSue Cleavenger

   

Account Manager

Experience: JoniSue brings resourcefulness, creativity and a competitive drive for business performance to her operations role at Perks Consulting. With a career that began in the burgeoning spa industry she quickly developed an aptitude for improving profitability through staff and customer management, product development, and infrastructure implementation. She then refined her business and finance management experience as a Credit Manager at Panavision. Throughout the course of her career she has built an expertise in business management while cultivating a specialty in lifestyle marketing and  beauty and wellness.
Jonisue also runs Gone Green Fundraisers, a organization to provide schools and nonprofits with the opportunity to raise much needed funds while improving socioeconomic and environmental conditions.
Guilty pleasure: A glass of red wine with bone marrow (humanely raised of course)
My Game Changing Moment: The day I discovered hoop dancing. My first impression was- “ those tricks are really difficult, I’ll never be able to do that.” But I learned that through consistent practice, I was able master trick by trick and string them into an intricate dance that now serves as my exercise, meditation and creative expression. Hoop dancing taught me that I’m able to get past any preconceived notions of my capabilities and this translates into every aspect of life- have patience, keep trying and never give up!

Looking for real world, hands on experience? Perks is hiring!

Perks Consulting is looking for a digital/marketing savvy apprentice who is ready to get their hands dirty.

This position has clear opportunities for advancement, as we’ve hired the last two apprentices.  If you’re a dynamic, passionate, go-getter with the ability to multi-task and thrive in a fast paced environment you may have found your match.  Our growing creative consulting firm specializes in business solutions primarily in marketing, strategy, branding and management.  The right candidate will get to assist in developing and refining client engagement process, and delivery. The Digital Marketing Apprentice will have opportunities to sharpen and practice their marketing skills, be exposed to research and strategy development, and be involved in the program development and the strategic ideation process. The right candidate will have opportunities to support TA work with Perks CEO and founding marketing instructor for classes and workshops she creates and delivers at General Assembly, an entrepreneurship campus focused on technology, business, and design. The ideal candidate should have knowledge about marketing activities, and the iterative steps in completing these activities with a strong focus on digital and social media outlets (i.e SEO, SEM, Twitter, Facebook, AND especially emerging ones etc.)  This is an excellent opportunity to jump in and get your feet wet in real agency and client experiences. We’re truly invested in the career development of our team, and we have a history of welcoming successful apprentices to join the team full-time post apprenticeship. Sound like a perfect opportunity for you?  Please send resume, cover letter and any samples of your work, and your website if you have one to hr@perksconsulting.com.

Whitney Meers

   

Account Strategist

WMHSExperience: After completing law school, Whitney left the legal world in pursuit of more creative passions. She turned to marketing, leading to her involvement with projects for a variety of clients including Samsung, Comedy Central, NBC, Turner Broadcasting, The Nerdist & more. Today, she works on client strategy & strategic product development for startups & burgeoning companies. In 2012, Whitney enrolled in the brand strategy marketing certificate program at General Assembly. She was later invited back to the program as a Digital Marketer-in-Residence & continues to be involved with GA.
Guilty pleasure: Cheese. In another life, she would be a professional cheesemonger.
My Game Changing Moment: While experiencing the frustrations law school, I thought often about working in a career that didn’t involve the practice of law. One day, while speaking to a career specialist about my background, she asked me what I would do if I didn’t have to practice law. I told her I’d work on creative projects, and she suggested there might be career opportunities that would recognize the importance of a legal background while also allowing me to impress my creativity. Since then, I haven’t looked back.

Lindsay Sweeney

   

Marketing Manager and Digital Strategist

Experience: At the crossroads between creativity and well-honed business savvy, Lindsay has managed integrated campaigns that leverage social media, email and event marketing for brands Jack Daniels, Joonbug, Skinnygirl and Belvedere. Her brand ambassador experience has provided her with strong market research capabilities, customer service and consumer-first insight. She’s certified by Google Analytics Academy in Digital Analytics Fundamentals and well-versed in innovative solutions, leading her seamlessly into her role at Perks Consulting where she approaches client problems with dual modes of thinking, originality and resourcefulness.
Guilty pleasure: Netflix documentaries
My Game Changing Moment: Moving from Atlanta to go to school in New York City. I didn’t know a single person and within a week of being in one of the most diverse, creative and ambitious cities in the world, I felt right at home. I learned to carry that spirit with me in many aspects of life, no matter where I am or what I’m working on.