Jean Komendera

Jean Komendera, President

Jean has nearly 30 years of high-level account management and strategic planning experience with international and regional advertising agencies. Her first position was at Grey Advertising where she started in the mailroom. Here, Jean received some great career advice from the chairman of Grey, Ed Meyer. He told her to be like a sponge and to learn something new each and every day. Throughout her career, she’s worked hard to remain curious, adapt to rapid-fire changes and bring the courage to take on challenges with fresh perspective and enthusiasm. Her role at Gold Dog is chief problem solver and cheerleader. Under Jean’s leadership, Gold Dog has grown steadily.

Jean has helped enhance the brand performance for numerous clients including Federal Realty Investment Trust, Forest City, Oracle, Cable ONE, Crowell & Moring LLP, JBGR Retail, National Geographic Magazine, The George Washington University, Bausch & Lomb, Jeep/Renault, Kodak, The George Washington University Health Plan, Watson Wyatt Worldwide, The University of Virginia Heart Center, and Ralston Purina. Committed to her community, she has also done pro bono work for several organizations including The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, and the Washington Humane Society. Jean has a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Christina Ortiz

Christina Ortiz, Senior Art Director

Christina has been an art director for over 17 years, working in agencies in Rochester, NY, Atlanta, GA, and Washington, DC. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her account experience includes Federal Realty Investment Trust, Quincy, Kodak Motion Picture Film, Xerox, StrongHealth, Highland Hospital, Aspen Dental, Shaw Carpet, Bausch & Lomb, Crowell & Moring LLP, MTX Wealth Management, and Finnegan Henderson LLP. Ideas and inspiration drive Christina. Her sense of design and creativity has brought her numerous accolades throughout her career, including over 40 advertising awards.

Kate Sonnick

Kate Sonnick, Creative Director and Writer

Words, ideas, inspiration: Kate brings 20+ years’ experience combining all of the above into effective, award-winning advertising for clients such as Federal Realty Investment Trust, Crowell & Moring LLP, Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, DuPont, Shaw Industries, and Xerox, to name a few. Before working with Gold Dog and launching her freelance business, Kate was the creative director for one of the largest advertising agencies in Rochester, NY. She’s won numerous national and regional industry awards, including Best of Show in the local Addy Awards four times.

Rachel Fink

Rachel Fink, Account Supervisor

Rachel has over five years of experience in mixed-use and retail marketing, event planning, and public relations. She supervises and manages projects and digital strategy, and oversees day-to-day responsibilities for a variety of Gold Dog’s clients including Ballston Quarter, Bethesda Row, NORTHxNORTHWEST, Bernstein Management Corporation, City Market at O, and more. As part of the Gold Dog team, Rachel has managed multiple award-winning advertising and branding campaigns that have enabled her clients to increase awareness and brand loyalty. She also assists in new business planning and strategy.

Rachel graduated magna cum laude from The Art Institute of Washington with a BA in Fashion & Retail Management. Clients admire her style, insight, and spunk. She is a team player who believes no task is too big or too small, and is always happy to lend a helping hand whenever needed.

Tracy Elston

Tracy Elston, Art Director

Tracy brings over 15 years of art direction experience to the Gold Dog pack, though she’s been creating since the first day she picked up a crayon. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from State University of New York at Oswego and hasn’t stopped learning since. Her account experience includes Federal Realty Investment Trust, Forest City, BMW, MINI, La-Z-Boy, and Northrop Grumman. Coffee is her fuel, The Golden Girls is her guilty pleasure, and listening is her key to success. When she isn’t designing, she’s thinking about designing, and when she isn’t thinking about designing she’s teaching her preschooler about teamwork, sports, and Star Wars while answering the question “why” quite a bit.

Heather Rosson

Heather Rosson, Senior Account Executive

Heather has over five years of experience in real estate marketing at local advertising agencies. In her role as a Senior Account Executive, she enjoys thinking big-picture and thrives at the intersection of creativity and strategy. Heather loves working directly with clients and translating their aesthetic and ideas into a final product. She is involved in all steps of the account management process from client communication and business development to strategic planning and creative kick offs.

Heather graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a BS in Business Marketing. Heather spends quite a bit of her free time exploring both the great outdoors (she’s a regular beach bum) and the culinary highlights of the city. Whether she’s checking out the latest restaurant or local farmer’s market – Heather is always on the move and exploring The District.

Kristina Billingsley

Kristina Billingsley, HR and Business Director

Kristina has been with Gold Dog Communications since 2013 as the HR and Business Director. She provides organization, supervision, and assistance behind the scenes for the Gold Dog team. Kristina is a military spouse and a mother of three, and enjoys the balance of life and play. She holds a BA in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio, Account Executive

Emily has ten years of account management and planning experience, having worked in full-service agency environments, executing everything from brand development to broadcast, social, and digital media. She manages with precision, spreadsheets and to-do lists are the tools of her trade. She has had the pleasure of collaborating with a variety of clients including Federal Realty Investment Trust, MetLife, Scripps Networks, Coopervision, W. F. Young, Manning & Napier, PAETEC, Monroe Community College, and Canandaigua National Bank. Emily has a BA degree in Marketing from St. Bonaventure University, and a furry Bernese Mountain Dog.

Juliet Gilden

Juliet Gilden, Account Director

Juliet Gilden has worked in varying capacities within client services for advertising agencies for 19 years. Most recently, she has taken on the role of Account Director for Gold Dog Communications.

Throughout her years of experience, Juliet has serviced large clients in a wide array of industries including; healthcare, hi-technology, tourism, higher education and several venture capital backed companies from start-up stage through IPO.

She is also a fine artist who has shown her work in several galleries in the Mid-Atlantic region. Juliet studied fine arts at the nationally renowned Maryland Institute of Art, before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Towson University.

John Quigley

John Quigley, Technical Director

John has over 14 years in web design experience and is owner of a design, interactive, photography studio based in Portland, Maine. He has worked with clients and athletes including Octagon Sports Marketing, United States Ski and Snowboard Association, Michael Phelps and Bode Miller. John has partnered with Gold Dog Communications over the past nine years on many web and interactive projects. He has helped direct and develop websites for clients including Crowell & Moring LLP, Finnegan Henderson LLP, Pike & Rose, Pentagon Row and Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center.

Pete Fazio

Pete Fazio, Art Director

Pete designs in and across all media, from brand development to interactive design. His work has appeared in a wide range of venues including design publications like Communication Arts, Print and Wired magazines—to the shelves of stores through BIC Pens he has designed. Pete also is a front-end web developer. Everything he knows about coding and the web is self-taught. He’s been learning something new every day since 1993. The same goes for why he knows how to take apart a lawnmower and fix it, or even his ’69 Austin Healey Sprite that he disassembled and rebuilt. Pete loves little British cars, British motorcycles, and British TV shows. He’s owned a 1972 Mini Cooper, a 1969 Austin Healey Sprite, and now, a 2011 Harley Nightster and a bad little Honda Ruckus scooter.

Summer

Summer, Mascot

Summer’s responsibilities include keeping a calm demeanor in the face of daily crisis and spreading smiles.

Heather Rosson

I’m inspired by …

community. When a group of people come together because they support something, enjoy something, believe in something, or want to create a positive change – I am inspired and want to be part of something greater than myself.

– Heather

Chrissy Ortiz

I’m inspired by …

my grandmothers hands. memories show in every beautiful line. etchings of experience and lines of warm character.

– Chrissy

Jean Komendera

I’m inspired by …

big cities.

The ambition and the stories of the people that make their way through the streets. The constant ability to reinvent. The boldness to push higher into the sky. The steadfast older buildings that refuse to be overshadowed. I am constantly surprised by the raw energy.

– Jean

Juliet

I’m inspired by …

my mother and the artwork she created. She saw the tiny moments in every day scenes that were so meaningful and that most people never even notice.

– Juliet

Kristina Billingsley

I’m inspired by …

the beauty and innocence through the eyes of a child.

– Kristina

Emily Fazio

I’m inspired by …

clean lines. Mid-century print design and contemporary architecture, Charley Harper to Orla Kiely to Dwell.

– Emily

Rachel Fink

I’m inspired by …

Coco Chanel. Coming up from a humble beginning, her ambition and drive allowed her to challenge the fashion norms of her time. Her designs liberated women of the constraints of the corseted silhouette, and popularized the acceptance of a sportive, casual chic as the feminine standard.

– Rachel

Heather Rosson

I’m inspired by …

laughter. I truly believe that a day without laughter is a day wasted. Hearing others laugh is inspiring, uplifting, and brings joy to this world.

– Heather

Emily Fazio

I’m inspired by …

the beauty in nature. From magenta rhododendrons in the spring to florescent yellow leaves in the fall, a walk down my street is the perfect source of inspiration.

– Emily

Jean Komendera

I’m inspired by …

paintings by Mark Rothko

Rothko’s bold color fields convey so much emotion with such simplicity. While I love wearing black, I never thought 14 black paintings could be so inspiring. The Rothko Chapel in Houston transcends religion and delivers a solid dose of peace and harmony.

– Jean

Juliet

I’m inspired by …

Tennessee Williams poetic writing. He tapped into the thoughts and feelings of his characters through the use of beautifully strung together words.

– Juliet

Kate Sonnick

I’m inspired by …

fashion, and in particular, by the mother of all fashion editors, legendary Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland. She was formidable, wickedly funny, and wildly stylish. She challenged women to be anything but their plain, old ordinary selves. She had an uncanny knack for reinvention and was an early pioneer of the personal brand. Diana wasn’t just the editor of Vogue. She was Vogue. We can all only hope to be that fabulous!

– Kate

John Quigley KEXP

I’m inspired by …

music. It has always been my lifeline and kexp has fueled my days since I first discovered them in 2005. Priding themselves on their “daily mix tape” motto, it takes me through many periods of life filled with emotion.

John Richards (John in the morning) inspires me, with his open heart and humble persona. If you ever have the chance to listen to his annual “Mom Show” on November 13th – you will never view radio in the same way again. It’s a piercing tribute to all those who have lost loved ones and for him November 13th is the day he lost his Mom to cancer.

– John

Jean Komendera

I’m inspired by …

my son Reid. He inspires me to try to jump higher and remember that it’s all about heart and effort.

– Jean

Emily Fazio

I’m inspired by …

sea glass, for its history and color.

– Emily

Rachel Fink

I’m inspired by …

live music. The energy, courage, and discipline it takes to perform in front of a live audience always amazes me, whether it’s for 20 people or 20,000 people.

– Rachel

Heather Rosson

I’m inspired by …

Grand moments. Those grand moments that provide us with a sense of calm – a crystal clear blue ocean, sunsets that paint the sky pink, the first winter snow, a starry night sky, and standing at the peak of a mountain top taking in the view.

– Heather