Kathleen Riessen

Kathleen is an executive coach and strategic planning consultant for advertising and marketing agencies. She has advised hundreds of companies over the last 20 years. She uses her extensive emotional intelligence training and her proprietary CASP Communications Styles® Assessment tool to support the growth of agencies’ productivity and profitability.

Kathleen served on the National American Advertising Federation Board amongst industry legends and was awarded the Silver Medalist Lifetime Achievement Award.

She is a former Certified Public Accountant and has run seven businesses over the last 15 years including an advertising agency for 10 years. She and her husband, Josh, own Farrell’s Martial Arts in Urbandale – the 2022 Urbandale Small Business of the Year.

Kathleen runs a live radio show and podcast called “The Kathleen Riessen Show: Pushing the Boundaries of Leadership” and is a two-time author. She is a certified Master Leader through Heartcore Leadership where she graduated top of her class, a mentor for Boston Breakthrough Academy’s Mastering Leadership Program, and a Leadership Iowa graduate.

Most importantly, Kathleen is mom to three boys – Caden, Noah, and Andrew and two dogs.

Katie Risch

Experienced executive with a demonstrated history of building and leading high-functioning sales, customer success, marketing, and revenue enablement teams. Proven success launching and growing new products, solutions, and business units, as well as creating and implementing go-to-market strategies. Over 15 years experience in the digital marketing and advertising space. Strong media and communications professional with a Bachelor’s degree focused in English Language and Literature/Letters from Indiana University Bloomington.

Yeosh Bendayan

Yeosh Bendayan, an esteemed University of Florida graduate, serves as a partner at Push Button Creative Audio, an unconventional audio production company based in Florida. This dynamic company specializes in crafting captivating radio advertisements, tailor-made music, and engaging podcasts for both local and national advertisers. Noteworthy clients of Push Button Creative Audio include the Centers for Disease Control, for whom they contributed to the vaccine rollout and drug overdose awareness campaigns, as well as prominent brands such as Tito’s Vodka, MasterSpas, Pyrex, Budget Blinds, and First Watch. In addition, they have collaborated with over 40 credit unions, including Whitefish, Fibre Federal, Abound, Radiant, and OU Financial, among numerous others. To discover more about their impressive portfolio, visit

Furthermore, Yeosh Bendayan has held the distinguished position of Past Chairman within the Council of Governors of the American Advertising Federation. This esteemed role, elected by his peers, involved advocating on behalf of the organization’s 50,000 members to government officials and the board of directors.


Alison Pfaff

Alison Pfaff is the President of the Hearst StoryStudio, a full-service content marketing agency supporting Hearst Newspapers and Hearst Television. With 18 years of experience, she has developed award-winning content marketing campaigns across 20 different categories and driven success for both regional and national clients. Alison has managed over $50mm in revenue in her time at Hearst and has a proven track record for driving high-quality results and detailed strategies for categories such as; nonprofit, retail, travel, finance, education and many more. Other notable positions include: PopSugar Creative Services Director, NBCU Brand Studio

Chris LaCroix

Chris has been working professionally in the design industry for more than 15 years.

With a background in fine arts, he transitioned into the digital space early in his professional career, eventually specializing in corporate branding and web development.

Chris has developed purpose-driven, recognizable branding for many area businesses and nonprofits including Duet, Elevate Roofing, Modus Coworking, and Platte River Concrete.

In 2021, Chris launched his branding and web development agency, Shape Society. With an office in historic downtown Omaha, his agency focuses on helping businesses identify and exemplify their unique story through the brand development process. Paired with bespoke, hand-coded websites, custom illustrations, and unique brands, Shape Society’s mission is to bring meaning to each and every project.

Chris and his team have been recognized by both the AIGA and PRSA for web development projects. Chris has also been recognized by the AAF for his dedication to nonprofit work. In naming his agency Shape Society, Chris wanted to embody his desire to shape our Nebraska communities by donating his time and talents to meaningful causes.

Elizebeth Murphy

Elizebeth guides strategy and creative direction for communications initiatives that activate audiences and improve communities. With deep experience in a variety of collaborative environments, she defines brand strategies and helps shape conversations – building energy and enthusiasm around important efforts. Since starting Emspace (now Emspace + Lovgren) in 1992, Elizebeth has developed expertise in serving nonprofit and government clients and is adept at leveraging resources to produce award-winning communications for her clients.

Elizebeth’s interests span in many directions, including community equity, multimodal transportation systems, arts and culture, education and how communities grow and thrive. She has completed executive education in New Urbanist Planning, Design and Management at Harvard University, Frameworks Academy training and holds certificates from the International Association of Public Participation.

She currently serves as chair of the Iowa State University College of Design Advancement Executive Council, and on the boards of directors of the Greater Omaha Chamber and Visiting Nurse Association.

Mary Ann O’Brien

A nationally recognized branding and marketing thought leader, Mary Ann has been entrusted by some of the most successful brands in the world to help steer their strategic direction, evolve their brand positioning, and guide their marketing and communication efforts. As founder and CEO of OBI Creative, her business acumen and incomparable ability to deliver strong results gives clients the confidence needed to make the strategic decisions required to grow. A pioneer in modern marketing, O’Brien and her award-winning team, work with some of the most admired brands in the world.

She has led national and global strategic initiatives for Intel, Microsoft, Sony, Lenovo, Gateway, Nomi Health, Iowa DOT, Stericycle, ViewSonic, Creighton Heider College of Business, Advanced Auto Parts, Cobalt Credit Union, GuideOne Insurance, Olsson, Delta Dental, AgVenture, and Miller Electric among many others.

Her insatiable drive to find new and better ways to market and grow business is matched only by her reverence for understanding the needs of the customer. She authored the O’Brien Voice of the Customer™ and Voice of the Employee™ studies, which have repeatedly served as the foundation for incredible business success stories. Passionate about the power of businesses to transform communities for the better, O’Brien regularly serves on community boards where she enthusiastically shares her passion and expertise. She is a champion for women, diversity and ethical growth, and considers winning an Integrity Award from the Better Business Bureau as one of the defining moments of her career.

Mary Ann is a devoted mother, entrepreneur, and published author of the Forbes’ book, “Ask and Deliver: Discover the Heart of Your Business by Listening to the Voice of Your Customers.” When she’s not busy writing, speaking, or helping businesses realize their greatest potential, she and her husband, Jason Ramirez, and daughter, CeCe Elkjer, and bonus daughter, Gabby English, enjoy time together in Okoboji with family, sharing laughs with great friends, and traveling.

Norberto (Rob) Ayala-Flores

President, Puente Marketing Communications, LLC

Norberto is an advertising and marketing veteran in both the general and Hispanic market arenas.  He is a first-generation Latino, born and raised in western Nebraska with his 15 brothers and sisters, where he was fortunate to grow up in a vibrant bicultural community anchored by his family and his rural community. He brings a deep respect and passion for the Latino culture to his clients who engage Puente Marketing when they want to know more about connecting with the growing Latino market in the U.S.

Rob founded Puente Marketing in 2003 and has worked with clients in multi-unit retail operations, pet care, financial services, telecommunications, multi-unit retail operations, healthcare insurance, health & wellness, and with a number of non-profit entities.

Rob has served as an adjunct professor for the graduate program at University of Kansas-Edwards Campus in Multicultural Marketing Communications. He has participated in a number of Professional In-Residence teaching programs for the University of Iowa, University of Nebraska, University of Missouri-Columbia, and University of Central Missouri. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has an M.A. from Wichita State University with an emphasis in Latin American Literature and Culture.

He currently serves on the board of Resurrection Catholic School in KCK, The University of Kansas Medical Advancement Board, The University of Kansas-Edwards IMC Advisory Board, Kansas City Ad Club, The Center for Practical Bioethics and is a past Board Chair for The Nelson Atkins Museum Friends of Art Council and El Centro Inc. He and his wife Rebecca have four daughters and have lived in Kansas City, MO since 1997.

Sean Flattery

Sean Flattery has served as Creative Director at Eleanor since 2018. Drawing on years of experience from various disciplines — including non-profit work, publication design, fine and performing arts, and community outreach — Sean brings a broad-minded perspective to branding and marketing to clientele in Lincoln, Nebraska, and beyond. From writing brand identities, scripts, and social media content, to designing logos, shaping brands, and bringing visions into reality, Sean’s all about unifying message and medium to give Eleanor’s clients a bold and impactful brand experience.