Smith Kroeger accelerates growth with promotion and hires

The past few months have been busy ones at Smith Kroeger with a promotion and the hiring of five new team members.

“We are very excited to add these new faces to our talented, driven staff,” said Terry Kroeger, president and CEO of Smith Kroeger. “We’ve already seen what a great fit they are for our team and our clients – the positive energy in the halls is unmistakable.”

Sara Smits Wilson has been promoted to executive vice president of client services and public relations. With the agency since 2015, Wilson has previously held the role of account manager and vice president. Before working at Smith Kroeger, she managed a diverse range of accounts in retail, technology and the defense sector at a Washington, D.C., PR and branding firm. Wilson attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism in advertising and public relations (with high distinction) and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in marketing (with highest distinction).

Kevin Ames, MBA, CTP, has been hired as chief financial officer and business manager. Ames joins Smith Kroeger after working as an executive financial consultant with companies like C3 Brands in Omaha and ROKT Corp. in New York. Other experience includes the position of CFO at CBSHome Real Estate and a long career at Amobee, a global technology-powered advertising platform, where his final role was vice president of treasury. Additionally, Ames has worked as a senior financial analyst for Kellogg’s Kashi division and Callaway Golf Co. Ames has a Master of Business Administration from San Diego State University, dual Bachelor of Science degrees in finance and banking from San Francisco State University and a Six Sigma Green Belt certification. He is also a Certified Treasury Professional.

Thom Kastrup has been hired as executive vice president of client development, a new role that seeks to identify specific business problems facing clients and develop custom solutions to solve them. Prior to joining Smith Kroeger, Kastrup was chief revenue officer and executive vice president at BH Media Group. Other previous positions include roles as vice president of digital sales at World Media Enterprises and director of advertising at the Omaha World-Herald. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism in advertising from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Helen Burns has joined Smith Kroeger as a media buyer, where she plans, strategizes and buys digital and traditional media across Smith Kroeger’s clients. Burns was previously a production manager at a video production company and earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication and media studies from Regis University, where she was the recipient of the Marshall McLuhan Mass Media Award.

Jessica Stuart has joined Smith Kroeger as an accounting specialist. Stuart previously held accounting positions at Keystone Glass Co., Kiewit, and various hotel and event center locations including Hampton Inn & Suites, where she was awarded the 2009 Spirit of Hampton Award, a recognition given to only the top 1% of team members. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Bellevue University.

Nikki Vigliotte has been hired as Smith Kroeger’s new brand ambassador manager, where she will oversee about 30 part-time team members. The brand ambassador program is a turnkey solution for clients who need to staff events, sample products and gather consumer feedback. Vigliotte has been a promotions assistant with the brand ambassador program since 2016 and holds Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Look for more positive changes ahead for Smith Kroeger, as we move forward in our mission to accelerate our clients’ brands.

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