MEET OUR TEAM

Janie Gaunce

president + CEO
Janie
president + CEO

Artist, cowgirl or drummer in a rock band might all be next career paths for Janie Gaunce. That is, if she would ever quit doing what she loves – which is being a Grape. “Grapevine represents all that I love in a company… the people, the energy, creativity and customer focus. Every day is a new challenge, a fun opportunity that presents a way for us to help a client make a statement for their brand.” Outside of work, Janie has served as a PPAI Board member, active in PPAMidwest, co-founder of "100 Jobs for 100 Moms," as well as a member of the University of Kansas Hospital Advancement Board. A yoga and workout fanatic, we have nicknamed her WebMD because she likes to diagnose our ailments. She’s a foodie married to a non-foodie, with two grown kids and a cuddly Boston named Bennie.

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Steve Sachs

COO + partner
Steve
COO + partner

As Partner, CFO and overseer of all things operational, Steve’s day is way more exciting than most financial guys, because he gets to work with an office full of women. Thank goodness Mr. Sachs is patient because he answers to “Hey Steve” all day long. How does he keep his guy card? He’s our muscle as well as spreadsheet master, but we tease him because he actually knows what color Periwinkle is. A spin class regular and avid bike rider, Steve’s a KU grad and happily married with two grown kids. When it comes to servicing our clients, his dedication and focus are second to none.

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Jane Beth McCarty

EVP + director, fulfillment programs
Jane Beth
EVP + director, fulfillment programs

Jane Beth might hail from Kentucky but proudly calls Saint Louis home now. But that doesn’t stop her, her husband and her 3 boys from cheering on their beloved Louisville Cardinals while still showing love to the St. Louis Cardinals as well. One team she always puts in first place is her wonderful team of customers. She loves making them feel they are on a winning team and many of them have become good friends over the years. When not with her work team, she spends her time with her home team cooking and trying new recipes. We heard they were hiring at the test kitchen for Bon Appétit magazine, but we think we’ll hang on to this top chef for a while!

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Angie Farmer

director, global sourcing and compliance
Angie
director, global sourcing and compliance

It is no surprise that there is no challenge that this adrenaline junkie is afraid to face. In fact, she enjoys the process of solving problems and helping create beneficial change in our industry! A lover of reality TV and Kansas City sports, Angie fits right in on the Grapevine. As our Director of Compliance, she shows her incredible passion for her work through making our industry as safe and as socially responsible as we can be! For that exact reason, we appreciate her, our clients appreciate her, and I think it is safe to say that her adorable grand-dog, Harley, probably feels the same way.

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Meghan O’Leary

director, creative services
Meghan
director, creative services

St Louis native and one of EIGHT kids, this fiery red-haired Irish girl adores family time and is never shy of Aunt "Meggie" stories. The quick wit earned her stripes in an environment with lots of laughter and teamwork, and reports that “coming from a big family, it feels like home at Grapevine.” Reportedly Meghan O’Leary is the quickest mock-up maker this side of the Mississippi. She loves that Grapevine provides her the opportunity to get her creative groove on, perhaps more than any other place she’s worked. Her coworkers say that she is never afraid to give you her two-cents about anything – guess that’s what makes her creative director. You don’t get the nickname “Red” for nothing.

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Kris Palmer

director, brand solutions
Kris
director, brand solutions

Our resident Rachel Zoe is Kris Palmer. She’s just as driven as she is style conscious. Every day you’ll find Kris and her team operating with “the sky’s the limit” mentality. She loves that on a daily basis she gets to go wherever the creative journey leads her. Her clients benefit from her amazing sourcing and design talents, and you better not settle for mediocrity. Oh no, that simply won’t do for Kris. But if you’re looking for a jammin’ tune or the best snack drawer in the Tri-state area, she’s your girl. A self-admitted reality TV-aholic, Kris and her hubby stay busy with four kids and lots of grandbabies. Yep.

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Victoria Carr-Brashears

account director
Victoria
account director

Born and raised in the Midwest, Victoria Carr-Brashears is known for being the calm center at Grapevine. She enjoys putting her creative design background from KU to the test on a daily basis, enjoying the whole creative process. In her spare time, if she has any, she likes to run, hang out with her wonderful family and cook. Recently married to her Prince Charming, the two of them have five amazing grown children together! Victoria would love to start a foundation that caters to single moms who need help financially when money is short and kid’s “extra” activities needs are high.

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Laurie Mazon

account director
Laurie
account director

Laurie Mazon is multi-talented and enjoys several creative outlets. Of course she spends a great deal of time sharing her creative juices with her clients. But she also lives to garden and quite enjoys losing herself in the pages of the latest novel. We’re not sure who’s apt to finish a book faster, her or a few of her fellow grapes. Laurie loves to spend time with her two nearly grown children and husband, or working out at the club… oh yeah, and watching dance-themed reality TV. Laurie says that the best part of a Grapevine project is seeing all of the little details come together to make a cohesive, creative whole. If you’re lucky, she might share her beloved chewy red hearts on Valentine’s Day.

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Bob Offord

account director
Bob
account director

Bob traded a career in the apparel industry for the challenges and creative thinking of promotional products and brand marketing. A San Diego native who never got the sand out between his toes, Bob has lived and traveled all over the US, but now happily calls Charlotte home. Bob would easily make a great US Tour director with all of this traveling, but we’re happy he’s brought his talents to Grapevine. His background in the fast-paced fashion industry fuels his sense of urgency in responding to customer needs and requests. Also, Bob’s long view approach to problem solving and project management helps prepare his clients for the future. This husband and father of two young adults is a voracious non-fiction reader who has worn out his library card. Bob notes that the storyline of Grapevine, a woman-owned business, is nothing short of thrilling.

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Holly Robertson

account director
Holly
account director

Holly Robertson loves working in an environment of ultra-creative individuals. She’s a lover of fashion, is the quintessential foodie, and oozes with enthusiasm for uber-cool stuff. She’s into decorating, antiques and in her next career would love to own a shop featuring her refurbished furniture creations alongside her fabulous baked goods. Holly can knock you out with the smile on her face or her newly developed right cross. She’s become quite addicted to Title Boxing. So, look out! Holly’s a family kind of girl who is enjoying her husband and growing family along with her dogs Bigsby and Sonny!

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Chris Rosburg

account director
Chris
account director

Chris is the kind of guy you need to know, and honestly, we're surprised if you don't already. As National Big Brother of the Year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, it is easy to see his love of getting to know people is displayed in every facet of his life. In the office, his positivity and enthusiasm are incredibly contagious to us and to his clients. If you are lucky enough to catch him around the 4th of July, his favorite holiday, we can confidently say that Chris will greet you patriotically and probably point you to the nearest fireworks stand. Chris loves being a Big Brother, working out, grilling and all of the things that make America great - mostly SPORTS!!

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Bonnie Champion

account director
Bonnie
account director

There are few people out there that can honestly say they have a lifetime of love for promotional products. As a child, Bonnie was a sucker for "free promotional cups of candy" and we can't blame her! That love has blossomed into a life-long career of passion for promotions. She is no stranger to the creativity and people here at Grapevine, as she worked here early in her career! We are so happy she has come full circle and found her place back "home". This mother of two daughters pays great attention to detail and loves the fast-paced movement of our industry. However, if she ever decides to give up the wonderful, ever-changing world of promotional products (doubtful), you could probably find her and her new husband slinging cocktails somewhere with sand between their toes. Cheers!

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Phylis Semple

account director
Phylis
account director

When Phylis isn’t traveling about with her husband, you can usually find her on the golf course or a tennis court. Keeping busy and on-the-go suits her personality in her leisure time as well as at work. The love of juggling many things at once and taking the extra step for every client is what really keeps her on top of her game. What is most important to Phylis is providing exceptional customer service to all of her clients, and being at Grapevine allows her to really get into the team approach and make every client experience a winner. Game. Set. Match. Way to serve up a job well done.

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Michelle Costel

senior account manager
Michelle
senior account manager

This handy, do-it-yourself kind of gal would someday love to play guitar, give Miranda Lambert a run for her money and bring home her very own Grammy for Country Female artist of the year. And when she’s not dreaming of hitting it big, she somehow makes time to take care of her husband, 2 sons and 2 dogs. Hands-on and detail oriented, Michelle loves the creativity at Grapevine and strives to help her clients find just the perfect item for every one of their events. Now that’s really music to our ears!

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Heather Hunt

senior account manager
Heather
senior account manager

Heather Hunt’s job philosophy is to do it right, make no excuses and give 500% every day – and her coworkers say that’s exactly what she does. When Heather isn’t being an imaginary NFL scout, she’s definitely obsessing about client needs and tending to a cataloged file in her brain about their “isms.” Nothing slips by Heather! She’s amazingly quick, can tackle twelve projects before 8 a.m., and has a memory like a steel trap. At home, she’s busy, taking care of two kids when she’s not skydiving, running the Warrior Dash or watching Jeff Lewis whip up some incredible style. Heather calls it right the first time and we love her for her passionate pursuit of excellence.

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Meredith Wallace

senior account manager
Meredith
senior account manager

Meredith Wallace has lived all over, from Pennsylvania to Puerto Rico, but has called Grapevine home for over 15 years – and she says she is still amazed at what is accomplished here each day. We describe Meredith as a walking encyclopedia of knowledge that could be on game shows with the awesome amount of trivia lodged in her brain. With a “never say no” mentality, our clients love her speed and accuracy. Also, she has a fascinating knack for buying the most appropriately hilarious birthday cards. Outside of work, Meredith and her singer/songwriter husband stay busy with their active young son. She says, in another life, she’d love to be selling fabulous homes on a tropical island, if she weren’t working at Grapevine of course.

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Kathy Dexheimer

account manager
Kathy
account manager

Kathy Dexheimer has a degree in Apparel Management, along with 30+ years in the industry. Her daughter proudly shares her love of marketing, sporting a degree in Textile Marketing of her own. The apple doesn’t fall far from that tree! Both mother and daughter ended up in the promotional products industry, putting their creative talents to work! Kathy’s philosophy is to be totally committed to client satisfaction, all the time, and is the heart and soul of Grapevine. She plays the mother figure for the office, and is a cook extraordinaire by all standards. In her dream professional career, she’d love to be a bartender in a grass hut on a beautiful beach. Can you hear the Jimmy Buffet music?

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Vickie Greener

account manager
Vickie
account manager

Dedicated. Dependable. Determined. As a mother of two boys who makes time to fit in 5-6 workouts a week while working full time, it’s not hard to see why Vickie encompasses all three of those descriptors. After spending 12.5 years on the vendor side of our industry at a printing company for promotional products, Vickie brings to Grapevine the knowledge and experience of working in pre-press and customer service. She also brings her encouraging spirit and love for people. Her desire to see others do better than they thought possible and her passion to help people is what keeps Vickie driven and what makes her such a great asset to our team.

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Vickie Heffernon

account manager
Vickie
account manager

Grapevine is pretty much made up of two kinds of people: hard workers and dog-lovers. (Ok, let’s face it, we’re ALL just hard-working dog lovers!) That’s why Vickie fits right in as a Grape! Izzy the golden retriever and Maisy the yellow lab live with their humans (Vickie and husband/fire department captain, John) here in Kansas City. Vickie and John also have two daughters: one studying at KU and one headed to Iowa State soon. Vickie loves the endless possibilities here at Grapevine, and we think HER possibilities are endless. Not only has she worked in marketing and advertising for 20+ years, but she also just plain loves making things! Vickie is FIERCELY loyal and lives to come up with creative solutions to challenges. We’ll just call her “MacGyver!”

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Nelly Kruglyak

account manager
Nelly
account manager

Nelly is the youngest (and probably the favorite) in her family. And, she says the best part of it is being the COOL aunt to her nephews and niece. Well, we think she is the COOLEST addition to team Grapevine. I mean, who else in the office can speak fluent Russian?! Though she likes to think of her life as organized chaos (this industry requires LOTS of lists and post-it notes), she takes pride in what she does, and she does it so well! And, she LOVES how much Grapevine has to offer. “Everyone has a different method to their madness and it is so unique to them. There is such a huge spectrum of personalities here but everyone comes together as a family and really takes pride in each other’s accomplishments.” Na zdorov’ye, Nelly!

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Abby Lopez

account manager
Abby
account manager

How does the saying go? “It’s our differences that make us unique?” Well, Abby has unique down to a T! Green eyes, left-handed, AND she’s a mamma to twins! Not to mention she’s the only Abby (with a “y”) in the office. It’s no wonder she’s such a great fit in this industry. She loves it because every day is different! She works very hard to be dependable for her clients and coworkers. If Abby weren’t here with us (which would just be awful), she would love to learn how to cook and open a bed and breakfast on a beautiful tropical island somewhere. We’ll meet you there, Abby!

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Austin Moody

account manager
Austin
account manager

From his small hometown beginnings at a Dairy Queen in Iowa, Austin has grown to become a king in customer service in Kansas City. Always with a smile on his face, he feels the best part of the industry is making clients feel like they are part of the Grapevine family. Austin loves stepping up to any challenge and isn't deterred by tight deadlines or demanding projects. When he's not rolling out the red carpet for our clients, Austin enjoys a day the lake, a fine tequila, and his two-year-old Wheaton Terrier, Maizee. We are also happy to say that, with Austin, we now have a resident ordained minister on staff for any nuptial needs. Just in case…

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Venus Robinson

account manager
Venus
account manager

We nominate Venus Robinson as Accounting Manager of the century. While the account teams have their hair on fire ordering samples, drumming up business, and going to the ends of the earth to discover new sourcing channels, Venus calmly sits in her office making sense of it all, slinging invoices and reconciling billing with her eyes closed. She’ll tell you herself that her attention to detail is unbelievable, and her multi-tasking is second-to-none. Never fear, because Venus is the queen of billing systems. She also holds a membership to GVD’s avid reader club and would love to be a best selling author someday. She has crazy good music on her iPod, and is addicted to word games on her iPad – as all smarties are. Her hubby is an artist and they adore their two dogs and bird.

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Bethany Burton

account manager + graphic designer
Bethany
account manager + graphic designer

A graduate of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX, Bethany Sexton bleeds purple and is proud to call herself a Horned Frog. Just an ordinary girl trying to live an extraordinary life, she knows that the success of anything lies in the details and hard work. Bethany says that “hard work beats out talent when talent doesn’t work hard” – which is especially true in the fast-paced environment here at Grapevine. As a third generation artist, creativity is life. It’s how Bethany sees the world. But don’t let the artist fool you, she’ll school you on the dance floor and she’s a workout queen!

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Kristin Wood

sourcing + head of kitting
Kristin
sourcing + head of kitting

Kristin Wood, a KU grad, comes to Grapevine with over 15 years experience in design and product development. She feels fortunate to have always found unique opportunities to channel her passion for creativity into her career. Kristin says that the best thing about Grapevine is being part of a team that is always pushing the envelope. She loves seeing great projects develop from concept to completion. Little things make big things happen. Outside of work, Kristin can most likely be found circling the city (and sometimes the globe) with her two amazing kids and hound dog Hudson.

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Amy Poe

merchandiser
Amy
merchandiser Email Amy

Eva Johnson

sourcing specialist
Eva
sourcing specialist

Hailing originally from Lincoln, NE (GOOOOO BIIIIIIG REEEEEED! GO BIG RED!) Eva comes to us as a sourcing specialist. With her BA in fashion marketing, Eva is the perfect fit for helping our clients find EXACTLY what they’re looking for (and maybe a few things they didn’t know they were looking for!). Others describe her as extremely accountable and maybe a bit of a perfectionist, but if there is a job to be done, she is always up for the challenge. Eva is excited to learn everything she needs to know about the industry from the best in the business! “I’m surrounded by very talented individuals with years of experience.”

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Abbie Jolley

supply chain specialist
Abbie
supply chain specialist

“The free gum-balls!” is Abbie’s favorite thing about Grapevine. “Oh! And the people.” We couldn’t agree more. Like a ray of sunshine, her cheerful demeanor brings a light to our team, no matter the circumstance. Originally from Bartlesville, OK, Abbie graduated from KU with a degree in Marketing. So, with a family that owns a small billboard business, it appears marketing/advertising is in her blood. Armed with a positive attitude and skilled experience, Abbie is confident in resolving issues and making decisions to provide top of the line experiences for our clients. A huge animal lover and volunteer at the SPCA, Abbie grew up with a pet donkey. Surprisingly, she and her husband are still on the hunt for a family pet.

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Tasha Rice

production specialist
Tasha
production specialist

This small town Kansas girl sure doesn’t have a small personality! Tasha Rice won’t hesitate to tell you if a comma is in the wrong place or if your PO isn’t perfect. She lives for details and accuracy – and won’t settle for anything less! Tasha has worked at Grapevine in three different job positions – graphic designer, account manager and now traffic manager. She just can’t get enough! Tasha says that in another life, she would be a travel agent, because she has visited 48 states and 19 countries, and loved them all. It’s not as easy to travel these days with her husband and son – but they still make time. Tasha says her favorite part about Grapevine is that it feels like one big family.

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Howard Carter

warehouse manager
Howard
warehouse manager Email Howard

Carla Hemauer

company store specialist
Carla
company store specialist

A former Chicagoan, Carla oversees the functions of all our company stores – fulfilling orders, receiving new product, inventory updates, communicating with the account manages/sales reps – the list is EXTENSIVE! She says she loves working with the company stores because it keeps her on her toes all day, and it’s always fun being the first to see new product come in to the warehouse. She also LOVES this hardworking, loyal group here at Grapevine. “They’re creative, helpful, enthusiastic and FUN!” Well, we just think you’re so much fun too, Carla!

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Kelsey Boulanger

senior graphic designer
Kelsey
senior graphic designer

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” With this kind of personal mantra it comes as no surprise that the efforts Kelsey puts into her work shines! Nor would anyone be shocked to hear the high level of honors and awards she earned while studying at her beloved K-State. This Wildcat was a member of the Mortar Board National Honor Society, recipient of the Rookie of the Year Award for Student Publications at KSU and was the Design Editor and Assistant Editor-in-Chief of the national award winning yearbook, just to name a few. Puppies, dessert, travel, flea markets, these are a few of her favorite things, but Kelsey also has a Bucket List of things to do, in order to find out what else she loves. We are happy to report that we have already helped Kelsey cross a vital item off her list. “Eat Sushi.” Check.

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Lauren Keirsey

graphic designer
Lauren
graphic designer

Reaching new heights is nothing new for this girl! You can often find her scouting out the best spots in the city to scale. A graphic designer by day and a rock climber by, well…always, Lauren loves her hometown of Kansas City even if the local landscape is less than ideal for her hobby. She is a strong supporter of our beloved Royals, but as an alumna of the University of Missouri Journalism School, the Tigers will always have her heart. With creative specialties in concept & design, Lauren’s favorite part about Grapevine is the pristine finished product. She loves the touch, the feel, and the sight of ideas coming alive! We definitely can’t disagree with her on that.

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Max Phelps

graphic designer
Max
graphic designer

Max just recently moved to KC from Columbus, OH to join the creative team, and we’re so excited to have him! As an AVID sports fan, Max fits right in with the rest of the Grapes, though we’re still working on converting him to Royal blue. Max comes to us with more than 2 years of industry experience that has seen him tackle everything from sales support, marketing , and online programs to account management, and, of course, CREATIVE! There is nothing he CAN’T do! Max aspires to becoming the next David Attenborough, but in the meantime, he’s excited to be a part of a group of people maximizing the creative potential of a promotional marketing agency.

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Taylor Russo

graphic designer
Taylor
graphic designer

She’s been told she could be Taylor Swift’s doppelganger, and Taylor definitely brings a little song and dance to the creative department here at Grapevine. Okay, not literally, but she did grow up singing and dancing and is even now learning to play the guitar! She (clearly) likes to keep busy (and we sure love that about her). Sometimes tight deadlines or long to-do lists force her to crank out her best work, and we can vouch for that! But, what she loves about Grapevine is the creative environment where she can bounce ideas off of other creative minds. She’s excited about the opportunity to challenge her design and creative skills by creating out of the box solutions for clients. Plus, she thinks the people here are pretty great too!

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Jessie Salmans

graphic designer
Jessie
graphic designer

The originality and diversity of design is what got Jessie most excited about the opportunities in a career of creativity. With big ideas and big dreams, she fits in so well in the art department at Grapevine! When she is not at her camera or her keyboard, she is outdoors enjoying all the sports and breakfast food her hometown Kansas City has to offer. However, that doesn’t mean she always stays put. She hopes that her life will be filled with travel and adventures. It is safe to say that her fiancé and two pups will be right there with her every step of the way. Give this girl a waffle and a camera and she is unstoppable!

Email Jessie