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Staff

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Experts in content, campus, influencers, sports, music and retail, Fuse's staff is the most experienced in teen and young adult marketing.

Leadership

Brett Smith, Issa Sawabini, and Bill Carter have been together for more than twenty years. Individually, each has been recognized as an expert in the field, but together their most important contribution is creating a company culture that has been named a Best Place to Work for eight consecutive years. Fuse's partners and senior leadership team have managed the agency to over 50 industry awards and 21 consecutive years of profitability and growth.
Issa Sawabini
Issa Sawabini
Partner
Issa’s Fuse story is one of a kind. In 1999, he interned at Fuse while a senior at the University of Vermont. Today, he is a Partner and oversees all client services. During his tenure, he has developed over a hundred marketing strategies for a range of companies for legacy brands like Harley-Davidson to innovative brands such as Amazon Prime Student. Issa has been cited in numerous media from the Wall Street Journal to Vice and presented at over twenty marketing industry conferences. In 2009, Issa was named to Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” which honors the most influential young executives in sports.
Bill Carter
Bill Carter
Partner
As a Partner at Fuse for more than two decades, Bill has worked to build an experienced staff informed by consumer insights and data. He manages the agency's marketing and business development, as well as leads Fuse's Higher Ed projects. Bill has been an adjunct professor at New York University, St. John’s University (NYC), and George Washington University and regularly speaks at marketing industry conferences on influencer marketing, the use of brand ambassadors, and all things Gen Z. Bill has been named to Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” and his thoughts on leadership have been featured in the New York Times' Corner Office column.
Brett Smith
Brett Smith
Partner
Brett leads Fuse's finance, legal, HR, and technology, but few would have guessed that 30 years ago. In high school, Brett hand-made his own snowboards. He later founded the Boston University Snowboard Team and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in chemistry. Brett was Fuse's first employee, then became a Partner – a role he has held for 20 years. Fast Company has recognized Brett among its "Fast 50" for impact on popular culture and he has spoken at the IEG Sponsorship Conference, Youth Marketing Exchange and the Marketer's Creative Conference. Brett appeared in the 1998 snowboard film Far East – you can go find it on YouTube!
Julie Jatlow
Julie Jatlow
VP Strategic Planning
Julie's contributions during her 17 years at Fuse have included negotiating hundreds of athlete, musician, and esports team deals. While working for multiple Pepsi brands, Amazon, Zipcar and others, she also created the agency’s process for client positioning, branding, and go-to-market strategies. Julie earned a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin and participates in the Women’s Leadership Circles of Marlboro College. Outside of Fuse, Julie is the founder of the digital platform and app, Campus Disco, an aggregator of student discounts. Julie encourages everyone to follow her golden doodle on Instagram @ozzie_sparkles.
Tim Bentley
Tim Bentley
Senior Director, Creative & Content
Tim is a member of Fuse’s senior leadership team, overseeing all creative and content initiatives for leading brands including Mountain Dew, Harman, Amazon, and Quest Diagnostics. In his role, Tim guides all aspects of creative strategy development, building creative concepts and directing the execution of innovative work across broadcast, digital, social and print media. He’s worked previously for agencies in Atlanta and Chicago and supervised all print work at Burton Snowboards. Tim graduated from the University of Alabama with a Master’s in Advertising & PR.
Heather Hennessy
Heather Hennessy
Digital Communications Director
Heather has been a vital member of Fuse for nearly 15 years, developing social and digital strategies that resonate with teens and young adults. Among her specialties is providing the framework – from strategies and creative concepts to content plans and calendars – that provide the foundation of successful campaigns. Most recently, Heather has had great success driving views of branded content through unique content strategies. Heather graduated from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and is an adjunct professor in the Division of Communications and Creative Media at Champlain College in Burlington.
Mark Heitzinger
Mark Heitzinger
Account Director, Brand Strategy
During his 15 years at Fuse, Mark has developed and executed marketing strategies for Fortune 500 clients including Pepsi, P&G, Gillette, and others. He has overseen athlete and brand partnerships, proprietary events, and branded content for some of Fuse's most unique and successful action sports initiatives, including Dew Tour, X Games, Peace Park, and We Are Blood. Mark earned his degree from University of Pittsburgh and in his free time enjoys fine dining and mixology, snowboarding, skateboarding, BMXing, gaming, and travel.
Tim Maher
Tim Maher
Account Director, Brand Strategy
After working for one of the most progressive ski brands in the industry - Line Skis - Tim joined Fuse and has been a respected colleague for over a decade. His passion and expertise in sports and lifestyle marketing led him to develop and manage programs for Puma, Vail Resorts, Boulder Brands, and multiple PepsiCo brands. A graduate of Penn State University with a degree in marketing, Tim earned his MBA, from Champlain College (VT) in 2012 while continuing to work full-time at Fuse. An avid skier and mountain biker, he has also run two marathons.
Matthew Hay
Creative Director
Over a 14-year span at Fuse, Matt has excelled as a Designer, Art Director, and now Creative Director. He is responsible for overseeing all design projects and ensures that the end-product delivers on all aspects of a client's design brief. Matt's expertise is in leading concept development, client collaboration, managing the work of the design team, and committing his own design to all projects. From HTC to Converse to multiple Pepsi brands, nearly every one of Fuse's successful creative initiatives of the last decade have been impacted by Matt.
Scott Rivers
Scott Rivers
Production Director
For 16 years at Fuse, Scott has worked in tandem with the creative team to provide production-related direction to graphic design, print, digital, radio and television creative. In addition, he brings a special expertise in the planning and production of experiential marketing campaigns, trade show displays, promotional items, and retail POS. Scott is a graduate of State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. His office is guarded by a French Bulldog named Georgie.
Doug Clark
Doug Clark
Creative Director
A published designer, artist, photographer, and illustrator, Doug has been the lead on Fuse creative accounts for over 10 years. His specialties include content creation, having directed numerous photo and video shoots for Fortune 500 clients, ranging from a 30-minute television show to social media animations. His non-commercial art has been shown in New York, LA, Japan, Austria, and Mexico. A former baseball player, Doug now fundraises for The Strike 3 Foundation, a leading childhood cancer research charity.
Ara Finlayson
Ara Finlayson
Senior Account Director, Brand Strategy
Ara is one of Fuse’s most senior staff, having been at the agency for 16 years. For the last decade, she has led the consumer insights and trend spotting practice while overseeing positioning, messaging and strategy development. Her experience has included working on award-winning campaigns for New Balance, Harley-Davidson, and Starbucks. Ara arrived at Fuse from Nova Scotia and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Carleton University. A Guns N' Roses superfan, Ara once caught bassist Duff McKagan's sweaty wristband at the end of a concert.
Marissa McDonald
Marissa McDonald
Account Director, Brand Strategy
For more than a decade, Marissa has been a key member of Fuse’s strategy team and leads some of Fuse’s most complex and challenging influencer and brand ambassador programs. She focuses on all aspects of program logistics, measurement, and client collaboration. While at Fuse, some of her clients have included Dick's Sporting Goods, Kraft, Starbucks' and Amazon. A Connecticut native, Marissa graduated from the University of Vermont. She has been awarded as a Vermont Business Magazine “Rising Star” as one of the state’s most accomplished young leaders.
Clarke Colon
Clarke Colon
Director, Experiential Marketing
At Fuse for nearly 13 years, Clarke oversees an experiential team that has been named multiple times to Event Marketer's It List of Top 100 Agencies and whose industry awards have included the Event Marketer EX Award for Best Activation of a Sport’s Sponsorship, Field Marketing and Brand Experience International Awards Gold, and a Grand EX Award for Best Experiential Campaign for the New Balance Dorm Storm campus program. An avid skier, Clarke began his career at Vernon Valley – Great Gorge (now Mountain Creek) and later managed the '96 Summer Olympics torch relay.

Staff

In our Burlington, VT office, our employees have created a workplace that has resulted in great client success.
Megg Simmons
Meg Simmons
Tim Hager
Tim Hager
Sera-Vautier
Sera Vautier
Nina-Brand
Nina Brand
Maura Hemingway
Maura Hemingway
Laurie Francis
Laurie Francis
Lauren Machen
Lauren Machen
Kelsey Detwiler
Kelsey Detwiler
Justin Wydra
Justin Wydra
Joe Gaynor
Joe Gaynor
Jeremy Oclatis
Jeremy Oclatis
Hayley Cimler
Hayley Cimler
Haily Ronconi
Hailey Ronconi
Gregg Schmidt
Gregg Schmidt
Carliegh Roush
Carleigh Roush
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Allison O’Brien
Allison O’Brien
Aaron Simmers
Aaron Simmers
Anthony Ebel