Ellen Roberson, Project Manager
Ellen is The Ivy Group's senior project manager and specializes in art direction, website development, copy-editing, and herding cats around the office to ensure that all are on task and on time. Our resident Director of Details, nothing is done until Ellen pronounces it so. There's nothing quite so humbling as watching her red pen tap-dance across that copy that you thought was ready to go to print. Programmers quake in their boots when submitting a web application to her for final testing. If there's a bug, she'll find it. And get it fixed.
Ellen is a passionate client advocate because she knows well what it feels like to be on the other side. (In what feels like a previous life, she was The Ivy Group's favorite client, if she does say so herself, for six years.) Communication, client satisfaction, and finding humor in all things are her top priorities on the job.
She is an alumna of the University of Virginia, The Ivy Group's premier weather watcher, and the purveyor of office pets. She and her husband reside in Albemarle County with their new baby daughter.
When I was a little girl, pocketbooks fascinated me. When I finally received my own shiny red plastic number with wooden handle and loud snap closure, I realized I didn’t have much to put in it. I filled it with chewing gum wrappers… and my library card!
Stephen J. Burden, Designer
Stephen has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication + Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. He was trained under and worked on special projects with Philip Meggs, Ben Day and Rob Carter. He joined The Ivy Group in 2003 and strives to make good design matter every day and won’t shut up about less being more. His specialties include CMYK and RGB design, measuring twice and cutting once, and abstracting the essence from the meaning. Stephen’s work for The Ivy Group has garnered awards from the AIGA Richmond GRADE Awards and AMA Central Virginia Marketing Awards.
In the evenings he can be found teaching Typography at the School of Art and Art History, at James Madison University. He lives in Waynesboro, Virginia with his wife and three children. More than anything he believes there are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.
One of my daughters’ greatest thrills is having their own library card! We spend many lazy Saturday afternoons at our local library.
Bobby Pearson, Programmer, System Administrator
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Bobby has over ten years' experience in programming on a variety of platforms from PHP/MySQL to Java and Microsoft’s .NET. In the last few years, he has focused extensively on new open-source web technologies like jQuery that allow the Ivy Group to create dynamic, interactive websites and applications. He has led the development of the Ivy Group’s in-house information management system Mimik IMS and is excited about extending it to meet the needs of new clients. Bobby is also responsible for programming online surveys and collecting and processing response data.
Bobby was born in South America, and lived half of his childhood in places like Suriname, Belize, Uruguay, and Guatemala. His first job was as a technical support specialist for the US Embassy in Guatemala where he learned skills that still serve him today as the Ivy Group’s system administrator. Bobby now lives in Albemarle County, close by Monticello, with his wife Audrey and son Luke. In season, he brings the fury as a linebacker on the Blue Ridge Church of Christ flag football team.
My aunt is a research librarian at the University of Washington. Along with the rest of my family, she inundated my childhood with books… In first grade, I was in the advanced library group that was taught how to use the card catalog. I still remember the best section of the Dewey decimal system—the 940s! Today you may find me hanging out in the 220s, 230s, and 510s.
Jan Garrison, Office Administrator
After a career in Human Resource Management and business operations for public, private and non-profit organizations, Jan joined The Ivy Group in 2006 to use those skills and learn new ones—specifically media buying. She is an alumna of the University of Virginia and categorically denies rumors that she walked The Lawn with Thomas Jefferson. Although she has lived in Alabama, Mississippi, California and Colorado, Jan, a native Virginian, now lives in Madison County.
Growing up in rural Virginia, the highlight of my Saturdays was a trip into the nearest town (10 miles away) and the county library. My mother would drop me off while she shopped, and I would nestle in to read. The heft of the book, the smell of the print, and the quiet solitude are among my fondest memories.
Chris Fitzgerald, Media and Production Specialist
Chris specializes in video/music production whether it be for tv, radio, or web. A growing musician and arranger, Chris keeps the tip jar full, belting out his (humble) interpretive tunes via the baby grand piano in our office.
Chris works on a variety of projects, including web/print design, and animation. Ultimately his creative passion delivers a unique personal touch where necessary. Project Management need not apply, he's got the goods from A to Z (well, maybe not the P for Punctual), but Chris has the S for Smile and B for bald.
As a child, I couldn’t stop reading about sturgeon at the library. I was fascinated by the fish’s alien-like features. The public library was a source for imagination and bold frontiers for me… until I discovered television.
Franziska Matiuk, Project Manager
434.979.2678 x 105
A graduate of the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, “Siska” has always had a special interest in the merging of business, technology, and creativity.
Her duties at The Ivy Group reflect that interest. Siska not only works on the project management and strategic planning side of projects, but also the creative side with digital illustration and graphic design. She then brings it all to the web with content management through Mimik and social media.
Siska started out with the Ivy Group as an intern in early 2010. When nobody realized that it was her time to leave when the other interns did, she stuck around. Her ability to organize anything and everything into lists and her insistence on brainstorming and collaboration, among other things, means she’ll keep sticking around.
At the rate that I go through books, I can't afford not to go to my library…
Chris Allerton, Public Relations Manager
Chris, a native of Radford, is a graduate of the University of Virginia and American University. He is a communication jack-of-all-trades (and master of some), having worked as a proofreader (his first job required him to properly spell all the ingredients on soft drink cans) and as head of a million-dollar publishing organization (it’s a long story). In between he’s been a writer, editor, publications manager, and public relations director. He has an eye for detail and two eyes for the big picture.
When not making a name for himself at The Ivy Group (“Chris” was taken when he got here), you can find him driving his Mustang convertible, enjoying a beverage or concert on the Downtown Mall, serving and worshiping at Portico Church, and spending time on the back porch with his wife Kathy.
As a college student, I worked at the University of Virginia’s main library. I got to know every inch of the library—its sights, sounds, smells, and secrets. I was constantly amazed by the rich variety of books awaiting discovery in the stuffy, cramped, and poorly lit stacks—their sizes, shapes, textures, languages, and stories.
Katie Speace, Public Relations Specialist
Originally from Pennsylvania, Katie joined The Ivy Group upon graduation from college following an internship with us during the winter term of her senior year. After a busy month of editing proposals, writing website copy and drafting press releases, The Ivy Group felt like home and she couldn’t wait to be back in Charlottesville.
Katie attended the University of Delaware, where she worked as an editor for the school’s newspaper and also acted as social media coordinator for a student-run television show. With any public relations project at The Ivy Group, she willingly brings her love of writing, close attention to detail and social butterfly charisma to the table.
Outside of work she enjoys trying new recipes (while still often managing to set off the smoke alarm) and exploring the Shenandoah Valley with her fiancé, Derek, and their dog.
As a child, I didn’t understand my library’s book checkout limit. I would sit and stare at the pile of books in front of me, not sure how to pick the five that were most important to read first. I wished I could take them all home! My mother had the librarian explain that it was about sharing—if I took them all, other little girls would miss out on those stories. Libraries offer learning experiences beyond what’s between the covers on the shelves.
Leslie Floyd, Web Developer and Programmer
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Leslie received her degree from George Mason University. She brings extensive experience working with the federal government in web design and development. Self-described as “very organized and analytical”, Leslie loves new challenges. She participates in voluntary educational work on a regular basis and recently has served as a missionary in Costa Rica.
I think it was my Grandma Shirley who instilled in me a love for reading at an early age. She has always given me the best books! Even to this day, I come to her for recommendations, and to borrow from her own library. I’m so appreciative that she passed on that value to me; there’s nothing like opening your mind to consider the expressions of others.