Filament Marketing, LLC, announces the addition of 10 new team members, deepening the bench of hands-on agriculture knowledge, strategic marketing and public relations, and expanding the diversified backgrounds across marketing disciplines.
"Each of the 10 new individuals that join our team, embody the core values that make-up Filament Marketing," says Ed Peck, president of Filament Marketing. "The diversified hands-on production agricultural experience that each team member brings to the table, further enables us to see from the perspective of our clients' customers."
Joining the Filament Marketing team are:
- Abbey Wethal, marketing executive. Wethal grew up on a family-owned and operated registered Holstein dairy farm in Brooklyn, Wis., where she was involved in the dairy and livestock industries, 4-H and FFA. These organizations and industries developed her leadership skills and passion for the agriculture industry, which led her to pursue a degree the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wethal graduated in May 2013 with a degree in life sciences communication. Before joining Filament Marketing, Wethal worked as the lead communications specialist for United Cooperative in Beaver Dam, Wis., and as a channel management specialist for Kuhn North America, Inc. in Brodhead, Wis.
- Amber Selman, marketing executive. Selman brings a wealth of editorial and media experience to the team having most recently served as the digital media editor of The Weekly, presented by DairyBusiness and Holstein World. Growing up on a diversified dairy, beef and crop farm in Eastern, Iowa instilled in Selman an early passion for the agricultural industry. An active member of 4-H and FFA continued to drive her passion for agriculture which lead her to Iowa State University. In 2012, she earned Bachelor of Science degrees in dairy science and agricultural communications. Selman resides in St. Charles, Ill., with her husband Ben who is a dairy herdsman.
- Connor Hayes, human resources and systems manager. Hayes comes to the team after 10 years of human resources and operational management experience. Most recently he was the office manager and human resources director for Filament Games, an educational gaming company. Hayes grew up on a 60-cow registered Holstein dairy farm in New Glarus, Wis., and was active in 4-H.
- Ian DeGraff, marketing executive. DeGraff brings a diversified background in agriculture photography, content development, graphic design and a passion for horses and exotic animals. DeGraff grew up on a small horse farm competing in Appaloosa breed shows. He was an active member of 4-H, showing horses and exploring photography. A 2013 graduate of Western Kentucky University, DeGraff earned a degree in photojournalism. His work has primarily focused on farmers, and the farm to table process and movement. Before joining Filament, DeGraff captured the stories of dairy farmers from across the U.S., for Boumatic. DeGraff currently lives in Cambridge, Wis., where he tends his beehives.
- Jaime Sawle, marketing associate. Sawle brings a diversified background in photography, video and social media to the team, combined with a passion for hobby farming. Sawle grew up on a hobby beef farm raising Scottish Highland cattle in Prairie du Sac, Wis. Her experiences in various agriculturally focused student organizations throughout grade school to college have helped her develop a strong passion for agriculture and a desire to make a difference in the industry. A 2016 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sawle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business management.
- Katie (Dogs) Ertmer, marketing executive. Ertmer brings a depth of marketing and communication experience to the team that spans forages, nutrition, crops, agriculture processing and animal health. A native of Theresa, Wis., Ertmer grew up on her family's dairy and crop farm which celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2015. Ertmer is an active member of the National Agri-Marketing Association, where she currently serves on the Badger Chapter board of directors. A 2011 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ertmer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in life sciences communication. Ertmer comes to Filament Marketing from Bader Rutter, where she concentrated on public relations for a national seed brand.
- Kristi Olson, marketing executive. Olson brings a wealth of experience in public relations and brand management across multiple disciplines within the agricultural industry. Before joining Filament Marketing Olson was the marketing and communications manager for Landmark Services Cooperative. There she worked with the agronomy, animal nutrition, energy and grain divisions to provide marketing and communication support. Olson grew up on her family's 2,200-acre grain farm in Waterford, Wis. She is a 2008 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she majored in agriculture business with an emphasis in management and a minor in animal science. Olson currently serves as a director on the Badger National Agri-Marketing Association board.
- Lindsey Hellenbrand, marketing associate. Hellenbrand brings a strong passion for the dairy industry and a diversified background in marketing and communications. Growing up in Cross Plains, Wis., Hellenbrand's roots in agriculture grew through 4-H and exhibiting dairy cattle. She is a 2016 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a Bachelor of Science in dairy science and life sciences communication. Hellenbrand was very involved on campus with the Association of Women in Agriculture, Badger Dairy Club and Collegiate Farm Bureau. Before joining the Filament Marketing team full-time, Hellenbrand was enrolled in the company's apprenticeship program, a program offered to attract and develop outstanding young talent to the team.
- Nicole Smith, marketing executive. Smith brings a strong editorial and communications background combined with a love for dairy farming to the team. An active member of her family's dairy farm, Quad-R Holsteins in Monticello, Wis., Smith has a passion for the Registered Holstein breed. She is actively involved in the Holstein Association at both a state and national level. A 2013 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Smith has degrees in English and communications, with an emphasis in literature and public relations, respectively. Her previous work experience includes working as a communications specialist with World Dairy Expo, internships with Wisconsin Holstein Association and Holstein World, and freelancing for Dairy Star.
- Sarah Lenkaitis, marketing executive. Lenkaitis brings a strong communications background and a thorough understanding of the dairy industry to the team. Originally from a dairy farm in Wisconsin, Lenkaitis now resides in St. Charles, Ill. There she, along with her husband Andy, manage his family's 45-cow herd of Registered Red and White Holsteins. A 2008 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lenkaitis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in dairy science. She brings a diverse marketing perspective to Filament from her roles in account management including her most recent in consumer communications for the national dairy check-off at the public relations agency, Edelman.
Founded in 2004, Filament Marketing is a strategic marketing and management firm focused on the advancement and success of its clients. Strongly and specifically involved in dairy, livestock and general agricultural industry markets, Filament Marketing works closely with clients seeking innovative marketing ideas and insight. Filament Marketing's expertise is built on continued, hands-on involvement in the agriculture markets it serves and its dedication to strong client relationships.