Accomplished marketing and media strategist, Christa Santos founded CKS Marketing Communications in 2004. Christa Santos is a seasoned marketing communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience. In her consulting role, she helps emerging companies, organizations and nonprofit agencies develop cost-effective strategic plans and implements integrated marketing and public relations activities to help leverage exposure and increase business development.
Santos has worked with UCF as an integral team member directing marketing communications efforts regarding business incubation, entrepreneurship, economic development and venture capital activities for more than 12 years. She has also worked with a variety of small businesses, healthcare organizations and nonprofit organizations, with an emphasis in high tech industries.
Santos is a graduate of UCF with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, specializing in Advertising & Public Relations and also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Santos is currently involved in several community organizations and serves on the advisory board for four Central Florida organizations. She serves as a mentor to students in the Communications intern program at UCF. She is a member of the American Marketing Association Central Florida Chapter and has served as former president and vice president, and at one time instituted a Community Advisory Board of senior marketing professionals. Santos is also a member of the Small Business Development Center’s Small Business Resource Network and an approved provider by the UCF Business Incubation Program. She is a frequent lecturer of marketing and public relations in the community.
Gina R. Smith specializes in helping small businesses and agencies become more profitable through strategic planning, marketing, media relations and resource development. Smith graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1995 with a B.A. in Motion Picture Technology, a B.A. in Journalism (specializing in Advertising and Public Relations) and a minor in sociology. She currently consults with clients across the Southeast United States, partnering with a network of practitioners to offer the same level of services as a large agency without the sizable overhead costs.
Smith spent several years writing, directing and producing local commercials and PSA’s. She spent over four years managing large-scale events for the Mid-Florida Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Within one year, Smith turned the events she managed, including the chapter’s “failing” events, into record breaking successes. Smith ultimately implemented promotional & marketing programs which increased overall participation and revenue by over 61%.
Smith also developed local and statewide marketing strategies for the Florida Manufacturing Technology Center (FMTC). She fostered relationships with Orlando area media to increase corporate exposure by 75% which positioned FMTC as a high profile resource for public information.
Currently, Smith serves as President of Casto Communications, a consulting firm which focuses on helping emerging small business enterprises and non-profit agencies. Smith develops cost-effective strategic plans and implements marketing/public relations strategies to develop leveraged exposure for businesses. Smith understands the financial challenges of small business. With this in mind, Smith offers her clients personalized services on a sliding scale fee structure, thereby perpetuating her philosophy that helping small businesses succeed ultimately creates a positive economic impact within local and regional communities.
Matthew Bross, Design/UI Consultant. has 17 years of design experience. He started his design career at Spiral Up Interactive in Orlando, Florida in 1999. Notable clients included Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and some of the first “.com’s” such as Weddings.com, Puertabella,com and HGTV.com.
In 2000, Bross was hired by GMP Companies as art director, where he directed all print and web projects for the firms’ 13 subsidiary companies. Then in 2005, he decided to start his own design firm where he has developed more than 150 Web sites, web applications, mobile applications, CDs, DVDs and interactive marketing campaigns for businesses and organizations across the United States.
Some of Bross’ previous and current clients have included AT&T, P&G, University of Miami and the University of Central Florida. His focus is brand consulting and creative design.
His passions are family, sports and music (check out his band RisingSky).
Kevin C. Smith began his graphic design career producing technical visuals for complex training manuals while serving in the United States Navy. As his passion for design evolved, he became captivated with developing printed material using a more creative and imaginative (as opposed to technical) approach. He soon began pursuing freelance work and expanding his design portfolio to include custom logos, brochures, banners and marketing collateral representing diverse industries and clients, including high-end automotive, colleges and universities, 3D/4D Ultrasound imaging centers and custom watercraft – just to name a few!
Smith expanded upon his wealth of design knowledge and perfected his own unique technique by earning his B.F.A in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Tampa (a branch of the prestigious Miami International University of Art & Design), named one of the country’s Top 50 graphic design schools by GD USA.
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