Weybridge: A DYNAMIC SERVICE TEAM

Team Weybridge

Lead Change-Makers

Debra Porter, President & CEO
Elizabeth England, Senior Strategist & Managing Director
Claudia Stehli, Digital Marketing Director, Innovation Game Changer
Patti W. Peiffer, Marketing Research Analyst, Competitive Intelligence Specialist
Janet Haag, Editor-in-Chief, Purpose Marketing Leader
Melissa Paul, Brand and Social Media Storyteller
Kristin Perry, Grassroots Marketing & Event Maven

Design Studio

Mercedes Perez-Tamayo, taMaYo deSiGn, iNc., President
Ric Natanek, taMaYo deSiGn, iNc., Partner

Specialty Practice Leaders

Gricha Raether, Expert – Technology & Americas
Maija Harkonen, Ph.D. VP, Senior Director International Strategy & Accounts
Joe Barrato, Luxury & Apparel Advisor


Debra Porter, President & CEO

Summary

Debra brings 20+ years of executive management and business development experience to Weybridge Strategies. She is a proven leader in corporate, entrepreneurial and nonprofit settings. Debra has been the architect of global launch and sustaining strategies for organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 brands and companies. She also has significant fundraising expertise, having secured angel and venture capital in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors.

Responsibilities

Recognized for her keen business acumen, ability to manage diverse teams and devise measurable solutions, Debra leads Weybridge Strategies’ current and future business focus. Having pioneered a wide-range of ground-breaking programs and initiatives in multiple industries, she counsels clients on both big picture and day-to-day decisions, strategies and plans.

Experience

Most recently, Debra was founder and chairman of American Cash Exchange, Inc. In her role of business development and marketing, she led international product launch campaigns and negotiated critical partnerships with banks, governments and product distributors. She also spear-headed product design and research, attaining three U.S. Patents for product invention,

Career Highlights

While senior executive vice president at specialty liqueur company Sidney Frank Importing, Debra launched the internationally acclaimed multibillion dollar brand Grey Goose Vodka – voted “Best New Product Launch for 1998” by Marketwatch. Debra also pioneered new person-to-person marketing techniques benefiting the top selling Jägermeister label and other brands in the United States.

Wild Card

Debra is an accomplished artist who was awarded the Royal Medallion of Arts and Sciences by Prince Charles in London, England. She’s also a classical music lover who raised chickens and hatched 17 guinea hens at her farm to the strains of Mozart.

Insight

“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Elizabeth England, Senior Strategist & Managing Director

Summary

Elizabeth has 20+ years of strategic counseling, marketing communications and executive management experience across key business sectors. She has been the strategic and creative force around a wide-range of initiatives for some of the world’s most recognized brands, companies and their leaders. She has an award-winning record of success in marketing and branding, corporate leadership strategies and crisis, issues and reputation management. She is a consumer marketing specialist with expertise in food, beverage, nutrition and packaged goods.

Responsibilities

Senior management positions in corporate, agency and consulting settings have given Elizabeth a keen vision and understanding of how to further her clients’ mission and deliver elegant solutions with maximum impact. At Weybridge Strategies, Elizabeth acts as chief strategist, ensuring team endeavors track against business goals.

Experience

For 12 years, Elizabeth was co-founder and managing director of Stratagent Corp., an “experts-only” consulting firm specializing in corporate and brand strategies, crisis and reputation management. Prior, Elizabeth was a senior vice president at global agency leader Porter Novelli International where she led the New York office food and nutrition practice. Elizabeth has also held senior positions at the New York headquarters of Grey Advertising’s worldwide public relations agency, GCI Group. Before “agency life” Elizabeth led her own successful consulting firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles. As PR director for Macy’s, Elizabeth launched the “Cellar” gourmet & cookware concept.

Career Highlights

Elizabeth, and the teams she led, have been recognized for their professional excellence, receiving such awards as the Silver and Bronze Anvils, CIPRA and Gold Quill. She is a founding board member of the Food Policy Institute at Rutgers University and a frequent speaker on the issue of stakeholder-driven policy research and outreach.

Wild Card

Elizabeth is a competitive equestrian and former nationally-ranked gymnast. She’s also a passionate cook who knows that we “eat with our eyes” and therefore never lets a dish out of the kitchen without appropriate garnish.

Intention

Integrity is always victorious, no matter how the circumstances appear.

Claudia Stehli, Digital Marketing Director, Innovation Game Changer

Summary

Claudia has more than a decade of experience in online marketing and small business development. She is a multi-talented marketer, results-driven business coach and skilled entrepreneur. Claudia is a “maximizer” who sees great things and untapped talents in everyone and everything, helping inspire clients to break through obstacles that limit their growth. Claudia is fluent in German, English and Spanish.

Responsibilities

Claudia is Weybridge’s online marketing expert. She provides businesses with the research, strategies and planning tools to promote their brands, increase their marketplace visibility and maximize their influence. Claudia closely collaborates with her clients empowering them to develop authentic and compelling content that will attract and engage stakeholders, building loyalty and trust.

Experience

Claudia built on a foundation in traditional marketing to finely hone her skills in online marketing communications and social media. Over the past several years she has built three companies in different sectors, most recently founding a small business-oriented consulting firm in Mexico. Prior, she held director positions in marketing, social media and communications at various successful start-ups in her home country, Switzerland.

Career Highlights

Claudia has a special talent in supporting and inspiring people. She has quickly advanced her career as a businesswoman and entrepreneur, thanks to her passionate curiosity and unflagging energy. Recognizing strengths in herself and others, Claudia feels compelled to nurture them, refine them, and stretch them toward excellence.

Wild Card

Claudia sees life as a series of adventures, moving from Switzerland to Mexico to start an exciting new chapter in her life. As passionate about learning as she is about living, her monthly “library” includes books about business, fashion, art and design, film and TV, travel and foreign cultures.

Intention

Claudia lives what she tells her clients. “Do what you love, even if it’s scary”.

Patti W. Peiffer, Marketing Research Analyst, Competitive Intelligence Specialist

Summary

Patti is a marketing research analyst and competitive intelligence specialist who applies a broad spectrum of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to capture vital information that ensures the success of Weybridge clients. By providing critical insights into consumer behavior, visitor and customer experience, new product development, and market communication, she is able to define plans, tactics and actions that drive a clear vision to market leadership.

Responsibilities

At Weybridge, Patti is principally responsible for collecting and interpreting data, formulating reports, and making recommendations based upon research findings. To accomplish this task, she works with Weybridge clients to understand, define and document the overarching business objectives and organizational resources. By aligning marketplace data and dialogue with strategic objectives and plans, she is able to help Weybridge clients achieve the critical competitive advantage they need.

Experience

Most recently, Patti has been at the helm of Quesited, an independent research firm serving sectors including hospitality and tourism, life science, consumer goods, business services, retail, and manufacturing. Patti has spearheaded research for The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, ITW Covid, an advanced manufacturer of global security device products, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, to name just a few. Prior to Quesited, Patti worked in the retail industry and then transitioned to financial services where she managed investment sales in 11 branches. She earned her Master of Science in marketing management from the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Career Highlights

Patti serves on the Board of Directors of the MIT Enterprise Forum; Philadelphia Chapter, where she is Director of Marketing. She is a member of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and serves on the marketing research committee, and is a member of the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP). She also served as marketing co-chair of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council.

Wild Card

Patti served as Ombudsman for the NR-1 (1982-1984), the US Navy deep submersible engineering and scientific research submarine. She is honored to have served a high performing crew which included Admiral Edmund Giambastiani (Ret.), Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (2007-2009), Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, and Vice Admiral Stephen Stanley (Ret.)

Insight

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

Janet Haag, “Editor-in-Chief”, Purpose Marketing Leader

Summary

Janet’s experience in the nonprofit sector as well as higher education enables her to bring a unique perspective to Weybridge Strategies and a strong skillset in helping to build meaningful brands. She understands the dynamics of integrating organizational mission with economic strategy and the power of language to inspire and motivate. She is an innovative leader and creative wordsmith.

Responsibilities

On the Weybridge team, Janet lends her talent for writing and her editorial expertise to shaping clear, crisp content for print and digital communications. Attuned to the unique challenges of for-profit and nonprofit enterprises, she offers expert guidance to leaders of both on ways they can communicate their values, beliefs and behaviors to help one another excel while working toward creating a more effective social sector and achieving environmental sustainability.

Experience

Janet has facilitated strategic planning retreats, developed organizational policies and procedures, and implemented metrics for success. She has served as the senior editor for an international publication, taught in several universities, led fund-raising campaigns, managed public relations, and forged partnerships with numerous community groups and businesses.

Career Highlights

Janet launched a branch office social services program, building it from the ground up, subsequently rising through the ranks to become the agency director of operations. More recently, she has held the top leadership position for two nonprofit organizations, successfully navigating a founder transition and helping the board, staff and other stakeholders define and pursue viable new directions for the organization.

Wild Card

Janet is an avid fan of intercollegiate Division III women’s lacrosse (her daughter played for the University of Redlands, twice leading her team into NCAA championship action). Janet has also evolved as a snowboarding devotee (her son logs a ridiculous number of hours in mountain terrain parks and on backcountry trails).

Insight

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where you didn’t know they were going to be”. – Joseph Campbell

Melissa Paul, Brand and Social Media Storyteller

Summary

Melissa Paul joined Weybridge demonstrating an ability to convey brand messaging with exceptional clarity through her consummate copywriting skills. Her many talents unfolded from there, with Melissa now leading Social Media, and contributing her communications expertise across consumer touch points from special events to food and lifestyle photography. Her niche is in the luxury wedding, culinary and hospitality sectors, specifically, working behind-the-scenes to develop entertaining content for blogs and micro blogs, as well as managing a whole array of marketing projects that every company seems to need at one time or another.

Responsibilities

At Weybridge, Melissa partners with clients to articulate their brand positioning and stand out in the marketplace. She also provides online marketing counsel, creating a powerful blog content strategy and social media management and training. Melissa also frequently provides solid planning and on-site management assistance to clients executing B2B and B2C special events. Finally, with the same talent that she paints pictures with words, Melissa creates compelling visual content via her food styling and photography skills.

Experience

Prior to joining Weybridge, Melissa provided brand strategy, copywriting and social media content for The Rittenhouse, The Bridal Circle, ACE Conference Center, Lacroix Restaurant, Evantine Design, EventQuip, Peter Callahan Catering and Eventions Productions. Previously an event planner and designer, Melissa has produced events from one side of the country to the other, and sometimes, out of it entirely: California, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and the Caribbean.

Career Highlights

Over the years, Melissa and her event work have been featured on MTV’s “Super Sweet 16,” Food Network TV’s “Behind the Bash,” and in Martha Stewart Weddings, Grace Ormonde’s Wedding Style, The Knot’s Book on Wedding Flowers by Carly Roney (Chronicle Books) and in Outdoor Weddings by Mallory Samson (Chronicle Books). She has also been published as a wedding industry expert in InStyle Weddings, Bride’s, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Philadelphia Magazine, Delaware Today, Philadelphia’s Elegant Weddings, Special Events Magazine, New Jersey Bride, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Main Line Today, Main Line Life, Bucks Magazine, Style Me Pretty, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Layla Grace’s The Backroom, and in the Jewish Exponent. She also writes a column for InTents Magazine.

Wild Card

Melissa is an avid gardener, travels the world whenever she can and likes nothing better than hanging out in the kitchen. Melissa believes in giving back to the community, particularly the furry members of society and spends many weekends cleaning cages, rescuing lost animals, and nursing wildlife back to health.

Intention

“Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


Kristin Perry, Grassroots Marketing & Event Maven

Summary

The power of Kristin Perry’s grassroots marketing efforts and groundbreaking events have turned countless consumers into cheerleaders for many a brand and business. Her professional career has included arranging everything from private corporate jets for executive retreats and managing investment conferences in luxury hotels to founding an award winning farmers market and pitching in to pass caviar hors d’oeuvres at parties.

Responsibilities

At Weybridge, Kristin is responsible for devising grassroots marketing strategies and events, from concept to reality, that measurably advance awareness and positively impact client project goals. She creates the “ripple effect”, starting with an initial splash of local events and partnerships that leads to strong message reinforcement and loyal support from unpaid brand ambassadors. From there, each positive association or interaction produces waves about her clients’ product, company or services that continue to expand throughout the community and stakeholder pool.

Experience

Kristin’s introduction to marketing special events was under the legendary Chris Giftos at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. From there, she went on to arrange corporate events, conferences and retreats for a leading boutique investment bank in San Francisco where “out-showing the previous event was a competitive sport.” Kristin also managed an equity-marketing platform in London for financial investors, in the process mastering the nuances of cultural hospitality and international logistical planning.

Career Highlights

Most recently, Kristin created The Kitchen Potager, a unique educational and entertaining destination in Bucks County PA. Each of her events contains an element of surprise, supporting both the host’s goals and enhancing the attendees’ experience. Recent successes include educational cooking and gardening programs, various festivals, featured chef events and local and international culinary tours.

Wild Card

Kristin can most often be found “conducting” behind the scenes, but when not working you’ll more likely find her turning a left handed cartwheel or “shuffling off to Buffalo”.

Insight

The greatest connections and memories are directly related to the uniqueness of the experience and the comfort of your guests.

Design Studio

Mercedes Perez-Tamayo, taMaYo deSiGn, iNc., President
Ric Natanek, taMaYo deSiGn, iNc., Partner

Summary

taMaYo deSiGn, iNc. is an award-winning, minority-owned design studio formed in 1997. Our wide variety of clients, from large-scale corporations like Kraft and Sara Lee to the local butcher has allowed us to work on everything from full-scale corporate branding strategies to bus wraps and CD inserts. We are passionate about ensuring that our clients are putting the absolute best representation of themselves out in the world.

Responsibilities

Our main responsibility is to visually represent ideas in a manner that make them easy to understand and exciting to look at! We work with our clients to identify solutions to getting their message out in a cohesive, consistent and visually pleasing manner from concept to completion. We pride ourselves in bringing fresh ideas to the table.

Experience

Mercedes is the co-founder and president of taMaYo deSiGn, iNc. Having worked for over twenty years in the worlds of business-to-business public relations, market research and advertising, she has worn many hats and brings a unique perspective to her clients, both as an expert problem-solver and a creative force.

Ric is partner and co-founder of taMaYo deSiGn, iNc.. He is an award-winning designer with (well!) over twenty years industry experience, winning Silver and Gold Quill awards. His expertise in the visual arts and his love of typography, illustration and logo design are reflected in everything he designs.

Wild Card

Mercedes loves learning. She reads avidly, creates sporadically, cooks experimentally and dreams continuously.
Ric enjoys hockey, drinking tea, playing guitar and spending time with his family (though not necessarily in that order).

Insight

Mercedes strives for balance and harmony in everything she does, taking to heart the Kikuyu proverb “When the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers”.
For Ric, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it is not yet the end.” While he might be embarrassed that his insight is a line from the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, it does sum up Ric’s outlook perfectly!

Specialty Practice Leaders

Gricha Raether, Expert – Technology & Americas

Summary

Gricha brings 15+ years of experience in the high-tech, green energy, and consulting industry. He currently is the lead director of the Poni global remittance project in Latin America. Having graduated with honors from the top engineering school in Mexico (ITESM), Gricha has fulfilled roles in every stage of the product lifecycle, from developer to product and project manager in R&D, to branding and marketing. He has also acted as senior consultant in fields as varied as defense, medical, alternative and green energy, consumer electronics, and communications. Gricha has extensive experience working in Latin America, having led multiple projects that required management of all product-related aspects including technical, legal, regulatory, and marketing.

Responsibilities

Gricha’s keen understanding of technology and impeccable communication skills enable him to understand complex technical issues and effectively translate them into features and benefits that resonate with key stakeholders, target audiences, and business owners. Gricha is responsible for identifying business opportunities where particular technologies can make a big impact. He is also adept at crafting effective messaging and powerful marketing collateral for presenting products to potential customers.

Experience

Before moving to Mexico in 2010, Gricha lived in Austin, Texas where he was responsible for high-level project management and sales at Aeroflex, a US-based consultancy working in the defense and medical industry. Gricha led several projects ranging from weapons test systems (Lockheed Martin), consumer electronics (Apple), to DNA testing equipment (Asuragen). Post Aeroflex, he worked as international project manager for ViaNovo, an Austin-based consultancy firm representing US high-tech firms in Mexico. Most recently Gricha began consulting in Mexico developing key contacts in multiple enterprises, including information security and encryption systems for the banking and government sectors, while continuing to represent foreign companies.

Career Highlights

Gricha earned an MBA from Baylor University in Texas and has subsequently been awarded several certifications in innovation and technology management from one of the world’s top business schools in Mexico (IPADE).

Wild Card

Gricha grew up in five countries and was exposed to multiple cultures and languages from a very young age. He currently speaks six languages, three of them fluently: German, English, and Spanish. Gricha has a deep appreciation for language and linguistics.

Insight

“The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” – Ayn Rand

Maija Harkonen, Ph.D. VP, Senior Director International Strategy & Accounts

Summary

Maija has a strong track record in helping businesses navigate the complicated international marketplace. Business development, R&D, innovation and entrepreneurship all combine to define her rich and varied career in the private and public sectors of the United States and Europe. Maija’s international business experience spans over three continents, spearheading projects and negotiating agreements with businesses, institutes, universities and government entities in Europe, the United States and Asia. She has also worked on capacity building projects for developing nations. Independently, Maija co-founded four companies, and for ten years served as president of a US -based environmental company with patents in air pollution and renewable energy technologies.

Responsibilities

Maija heads the International Division of Weybridge where she and an impressive network of international business experts, patent attorneys and accountants help companies set up, initiate and manage their operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. In tandem with her US-based associates, Maija is also able to help foreign companies establishing their presence in the United States with expert assistance in brand marketing and public relations. As a coach to international business executives, Maija also identifies growth companies and innovative technologies, helping clients commercialize their patented technologies and raise start-up capital.

Experience

Maija is a co-founder and president of eSCRUB Systems Incorporated and a co-founder of e-SCRUB Environmental Enterprises Inc., companies that develop, sell and install patented air pollution control technologies used to reduce emissions from power plants and maritime vessels. They also develop and sell renewable energy technologies for producing transport fuel. For five years, Maija taught comparative government and international relations at Georgetown University, Washington DC, with a focus on emerging economies, including Russia and China. Recently she managed a European Union project for a Finnish university, helping companies from Northern Europe expand their operations to China. She also helped the Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland with its strategy for expanding educational services to international markets.

Career Highlights

Maija has successfully developed multi-million dollar air pollution control projects and obtained funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. She has raised start-up and operating capital from private sources and filed a patent on a renewable energy technology process as an inventor. She has received numerous scholarships, fellowships, and academic distinctions, including those from the Academy of Finland, Moscow Linguistic University and Georgetown University where she received her Ph.D. in government. Maija is a frequent speaker on Russian and Chinese politics and the economy and has lectured on innovation, entrepreneurship and management.

Wild Card

Maija enjoys travel, sports and the arts. She’s also played alto saxophone in a jazz band. Maija believes in the value of volunteering, community work and philanthropy and has dedicated much of her life to making the environment pollution-free.

Insight

“To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” (Chinese Proverb)

Joe Barrato, Luxury & Apparel Advisor

Summary

Joe Barrato is one of the fashion industry’s most dynamic and respected executives, having held top-level positions with some of the world’s most respected brands, among them: Brooks Brothers, Bergdorf Goodman, Brioni and Polo, Ralph Lauren. Joe’s exceptional taste level, unmistakable eye for design, vast experience and personal relationships with apparel and retail industry leaders have provided him with an in depth and intuitive understanding of the luxury sector.

Responsibilities

With Weybridge, and as founder and president of his eponymous luxury goods firm, Joe has a singular mission; to help manufacturing and retail businesses maximize their prestige and success at every level. Support services he provides to aspiring companies and brands include: strategic planning; brand positioning and development; product merchandising; business management and organization; licensing; image building and communications training.

Experience

Joe was a retail executive with stores including Brooks Brothers, Bergdorf Goodman, Garfinckel’s and David-Barrato. He also held leadership positions in manufacturing, most recently as president of retail and wholesale at Moncler, NA where he built the business from 8 million to 30 million wholesale in less than three years. As CEO and president of Brioni, USA, Joe took the label from 5 million to 55 million, successfully positioning Brioni as the ultimate men’s total lifestyle luxury brand. As national sales manager for Polo, Joe helped Ralph Lauren expand his successful neckwear business into tailored clothing, dress shirts and sports. Later, as president of Purple Label and Black Label at Polo Ralph Lauren, Joe created the distinct brand awareness that led to a record-making sales increase. As president of Gianfranco Ruffini, Joe built the distinctive menswear brand into one of Cleutt Peabody’s most successful divisions.

Career Highlights

Joe was the founding President of the prestigious Designer’s Collective. He received a 1999 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the 2008 Lifetime Achievement award from Morehouse College. Joe was named to Esquire Magazine’s “10 Best Dressed Men in Fashion”, and was cited one of the “Power 100” by trade weekly DNR. He has lectured at FIT and Parson’s School of Design and has conducted marketing classes at the Harvard Business School.

Wild Card

As a wardrobe consultant for film and stage, Joe played a significant role in creating Pierce Brosnan’s wardrobe for the James Bond movies. He is currently writing on book on Luxury Experiences in the apparel business.

Insight

“A quality person pays attention to detail, understanding that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”