WE ARE CENTERLINE
We are a content marketing agency with a passion for resolving complex communications challenges with strategic and creative digital content.
Centerline is 100% organic.
It’s how we’re built, and how we approach our relationships. We’ve grown from two employees to over 80, all without a single loan or investor, and we’re still taking on crew.
Oh, and we’re eco-friendly, too.
We are who we are.
We’re a random but talented bunch driven by industry savvy and wickedly creative minds. Around here, we count on insight from every member of the team. You may see a 3D motion designer talking business strategy with a VP. Or a director helping improve the project management cycle. But what you’re sure to find is the fresh, compelling content we create.
It's not about what we do.
It’s about doing it better every time. From staying ahead of digital technology trends to reducing our energy footprint, we think it’s our duty to evolve. That’s why we’re constantly innovating how we work and what we produce.
Our standards are pretty high.
We live for accountable creative strategy driven by a fierce competitive streak. Because we don’t want more of more, we want more of better.
That goes for our people, our clients and our work.
We’re looking for a long-term relationship.
Once we deeply understand your communications challenges, we align ourselves with your functions and processes to work like an extension of your in-house marketing team. The longer we work together, the more efficient we become — ultimately creating economies of scale by removing the learning curve that comes with each new project. Working this way has enabled us to form decade-long client partnerships. And we're cool with that.
We treat your money like our own.
We're problem solvers who live for finding innovative, creative ways to distill and deliver the most complex messages. But we also know every business has constraints — so we share your obligation to create effective content quickly and within the boundaries of your budget.
Our work is never done.
We craft the strategy, write the scripts, direct the shoots, create the animations, design the sites and develop the code. But we don't stop at content creation, we follow projects long after execution. We want to know: How well did the tactic work? How can we do it better next time? We bring a unique approach to corporate communications — this approach is what sets us apart.
We love coming to work.
Nestled in Raleigh's Glenwood South district, our 30,000 sq. ft. renovated warehouse space is home to some of the sharpest minds in the industry.
It takes a lot of human fuel to create kickass digital content, so we work hard to keep our team comfortable and happy.
Our office houses a green-screen studio with full production and sound design capabilities, ample open work space to collaborate and the best design and animation technology in place so we always have the right tool for the job.
We really like each other.
Our people have mastered the art of blending raw talent with hard-earned industry chops. And luckily, we all like each other enough to share a drink (or two) after the work is done. A fully stocked kitchen and bar (complete with Guinness on tap and a pretty darn good wine collection) along with a few other perks and necessities keep the creative engines running smoothly at high RPMs.
Leading by example.
Executive Project Manager
My 18 years of agency experience began almost by accident — I got a job as a production assistant through a friend and right away I was hooked. Since then I’ve worked in production, and account and project management for clients like British Airways North America, IBM, Nortel Networks, Mannington Floors, and North Carolina Travel and Tourism.
I’ve spent my career sharpening my skills in process management, planning and coordinating. At Centerline, our primary focus is understanding our clients’ needs so that we can effectively solve their communications challenges. But my passion is guiding project management teams in building and maintaining successful and productive relationships with clients.
Senior Project Manager
I’ve always enjoyed the process of planning… if for no other reason than the joy of watching as all the pieces come together. From organizing dinner parties to creating trip itineraries, I love to plan functions both at home and at work. It’s through my passion for planning that I developed my mantra: “Always expect the unexpected – and have plan B in your back pocket.”
After graduating with a business degree from North Carolina State University, I took a position at an advertising agency that dealt primarily with national campaigns for the government. The needs of government officials change constantly, so this role required me to stay on my toes and be ready to switch gears at a moment’s notice. This experience helped mold me into the project manager I am today – teaching me how to anticipate roadblocks, adapt quickly and deliver effective, creative solutions. When it comes to working with clients at Centerline, I take the time to know their business needs inside and out. Through meticulous planning, close collaboration, and open communication, my team and I produce innovative solutions that set our clients apart from their competition.
David “Rock” Schafermeyer
Art Director/Team Manager
When I first saw the opening credits of the movie Se7en, I knew wanted to be an animator. Since then, I’ve spent my career creating animations and motion graphics for corporate video, Web, narrative film, television and interactive experiences. As one of the original Centerliners, I’ve spent more than 12 years honing my design style for clients like IBM while managing a multidisciplinary team of animators, editors, composers and 3D artists. I consider myself lucky to have found a career that lets me use my creativity. This industry is built on the unexpected, and my team lives for finding unconventional solutions for our clients’ communication challenges.
At home, I spend time improving my lifestyle by cooking and eating healthy foods. At Centerline, I continually push my team to raise the industry bar by building distinct, hardworking visual executions for video and multimedia projects with a focus on clean, precise design, and an emphasis on readability and dramatic motion.
Founder & CEO
As the founder of Centerline, I consider myself fully accountable for the creative direction and quality of content that Centerline delivers. But my true expertise is problem-solving — specifically using both the right and left sides of my brain to find creative solutions to big business issues. Here at Centerline, we combine strategy and media elements to create compelling, immersive experiences that generate traffic and awareness. The chance to do that better every day keeps me coming to work.
Before founding Centerline in 1996, I was a power generation engineer for General Electric, providing energy solutions in developing countries of the Pacific Rim. Today I continue to expect the unexpected and work to always raise the bar for what we deliver to our clients.
Senior Business Strategist
For the past 20 years, I’ve been brewing my own special blend of strategic thinking through experience as a business analyst and as a digital marketer. It gives me unique perspective from two fronts. First, I’ve worked to dissect business plans from the outside, helping companies overcome big, sticky internal operations challenges. Second, as a veteran practitioner of digital marketing, I’ve helped top brands think differently about how they package themselves outwardly in order to get the right information to the right audience at the right time.
Most of my biggest and best ideas come when I am 35,000 feet up in the air – in the clouds. I like to think it’s because I enjoy getting altitude above a problem and thinking about it at a higher level. I spend my time at Centerline helping companies imagine farther and consider the benefits of the fringe and to think about their business in new ways – but always in a way that captures more value, more revenue or more customers.
Executive Account Specialist - IBM
As long as I can remember I’ve been surrounded by media and communications. When I was younger, I helped my father choose photographs for multimedia slideshow presentations, and I adjusted lights on video shoots. My production days turned into a successful film- and video-editing career. I still have a meticulous eye (and ear) for the smallest editing issues. The move to project management was a natural progression — I even keep a spreadsheet at home for weekly camp schedules and school lunch inventories. At work, I immerse myself completely in a client’s business. It gives me a deeper understanding of their communication challenges so that together we can overcome them.
As a principal at Centerline since the beginning, I’ve had the good fortune to work with extremely creative and resourceful people. Everyone here is driven to do good work. To continually evolve and take on the unpredictability of the industry and the digital space — and at the end of the day to say, “I created something that tells a good story”.
Cait Vlastakis Smith
Senior Creative Strategist / UX Designer
I once raided my dad’s Craftsman tool chest, fished out the tools I needed and turned my family’s wok into a snow sled. (I was promptly grounded.) I still do this today, except I use digital tools to transform communication challenges in to user-centered experiences and meaningful messages. I’m fascinated by how people think and am constantly chasing down a deeper understanding of how technology is shaping the way humans communicate, interact with and absorb information online. As an unyielding user advocate, I believe the interconnected fields of decision science, user experience and content marketing are blowing the doors open to unprecedented opportunities in digital communication.
As a Senior Content Strategist and UX Designer, I collaborate with exceptionally talented colleagues and clients to design memorable experiences built on empathy, user research and business goals.
Associate Creative Director, Writing
I believe the best advertising tells a good story in a very compressed timeframe. Having spent my career writing, producing and directing short- and long-form films, and working with studios like New Line Cinema and DreamWorks, I learned the value of efficient storytelling. Now I apply those skills every day, while embracing new challenges and opportunities in storytelling using a variety of media and mediums. As a result, I’m a good idea man, writer and director. And I’m not too shabby at lying on the beach with a drink in my hand! But I pride myself on listening to what my clients and collaborators have to say, and understanding the essence of what they’re trying to convey.
Centerline has established a reputation for being innovative and always taking on new challenges, so that means I’m always engaged and flexing my creative muscles. I feel very lucky to do that for a living. But most of all, I love working with my team to over-deliver on client expectations.
Vice President - Account Management
There are a lot of misconceptions about what we do in this industry (and I attribute most of them to Mad Men). But to me it’s all about watching ideas grow and develop, and ultimately using those ideas to solve clients’ communication challenges. I started out on the creative side of those challenges — writing, editing, motion graphic design and multimedia production. This experience helps me see both the creative and business sides of projects, so our team can guide them from budget and workflow through execution.
A big part of my job today is building marketing solutions and driving strategic growth through client partnerships. At Centerline, we believe the most important thing to maintaining these relationships is listening so that together we can uncover effective solutions.
Art Director/Team Manager
As a child I spent countless hours sitting at the dining room table drawing pictures on the back of discarded dot-matrix printer paper that my father would bring home from work. I would create stories in my mind and sketch them out on paper. At one point I was so obsessed with ninjas that my father was forced to take drastic measures and he forbade the drawing of any sort of ninja in the house. Despite this extreme decree there was still nothing that held the same appeal as using my creativity to tell a story in pictures.
After graduating with a BFA in Intermedia from Pacific Northwest College of Art, I worked as an interactive designer for several years before landing at Centerline. One of my favorite things about Centerline is that I’m able to work with people who — despite different backgrounds — share the same passion that I have for narrative and creation. I love the challenge of translating complex subject matter into an engaging and visually appealing product for our clients, while working with an incredibly talented team of people. I also feel fortunate to have a career that allows me to draw every day…even if none of the drawings are of ninjas.
Executive Project Manager
I love seeing the pieces of a puzzle come together — which is why I’ve always been keen on organization and proud of my attention to detail. Growing up, I thrived at leading group projects; I managed my college’s radio station and enjoyed creating trip itineraries for my friends and I. My ability to foresee roadblocks during projects and a knack for producing innovative solutions prepared me for my role at Centerline.
After graduating from East Carolina University, I moved to Raleigh to begin a career at Centerline. Over the next 6.5 years, I worked my way up from Office Assistant to Executive Project Manager. When approaching a new project, I make sure to put myself in the customers’ shoes. While being knowledgeable about our capabilities is important, understanding the clients’ needs and goals is imperative. By forming strong connections, my team and I ensure that our deliverables not only meet, but exceed, our clients’ expectations.
Associate Creative Director, Interactive
When I saw Toy Story for the first time I decided then and there that I wanted to work at Pixar making 3D-animated movies. Instead, I kicked off my career in the social gaming industry at Disney working to master techniques involved with user experiences and interactive marketing. Fast-forward to today where I guide design teams in building award winning work using animation, 3D, interactive, user interface design and seamless HTML/CSS/jQuery.
At Centerline, we try to contribute a sense of an all-of-the-above approach. We don’t just do design. We don’t just do frontend or backend. We do all of that and then some. I work with an amazing and talented team, and every day I learn as much from them as they learn from me. Together, we combine complex technology with engaging design to produce great work for our clients.
Interactive Art Director
I’ve always loved art and design. At first, advertising was a job where I’d be able to make money while I pursued “real” art. Then I figured out that advertising is one of the signature art forms of 21st century American culture. Nothing reflects our consumer-driven culture more than our advertising. After I graduated from SUNY Alfred, I spent a good part of my career designing and developing online games and promotions for Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures and DreamWorks.
At Centerline, I get to work with very smart people in a job that changes from day to day. Our interactive team collaborates with content strategists, interactive designers and developers to create compelling and usable online experiences. Once a strategy is in place, what separates a memorable user experience from a forgettable one is all in the details: How did the user get here? What device are they on? What should they accomplish before they leave? These are all things that should be considered before the words “best practices” are considered. And our job is to help make every online experience an easy and memorable one.
Senior Project Manager
As a French major with a minor in business, I always imagined I would end up as a professor or, perhaps, an ambassador. But then I landed a job at a consumer promotions agency and felt an immediate connection with the creative, solution-driven environment. Now that I live the agency life, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Growing up, I was the kid who was never afraid to ask questions (which got me into trouble more times that I can count). Fortunately, my unquenchable thirst to know “why” has turned out to be an extremely valuable asset, as I’m reminded with each project that it takes asking the right questions to find the right solution.
I thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment and that’s why Centerline is the perfect home for me. At Centerline, we are constantly changing and evolving, which pushes my team and I to always find the best solutions for our clients. Our ability to see the possibilities in problems — the design in chaos — and the path to the finish line is what helps us bring our clients continuous success.
Executive Account Manager
I started my career in technology and consumer public relations. For years, I managed global PR and sales teams, from Mexico City to Milan. I like to think I’m a good problem solver — I’m also a kickass speed-reader and I play a mean game of catch. I transitioned to marketing because I wanted to be more involved in the strategy behind the content, creative and messaging.
At Centerline, I work with incredibly smart, fun, talented and all-around-rad people that make me want to be MORE awesome every day. I work side-by-side with strategy, creative and project management teams to help define our clients’ short- and long-term needs and develop and execute communication strategies that support those business objectives and marketing goals.
Executive Account Manager
I got my first taste of commercial and digital production at BBDO in Atlanta where I got to work with some of the biggest brands in the world. I was immediately hooked. I’m a little schedule-obsessed, with a love for structure, so the need for organization and attention to detail suited my type-A personality just fine. But there’s another part of me that craves the creative mindset: collaboration, brainstorming and completely out-of-the-box thinking. In marketing, we have the opportunity to use strengths from both parts of the brain, which makes it an industry like none other.
Today, my focus is on building and maintaining strong internal and client relationships. At Centerline, I work to help my team read and understand our clients’ needs, and then go above and beyond to surprise and over-deliver for both existing clients and those on their first project. Producing beautifully creative work that effectively overcomes communication challenges is the best part of the job. That and working with some of the smartest, most creative people I know.
Executive Account Manager
I guess you could say my background is pretty diverse — I double-majored in business management and microbiology. So naturally, I took a year off after college to focus on photography and work with horses. When I decided to get a “real job”, there was a production/office assistant position open at Centerline. Nearly a decade later, I’m still here — working to master the nuances of IBM’s business model, as well as the marketing needs of the various (and plentiful) IBM divisions.
I love that we have the daily opportunity to switch between right- and left-brain approaches to solve communications challenges from a variety of different angles. At Centerline, we believe that forming strong partnerships with clients is the only way to achieve their marketing and business goals. So with my unique blend of experience, an eye toward creativity, a tight grasp on budgetary concerns and old-fashioned common sense, I guide accounts to measurable success.
Operations Manager, Accounts
While I started my career in graphic design, there are few things that I love more than a well-organized spreadsheet (like Post-it® notes, Sharpie® pens and amazing coffee). So I consider myself a true right- and left-brain person. Before joining the agency world I worked in higher education in various roles within marketing and communications. Now that I live the agency life, I have the best of both worlds: working with creative and project management teams. And I wouldn’t trade the daily opportunities for collaboration between my team and our clients for a lifetime supply of Post-its.
My team has described me as “sassy with a sprinkle of Southern charm”, so I work hard to live up to their expectations. I also strive to be both a leader and a mentor. While I am constantly multitasking at work, the concept took on a whole new meaning when I became a working mom. At Centerline, I share my commitment and intense work ethic with my team so we can create compelling digital campaigns and assets that resolve our clients’ toughest communication challenges.
Art Director / Team Manager
From an early age I knew I wanted to create things. I was always drawn to art and had the good fortune of hitting my stride just as computers and digital technology were becoming faster, cheaper and more widely used. I loved combining video and graphics to make things move, and the first time I saw my work on the “big screen” was probably the greatest moment of my career to date.
At Centerline, we’re constantly coming up with ways to innovate and stay ahead of trends in spite of limitations in technology. I rarely get the impression that things are stale; there’s always a new challenge to tackle. To that end, my focus is sharing my expertise with my team (the guys doing the heavy lifting). I guide them along through the journey of each project making sure they use their talents wisely and efficiently. Although, they’d probably say I mostly use my ninja-like skills to sneak up behind them and watch their work in progress.
In the early days at Centerline I was a project manager and a self-taught editor. I also managed everything from human resources to accounting to overall operations. That was 10 years ago. Now that we’ve grown from a handful of people to around 80, I use that experience to keep the business running smoothly.
Before Centerline, I helped lead my college basketball team into the NCAA tournament (go, Furman!), earning co-MVP honors in the process. I’m still committed to my team’s success. I take a lot of pride in our culture and work environment — my team and I are continually learning and working to solve the new challenges that each day presents.
Executive Creative Director
Part director, part writer, and the former lead singer of a touring punk rock band, you could say I have a different way of viewing the world. It’s a perspective that was sparked by growing up in a home filled with abstract art. And it was further honed by living in places like Vienna, Norway, Spain, Los Angeles, and Boston. All those different cultural inputs influence my unique way of capturing stories through the filmmaker’s lens.
My films are my way of exploring new ideas and using narrative as a tool to convey them — and they have been featured at festivals and galleries around the world. I put my passion to work daily at Centerline where I’ve written and directed thousands of customer testimonials, event videos, and product demo animations. In 1997, I was hired as the first employee at Centerline Digital. I feel fortunate everyday to be a part of a company that is innovative and passionate about exceeding clients’ expectations. At Centerline, my team and I blend experimental techniques with storytelling threads to deliver compelling pieces that ensure our clients are happy and successful.
Senior Project Manager
I’ve always been passionate about creative writing. So during my college years at Cornell University, I was actively involved in my school’s publishing activities, serving as the editor-in-chief at Rainy Day Literary Magazine. This opportunity helped me to perfect my skills in copyediting and also introduced me to the world of digital marketing.
After graduation, I took a position at a publishing company here in Raleigh. And while my role there was rewarding, I wanted to pursue a career that would intertwine my love for working alongside clients with creative storytelling. I found my niche at Centerline, where I work with a talented team of people to deliver stories that enhance and shape our clients’ brand messages.
At Centerline, I use my background in writing narratives to help clients determine the best format to tell their stories. My proofreading expertise — what people have termed as “eagle eyes” — ensures that the smallest details of each project complements our clients’ overall message and achieves noticeable results.
Executive Creative Director
I’ve always been an artist and a designer, driven by the power of communications — specifically, distilling complex information down to a simple idea or design. With a strong background in establishing brands and engaging conversations, the importance of making emotional connections and delivering value and not just information has always been a driver in what I do.
As a creative director at Centerline, I lead an agency full of problem solvers, so the question is never “can we?” but always “we could…” Discovering new solutions to age-old problems both in execution and delivery of the work is how we roll, and having a fluid process and collaboration of strategy, departments and client relationships is how we make it happen.
My experience ranges from start-ups to well-established companies, and covers everything from sales and marketing, to management and recruiting. At Centerline, I get the chance to work closely with a wide range of people — my job is to collaborate with our hiring managers to bring in candidates who fit our needs.
And while I’m not directly involved with the client or creative sides of our business, I still enjoy the diversity and creativity of agency life. No two days are the same, and there’s such a great energy to our company culture. On a daily basis, I work to represent Centerline’s culture to prospective employees. Even when a position’s requirements are very specific, I can find folks who help our team become better, stronger and faster.
Vice President - Strategy/Creative
Watching TV as a kid, I used to run to the bathroom during the shows so I could make it back for the commercials. Those days launched me down a path that included layout and writing for the college paper; communications strategy for political campaigns; marketing strategy and graphic design for Gensler (a global design and architecture firm); and the implementation of new programming, animation and design techniques for Centerline.
Today I specialize in content marketing strategy and building digital deliverables to execute those strategies. But it’s about more than just creating killer digital content. At Centerline, we help clients succeed in the digital marketplace using a three-pronged approach: strategic (message creation, brand strategy), tactical (design, development), and analytical (measurement and adaptation). This experience-tested approach allows me to build campaigns that are both well-designed and effective for clients like IBM, DuPont and CEI.
Operations Manager, Production
Since a young age I have loved storytelling and technology. My goal was to become a 3D artist, but I hit a slight snag. In the words of a post-production professor, “everyone in this room is creative, artistic, and has a story to tell, but you are learning how to shoot and edit video because you can’t draw.” I edited my first short film in 9th grade and the rest is history.
The most challenging and rewarding thing about this industry is that it is constantly evolving. I work hard to maintain my status as an expert in video and post-production technology, always researching and pushing to find innovative ways to make Centerline better. The members of my team are extremely skilled, experienced, and just as driven. My expectations for them are almost as high as their expectations for themselves, and that’s how we do amazing, thought-provoking work.
Executive Account Manager
On my wedding day, I put forth an order: No one comes to me with problems, only solutions! Admittedly, part of this statement was because I didn’t want the added stress. But more so, it’s because that mirrors my solution-driven approach to life. I address problems by finding answers, not by dwelling on the problem itself. And I use this drive and methodology to identify the best, innovative solutions for my clients.
A few of my first jobs in life — like working as a barista and a retail associate — taught me a thing or two about customer service, anticipating needs, and the importance of paying attention to detail. After that, I added PR experience while working with a variety of clients in healthcare, finance, business and IT. Those diverse experiences enable me to successfully lead client projects while mitigating potential landmines along the way. Over the years I’ve come to realize that the busier I am, the better I perform. At Centerline, my team and I work to uncover clients’ business goals, gain a strong understanding of their industry and focus on the nitty gritty details that make a project a success.
Executive Account Manager
At age seven, I dropped out of the girl scouts. It didn’t make sense to me that the troop always followed a parent’s lead and spent hours doing arts and crafts. It was at that moment that my parents realized I didn’t do so well with activities that involved “going through the motions” or following someone else’s lead. So they helped me join a competitive soccer team, where I quickly fell in love with the game for its emphasis on strategy, perseverance — and of course — taking actions into my own hands.
After graduating with a bachelor’s of journalism from the University of Missouri, I returned to my home in Denver to immerse myself in the growing ad agency market and quickly learned how to maximize my clients’ budgets, delivering a unique blend of strategy and efficiency. And over the past 10 years I’ve used that knowledge to manage integrated marketing campaigns for clients in a variety of industries, including: telecommunications, healthcare, IT and entertainment. At Centerline, I hold myself accountable for identifying the best, innovative mediums to engage audiences and create brand success for my clients.