Our team has first-hand experience in the ever-changing world of communications, gained through a collection of 150+ years of navigating the increasingly blurred line that’s the intersection of marketing and public relations. we work with clients to refine brand positioning, messaging and communications efforts through integrated and measurable strategies that propel business forward.
Our hallmark is narrowing the focus to identify each client’s unique point of difference, then sharing their story through the myriad sources available to broadcast messages and engaging content — including through social media execution, original content creation, advertising initiatives and “in the trenches” public relations tactics. Our team comprises nimble industry veterans and knowledge-seekers who combine experience in media, nonprofits and communication agencies through numerous disciplines, including journalism, digital marketing, video production, public relations, advertising, branding, strategic planning, social media, community relations, and corporate social responsibilty.
CKP team members are sought-after speakers on all things communications and media. Collectively, CKP has garnered many of the communications industry’s most coveted prizes for our clients, including four “Marketer of the Year” awards and numerous AMA Houston, PRSA Houston and Hermes Creative Awards. Our work represents a broad spectrum of industries spanning hospitality, nonprofit arts and advocacy organizations, consulting and professional services, retail energy and automotive.
FOUNDER + CEO
A veteran marketing and public relations specialist, Carey Kirkpatrick founded CKP in 2014 with a focus on supporting clients through public relations, content marketing, and advertising consulting. Since then she has attracted a robust and diverse client list that runs the gamut from worldwide brands to small non-profits, and everything in between. In 2017, Carey was recognized as one of the Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honorees for her outstanding role as a business leader and community advocate.
Following positions in public relations and marketing with several acclaimed performing arts organizations, including the Houston Symphony, Carey joined fledgling media startup CultureMap.com as director of marketing in 2009. In this role she helped to see the site through launches in Houston, Austin and Dallas. Her communications work has garnered numerous AMA Houston Crystal Awards, including multiple wins for Non-Profit Marketing Campaign and Integrated Marketing Campaign, as well as several Marketer of the Year Best in Category wins. Carey has a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and a Master of Music from the University of Texas at Austin.
Principal, Director of Brand Operations
Jennifer Evans has more than 25 years of experience in public relations, media, marketing and corporate social responsibility/philanthropy in the Houston and Galveston markets. She got her communications start in non-profit organizations including the nationally renowned Alley Theatre. She then spent nearly a decade in corporate communications roles, primarily leading CSR and strategic foundation activities for domestic and international operations with Cooper Industries (ETN) and Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO). The Health Museum recruited Jennifer to serve as its first vice president of external affairs, to overhaul brand, retail, customer service and fundraising. Jennifer subsequently launched her own firm, JL Evans Communications, representing clients in the retail, consumer products, education, professional services, non-profit, energy, and health industries, before joining CKP in 2016. Jennifer earned her Bachelor's degree at University of Houston-Downtown and her Master of Arts in Communications at University of Houston.
Jeremy C. Little
Principal, Head of Accounts Services
Jeremy C. Little has more than a decade of experience in strategic communications, including public relations, media relations, social media marketing, public policy advocacy, and communications management consulting. He moved from the Northeast to Houston, Texas (for the second time) in 2016 to join CKP as a communications strategist. Jeremy's extensive communications background includes working with New York Times best-selling authors, government officials, and James Beard Award-winning chefs. Jeremy attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine, graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Government. Currently, he is working to finish a Master of Arts in English from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School in Middlebury, Vermont.
Principal, Brand Operations
Joel Luks is a communications specialist with expertise in content marketing and social media strategy. Before joining CKP, Joel served as the arts and entertainment editor, classical music critic and video production director of CultureMap.com, a hyperlocal website covering lifestyle topics. He has also been a regular contributor to KHOU 11 News. In these roles, Joel has published more than 2,000 articles and produced more than 450 editorial segments for online platforms and broadcast. Joel is also an instructor in the Arts Leadership Program at the University of Houston's Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts, and a frequent speaker on social media and content marketing throughout the U.S. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and a Master of Music from Rice University.
Lauren C Brown joined CKP in 2017 as an Account Assistant. A Louisiana girl by birth — and heart — Lauren graduated from LSU in 2011 with a degree in Journalism from the Manship School of Mass Communication. After graduation, Lauren began her career as a freelance writer for a Baton Rouge magazine before becoming the communications coordinator at the LSU Foundation. Lauren moved to Houston in 2015, continuing her career as a freelance writer, but now able to add social media, marketing and public relations to her expertise. With experience in health and fitness, beauty, education, real estate, nonprofits and so much more, Lauren's highly adaptive writing style allows her to easily transition between brand voices. Since she was a child, Lauren has gravitated toward people and their stories. Now, she enjoys helping brands tell their stories in her role at CKP.
Manager, Brand Presence
Craig Cavanaugh, originally from Pennsylvania, has been in the events and hospitality industry for 35 years. He was the longest-tenured production manager of the Ronald McDonald program in the United States, joining the brand icon for an average of 350 appearances per year for 15 years as part of the McDonald's Operator Association of Greater Houston. In 2015 he was handpicked by the McDonald’s group to create a new promotions and events team before transitioning onto CKP's Community Brand Presence team in 2017. An in-demand DJ by the age of 18, Cavanaugh performed at elite venues including Studio 54 before joining Executive Hotel Management for over two decades as entertainment director and, later, as general manager for a 4-star hotel in Missouri. He is still an avid music fan and loves watching sports and playing golf in his free time.
Elizabeth Cleveland is a Houston native with a passion for marketing and storytelling. Before joining CKP, she worked in the nonprofit sector in marketing, community relations, volunteer management, and event planning. She served as Community Relations manager for Houston’s Bayou City Art Festival for several years and in 2012, was hired by Houston Ballet, the nation’s fifth-largest ballet company. As Associate Director of Marketing and PR, Elizabeth oversaw daily communications operations, managing a team of six alongside agency partners. In the summer of 2017 she stepped in as interim Marketing Director, leading communication efforts through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. During her tenure at Houston Ballet, the organization won several AMA Crystal Awards. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a proud Heights resident and enjoys spending her free time with a close-knit group of friends and her French bulldog, Miles.
Julia Davis is an account manager with CKP, specializing in public relations strategy and execution. Julia is a native Texan and attended Trinity University in San Antonio, graduating in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. While at Trinity, she was a member of the varsity golf team, leading the team as captain during her senior season and was an active member in her sorority Sigma Theta Tau, serving as Rush Chair her senior year. Julia began her professional career with Toolbox Studios – a marketing and branding firm in San Antonio – while completing her senior year at Trinity. In 2013 she dove into a public relations career at the Houston public relations firm On the Mark Communications. Julia joined CKP in 2015 and now leads accounts in both Houston and Austin.
Mary Faucett is an account manager with CKP, focusing on public relations and community engagement. Mary has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication. She started her career in Katy, Texas, at the Katy Independent School District communications office, where she gained experience in grassroots public relations and true community engagement. Mary then spent time in the employee benefits marketing and communications sector at Employee Benefit Advisors in Oklahoma City.
After relocating back to Houston, Texas, Mary joined Southwestern Energy as communications advisor, where she led internal communications as well as external communications to land and royalty owners — a key stakeholder group to any oil and gas exploration and production company. After nearly five years at Southwestern Energy, Mary became a consultant for the company as well as other businesses, national nonprofit campaigns, an international automotive group and a variety of other clients until joining CKP in 2018.
Assistant, Brand Presence
Randy Lakey, a Houston native, was a member of the promotions and events team for the McDonald’s Operators Association of Greater Houston for a year before transitioning onto CKP's Community Brand Presence team in 2017. In this role, Lakey was part of a small yet efficient team responsible for planning, setting up and managing several events per week, in addition to cleaning, maintaining and transporting all equipment and costumes. Prior to his work with promotions and events, Lakey operated a small business with his father and worked in the retail industry for five years. A trained chef, he has a passion for cooking and baking and also enjoys cheering on his hometown Texans, Rockets and Astros.
Laine Lieberman joined CKP in August 2018 as an Account Associate. A native Houstonian and a Kinkaid graduate, she began her post-college career in marketing and communications at non-profit arts organizations across the country and abroad, including Museum of the City of New York (MCNY). She returned to Houston in 2014 to join the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as a publicist. At the Museum, she executed communications strategies for exhibitions and institutional initiatives and she led national, regional, and local media relations activities. Laine graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Plan II Honors (a writing-intensive, interdisciplinary arts and science honors major) and a BFA in Art History. She recently relocated to Austin, Texas where she leads reporting and research analysis for many of CKP's Texas and national clients.
Deputy Creative Director
Sarah Rufca Nielsen joined CKP in October 2017 after more than a decade working in Houston media. As a communications specialist, she's highly skilled in creative storytelling as well as creating compelling and precise content for clients. Originally from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Sarah graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Arts in History before attending New York University's prestigious Summer Publishing Institute. After working as an editorial assistant at Forbes in New York, she returned to the Houston area, working as a writer and reporter for publications including the Houston Chronicle, Paper City magazine, Houston Press, CultureMap and MyTable magazine. Most recently she spent three years as the Lifestyle Editor at Houstonia magazine, where she completely reimagined the publication's online lifestyle channel. She lives in the Houston Heights with her husband, Kyle, and her corgi, Zoe.
Content Marketing Senior Associate
Meilin joined CKP in August 2015 as a communications associate. Since then, she’s grown to a content marketing maven with an expertise in content strategy and execution in addition to photography and video creation. Although born in Houston, Meilin was raised internationally, living in 3 countries around the globe before moving to San Antonio to attend Trinity University. Meilin graduated Trinity University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications before moving to Houston to start her career with CKP. Meilin’s passion for creating and telling visual and written narrative can be seen by her authentic, documentary-style work. Prior to CKP, Meilin worked in a variety of marketing and PR organizations both domestically and internationally, focusing on the travel, beauty and hospitality industries.
Whitney Radley is an account manager at CKP, focusing on public relations and communications strategic planning. She has expertise in media relations, branding, research, strategic communications planning and content creation. Whitney began her communications career in journalism as a staff writer for CultureMap.com. In her time there, she published hundreds of articles and covered topics ranging from lifestyle to local politics. She shifted to public relations when she joined the communications team at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. There, she developed plans for the promotion of exhibitions as well as programs, special events and overall museum initiatives, including the launch of a campus redevelopment and master plan. At CKP, Whitney brings her knack for storytelling and strategy to clients including arts, business-to-business, non-profits and civic projects. Her work in planning and public relations strategy and execution has been recognized by the Houston Chapter of the American Marketing Association, garnering a coveted finalist position in the 2017 AMA Crystal Awards for Public Relations Campaign. Whitney is a Southeast Texas native with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of North Texas.
Madison Sowell joined CKP in 2017 as an Account Assistant. Before joining the CKP team, Madison gained a range of experiences in writing, marketing, and social media. She worked as a junior reporter for nationwide publication Macaroni Kid, where Madison wrote, edited and pitched for a variety of voices and clients like The Children’s Museum of Houston and The Walt Disney Company. Other previous clients and employers include Allied Integrated Marketing, Rose Marketing Solutions, and Elevated Technologies. A native Houstonian, Madison graduated from Houston Baptist University’s honors college, with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mass Media Arts and Writing. With a passion for storytelling, communications, and creativity, Madison continues to hone her skills as an eager member of the CKP team.
A native Houstonian, Heather was raised on Tex-Mex, football and the liberal usage of y’all. Somewhere along the way she fell head-over-stilettos for fashion and transitioned her journalism career from sports to style.
Heather is a freelance writer for CultureMap.com, Women’s Wear Daily and People Magazine, among others. A social media enthusiast, Heather turned her obsessive Facebook updating into a career as a social media consultant for retail, restaurant and non-profit clients. Heather joined CKP in 2018, bringing her passion for social media planning and execution to the creative team.
BJ Strew joined CKP’s Creative Services team in 2018 as Lead Graphic Designer. Before relocating to Houston in 2008, BJ reviewed music for national outlets including the Village Voice, VH1, and Pitchfork and assisted editors and faculty at Harvard’s Committee on Human Rights Studies and the Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research. He steadily shifted focus to design and branding, where his work in print and digital advocacy spans national campaigns for Google, Amazon, Everytown for Gun Safety, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Obama for America. Over the past the decade, he has designed for premier brands in his community, serving on in-house teams at Rice University, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. He is a member of AIGA Houston board, Rice Design Alliance, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design, and the Type Directors Club. Recently, he became a court-appointed Child Advocate in Harris County. BJ graduated with a BA in English from Notre Dame.