PLS Core Team
Michele Nichols, President
Michele creates marketing programs that better serve our clients, because, as an owner and President, she understands the role marketing plays as part of the larger organization, and the pressures and realities of owning a business. Responsible for setting PLS direction and developing our capabilities in ways our clients value, she also acts as consultant to high tech leaders on defining winning B2B marketing strategies.
As president of Launch Solutions, Michele develops and defines winning PR and marketing strategies for high tech, optics, photonics and services companies looking to grow sales. She helps companies develop and leverage their IP portfolio, enter new markets, launch new products, and integrate new acquisitions. With an MBA and 15 years of experience in improving service delivery, Michele approaches challenges with practical tendencies and a "big picture" view. Her areas of expertise include organizational development, process improvement, precision manufacturing, and optics.
- PLS, Inc. President, VP of Operations
- The Sharrow Group, Acting VP of Marketing
- Bristol Management Services, Operations Manager
- Benzigers, Inc., Front Line Manager
- M.B.A. St. John Fisher College
- B.A. Business Management
- State University of NY at Fredonia
John Veckerelli, VP
A diverse mix of experience, interests, and education underpins John's Yankee ingenuity of getting things done. With a focus on your company's big picture, John digs deep to seek the essence of your products, services and the markets you serve.
In-depth B2B industry knowledge, emerging growth to Fortune 50: Manufacturing, Engineering & Professional Services, Software/Hardware, High Tech. B2B sales – direct & channel, customer engagement strategy, brand development, inbound marketing, workflow, supply chain.
- PLS, Inc. VP Project Services
- Business & Sales Training Consultant
- Training & Operational - Project Mgr /Training Designer; Corporate Systems Trainer & Implementation Specialist
- BS Meteorology; Science Education Concentration, Lyndon State College
- Continuing technical education
- HubSpot Certified
Kara Fortuna, Creative Director
Kara Fortuna helps our customers communicate their unique value to their markets with forward-thinking and innovative designs. Skilled at creating presentations, logos, websites, web-based interfaces and hard-copy collateral, her forte is incorporating each customer's individual vision.
Kara is practical and customer-focused, creative in finding ways to reuse and adapt and customize materials maximize customers' budgets and meet challenging timelines. Kara is invested in learning our customers' businesses, and can understand complex ideas and offerings and portray them visually to all kinds of decision makers.
- PLS, Inc., Creative Director, Illustrator/Sr. Graphic Designer
- B.F.A. Fine Arts, with a minor in Business Management, State University of NY at Fredonia
Beth Shope, Web Design Specialist
Beth builds websites that drive results, not just traffic. From design to user experience to search engine optimization, Beth brings clients practical advice and flawless execution. With a background in e-commerce sites for high-end B2B and B2C products, and in customer service and support.
Beth is able to build websites with a clear and compelling path to action, and support users at every step of the buying cycle. Her education in both Studio Art and Mathematics lets her approach a business problem from many angles. Specialties include videography, photography, search engine optimization, email marketing creation and ROI assessment, e-commerce, graphic design.
- PLS, Inc., Web Design Specialist
- Salzman Group Inc., Web Designer/ Department Manager/ Project Manager/ Working Art Director
- Sutherland Group, Lead Cust. Service Representative
- B.A. Mathematics, with minor in Studio Art, SUNY Geneseo
Katie Steelman, Writer/Social Media Specialist
Katie uses her journalism background to create informative, engaging content that can be applied across various marketing channels. Her social media savvy allows her to tailor a unique online experience to each customer; whether they need something retweeted, liked or shared, Katie helps develop new ways for clients to attract and interact with customers. Katie prides herself on her attention to detail and is always striving to improve her work.
- Cardinal Courier, St. John Fisher College, Editor-in-Chief
- B.A. Communication/Journalism and Spanish, minor in sociology, St. John Fisher College
Lou Horvath, VP Professional Services, Registered Patent Agent
Lou Horvath has more than 25 years of product development experience in electronics, optics and imaging, automation and software. Lou's deep product knowledge in these industries allows him to write and manage product documentation that accelerates project completion.
His extensive knowlege adds to product value and builds intellectual property assets, as Lou is a Registered Patent Agent. His engineering expertise bridges the gap between corporate R&D clients and legal staffs to facilitate patent application and prosecution.
- PLS, Inc. Registered Patent Agent, VP Professional Services, Creative Director
- Omnicad, Inc., Sr. Communications Specialist
- Harris Corporation, Tech. Writer
- Allen-Bradley Company, Tech. Writer
- M.A. Mathematics, SUNY Brockport
- B.A. English, LeMoyne College
- A.A.S. Electronic Engineering, LCC
- A.S. Computer Science, MCC
Dr. John Agostinelli, Registered Patent Agent
John Agostinelli brings more than 30 years experience in commercializing technology. From Eastman Kodak to independent consulting to R&D for startup medical device companies, John's breadth of work in optics, materials, electronic displays, devices and systems helps bridge the gap between Research, Legal and Marketing. John has worked with teams in Innovation, Research Management, and Intellectual Property, and works with the PLS team to identify IP, patent it, and bring it to market.Experience:
- PLS, Inc. Registered Patent Agent
- SensiVida Medical Technologies, R&D
- JAConsulting, Principal
- Eastman Kodak Company, Research Fellow
- PhD Optics, University of Rochester
Sarah Campagna, Account Manager
After ten years developing fundraising campaigns for health care and academic non-profits, Sarah brings an enthusiastic, customer-focused approach to account management. Her skills in analytics offer customers a truly quantitative program evaluation. With a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications, Sarah is focused on ensuring brand-consistent messages across all marketing channels, blending the strength of traditional media with the effectiveness of new media and inbound marketing techniques.
- St. John Fisher College, Director of Annual Giving
- Northeast Annual Giving Conference, Sponsorship Chair
- University of Rochester, Associate Director of Annual Giving
- Museum of Glass, Development Assistant
- M.S. Integrated Marketing Communications, Eastern Michigan University
- B.A. Political Science, with minors in History and English, Marquette University
Marcy McCall, Office Manager
Marcy provides bookkeeping and clerical support to the PLS team. With more than 25 years of administrative experience, she is a pro at keeping accounts organized and on task. Marcy engages clients through personable customer service, ensuring that records remain accurate and up to date and positively contributing to the company’s financial health.
- ASE Optics, Office Manager/Bookkeeper
- Scottsville Farmers Market, Manager
- McClure Productions, Bookkeeper
- Heron View Farm, CSA; Farmer
- Eric Mower & Associates (EMA), Traffic Manager
- Mercury Print Productions, Customer Service
- SUNY Geneseo, Graphic Designer
- Haarstick Sailmakers, Head Seamstress
- B.A. Studio Art, SUNY Geneseo
Damon Diehl, Technical Writer
- DIEHL Research Grant Services, Owner
- Monroe Community College, Program Coordinator for Optical Systems Technology
- ASE Optics, Inc., Chief Scientis
- Ph.D. Optical Engineering, University of Rochester, Institute of Optics
- B.A. Physics (Mathematics), University of Chicago
Aimee Schenck, Inbound Marketing Specialist
A strong writer with broad training across a variety of marketing applications, Aimee loves the challenge of writing about new technologies and sharing her social and visual media skills with Launch Team clients. Aimee has used her marketing and promotion skills to help grow an entrepreneurial business near her hometown of Jasper, NY. She has also worked in account management, maximizing clients’ advertising spend and helping them target key audiences. Aimee’s favorite part of her job with Launch Team is managing the many moving pieces of clients’ ongoing marketing plans and applying her writing skills across their programs. The challenges brought by each client intrigue Aimee and push her to find the best solutions to the toughest marketing questions.
- PLS, Inbound Marketing Specialist
- DAC, Directional Media Consultant
- Elegance Bridal and Formals, Marketing Manager
- B.A. Communication/Journalism, minors in Human Resources and Pre-Law, St. John Fisher College