Leadership

leadr1
Kelly Burnette - Co-Founder & Managing Partner

Kelly has been on the creative and strategic side of marketing since 1993 and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations. After having lived on both the east coast and west, Kelly settled in Wilmington, NC, where she continued her agency work with many industries from financial to real estate. After nearly a decade of experience in providing superior results for clients, she co-founded Maximum, a full-service, destination and lifestyle marketing firm that still operates today helping clients manage multi-million dollar marketing budgets creatively, effectively and efficiently. She was major force behind the firm’s growth and development. Upon experiencing the rise and relevance for social/digital marketing, she co-found and is a senior partner in CrushIQ. Her motivation and main focus is on bringing clients effective and unique digital strategies that build brand awareness, expand their active social communities and deliver true return to the bottom line.

Kelly has nearly two decades of experience in providing superior results for clients. Our clients’ success is her motivation! Getting them to say “Wow!” is what she does each day.

leadr2
Amy Tharrington - Co-Founder & Partner

Over her 20+-year career in advertising, Amy has developed industry-leading campaigns that have launched powerful brands and built sales momentum for a diverse list of clients. Amy is co-founder in CrushIQ. Her focus is in the firm’s strategy development for clients, campaign management and client support. She has been a featured speaker at several national conferences, including the numerous NAHB Senior Housing Symposiums and the Master Sales Institute’s Amenity Community Marketing Summit, and has had a series of articles published to share her views on best marketing practices.

Amy has been working in communications and design for over twenty years. She has always been fascinated with finding out what works in marketing, and why. Now with social media and emerging technology changing at the speed of light, Amy has a whole new love—staying on the leading edge for our clients.

leadr3
Katie McCormick - Vice President of Digital

Katie, or iKatie, as her friends and family call her, leads the digital strategy and tactics for CrushIQ. She also leads the firm’s new business development. Katie brings significant experience in all areas of digital including organic search/ SEO, paid digital media (display and digital integrations), paid search, web design/ creative, social media, mobile and analytics. Prior to joining the Crush team, Katie led digital marketing for well-known brands such as New York & Company, Macy’s and Revlon.

Katie strives daily for the digital “holy grail” where we deliver the best in creative, media and technology to drive results for our clients.

leadr4
Paula Knorr - Creative Director & Partner

Paula oversees the continuity and integrity of our clients’ brands while maintaining a constant state of innovation. She loves creating things that 1) stop consumers in their tracks and 2) get our clients major results. Paula holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Communication Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. Interestingly, she also holds a Masters Degree in Metal Design. Her work both in traditional graphic design and in fine arts has been featured in popular television series such as “One Tree Hill” and in national campaigns for top brands like Coca-Cola’s NOS Energy Sports Drink and major real estate projects like St. James Plantation.

Paula finds inspiration in all things visual—from the curious to the magnificent—and always designs with that in mind. As she is known to say, ‘After all, both the Snuggie and the Sistine Chapel ceiling were created by the miraculous creature known as man.’