Welcome to
Deep Retail Engagement.

David Patrick,
Chief Strategy Officer

Dave has a long history of moving small circular objects around. A former golf pro and currently an avid hockey player, Dave flipped burgers for McDonald's in five different restaurant locations during his early youth. Later in life Dave would once again serve McDonald's, but in a much different capacity — as the account lead on the Happy Birthday Big Mac campaign that debuted during the 1990 Superbowl, McDonald's most successful promotion in its history at the time.

Other brands Dave has worked with include Ace Hardware, Applebee's, Beauty Brands, Bridgestone Firestone, Burger King, Citgo, Kellogg, KemperSports, Kraft, Kroger Supermarkets, LG, Miller Lite, Oldsmobile, PGA, Payless ShoeSource, Procter and Gamble, Service Merchandise, Sprint and Toys R Us. Dave is a member of the Global Retail Marketing Association and serves on the advisory boards of the University of Missouri Kansas City Alumni Association and BizHive. And if you ever need someone to move a golfball, hockey puck or Big Mac, Dave's your man.

Ethan Whitehill,
Chief Executive Officer

Ethan's background sounds like the secret identity of a superhero. The son of a Zen meditation master and a fire-baton twirling majorette, Ethan studied kyudo (Japanese archery) as a kid and now practices German longsword fighting. He founded Two West in 1997, ahead of the digital curve, and has worked with several Fortune 1000 and Forbes 500 clients, including H&R Block, Hallmark, Holiday Inn, Honda, LG, MillerCoors and Sprint.

Honors over the years range from #5 in the Promo 100, Retailer Specialist category, to Design of the Times (gold), Telly awards and the DSA Crown Awards. Under his superhuman leadership Two West rose to Inc. magazine's top 100 inner-city company list, and the agency has been listed among Kansas City's 100 fastest growing companies for six consecutive years. When he's not developing deep engagement strategies or serving on the board of directors for DeLaSalle Education Center and Kansas City Public Television, you can find Ethan crouching on Two West's rooftop in a cape and a mask, scanning the skyline for clients in need of a hero.

Lou Thurmon,
Chief People Officer

If not for a fork in the road, you might have elected Lou to congress. Despite early aspirations for a career in politics, her path ultimately led her to make a difference in another way, as a development officer for national and international nonprofits.

Lou's background includes training in anthropology, sociology, and qualitative research methodologies. In other words, she has profound insight into what motivates people, what makes them tick, and what makes them want to buy, give and advocate. She is a skilled trendspotter and an expert on retail point-of-sale and point-of-wait strategies. She's worked with such brands such as the American Heart Association, MillerCoors, H&R Block, Belkin, and many more. In a way, it's a shame Lou didn't go into politics. As a Certified Change Management Practitioner, she has expertise that is badly needed in Washington. But at Two West, we feel very fortunate she chose the path that led to us instead.

Steve Spencer,
Chief Creative Officer

Originally a marine biology major in college, Steve traded his love of cephalopods and jellyfish for his other true passion – writing.  Ask the clients he's worked with since and they'll tell you it was a great decision.

Steve's work has been featured in the CLIO, Archive, National ADDYS, Radio Mercury Finalist, New York Festivals, London International Awards, Telly, Print, Adweek's Best Spots, Mobius and the Super Bowl.  His diverse account experience is also an impressive mix having led and created work for American Airlines, Bank of America, Blue Bunny Ice Cream, Casey's General Stores, Citgo, Coleman, GTE, JC Penney, LG, Long John Silvers, Make a Wish Foundation, Marmot, Missouri Lottery, Paramount Theme Parks, Payless ShoeSource, Quaker State, Rawlings, Sonic, Sporting Kansas City, Sprint, Subaru, Weight Watchers, Yoplait and more.

When he's not cranking at the office, you'll find Steve playing drums in two local bands, hanging with his family, or dropping a hook in his favorite fishing hole.

Tom Tholen,
Chief Customer Engagement Officer

Tom almost wore a Cardinal's hat. No, not the headwear of the guys who elect the pope (although that is a great hat). In a former life, Tom passed up an opportunity to play baseball as a St. Louis Cardinal, opting instead to become a retail marketing expert.

Tom has worn many other hats in his career — web developer, writer, manager — working on national brands in banking, cars, pet food, people food, and many more industries. And Tom delivers results. At GE Capital, he led a retail marketing project that delivered over $1 billion ROI in its first year. He's achieved impressive results for lots of other top brands including Hallmark, CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Toyota, Red Bull, Sprint, Pizza Hut, Hill's Pet Nutrition, LG Electronics, Houlihan's, Panera Bread, and more. Tom may have turned down a pro baseball career, but he continues to knock it out of the park. No matter what hat he's wearing.

Mark Lopez,
Chief Innovation Officer

Mark has always been ahead of the technological curve. For example, he created one of the first ecommerce stores back in 1992. In case you don't recall that far back or perhaps hadn't been born yet, 1992 was the year pictures first appeared on the Internet.

At Two West, Mark leads his digital team in creating websites and mobile apps for Sprint, LG, The Roasterie and other clients. As a director for H&R Block, Mark supported 16 business units and managed about four thousand web pages. At Lee Jeans, he turned an underperforming website into an award-winning and highly profitable sales channel. Lee's revenue increased by more than 750 percent in just two years, and attitudes toward selling jeans online underwent a dramatic reversal at the company. For Mark, no job is too big, no goal is too high, and no high-tech business idea is too far out.

Alicia Poole,
V.P. of Account Management

Alicia has always been passionate about helping others optimize their health and happiness. A certified holistic health coach, she is an alumnus of the largest nutrition school in the world, New York's Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Alicia may try to tell you the secret to contentment is all about balance, but her professional experience seems to be weighted heavily toward lively, energetic fun. In addition to her current work on Sprint and LG, the list of brands Alicia has worked with reads like a steady diet of high-flying entertainment: 5-hour Energy, AMC Theatres, Harrah's, Six Flags St. Louis and Red Bull. In fact, she built 5-hour Energy's Field Marketing Team from the ground up, which included consumer sampling, experiential and collegiate marketing.

Angela Potts,
Managing Director — Brand Localization

You wouldn't know this to look at her: Angela is quite fond of food. Very fond of it. Really. Maybe it's from 10 years working in restaurants early in life. When she wasn't busy cooking or eating, Angela found time to gain expertise in marketing.

Angela has lent her talents to several brands including H&R Block, Sprint, Embarq, Bank of Oklahoma Financial, The Roasterie, and others. She has in-depth experience in retail banking and tax services, especially for U.S. Latino consumer segments. At Applebee's headquarters, she successfully led a small but scrappy team in an intense, against-the-odds drive to help the company's restaurants meet an aggressive year-end sales goal — with only four months to achieve it. She's always on the lookout for ways to improve efficiencies, as reflected in her favorite quote, from Thomas Edison: "There is a better way to do it. Find it." Her colleagues often hear her utter this, between bites.

Gene Willis,
Account Director

From California's Comic-Con to Utah's Sundance film festival, Gene is about midway through his goal of attending cultural events in all 50 states. Let us know if you can arrange for him to sing the Jackson Five's "ABC" in the Motown studio where it was originally recorded, so he can check Michigan off his list.

No, wait — he's already done that. And a lot of other things. Gene led marketing and partnerships for film programming for the launch of AMC Theatres' independent/specialty film brand, AMC independent. Other brands he's worked with include Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy Awards/Oscars), Applebee's International, SeaWorld, Tribeca Film Festival, Weight Watchers, various hotels, entertainment magazines, NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL franchises, several syndicated newspaper columns and comics, and dozens of films. He's also a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Citizens Academy Alumni.

Chris Brulatour,
Research and Planning Director

Former NY Port Authority forklift operator Chris is no stranger to heavy lifting. He's partly responsible for millions of Americans learning to lift a Corona bottle. While working at the brand's first U.S. agency, Dawson, Johns & Black in Chicago, he helped introduce the Mexican beer to an appreciative American audience.

Other brands Chris has worked with include Blue Bunny Ice Cream, Busch Entertainment – Sea World, Car-X Mufflers, Commerce Bank, ConAgra – Country Pride Chicken, General Mills – Golden Grahams and Betty Crocker, LG Electronics, McDonald's, Mueller's Pasta, Nestle Morsels, Payless Shoes, Pearle Vision, Ruby Tuesday, Sprint, SunCom Wireless, Talman Home Federal, Tops Markets and WGN Radio. Raise a glass to Chris the next time you do a six-pack workout with Corona.

Robben Roesler,
Associate Creative Director

Robben is an award-winning art director and a continuous source of entertainment to his co-workers. The primary reason for the latter is his penchant for pulling pranks on colleagues — like the time he relocated someone's entire office, item by item, into a bathroom.

If it sounds like he puts a lot of effort into his practical jokes, you should see the effort he's put into his work with such brands as Boulevard Beer, Cerner, Chinet, ConocoPhillips, Edward Jones, Embassy Suites, H&R block, Hallmark, Hill's, Holiday Inn, Hyatt, Kellogg's, LG, Mercedes Benz, Payless Shoes, Red Bull, Sprint, The Weather Channel and more. When he's not busy earning payback from his colleagues, Robben enjoys the outdoors, playing tennis, reading The Onion, building things, and spending time with his wife and daughter.

Jody Flaherty,
Studio Director

Jody's unquenchable thirst for adventure has led to several arrests. (Kidding. She never gets caught.) A woman of many creative talents, Jody is a brilliant artist, a passable karaoke singer and an outstanding cook. Her homemade mushroom soup will set you free.

Jody has lent her considerable creative talents to brands such as Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Colgate, Hallmark, Hill's Pet Nutrition, LG, The Roasterie and Sprint. When she's not working, painting, singing or cooking, she can often be found exploring empty lots and old abandoned places with her metal detector — with or without permission.

Sharla Gabriel,
Director, Digital Screen Media

"We adore chaos because we love to produce order." Sharla's favorite quote, from M.C. Escher, fits her so well she could have said it herself. She excels at leading her team of motion graphics experts to create stunningly beautiful order from chaos, every day.

Since starting her advertising career as a front desk assistant, Sharla has worked her way up the agency ladder — rung by heard-earned rung — along the way creating order for brands including Blue Bunny Ice Cream, Build-a-Bear, Citgo, The Coffee Bean, Edward Jones, Fort Dodge Animal Health, Hallmark, Kansas Lottery, LG, Lee, Missouri Lottery, Payless, The Roasterie, Sonic, Sprint, State Farm, Susan G. Komen, Time Warner Cable and UMB.