About

About Us

The people you’re about to meet are awesome. They’re the kind of people you want working on your team.

We Are Walk West

Walk West was created in 2007 as O3 Creative. We started out as a few people building websites and have grown into a full-service, digital-first agency with more than 20 team members. But that’s just history and to know about us, it’s more important to know who we are. Take a read through what we believe and see how we like to work. If you share similar beliefs, we’d love to partner with you.

Manifesto
01

Be a good human.

We believe before anything, we are humans first. For us, that means following the Golden Rule, standing up for what we believe in, and taking care of each other and the world around us.

02

We know nothing.

A fun Latin phrase we like is tabula rasa, or “blank slate.” That’s how we approach every project. We don’t work from assumptions. Instead, we dive in and learn a business from the inside out and only make recommendations when we’ve done the right research.

03

Walk in someone else's shoes.

Empathy is a misunderstood practice. Understanding the audience’s perspective is how we create great websites, engaging marketing campaigns and lasting relationships with our clients.

04

Listen before you speak.

Listening these days often takes the form of one person waiting for the other to stop talking. We do our best work by listening. Our clients are the experts on their business, so we take to heart everything they say, and everything their customers say. We place a high value on two-way communication and we ask a lot of questions.

05

Be a good partner.

We view our clients as partners and hope the feeling is mutual. We never want to be a vendor.

06

Jargon sucks.

It’s no fun to read or listen to. Occasionally, the acronyms and programming speak creep into our conversations, but we try our best to always write and talk like real people.

07

Have fun.

Work isn’t fun. Doing what you love for a living is. We are firmly in the latter category.

08

Never stop learning.

There are so many cool people in the world who have something interesting to say. We read, watch, or listen to as many as possible. It helps us stay ahead of a constantly changing world.

09

Don't waste time.

We value your time, so we don’t waste it with superfluous meetings, pointless PowerPoints, wordy emails, or run-on sentences.

10

Always use the Oxford Comma.

Or not. We argue about this on a near hourly, daily and weekly basis.

Come Take a Walk With Us

We’re forging a new path where innovation, enthusiasm and experience merge. A new way of doing business. We set out to create a new model for a marketing agency. One built to leverage the power of digital to connect with the audience and sway their opinion, whether it’s a purchase or a vote.

of digital to connect with the audience and sway their opinion, whether it’s a purchase or a vote.

Our Approach
Brian Onorio
Fueled by coffee and Red Bull. Sometimes at the same time.
Brian Onorio
Partner / CEO

Brian Onorio

Partner / CEO
  1. In 2007 at the age of 24, Brian started O3 Creative, the agency known today as Walk West.
  2. Brian graduated from NC State with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in economics, earning recognition as a John T. Caldwell Fellow.
  3. “Being a Wolfpack Fan” is on a resume under “Work Experience” because it has been real work.
  4. When not at the office, he can be found in the kitchen following the family legacy in the hospitality industry.
  5. His two kids, Ethan and Oliver, will soon be Walk West interns.
Brian Onorio
Chris Austin
"It looks like a mirac…it’s in the hole! It’s in the hole. It’s in the hole."
Chris Austin
Partner / VP, Marketing

Chris Austin

Partner / VP, Marketing
  1. More than 20 years of experience with agencies like R&R Partners and Kaiser Marketing in Los Angeles, and MMGY Global and Bernstein-Rein in Kansas City.
  2. Avid golfer, lifter, reader and inspired traveler.
  3. Has served as a marketing director, account director, copywriter, creative director and strategy lead so he understands all sides of a problem.
  4. Big fan of Chiefs football, Jayhawk basketball, KC barbecue, Left Bank Bordeaux and craft beer.
  5. Learns something valuable every day from Finnley (5) and Anderson (almost 2).
Chris Austin
Laurie Onorio
It's the bottom of the eighth, team. It's time to score a touchdown.
Laurie Onorio
Partner / VP, Gov't Affairs

Laurie Onorio

Partner / VP, Gov't Affairs
  1. Turned a BA in English from NC State into a career in politics and issue advocacy.
  2. Was in a college a cappella group long before Pitch Perfect hit the scene.
  3. As Vice President of a political consulting firm, led federal issue grassroots and grasstops campaigns in over 20 states.
  4. First job was as a writer for a political consultant where she was responsible for writing and sending the political mailers everyone looks forward to during election years.
  5. Has recently developed a passion for strange Presidential portraits and quirky internet passwords.
Laurie Onorio
Donald Thompson
Can't do epic work with basic people. Recruit game changers and they will create profitable growth.
Donald Thompson
Partner / Growth Strategist

Donald Thompson

Partner / Growth Strategist
  1. Donald is an author, speaker, advisor and mentor to entrepreneurs and business leaders.
  2. Named CEO of I-Cubed at the age of 36, he grew the company from 16 to 130 employees with annual revenue growth of 30% year over year from 2008 - 2014. I-Cubed was acquired by KPIT.
  3. He is currently the CEO for Creative Allies and investor with portfolio firms including Gyppers, RageOn, Dropsource, iCiDigital and Walk West.
  4. Donald owns two football franchises - the High Country Grizzlies in Boone, NC and Navi Mumbai Sabers in India.
  5. Is a featured contributor to Entrepreneur.com.
Donald Thompson
Kelsey Byerly
Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.
Kelsey Byerly
Gov't Affairs Associate

Kelsey Byerly

Gov't Affairs Associate
  1. Senior at NC State University majoring in political science, with a concentration in public policy.
  2. Is part of the Walk West public affairs team helping with policy research, monitoring bill progress, digital grassroots initiatives and social media outreach.
  3. Interned for Senator Richard Burr in Washington, D.C.
  4. Born and raised an NC State fan and even named her two beagles Carter and Finley.
  5. Even though she was born in the 90s, she is an expert on 80s music.
Kelsey Byerly
Meredith Colyer
I need a little bit of coffee and a whole lotta Jesus!

Meredith Colyer

Designer
  1. Is slightly obsessed with her alma mater (Meredith College) from which she graduated with a degree in graphic design (with minors in art history, photography, and Italian). Yes, her name is Meredith and she went to Meredith.
  2. Has a drive to find strategic human-centered solutions for clients (and users) by balancing technological, visual, and business requirements.
  3. Believes design should first be functional and purpose-driven.
  4. Celebrates her celtic heritage by dancing with swords and reciting Braveheart.
  5. Was learning to ride horses before she learned to walk.
Meredith Colyer
Michael Dowd
You can’t buy happiness but you can buy a Jeep and that’s almost the same thing!
Michael Dowd
Sr. Marketing Strategist

Michael Dowd

Sr. Marketing Strategist
  1. Over 25 years of experience as a creative problem solver, helping clients as diverse as professional services and healthcare succeed in their industries.
  2. He has his Bachelors Degree in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Information Management & Communications from Walsh College in Troy, MI.
  3. With a base of hobbies as diverse as the seasons, you just might find him crawling rocks in his Jeep, leaping out of a perfectly good airplane, hiking a remote backcountry trail, skiing steep couloirs out west, or collaborating on a new concoction with a host of local and international brewers.
  4. He listens diligently to understand client challenges, digs deep to find the right solutions, and helps them chart a path to success.
  5. He firmly believes children come in all shapes, sizes, and species and is a fervent French Bulldog Father of two; Leo & Norm.
Michael Dowd
Matthan Heiselt
Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain?
Matthan Heiselt
Sr. Developer

Matthan Heiselt

Sr. Developer
  1. Graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Communications.
  2. Throughout the years, hobbies and employment opportunities expanded technical skills. Strong interest in making things that function beautifully while having beautiful form.
  3. More than a dozen years of web development experience.
  4. Love playing strategy board games, woodworking projects, and oxford commas.
Matthan Heiselt
Kurt Merriweather
Ideas don’t come fully formed... they need great teams to bring them to life.
Kurt Merriweather
Director of Strategy

Kurt Merriweather

Director of Strategy
  1. Over 20 years experience leading strategy, product marketing and technology organizations on the East Coast and West Coast.
  2. Proud alum of schools with the world’s most fearsome mascots - Brutus Buckeye (THE Ohio State University) and Cardinal Tree (Stanford Graduate School of Business). Received an Electrical Engineering degree and an MBA while suffering through historic low points in both football programs.
  3. Worked for brands like Procter & Gamble, Discovery Channel and TLC, and technology companies ranging from AOL to digital media startups.
  4. For fun, likes to mentor startups, play jazz piano, workout and watch as much youth basketball and soccer as possible.
  5. Perfecting the zone defense with his wife Valerie to harness the boundless energy of Kayla, Miles, Ellis and Reese.
Kurt Merriweather
Jose Mireles
Whatever you do in life give 100%, unless you’re giving blood.
Jose Mireles
Sr. Designer

Jose Mireles

Sr. Designer
  1. Graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.
  2. His affair with graphic design started early in high school with an elective class in Mass Media where he was introduced to his long-time partner Adobe.
  3. Jose is a Photoshop guru but enjoys working on the full Adobe Creative Suite as well as a couple new up-and-comers to the web design industry.
  4. A transplant from South Florida and a Dolphins fan that hopes to one day see them play in the Super Bowl.
  5. Loves to play video games, and is routinely inspired by their UI/UX.
Jose Mireles
Casey Overcash
We must take adventures to truly know where we belong.
Casey Overcash
Sr. Marketing Strategist

Casey Overcash

Sr. Marketing Strategist
  1. Born and raised in the #dirtyD of Durham, North Carolina, Casey graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. degree in Communications: PR and Advertising and a minor in Spanish.
  2. After an education in the Blue Ridge mountains, studying abroad in Guatemala, interning on Capitol Hill and journeying out west to the Colorado Rockies, Casey returned to NC to make Raleigh her home.
  3. With an extensive background in search engine optimization, Casey’s love of digital has transformed into a dedication to educating clients of their full potential within all marketing mediums.
  4. Casey is an avid mountain hiker, camper, backpacker and a lover of anything outdoors.
  5. She spends down-time with her German Shepherd Leila and with her soon-to-be husband Dan. You can find them in the woods camping or downtown checking out the newest restaurants.
Casey Overcash
Christina Pace
Be a diamond. No one likes coal.
Christina Pace
Operations Manager

Christina Pace

Operations Manager
  1. Received a degree in graphic design, but found her way around to the project management side of an agency when she moved to Raleigh from Naples, FL.
  2. Her ability to organize, strong attention to detail and knack for keeping calm during occasional chaos makes her an agency ninja.
  3. Her main priority is, and always will be, client satisfaction.
  4. Christina is a DIY guru. When not working she can be found challenging herself with a new project.
  5. Born in Maryland, she’s a loyal O’s fan and one of her favorite places to be is Camden Yards.
Christina Pace
Laura Puryear
Timeless. Like the music of LFO.
Laura Puryear
Associate Director of Gov't Affairs

Laura Puryear

Associate Director of Gov't Affairs
  1. Graduated from NC State with a degree in political science.
  2. Is part of the Walk West public affairs team helping with policy research, monitoring bill progress, leading grasstops/ grassroots initiatives and social media outreach.
  3. Served as policy advisor to NC House leadership with focus on finance, IT, and economic development, worked on numerous state campaigns from the local all the way up to the federal level.
  4. Born and raised in Raleigh, and loved the city so much she couldn’t leave.
  5. Deep love for politics, bourbon and camping. (separate or at the same time) Can also beat you in a hot sauce eating competition.
Laura Puryear
Bill Sargent
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Bill Sargent
Sr. Developer

Bill Sargent

Sr. Developer
  1. Bill graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Software Engineering and a Business Minor.
  2. He is a multitalented developer with specialties in user experience, animation, and information architecture.
  3. Bill is the only employee that has received a hug from the client. (not entirely true)
  4. He was born and raised in Michigan, making him hate the cold, grey winter.
  5. Bill was a Division I swimmer with SEC and NCAA championships, and placed 51st in the 100 Meter Freestyle at the US Olympic Trials.
Bill Sargent
Ryan Scotton
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if chucking were even a thing?
Ryan Scotton
Sr. Developer

Ryan Scotton

Sr. Developer
  1. Ryan graduated from Brian's favorite school, UNC-Chapel Hill, with a double major in Computer Science and Psychology.
  2. Before becoming a full-time web developer, Ryan worked in Autism research for seven years, primarily focusing on MRI and eye-tracking studies.
  3. He has played a key role in building relationships with high-profile clients by helping to scope out and develop robust, highly functional websites.
  4. Ryan is a North Carolina native, but somehow only started caring about barbecue and basketball in college.
  5. Can juggle and bat around devil sticks, two very important life skills that have served him well.
Ryan Scotton
Adam Sentner
A mistake is a lesson, not a failure.
Adam Sentner
Sr. Product Architect

Adam Sentner

Sr. Product Architect
  1. Self-taught developer with expertise in MVC software development, networking, and Red Hat Enterprise/CentOS Linux systems administration.
  2. For the last six years, Adam was the chief technologist and architect of a people-management turned enterprise SaaS product, and is PHP and Drupal development pro.
  3. Born in North Charleston, SC he’s history buff and frequently visited Fort Sumter, Patriot’s Point, the battery and historic areas of Downtown Charleston, as well as the surrounding plantations.
  4. He loves to watch football and is a Carolina Panthers and Clemson fan.
  5. Adam enjoys the beach, fishing and spending time with his daughter.
Adam Sentner
Janel Sheehan
Three neat bourbons please.
Janel Sheehan
Art Director

Janel Sheehan

Art Director
  1. Has worked with and cuddled a number of exotic animals, including Bengal Tigers, Emperor Scorpions, and a 50 pound Amazon Boa Constrictor named Princess.
  2. Her design work has been featured in Behance's Web Design Served, From Up North, and Krop Pluk't.
  3. Earned her black belt in a classical Korean martial art and has been a devoted yogi for over six years.
  4. Loves cheesy sci-fi, owns every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD.
  5. Began her career in biology working at a natural history museum, where she learned exhibit and graphic design.
Janel Sheehan
Phillip Thompson
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
Phillip Thompson
Sr. Marketing Strategist

Phillip Thompson

Sr. Marketing Strategist
  1. Recent transplant to NC via Alabama (#RollTide), BKK, JFK, and IAD with a combined 10 years experience in marketing, nonprofit, education, and management.
  2. Enamored with marketing tech, digital trends, business, and content writing.
  3. Holds a BA Psychology, MA Anthropology with emphases in biocultural medical anthropology, and Thai language and culture.
  4. Loves outdoor sports, especially kayaking, cycling, tennis, and hiking.
  5. Proud husband and father, and thick as thieves with all family.
Phillip Thompson
Melissa Vega
If the love doesn’t feel like 90’s R&B I don’t want it.
Melissa Vega
Marketing Specialist

Melissa Vega

Marketing Specialist
  1. Melissa graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. degree in Public Relations and minor in Sociology.
  2. Is the first Walk West intern turned full-time marketing specialist, offering support with digital strategy, content writing and all things digital marketing.
  3. Has an appreciation for perfectly crafted playlists, travel and most importantly, Bhakti chai.
  4. Stereotypical millennial, avid Netflix-er, self-proclaimed foodie and wannabe backup dancer for Beyoncé.
  5. Her spirit animal is Anthony Bourdain.
Melissa Vega
Kristina Walker
Imma let you finish, but...
Kristina Walker
Project Coordinator

Kristina Walker

Project Coordinator
  1. Graduated from UNC Chapel Hill from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Advertising and Strategic Communication.
  2. Hubspot Inbound certified
  3. Is a firm believer in the saying, “Nothing is more contagious than enthusiasm.”
  4. Cheap wine connoisseur. Proudly knows her Sutter Home from her Yellowtail.
  5. Name any Real Housewives series, and it’s on Kristina’s DVR.
Kristina Walker
Sophie Waller
Don’t say maybe if you mean no.
Sophie Waller
Project Coordinator

Sophie Waller

Project Coordinator
  1. Received her M.A in iMedia from Elon University and her B.A from Newcastle University in Media, Communications & Culture.
  2. Has a background in marketing and social media for the events, fashion and the wedding industry.
  3. A favorite campaign she worked on was the 2012 London Olympics.
  4. Born and raised in Britain.
  5. Watches an episode of 'Family Guy' & ‘Friends' at least once a day.
Sophie Waller

Step 1 of 2

50%