Who We Are(Bios)
Brandon Kerschbaumer is co-founder and chief executive officer of Ignite Marketing and Productions. As a farm kid born and raised on a farm 10 miles southeast of Fairview, Brandon learned about hard work early.
“Summer holidays weren’t typically a holiday at all for us,” he laughs. “Town kids would be talking about bike riding and swimming, meanwhile we’d be blending brome grass, sweeping bins out and running the seed cleaning plants, though we always got paid for our efforts so that was a nice touch”
Brandon’s parents both operated businesses, “so often dinner talk was about the next customer or project shortly after “how was school today?” he says. It was a busy childhood, one that set him up well to be an entrepreneur. “I can still hear my dad saying, ‘there’s always something to do!’” he says.
From high school in Fairview, Brandon pursued business and athletics at Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) and then the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT,) where he studied Radio and Television Arts.
His professional history includes a wide variety of fields, from seed cleaning at Golden Acre Seeds, to graveyard cleanup at Canfor, to selling at Future Shop to running his family quicklube shop in Peace River. “I’ve worked a lot of different jobs through the years, learned from some great people along the way, but at the end of the day, couldn’t see myself in those roles as a career, so I’d move on, learning and trying new things.” Radio, however — whether organizing special events or writing, recording, producing and selling ads — has always had a special place in his heart. However, he wanted to break free of the restrictions that came with being part of large organizations.
“I’m not great at just accepting mediocrity,” he says, laughing.
Now, with Ignite, Brandon says he appreciates being able to give his creativity free reign. “I love that we have no limitations,” he says. “If something new comes along that’s worth pursuing, we can be at the forefront. It’s all up to us. Marketing is always changing, especially on the digital side, so we need to work daily to stay ahead.”
He’s a self-professed data nerd and with everything they do, information reigns supreme. “I love data and analytics,” he says. “We can learn so much from our efforts in a short time, so we can constantly be evolving and improving.”
One thing he loves about Ignite’s work is that it’s never boring and suits his endlessly optimistic outlook. “We have a fresh take on the business world, and we’ve been successful in injecting our opinions and finding ways for our clients to be successful through implementing different strategies and experience that we’ve picked up along the way. “Working as a radio rep locally was one of the best experiences of my life. On the daily, I got to sit with business owners and managers from so many different categories of business, gaining a unique perspective into their marketing challenges, every day was an education. And through that experience, I was introduced to my business partner Coree-Ann and the best business mentor in the game, Dennis Chopko“
When Brandon’s not deep in data-driven research, or strategic planning, he can often be found immersed in music, writing jingles, playing guitar, piano or drums in Ignite’s in-office music studio (the ‘lab’). He’d otherwise be spending time with his wife and 3 kids or seeking an endorphin high with snowboarding or playing basketball.
Coree-Ann McGonigle is co-founder and chief operating officer of Ignite Marketing and Productions. Her upbringing was filled with change, having lived in Cochrane, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Arkansas, Black Diamond, Calgary, High River and Red Deer but now calls Grande Prairie home.
“I’m grateful for having been shuffled around so much because of my dad’s job,” she says. “I’ve had so many experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.” As the somewhat perpetual new kid in school, Coree-Ann learned to be extroverted and pick up on social cues quickly.
Living in so many wildly different locations, she learned to make friends with almost anyone. “Moving around really taught me that it doesn’t matter what you look like or what your background is,” she says. “Everyone has something to offer the world and we are all human on the inside.”
It’s something that serves her well playing her part in Ignite’s operations. “I love working with people,” she says. “I’m really good at connecting with people, understanding them and relating to them. I’m not afraid to ask and I’m honest to a fault.”
Coree-Ann graduated high school in High River, then made her move to post-secondary education, ultimately graduating with a Business Diploma from Red Deer College and then a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a Major in Marketing from the University of British Columbia-Okanagan.
It was her interest in the advertising field that led her down this career path, she says. “I love being able to be creative, to have fun when I’m working and to just let the juices flow.”
Radio was her niche before launching Ignite. In this fast-paced world she specialized in advertising sales, content creation and production. Now Coree-Ann puts this experience to work every day at Ignite, in tandem with her background in business and marketing. Her drive and passion are what make it fun for her.
“I love finding the best deal for our clients,” she says. “I love knowing the right questions to ask in order get the best deal for them. I love negotiating and finding win-win situations. I love building relationships. I could go on for a long time, there’s so much I love about what we do.”
When she’s not working out exciting new strategies with clients, Coree-Ann can often be found spending time with her family skiing or roasting hot dogs around a fire. “I love to sit by the fire with a cold beer in my hand,” she laughs. If you can’t find her there, she might be working away at her family acreage, tending to her chickens, garden and greenhouse or honey bees at home.
Nichole Henke is Social Media Coordinator of Ignite Marketing & Productions. Born and raised in Leduc, AB, Nik learned the value of family run business and dedication to work, as her parents owned Henke’s Toy, Hobby & Pet Store for most of her life. “I was 10 years old and I wanted to help so my dad gave me a cloth and said, “You can dust what you can reach. I wasn’t overly impressed that I didn’t get to work the till,” she laughs.
From there Nik went into banquet serving and waitressing in a large hotel learning team work in a whole new setting. Then moving back into retail she worked in a postal outlet / convenience store while her kids were little. “I learned the value of customer service before I was able to see over the counter at my dad’s store and that helped me to bring those virtues forward to the various jobs I experienced later in my life.”
Nik took the skills she learned in those companies and became co-owner of two different, successful gas stations for many years. “I loved working with my team and finding unique ways to bring new customers in while making the loyal customers always feel welcome.” This is where Nik started to learn the power of marketing. As the passion for creating and designing ads grew, Nik spent her free time learning the technical skills to advance her own marketing techniques. “I took as many online courses as I could when I wasn’t working my day job and being a mom the rest of the time.” This led into freelancing. Her sister Lorrie kicked her out of her comfort zone by referring her to some business colleagues and that soon turned into more than 80 clients who returned for different projects for print designs like business cards, brochures, invitations and newsletters. “I was very busy, and loved every minute. Every day I woke up excited to learn and complete something new. I still do.”
Canada Post was her job for a few years while educating for a wellness company part time. One day she saw Ignite was hiring. “I saw the job posting and there was no question in my heart I wanted that job. I had always dreamed of working in an actual marketing agency as opposed to freelancing. So I took a chance at applying and next thing I knew I was part of an amazing team with Brandon and Coree-Ann. I love it here. I am welcomed and accepted by them whole heartedly which makes for a beautiful place to work. We are truly a team. We bounce ideas off each other to create the best for our clients and strive to learn something new everyday that we can apply to our skills. They push me to think outside the box constantly. I love it.”
“This job excites me and I look forward to helping our clients grow their business too. Because when they are successful, we are successful.”
Outside of Ignite, Nik spends her time still doing wellness education, singing, reading self improvement books, learning tech and loving up her kids and family.
Ignite Marketing and Productions came to be in February 2016.
Its inception arose for one simple reason: to provide creative, effective, memorable and measurable marketing solutions and strategies, to connect and educate customers with our clients. Our business is building your business.
Having worked years in radio advertising for large organizations, Brandon Kerschbaumer and Coree-Ann McGonigle were ready to do things differently. It was time to launch a marketing company that would be: fast-moving, fun-focused, creative, innovative and data-centric, but most importantly, client focused.
”I think we’re both very fortunate to have been introduced to
Dennis Chopko of Killing Herb Inc, as his creed is a cornerstone
of our business.
“If we focus on the success of others, our success will naturally follow” Brandon laughs. “Dennis knows his shit”
It’s been just that since Day One and the founders wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love that we have no limitations,” says Brandon. “”My dad always said there’s nothing like working for yourself. Until Feb of 2016, I’d never known that feeling. The pride I feel in our company, what we’ve accomplished so far, and the team we have, I think we are on our way to helping a lot of businesses become leaders in their markets.”
This brainchild, worked out over months of planning meetings, is proving its mettle . Ignite moved into new offices in June 2016 and then a new, larger office suite in March 2017 which includes its own recording studio for radio ads and jingles.
“It’s been an amazing experience so far,” says Coree-Ann. “I love the ‘a-ha moments’ when we’re in a client meeting and they’ve been through the marketing conversation 15 times already with other people and we’re the ones to unlock the solution for them.”
Brandon agrees. “Those meetings are truly the best. A wise man once said not so long ago, it’s not about problem solving it’s about problem finding. Too often we are trying to find answers when we should be searching for the right questions.”
There’s no doubt it works for their clients.
“If you’re looking for an innovative and imaginative marketing company I highly recommend Ignite,” says Brenda Montgomery, owner of Kakwa Stone and Landscaping Products. “It is refreshing to work with a company that actually listens to your needs and goes above and beyond to deliver quality work. For the very first time we are seeing results.”
Customer feedback is key to Ignite’s work. “We’re literally here to serve,” says Brandon. “We want our clients to know that we’ll work hard, and at the end of the day, we just want to see measurable gains for the client that outweigh the cost of our time.”
They strive to make the process as painless as possible, too. “I think some clients like working with us because we have exciting and energetic meetings… but at the end of the day, we hold them accountable to the plan at hand’ laughs Coree-Ann.
Fun is important at Ignite, which is crucial in the demanding, high-speed world of marketing.
“This is a constantly changing landscape — we move and learn constantly, trying to keep ahead of the curve,” says Brandon. “Winning can be a real adrenaline rush and we love seeing our clients making progress and gains.”
For the Ignite team, there are no boundaries or barriers when it comes to what they can do. And that is exactly how they like it.