Our team includes sales mavens, marketing strategists, data nerds, and content experts who have succeeded in their careers and are applying their expertise to help you close more sales, faster.
+ Melina Papadopoulos, Partner, Maestro Marketing
Melina is a co-founder of Maestro Group and leads all digital marketing strategy. She takes a holistic approach to marketing, focusing on user experience, the entire customer journey, and the hand-off from leadgen to sales.
Melina brings more than ten years of experience helping companies create better products and services. She facilitates an understanding of what to build, who to sell it to, and how to sell it—through the right messaging, content, and user experience. She has led marketing for an urban planning consultancy as well as the video engine startup behind the Star Wars massive multiplayer online (MMO) video games.
Melina graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. She is also an MIT Sloan MBA alum and has a Master’s in Management Studies from The Lisbon MBA. In addition, she holds a certificate in User Design Experience.
Outside of work, Melina enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, scuba diving, and playing the cello. She also holds a degree in Integrative Nutrition and enjoys coaching others in mindfulness, meditation, and health.
+ Hilary Gustave, Senior Director, Maestro Marketing
Hilary has seen firsthand how thoughtful communication and clear next steps can change the equation. For both clients and the Maestro Group team, she strives to bring the path forward into focus and deliver the information and tools needed to charge ahead.
Hilary's winding professional path reflects her range of interests and desire to solve problems. Through her work as a consultant, Hilary developed broad expertise in areas such as consumer packaged goods (CPG) innovation, education policy implementation, nonprofit strategy facilitation, and change management. One of her favorite projects to-date involved working with the diverse personalities and contexts in every Colorado law enforcement agency to successfully deploy a new mission-critical IT system.
Hilary grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology with several Maestro Group colleagues. She graduated from James Madison University with a degree in integrated science and technology.
Hilary has lived in colorful Colorado since 2005. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Clayton Early Learning, a national leader in expanding equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and care. In her free time, she seeks out wooded hiking paths, great things to read on the printed page, and opportunities to marvel at human creativity.
+ Will Fuentes, Managing Partner, Maestro Sales
Will is a co-founder of Maestro Group. He empowers sales teams to maximize their potential. Will focuses on teaching both hard and soft sales skills and identifies opportunities to improve sales efficiencies. His unique background and perspective guide his training principles, and he is motivated to help individuals and organizations sell more, faster.
Will has worked for some of the largest retailers, honing his skills as a salesperson, sales leader, and innovator. In 2011 he founded Lemur Retail, a first-of-its-kind, in-store, associate clienteling and assisted sales app. After Lemur, Will worked with various SaaS companies, consulting on sales and marketing.
Will is a graduate of Virginia Tech and The George Washington University Law School. Not finding the fulfillment he was looking for in law, Will transitioned to retail, a career move he assumed would be temporary. In retail, he quickly found success, excitement, opportunity, and the fulfillment he was looking for.
When he is not with a client or spending time with his family, Will is reading I/O and Behavioral Psychology books to get a better understanding of what impedes sales.
+ Rachel Golden Smith, Strategist, Content & Instruction
Rachel develops and edits content to reach its specific, intended audience. She has a knack for communicating ideas effectively and identifying comprehension and learning hurdles. Whether working on web content, social media, or instructional assessments, she will ensure that your content and delivery are as impactful as possible.
Rachel has worked extensively for state and local governments as well as non-profits creating curricula, website content, publications, social marketing materials, and educational programs. Her background in environmental education has prepared her to present complex ideas to diverse audiences.
Rachel graduated from Duke University cum laude with a bachelor’s in biology. She also holds a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point in natural resources with an emphasis on environmental education and interpretation.
When not working, Rachel is usually spending time with her family. She also enjoys hiking, reading, and being on her farm in the North Carolina mountains.
+ Grace Porter, Strategist, Content
Grace is here to write what clients need when they need it. Her passion is voice—she loves discovering or restructuring a brand’s voice into something fresh, relevant, and unique. Grace uses her background in SEO-compliant content and content strategy to help businesses build their web presence and improve site traffic through quality content and long-term plans for success.
Grace has been a freelance copywriter and editor for more than five years. She also spent a year as a content creator for a Fortune 500 bank and worked a stretch managing social media for a local government branch. She graduated from the University of Alabama where she earned a degree in English.
When she's not writing for work, she's writing for fun—a never-ending series of unfinished novel manuscripts. She also likes playing board games, running with her Airedale, and watching weird Netflix shows.
+ Evan Potler, Senior Strategist, Creative
Evan is an award-winning designer who has spent more than a decade designing high-impact, visually engaging material. At Maestro Group, he puts his creative skills to the test, ensuring that each client’s unique brand story comes across in visually compelling ways across all platforms—from in-person presentations to digital experiences. Evan is equally adept at designing magazine layouts and annual reports as he is creating logos and visual identity systems. His sweet spot is designing infographics and building great-looking UI elements for websites and apps.
Evan has held several senior art and creative director positions, helping businesses and national nonprofits transform their content into quality visual experiences online. Over nearly a decade as Art Director for Builder magazine at Hanley Wood, Evan received 37 design awards, including awards for infographics, publications, marketing materials, and digital imagery.
Evan studied fine arts and graphic design at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. He lives in the D.C. area with his wife, two kids, and Leo the Giant Black Lab. You can catch Evan at every Baltimore Ravens home game or find him enjoying his favorite zombie movies and TV shows.
+ Kenn Miller, Senior Director Sales Operations & Training
Kenn has built up a skill set around sales, sales analytics, and sales operations. Previous to joining Maestro Group, Kenn managed the B2B sales/marketing technology stack and operational strategy at ID.me. He led several initiatives, including creating and managing the outbound sales development process, automating billing systems, and developing sales processes within Salesforce in order to deliver clean and accurate forecast data.
Kenn graduated with a degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago. He also completed a 12-week intensive web development course through General Assembly.
Outside of work, Kenn is an avid powerlifter and regularly competes in the USAPL and USPA powerlifting federations.
+ Carla Urliona, Senior Strategist, Content & Digital
Carla advises clients on the most effective ways to create and engage around digital content. She provides thoughtful expertise to organizations on how to find, establish, and leverage their voice and best ideas across digital platforms.
Prior to working with Maestro Group, Carla worked for the Council for a Strong America, where she pitched and was awarded a two-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to launch a groundbreaking digital video storytelling project. The project was designed to engage with marginalized communities on social media around the importance of education and testing. During her tenure at the Council, Carla also led the organization through a rebranding project which culminated in a new brand architecture and visual identity, website, and revamped social media presence. Carla has also managed the creative team at the Pew Charitable Trusts and served as Director, Content Strategy at Families USA, a national healthcare research and advocacy organization.
While originally an English major (St. John Fisher University), Carla actually got her start coding sites for small, scrappy, grassroots advocacy organizations. She quickly learned that being a one-woman shop meant having to write and design content as much as having to code it. This experience led her to actively pursue three disciplines—writing, design, and coding—which meant that she would never be bored in any job.
Carla is an avid long-distance cyclist, runner, and book collector. When she's not biking, running, or reading, you'll find her on the soccer field coaching her 8-year-old son's soccer team (go Tornadoes!). She lives in the D.C. area with her wife, son, and a rambunctious black rescue lab named Sabrina.
+ Jennifer Reddington, Strategist, Marketing
Jennifer enjoys Maestro Group’s industrious learning culture and creativity, helping clients with digital marketing and branding strategy and execution.
She has spent most of her career at JDA Software, creating content and supporting sales cycles in marketing communications and product marketing roles. Jennifer has also worked for Oracle and most recently as an independent consultant, helping technology companies with solution messaging, content development, digital marketing, and pursuit team support.
Jennifer holds a BA in economics from the University of New Mexico and an MBA with a strategic marketing focus from Texas Christian University. If she’s not working, she’s most likely watching British comedies, helping animals in need, or out enjoying nature.
+ Mariana Alcantara, Senior Manager, Projects
Mariana brings project management expertise to Maestro Group to support both client engagements and internal operations. She helps streamline everything we do to offer more transparency and clarity to our clients.
Mariana has worked for global brands such as Shell and Volvo. She is also a freelance translator in the medical, tourism, business, marketing, and oil and gas fields. She's new to the Digital Nomad scene but knows that being able to work remotely is one of the best perks of the job!
Mariana graduated in nutrition and has a master’s degree in international marketing. She is originally from Brazil and has lived in Belgium and the United Kingdom. She is now busy exploring Greece. Mariana has a great interest in languages and cultures. Her working languages are Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian, French, and Dutch. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling (a lot!), swimming, and boxing.
+ Kevin Sweet, Strategist, Product & Digital
Kevin is passionate about enhancing people’s potential through systems and technology. He has a background in sales, product management, product marketing, and marketing systems integration. His diverse experience leads to contributions in many forms at Maestro Group, including content design, systems implementation, web development, and marketing campaign strategy and execution.
With a background in environmental policy and a passion for renewable energy, Kevin’s career began in the solar industry where his role spanned from product management to business development for an online solar marketplace. After a few years in the industry seeing firsthand what a positive difference a consultancy can have on an organization, Kevin joined Maestro Group.
Kevin grew up in Doylestown, PA, and received his Bachelor of Science from Penn State University. He moved to Arlington, Virginia, in 2016.
In Arlington, Kevin can be seen playing pick-up basketball at the local park where he may be channeling the winning spirit of the Villanova Wildcats on a good day, or at least the trying-our-best spirit of the Philadelphia 76ers on a bad one. Long term, Kevin hopes to contribute to the construction of a sustainable global energy solution, but in the meantime, he is energetic about the study and refinement of processes and technologies that enable startups to thrive and expand.
+ Keeley Schell, Senior Editor
Keeley believes that the right words have the power to change the world. Her goal in writing and editing content is to ensure that clients’ ideas reach potential customers with exactly the effect intended. She specializes in communicating highly technical content to broader audiences.
Keeley taught for several years at Wheaton College (Massachusetts) before relocating to northwestern Vermont. There she was elected to the local school board, where she applies her writing and editing skills to the board’s public communications and policies.
Keeley grew up in Virginia. She attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and Duke University with a number of Maestro Group colleagues. She then earned a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. from Brown University.
Much of Keeley’s spare time is dedicated to her three young children and her spouse, Max, co-founder of a small software firm. Hobbies include running, Nordic skiing, and visiting the many awesome local breweries. She also loves reading and writing about ancient and medieval culture.
+ Kevin Sambat, Senior Consultant & Trainer
With more than 12 years of experience in sales, Kevin’s role at Maestro Group is to help organizations and their sales staff sell more efficiently and effectively. Through a combination of following a proven sales process, thorough training, practice, accountability, and work ethic, Kevin believes anyone can become a more productive and successful salesperson.
Prior to joining Maestro Group, Kevin has worked for Fortune 500 organizations, high-growth technology companies, not-for-profit associations, and professional services firms. With experience successfully selling into the executive/leadership level at SMB (small and medium-sized businesses), Fortune 500/large enterprise, non-profit, healthcare, and local/state/federal government, Kevin brings a unique perspective and best practices applicable to almost any sales organization.
Kevin graduated with a BS in psychology from James Madison University and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia. Outside of work, Kevin spends much of his time performing music (vocals and guitar) in different projects throughout the Washington, D.C., area.
+ Nickie Donas, Director, People and Culture
Nickie focuses on maintaining a strong culture within Maestro Group. Her goal is to ensure that the team is motivated and fulfilled.
Over the course of her 15-year career as a registered nurse, Nickie cared for patients and their families during their moments of crisis. Her years at a Level I trauma center taught her the critical group and morale-building skills that are essential for a cohesive team. She uses those skills at Maestro Group to facilitate a productive and smoothly running company environment.
Nickie earned her nursing degree from Marymount University. A native Virginian, she currently resides in a suburb outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.
When she isn't thinking up new ways to enhance the Maestro team’s work experience, Nickie can be found spending time with her family exploring all that D.C. has to offer. An avid beach lover, her hobbies include swimming, cooking, and reading.
+ Michael Valade, Operations
Mike fills a lot of roles at Maestro Group, but his most important is company choreographer. We have to stay in shape somehow, so Mike provides intense routines and instruction. Tap, hip-hop, flamenco—you name it and Mike can teach it.
His past roles have included working for the US Witness Protection Program K9 Unit where he helped dogs acclimate to the new surrounding and trained them to respond to their new names. Before that he travelled with the Antiques Road Show where he often was able to exhibit his vast knowledge of rococo-style lamp finials.
Mike graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s in puppet arts. After several years working for the children’s show Greg the Bunny, Mike left to pursue his master’s degree from the International School of Dramatic Corporeal Mime in Paris.
When Mike isn’t dancing, he enjoys professional kite flying as well as entering falconry competitions with his pet kestrel, Todd. He stays extremely busy, so busy, in fact, that he doesn’t have time to work on his own bio.
+ Chinmayee Balabhadrapatruni, Specialist, Research & Content
Chinmayee uses her interdisciplinary background to conduct research for the Maestro Group team. She is also tasked with transforming technical information into comprehensible and exciting content.
Chinmayee worked as a trade and industry analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce prior to joining Maestro Group. She graduated from George Mason University with degrees in both neuroscience and global affairs.
When she is not working, Chinmayee is usually reading mystery novels, volunteering in her community, or teaching herself a new skill. Most recently she has picked up Python, R, and conversational Korean.