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Our Team

Passionate, Creative, Personal, and Proven

We take a lot of pride in the team we’ve assembled to create and curate meaningful, bespoke experiences for every one of our clients.

Our team is intentionally small, nimble in its approach to each client’s specific goals, and brings decades of experience in their areas of expertise.

Experienced and Connected

Establishing personal relationships with their clients is what drives founders Ann Oleson and Jay Kelly, and is a hallmark of the experience they strive to deliver.

Together, Jay and Ann launched a four-time Inc. 5000 fastest growing company that was ahead of its time in education, which they successfully exited to private equity.

With extensive experience in sales, marketing, technology, raising funds, developing revenue channels, and positioning businesses for success and exit, our leadership embraces a “New and Next” approach to everything they do.

For you, this means utilizing advanced technology, cutting-edge insights, and forward-thinking solutions in building the strongest impact marketing strategies with tremendous ROI.

Our Leadership

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Ann Oleson, Founder & Partner

Ann is an entrepreneur at heart and has never met an idea she couldn’t bring to life through strategy and vision, talent and team, structure and scale. Ann’s proven record of success spans a wide range of industries, and she founded and led one of the fastest-growing digital agencies before moving into impact marketing.

Education: BS in Marketing (Suma Cum Laude with Honors), Iowa State University; MBA coursework, the University of Iowa; Certificate, Women on Corporate Boards Readiness Program, Santa Clara University.

Philanthropic Passions: 

  • Educational Equity
  • Food Security
  • Women in Leadership
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Jay Kelly, Founder & Partner

Jay is a visionary thinker who brings creativity an uncommon depth and breadth of experience in clarifying brands and connecting them with their intended audiences in the most innovative and powerful ways. Jay’s experience ranges from Young & Rubicam and TBWA\Chiat\Day to The New York Times and Subaru of America.

Education: BA in Communications, Rowan University. Certificate in Executive Leadership, Cornell University

Philanthropic Passions: 

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Food Sustainability
  • Clean Energy & the Environment 
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Merrik Kressley, VP of Operations

An entrepreneur, digital savant, and organizational Swiss Army Knife, Merrik is truly the glue who finds unique ways to connect questions and challenges with solutions every day. Merrik is a Black Belt in tools and leads our operations and systems with a level of calm expertise that is second to none.

Education: BS, Business Administration, Towson University

Philanthropic Passions: 

  • Education Equality
  • Animal Rights
  • Social Support for Veterans

Our Industry Experts

We round out our team with global experts – spanning from Silicon Valley to London to France – who are leaders in their industries. They bring unmatched expertise working in VCs and family offices, have earned degrees from elite universities and academic programs, and have held the highest levels of leadership at places like USB and McKinsey. They truly bring the best in the business to our projects.

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AdaPia d’Errico

Influential executive with a transformative impact on investor relations and capital-raising strategies. A pioneer in real estate crowdfunding and Fintech, she has designed strategies and systems leading to over $400 million in capital origination. Her proficiency spans brand, marketing, communications, investor relations, business development, and partnerships. Learn more about AdaPia.

Education: BBA, The University of British Columbia

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Katie LeLarge

Katie leverages her extensive experience to guide founders and family offices through the intricacies of innovation, growth, and generational transitions, focusing on a strategy that incorporates clear processes, talent organization, and the effective use of tools. Her work is a testament to her belief in building competitive, future-ready family-owned businesses, redefining family office management with a blend of legacy and vision. Learn more about Katie.

Education: MBA, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

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Rohan Harris

A specialist human capital consultant with a focus on diverse human capital strategies within the venture capital and private equity spaces. Proven ability to create and implement internal and external human capital frameworks that that achieve organisational change and facilitate connections that result in both social and financial returns.

Education: BS, Computer Science, Middlesex University

 

Our Consultants

We’ve crafted a team of consultants who are celebrated in their specific fields and bring genuine passion to the work they do. We know, because we’ve been collaborating with them for more than 20 years. They’ve won the top awards and represent the best-of-the-best in their respective industries, and we have no doubt you’ll be thrilled with the work they do for you.

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Chris Reese, Design

A graphic designer with more than three decades of experience, Chris brings his passion for brand development to Return on Good. His range of work is considerable, from logo/identity creation to website design and strategy and social media advertising to photo/video art direction. Over the years, his work has won numerous Hermes Creative Awards, Educational Advertising Awards and MarCom Awards. Chris brings his professional demeanor, hard-work ethic and collaborative spirit to every Return on Good client and project. 

Education: BFA in Graphic Design, Iowa State University. 

Philanthropic Passions: 

  • Human Rights Equality
  • The Arts in Schools
  • Race Relations

Chad Bonaker, Video

Founder of Light and Ink, Chad is an accomplished lighting designer and video producer. For over three decades, he has helped organizations, companies and theaters tell their story. His corporate and cause video production work is extensive, and he’s known for producing high-quality, collaborative features that showcase a brand’s impact while evoking emotion. He has assisted the Stanford University Department of Theater and Performance Studies with lighting, scenery and video productions and traveled across the country to collaborate with arts organizations, including the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre; TheatreWorks Silicon Valley; San Mateo (CA) High School; and the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

Education: MFA in Theatrical Design and Production, the University of Cincinnati; and BA in English and Creative Writing, Stanford University. 

Philanthropic Passions: 

  • Quality Education for All
  • Universal Access to Affordable Healthcare
  • Access to Services for the Neurodivergent

Brian Gawor, CFRE,

Brian helps causes connect with donors in powerful ways, and help donors make better decisions. An energetic professional communicator, analyst, and thought leader taht believes we can change the world if we make data-driven and purpose-forward decisions. It’s time to think differently about how we give, invest, and engage.

Education: BA, Political Science, Knox College

Cary Jordan, Copywriting

Cary is an Iowa-based writer with more than 20 years of writing and editing experience on a wide range of industries. Jordan has held administrative and cabinet-level positions at multiple colleges and universities, and his writing has spanned topics related to undergraduate education as well as graduate education in the areas of business, law, medicine and engineering, among others. 

Education: BA, Journalism, University of Iowa

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Brian Gawor, CFRE

A self-proclaimed “giving geek” and donor enthusiast, Brian provides data-driven and action-oriented insights for donors and fundraisers that help amplify the joy of giving. Over his 25-year career, Brian has served in key leadership roles in fundraising, higher education and research. He has helped donors direct over $20M in giving and provided strategy that led to over $1B in donations. For the past decade, Brian has led research for a major donor engagement corporation. He previously served as director of development in major gifts for the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University and co-led the $3M annual giving effort at Knox College. 

Education: PhD candidate, Illinois State University, with a research focus on changing donor interests during the global pandemic; MS in College Student Personnel, Western Illinois University; BA in Political Science, Knox College. 

Philanthropic Passions: 

  • Universal Access to Quality Education
  • Social Justice
  • LGBTQIA+ Rights