Sam Skaggs is our strategically oriented leader from St. Louis, Missouri. Being a Naval ROTC Executive Officer who drinks his coffee black, it is easy to assume that Midshipman Skaggs is all work and no play. But when the uniform is off, that is far from the case.
While Sam maintains a strong work ethic, he also seeks adventure into the great unknown. Over the summer, Sam graduated from the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School and enjoys rock climbing, swimming, hiking and biking in his free time.
Aside from his involvement in MOJO Ad, Sam has previously worked as a communications intern for the Catholic Student Association. During his time at Mizzou, he has volunteered with Our Lady’s Inn, Habitat for Humanity and the Mid-Missouri Food Bank, embodying the mentality, “others over self”–– a true team leader.
Though Abby Walden claims the Deep South as home, being born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and later moving to a small town in Arkansas, she has quite remarkably never boasted a Southern accent.
Abby has been drawing and painting ever since she could walk and talk. She considers herself to be a creative soul, and in addition to MOJO Ad, works as a graphic designer for Mizzou’s Strategic Communication department.
On top of creating visual masterpieces, Abby crafts culinary masterpieces. Art director by day, cuisine queen by night, some of her personal favorite dishes include Filipino chicken adobo, coconut cake and banana cream pie with homemade pudding and whipped cream.
A St. Joseph, Missouri, native, Sara Marquardt is all about design and, of course, saving the bees. Though this graphic designer does not plan on closing the Adobe Illustrator tab anytime soon, she hopes to become a full-time beekeeper upon her retirement.
While Sara still has yet to put on the bee suit, she has spent the last four years participating in the undergraduate visual arts showcase at Mizzou and volunteering with the Special Olympics Bowling League in Columbia. Outside of MOJO Ad, Sara works as a graphic design TA for the Columbia Missourian.
Virginia Trickey is, in fact, from the city of Chicago—not the suburbs. While Virginia does not sport any Portillo’s cheese fries tattoos, she has plenty of stories to back up her true Chicago-ness. After all, you can’t really claim to be from the city if a wild White Sox fan didn’t steal your favorite broom off of your front porch. (She is still salty about this).
In addition to her love for Chicago, Virginia has a heart for people (excluding the dude who stole her beloved broom) and sustainability. Her creativity, empathy and passion shine through in her work as a well-being peer educator and Deaton Scholar at Mizzou.
After graduation, Virginia plans to pursue her side hustle of designing garments, sewing samples and sourcing fabric from global textile fairs, so that she can launch her own fashion line before she turns 30. That alone arguably makes her the coolest person on MOJO Ad.
It’s official: Mikaela Ashley is no longer stuck in the suburbs. In classic 2020 fashion, Mikaela and her family went from quietly quarantining at home in Round Lake, Illinois, to packing everything up and moving to Atlanta mid-pandemic.
Mikaela’s life story is undoubtedly worthy of the big screen. Since her freshman year of college, she has been living out everyone’s Pitch Perfect dreams as a member of Mizzou’s all-female a cappella group, the Naturelles. Mikaela probably sang her first words, too, but we at MOJO Ad can neither confirm nor deny this claim.
In addition to her beautiful voice, Mikaela boasts an impressive resume. Besides being the savviest quantitative strategist on MOJO Ad, Mikaela serves as the Director of Strategy at Relevant Youth and works as an event planner and marketing intern at Missouri Business Alert.
Emma Weatherford is a curious soul with both an insightful and passionate voice. While she isn’t afraid to question the facts, you’ll never have to question her love for St. Louis, Missouri.
Emma’s passion goes much farther than just her hometown. On campus, she is the president of the American Advertising Federation, a tour guide and an admissions student ambassador. Over the summer, Emma worked as an account services intern at Intouch Solutions. Emma values community work and has both volunteered and interned with Ronald McDonald House Charities.
While Emma remains a busy woman, she knows when to take a break and enjoy the sweeter side of life. With a major sweet tooth, Emma views ice cream after dinner as a necessity rather than an occasional luxury.
Claire Duncan is our resident chameleon who is witty, relatable and remarkably sharp. While she claims St. Louis as her own, she has moved a total of eight times to six different states throughout her lifespan. This has given Claire the competitive edge to one day make America Run solely on #ClaireDuncan.
Other than effortlessly adapting to her surroundings, Claire has made her mark on Mizzou’s campus serving as an Events Management lead for Mizzou Athletics and also co-founding the student dance club, Fusion.
Aside from killing it on her own Instagram, she has had previous media planning experience as both a social media intern for the Roots N Blues Festival and marketing intern for KMC Events.
Riley Steinbrecher calls St. Louis, Missouri, home, but please refrain from asking her where she went to high school. She is much more interesting than that.
Last spring, Riley interned as a research executive at FleishmanHillard EU in Brussels, where she assisted with copywriting, social media and video production. Even though COVID-19’s world tour interrupted her time abroad, Riley was still able to finish her internship remotely, gaining invaluable industry experience from the comfort of her childhood bedroom.
If you couldn’t already tell, Riley is one smart cookie…literally. She serves as an ambassador for the Honors College and, on top of it all, has tested over a dozen recipes to create the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Such ambition and attention to detail make Riley a diligent digital strategist here at MOJO Ad.
Public Relations Account Manager
If you desire to travel in any car, you better choose Kaylee Hanebuth, our public relations account manager from Grayslake, Illinois. Although she loves to travel, Kaylee is a major asset to the MOJO staff in how organized and dependable she is in a team setting.
Last summer, Kaylee participated in Ketchum’s Summer Fellows Training Program and the PR Council’s Agency Ready Certificate Program, where she attended executive-led webinars on strategic planning, data analytics, social media strategy and crisis communication.
At the same time, Kaylee is involved on campus as a journalism ambassador, public relations chairwoman and American Advertising Federation member.
A small-town girl but hardly small-minded, Emma Gassman is done chasing and ready to start catching her career goals. Born into a family who follows the yogi lifestyle, Emma knows no other way than to see the big picture and put it into words.
While Emma has a broad life scope, she sees value in the details, working previously as a marketing intern and freelance writer. On campus, Emma has served as an Outreach ambassador for Mizzou Admissions. This year, she is a member of the Homecoming Steering Committee, where she is helping plan Mizzou’s 108th (but first virtual) homecoming.
Sam Verdisco hails from Tampa, Florida, the WWE capital of the world, so naturally, her creative style packs a punch. It should come as no surprise, then, that Sam’s proudest moment to date is doing physical therapy with John Cena. Sam is even prouder of the fact that she works this story into all of her conversations.
When she is not talking about John Cena or writing the next great American novel, Sam can be found walking backwards around Mizzou and giving tours to prospective students and their families.
In her free time, Sam enjoys playing the piano. At the moment, she is learning Bella’s Lullaby from the Twilight Saga in an attempt to vicariously live out her fourth-grade self’s dreams of being a member of the Cullen clan.