Nikki Johnson Founding Partner
Entrepreneur. Metaphysicist. Club Dancer.
As a lifelong writer who just happened to fall into the field of Search Engine Optimization more than 15 years ago, Nikki now serves as one of the chief brains behind Plugin Group – driven by tireless fascination with the science of marketing and the art of branding.
Nikki previously presided as Marketing Director of a Malaysian-based financial-services company called Binary.com. At this post, she commanded a multilingual sales and marketing team in driving both new and repeat visitors to an open-source trading platform, pushing an average of $2.1 million USD in revenue daily.
In a former life, as Vice President of Copywriting for TIG Global, she directed a team of six full-time writers and an expansive network of freelancers in producing copy for more than 1,000 clients – from Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and the Waldorf Astoria Collection to the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau and Golden Door Spas.
Nikki has also served as a freelance writer for a myriad of clients, including UnitedHealthcare, Ally Bank, The Palm, and others.
Her professional history began with formative roles in the journalism sector, as Communications Coordinator for the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and a reporter for four newspapers: The Hill (Washington, DC); the Centre Daily Times (State College, PA); The Times Herald (Norristown, PA); and the Daily Collegian (State College, PA).
Pablo Calvo Principal
Guitarist. Language Enthusiast. Lifelong Student.
Pablo Calvo is a driven, multilingual professional with more than 15 years of experience in managing website development, translation / transcreation, and interactive marketing services. His versatile skills have effectively served the needs of small and large companies in a variety of industries, from start-up businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.
Chief among Pablo’s strengths are his international experience and multilingual abilities, based on extensive work with clients based in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Born in Costa Rica, and thus granted exposure to global culture from the earliest stages of life, Pablo currently speaks five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian. Having lived on assignment in Milan, Italy, during 2004 for Citigroup, he holds profound respect for the nuances of language and culture that distinctively define any given locale in the world.
Pablo graduated from Middlebury College in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Latin American Studies. He’s an avid fan of mixed martials arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, and a proud father of two young boys.
Patrick Caulfield Founding Partner, Copywriting
Scribe. Movie Junkie. Benevolent Dictator.
Patrick Caulfield’s skills as a writer and editor are the product of more than 17 years of intensive experience. As head of the copy division for Plugin Group, he leads a small army of writers in producing content for clients of every shape and size.
In his role as lead freelancer for TIG Global for seven years, Patrick developed SEO content for hotels, hospitality associations, and destination marketing organizations – including Intercontinental, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, LXR, Hilton, Preferred, Hyatt, Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, San Diego North Convention & Visitors Bureau, and many more.
Previously, he worked for six years as an Avid Offline/Online Video Editor, where he designed and edited TV spots for Senatorial and Congressional candidates and the Bush-Cheney ‘00 and ‘04 presidential campaigns. His corporate work included videos and commercials for Pfizer, AT&T, Verizon, The American Red Cross, Cox Communications, Edelman Communications, Burson-Marstellar, The Association of American Railroads and Citizens for Better Medicare.
Patrick began his career at Face Off Films – writing, directing and producing Just Another Game, a short-form documentary exploring the rivalry between two nationally ranked high school lacrosse programs. In 2011, his comedy script Saint Patrick’s Day won the Grand Prize of the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition, for which he was awarded a lifetime supply of mouthwash.
K. Kyle Kaynak Founding Partner
Serial Entrepreneur. Strategist. Martial Artist.
Obsessed with creating “meaning” for businesses, Kyle has worn the shoes of Creative Strategist in various settings – from small companies to large conglomerates to international organizations like the World Bank. He has proved the ability to align and implement breakthrough branding, marketing, and corporate strategies for several businesses.
“I think brand strategy precedes all business strategies, especially the marketing strategy. It is a CEO level activity, not some marketing initiative with a little creative spicing. Strong brands can only be built on distinct ideas and strategies to become # 1 in their domain.”
Kyle has a Master’s in Information Systems Management from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA in Marketing, together with some 20 years under his belt. As a renaissance man, his key specialties – in no particular order – include Marketing Strategy, Branding Strategy, Brand Architecture and Nomenclature, Brand Portfolio Optimization, Strategic Planning, Positioning, Differentiation, and Project Management. Oh, and needless to say, he’s a WordPress enthusiast!
Yildiz Kaynak Creative Director
Graphic Designer. Illustrator. Painter.
With a colorful career that has included stints as an artist, children’s books illustrator, art director, and designer, Yildiz brings a wealth of experience to the Plugin Group team. She has won several awards from local, national, and international creative competitions and has had her work featured in numerous publications and design magazines including Applied Arts,HOW, and others.
“The US has taught the world about branding, but it is Europe where fine arts initiated. Most of our ‘brandeurs’ acquired their Bachelor’s degrees in Europe and received further training in the US. This, along with their work experience on both continents, significantly adds to the quality of our final products.”
Copywriting and Search Marketing
Torie Ketcham Senior SEO Copywriter
Writer. Traveler. Pop Culture Fanatic.
Torie’s career spans over 15 years and encompasses nearly every aspect of the website world: design and development, project management, application testing and social media. Her true passion is writing, however, and she currently dedicates her time and talent to developing quality web and print content for Plugin Group’s clients.
Torie got her start as an Account Manager for Magnet Interactive (now AKQA) in Washington, D.C. before heading to London, where she was the Design Director for The Motley Fool Ltd., the UK branch of the personal finance website Fool.com. After returning to D.C., Torie spent several years working for various nonprofit and corporate agencies. Her most recent job before joining Plugin Group was as the Web Manager and Managing Editor of NOAA’s Ocean Explorer website. She’s also provided freelance article writing for a number of magazine and website clients across the country, on topics ranging from community outreach to food to wedding planning.
Before turning her attention to the Internet, Torie flirted with a career as an art historian. She graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History, and a concentration in Italian language and culture.
John Connolly Director of SEO
Search Maestro. Consultant. Poker Enthusiast.
With more than a decade of digital marketing strategy and entrepreneurship under his belt, John is committed to delivering successful organic and paid search campaigns that drive market competitiveness, influence customer behavior, and build credibility. As SEO Manager at the Plugin Group, John optimizes client websites to achieve top keyword rankings in the major search engines.
Prior to joining the Plugin team, John was at the helm of Mobile Message Media, a small start-up in which he led a team of digital strategists, developers, and sales associates to deploy and establish an award winning e-commerce solution website. John’s background also includes business development, project management, web design and development, and social media marketing.
John graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor’s in Business/IT.