That's Smarthinking.

Lori Keenan | Principal

With more than 20 years experience, Lori has seen the advertising, marketing and public relations arena from many angles.

In the Chicago market, Lori has used her creative talents to do copywriting, media relations, sponsorship, advertising, corporate event management, art direction and new business development within an integrated marketing and public relations forum for many technical, industrial and consumer products and services.

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A four-year stint in London allowed Lori the opportunity as Director of Public Relations to open the Texas Embassy Cantina, and take the restaurant from relative obscurity to Time Out London's #1-rated American restaurant.

Upon her return to the U.S., Lori began Smarthinking PR, and parlayed her experience into branding and PR opportunities for various clients including technical, construction, medical, retail, industrial and other consumer and business-to-business accounts.

Lori lives in Evanston, Illinois and is married with three children. She drinks a lot of coffee.

Edie Surratt | Director, Charlotte Market

Edie's career spans over 18 years of experience in sales, marketing, and promotion. She began her professional life in Chicago at Shadow Traffic Radio Network, where she cultivated and maintained relationships with business accounts and radio stations.

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After moving to Charlotte, NC, Edie worked as the Retail Marketing Manager for WRFX-FM and then as a New Business Director for Premiere Radio Networks.

Edie has also worked as Corporate Support Representative for Classical 89.9 WDAV and has strong-relationships within the cultural arts community. Well-versed in event marketing, non-profit promotion, sales, and account service, Edie has a broad range of experience and capabilities including mime and tap. (Just wanted to make sure you're still paying attention...)

With an interest in local foods and sustainability, Edie is a founder and chair of the Davidson Farmer’s Market where she oversees fundraising, marketing and promotion for this very successful market.

Edie lives in Davidson, North Carolina and is married with two children.

Jill Schacter | Senior Writer/Researcher

Jill is a versatile writer, researcher, project manager, and direct marketing copywriter whose best motivator is a tight deadline. She has written everything: web content, consumer education campaigns, direct mail solicitations, newsletters, sales letters, and video and audio scripts. Her blog The Heartbreak Diary encourages the use of writing to heal from loss.

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Fifteen years in the publishing world, several as editorial director, provided Jill with plenty of experience planning and coordinating major projects on a timeline. She has worked with many best-selling self-help and business gurus over the years; she declares herself, improved.

Jill has a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and lives in Evanston, Illinois with her family.

Elja Daae | Social Media Strategist

A social media, marketing, and business development strategist, Elja has a passion for online technology and all things marketing. A native of the Netherlands, she lived and worked in Hungary before moving to the United States in 2009.

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A broad interest in marketing related projects took her from product management in telecom to business development for a professional services company and founding an ecommerce business focused on leveraging traditional arts for contemporary designs.

As our social media expert, Elja currently advises a range of businesses and non-profits focusing on the opportunities that social media and online communities have to offer these groups.

Elja is the founder of successful Dutch twitter chat #blogpraat, a community for bloggers. She is also part of the core team of one of the most popular marketing blogs in the Netherlands,, where she is responsible for Community Management (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) and Media Partnerships. Elja blogs (in Dutch) on marketing related issues, both for her own ( as well as several other blogs.

Elja lives in Evanston, IL, with her husband and two sons, and is smart and funny in multiple languages.