Meet The Team
CECELIA SHABAZZCreative Director
What I’m good at: Concepting & Creative Strategies, Idea Generation, Brand Building, Team Motivation
What I really do: I’m the agency magician, pulling brand-driven rabbits out of my hat daily.
Brands I’ve helped: As the creative director, I help with all brands that come through TFG but here are a few: American Shrimp Processors Association, Mississippi Power, Port of Gulfport, Peoples Bank, Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association, Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, City of Pascagoula, Harrison County Utility Authority, South Mississippi Electric Power Association.
How I give back: When I’m not here at the office, you can find me at one of these fine places: Leadership Gulf Coast Board Member (2015-current), Mental Health Association Board Member/ Past VP (2012-current), Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Tourism Board, Commissioner (2012-2016), Mississippi Gulf Coast, Advertising Federation member (2009-current), Pink Louts Project Volunteer, Instructor at Tulane University Gulf Coast where I proudly warp the minds of young creatives.
Favorite 5-Syllable Word: Curiosity
Ben HunterDirector of Sales & Marketing
What I’m good at: Telling our story, Networking, Strategic Partnerships
What I really do: Business Development/Relationship Building, Cat-herding
Brands I’ve helped: Mississippi Power, Port of Gulfport, Peoples Bank, Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association, Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, MTM Technologies, Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center, National Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute, City of Gulfport, City of Biloxi, City of Diamondhead, City of Pascagoula, Harrison County Utility Authority, Coast EPA, Singing River EPA, Cooperative Energy, Hattiesburg Clinic.
How I give back: I’ve got way to many to list off, but here’s a list anyway: Humane Society of South Mississippi Board of Directors 2012-current, President, Board of Directors 2014 & 2015. Gulfport Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2011-current, President, Board of Directors 2015. Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2015. Coast Young Professionals member 2007-2017, Mississippi Gulf Coast Advertising Federation member 2010-current.
Name of my Alter-Ego: Ron Burgundy
Brynn JoachimDirector of Account Service
What I’m good at: Strategy for Tourism Marketing, Food & Beverage, Health Care, Real Estate, Banking, Economic & Community Development, Business Development, Advocating for Clients
What I really do: I’m an organizer of chaos, client dreams and expectations. And I’m also the filler of the company candy bowl.
Brands I’ve helped: Wild American Shrimp / American Shrimp Processors Association, Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association, Greenwood Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tradition master planned community, Gulf Regional Planning Commission, Hancock Chamber of Commerce, City of Diamondhead, City of Pascagoula, Mississippi Power Economic Development, Global Financial Aid Services, Harrison County Development Commission, Charter Bank, Stone County Hospital & Nursing Homes.
How I give back: First and foremost, I’m a lover of furry, four-legged friends and a mother to two children – that each have two legs. I not only make dinner, but I also feed creative souls, although not with Mac N’ Cheese from a box. In addition, I help local non-profits and small businesses with marketing.
Favorite 5-Syllable Word: Serendipity
Thomas BroadusDirector of Digital Strategy
What I’m good at: Social Media, Digital Advertising, Public Speaking
What I really do: I tell all different types of stories through new and emerging mediums.
How I give back: I’m a board member of PRAM, United Way, Gulfport Youth Sports Association as well as a T-ball coach. I also talk to schools about the dangers of social media.
All-time favorite saying: The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. Mark Twain
Elizabeth AdamsSenior Account Executive
What I’m good at: Hospitality, Healthcare, Idea Generation, Event Planning, Copywriting, Service Related Marketing.
What I really do: I’m a karaoke queen.
Brands I’ve help: Stone County Hospital, Ocean Springs Chamber, Woodland Village Nursing Center, Leakesville Nursing and Rehabilitation, Stone County Nursing and Rehabilitation, Greenwood CVB, Gulf Coast Shows, & Billy Hewes Insurance Agency, LLC.
How I give back: I am so proud of being a board member for the Gulfport Little Theatre.
All-time favorite saying: “Keep it simple, but significant.” – Don Draper (Mad Men)
Tara GeraldLead Graphic Designer
What I’m good at: Art, Tourism, Entertainment/Events, Identity, Brainstorming
What I really do: Doodling Deviant, Weaver of Fantastical Tales and Coffee Golem
How I give back: I use my blinkers when driving.
Favorite 5-Syllable Word: Exacerbated.
Brenna AplinLead Multimedia Designer
What I’m good at: Logo/Brand Development, Creative Strategies, Digital Design, Animation/Motion Design, Illustration
What I really do: Read minds. In fact, I know what you’re thinking right now.
How I give back: I spent 4 years on the MGCAF Board and as a teacher for the Tulane Graphic Design Department. In addition, I’m an active member of the AIGA Triad Chapter, and have worked with fellow AIGA community leaders on projects for redesigning the experiences of patients and employees for Cone Health in Greensboro, NC.
Name of your Alter-Ego: Jean Grey
Tyler JohnsonLead Website/Interactive Developer
What I’m good at: Web Development, User Experience, Puns
What I really do: Web Development, chauffeur, fitness instructor, handy-man, side model
How I give back: I make charitable donations to causes I care about. And I give blood on a regular basis as well as volunteer for the community.
Name of your Alter-Ego: Mr. Wanderlust
Pauline OrrWebsite Developer & Analyst
What I’m good at: Website development and design.
What I really do: Code and making jokes as dry as a saltine.
How I give back: I leave the last slice of pizza.
All-time favorite saying: “You strike the match. Why not be utterly changed into fire?”
Brittany BrightAccount Coordinator
What I’m good at: Content Creation, Public Relations, Copywriting, Social Media
What I really do: I spend way too much time on my phone wheelin’ and dealin’.
Brands I’ve helped: Too many to name.
How I give back: I let the person in the grocery story with only two items go ahead of me in line. Unless I have only two items and then all bets are off.
Name of my alter-ego: Queen Bee
Mikel HenryAdvertising Operations Manager
You might say that Mikel Henry runs the place. If Mikel hasn’t touched your project, well, it probably won’t happen. The Focus Group is thankful that Texas-born-and-bred Mikel Henry chose to move Biloxi, and has called the Gulf Coast her home for the past 25 years. She joined The Focus Group team in 2015 with over 22 years of accounting, office operations and compliance experience. Mikel’s mad organizational skills enabled her to be promoted to advertising operations manager for the agency.
When she is not serving as the thread and glue of The Focus Group, she is spending time with her family and serves double duty as a baseball and soccer mom on the weekends. Mikel loves her job, enjoys being surrounded by her highly creative team members and would not want to work anywhere else.
What I’m good at: A wide variety of photographic styles as well as an expert at retouching and editing.
What I really do: Stare at screens and push buttons all day.
Brands I’ve helped: Chevron, ASPA, Peoples Bank, Roy Anderson Corp., Mississippi Power, Stone Co Hospital, PFG Optics, Garden Park Hospital, The Shed, Beach Blvd magazine, Cork & Cleaver, Gulf Coast Women magazine, Gollott’s Seafood, USM, Johnny Fayard, Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center.
How I give back: I am extremely kind and donate a sizable portion of income to the Federal Government. In my spare time I volunteer at a Brazilian waxing salon for the homeless.
All-time favorite saying: “That’s what She said!”