Sharpe Group Creative Team
Sharpe Group’s Creative Services Department is a talented team with diverse skill sets and years of experience producing compelling publications. Sharpe’s writers and editors excel in creating content that resonates with major gift prospects. Sharpe’s graphic artists specialize in designing layouts to educate and appeal to donors in both the print and digital mediums. All communication forms and media are supported by an experienced team of production specialists who ensure the highest quality and continually research alternative packaging and delivery formats to attract higher open rates.
The creative team works closely with Sharpe consultants and our client partners to develop gift planning communication strategies, create targeted and informational content, write resonating donor profiles and design customized marketing publications in both the print and digital formats. They bring their extensive expertise to every stage of developing informative communication pieces that appeal to targeted donor groups for proven results.
Ainsley Willis began at Sharpe Group in 2018 as a marketing specialist and later joined the creative staff as an editor. She creates and edits planned giving content and manages the production of custom print and digital publications for her clients. A talented writer, Ainsley contributes to Sharpe Group blogs and Sharpe Insights.
Ainsley graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2011 and obtained a Master of Science in marketing from Texas A&M University in 2013. Prior to joining Sharpe, she had more than 6 years’ experience in marketing and communications working for the University of Memphis and the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.
Ainsley is a champion of her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. She serves as a member and volunteer of several local organizations that work to improve her community including GiVE365 Memphis, Young Women Philanthropists and Girls Inc. of Memphis.
Ashley McHugh is the content director for Sharpe Group, based in Greenville, South Carolina. She oversees the creation and review of all print and digital content for Sharpe Group clients and is actively involved in developing company marketing and communications materials as a writer and editor.
Since joining Sharpe in 1997, Ashley has had various roles, most recently as senior editor. She continues in this capacity creating custom publications and writing donor stories for long-term clients. A graduate of The University of Memphis with a degree in English, Ashley is also a contributor to Sharpe Insights and the Sharpe Group blog.
When she’s not wielding her red pen, Ashley can be found running, hiking, cooking or reading.
Brenda Gunner is the editorial assistant at Sharpe Group. Joining the company in early 2020, Brenda is responsible for proofreading content and maintaining the style and branding of all print and digital materials. In addition, Brenda works with clients to create personalized publications through Sharpe’s ecommerce platform.
Brenda holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas and previously worked as a production manager with advertising agencies in Little Rock, Dallas and Memphis.
She has been married 26 years and has two adult children and three dogs. When she’s not researching AP Style, Brenda loves to cook, read and monogram just about anything.
Debbie Graham is Sharpe Group’s print production coordinator, where she manages all client and company printed communications.
Joining Sharpe in 2018, Debbie previously owned Graham Packaging & Design, working with a variety of clients including many of Schering-Plough’s subsidiaries including Maybelline, Dr. Scholl’s and Coppertone Water Babies. For ten years, Debbie was the production director for Signature Advertising in Memphis.
Debbie loves working with a wide range of charities who “serve society.” In her free time, she enjoys oil painting and gardening.
Grant Miller is an editor for Sharpe Group, working with clients to create custom printed and digital communications. He has authored Sharpe Group blogs and is a contributor to Sharpe Insights.
An award-winning writer with more than 15 years of editing and teaching experience, Grant holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College and a Master of Fine Arts from The University of Alabama.
Outside of the office, Grant enjoys photography, cooking and spending time with his wife and son.
Jenni Proctor is a Sharpe Group senior editor who has worked with clients to create customized print and digital communications pieces for almost 15 years. Jenni’s skills include interviewing donors and composing their stories, managing the design process for custom publications, editing web copy and overseeing print production for Sharpe booklets and brochures.
Jenni earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Judson University. She contributes her time to local nonprofits by designing in-house mailings, tutoring children, planning Cub Scouts fundraisers, volunteering at her children’s school and working on service projects. She loves the outdoors, especially swimming, paddle boarding and boating each weekend with her family.
John Ryan is a senior editor for Sharpe Group based in Chicago. For the last six years, he has been on the front lines creating highly customized print and digital marketing materials for Sharpe Group clients and coordinating the creation of gift planning websites.
John attended the University of Massachusetts and graduated with high honors from Governors State University with an English degree. Prior to joining Sharpe Group, he cut his teeth writing and editing for 13 years working for newspapers associated with Sun-Times Media in Chicago, where he was a reporter and later an editor.
Karl Theimer is a graphic/web designer for Sharpe Group’s Chicago office. He has more than 15 years’ experience at the company designing newsletters, brochures, postcards and ads in both print and digital formats.
A graduate of the American Academy of Art, Karl also develops client websites, including their design, maintenance, video creation and functionality.
Prior to joining Sharpe Group, Karl was creative director for Meyer/Fredericks & Associates for a decade. His love of art and design inspires him every day.
Marianne Bach is a graphic designer with 29 years of experience in concept, design, strategy and printing.
Marianne grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and at an early age realized she loved to draw, paint and take photographs. Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University with an emphasis in visual communications, she has been a graphic designer in the printing and design industries and was a senior graphic designer for Loyola University Chicago and Medical Center for nine years.
Since 2012, Marianne has worked with Sharpe Group’s Chicago office designing print and digital communications for a wide range of clients.