You heard us.
At The Johnson Group, we specialize in teaming up with brands that are facing Giant challenges in their categories, from giant competitors to giant industry shakeups. We launch smart, unexpected ideas that stand out in the marketplace and beat the odds.
That’s Giant Slaying.

We’re a certified Google Partner.


Joe Johnson
President & CEO

Joe’s specialization in brand positioning and strategy for fighter-brands was honed through years of conducting research and leading account planning for brands across the country. He trained in marketing research at Burke Institute and has personally conducted and analyzed more than 100 qualitative and quantitative research studies for both consumer and B2B clients. He worked with Jim Emery to develop the agency’s highly effective brand positioning process—the same methods proven worldwide for Coke, Kraft, Colgate-Palmolive, Brown Forman, Campbell Soup and a scores of other top-tier brands.

Under his guidance, The Johnson Group has provided branding and advertising to virtually every major initiative during Chattanooga’s historic turnaround.

Today, Chattanooga, a classic fighter-brand success story, is considered the thriving, vibrant, high-tech capital of the Southeast and the city outside magazine dubbed the “Best Town Ever.”

And, under Joe’s continued leadership, his Chattanooga agency works with fighter-brands from cities as far as Anchorage, Alaska; San Diego, California; Binghamton, New York; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Hays, Kansas; Waco, Texas; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Waynesboro, Virginia.

Pat Buckley
Partner/Creative Content Officer

He’s a writer with a graduate degree from Oxford University.

He’s also an artist with a painting in the permanent collection of the Georgia Museum of Art.

Consequently, he has an uncanny ability to transform almost anything into unique, highly engaging brand content that generates its own content. He turned Krystal’s hamburger packaging into a mobile scan code to create fast-food’s first 3D Augmented Reality App. He created traffic-stopping, live-performance billboards. His adaptation of a phone app created the first virtual reality bank grand opening (in the palm of your hand) that allowed customers in Russia, Africa, Europe and across the U.S. to join in a ribbon cutting celebration in Tennessee and then share it.

Pat’s unique creative executions have lined his award shelf with 100’s of the American Advertising Federation’s local, regional and national awards and provided consumer and B2B brands with one-of-a-kind executions and results.

Before joining us in Chattanooga, Pat was a creative director in Atlanta and Houston where he produced award-winning work for leading brands such as Apple, Hitachi and ConocoPhillips.

Kellye Hubble
Executive Media Director

Kellye is a 20-year media veteran with extensive knowledge and experience in ROI-driven performance and analysis across all digital, traditional, social media applications and executions. She has proven credentials at major agencies such as Cramer-Krasselt and Zimmerman, working on demanding brands such as McDonald’s, Toyota, Hyatt, Missouri Tourism, Comcast, Dial Purex and Corona.

She created and implemented a Media Academy for two leading agencies in which she developed best practices, standardized reporting and established media processes.

Kellye and her teams have been recognized for their best practices in media buying and stewardship by being awarded the coveted Gold Standard by such independent media auditors, MMI.

Bill Stiles
Director of Strategy & Research

The best strategic minds draw upon an exceptionally broad range of business and marketing expertise. Not coincidentally, this is exactly what Bill brings to The Johnson Group.

Throughout his career, Bill has successfully navigated the waters of corporate America with a leadership position at the world’s largest disability insurer. Later, he founded one of the first successful healthcare marketing agencies, which would ultimately grow to serve clients in 38 states.

Today, he is nationally respected in healthcare circles for his unique understanding of one of our nation’s most complicated and dynamic businesses. Plus, he routinely conducts market research and strategic planning in such varied categories as multi-unit retail, consumer packaged goods, electric utilities, waste water management, wireless phones, fast food…well, you get the picture.

Simply put, if it can be sold, Bill has helped sell it by ensuring that every campaign is built upon solid strategic ground.

Sherri Reed
Account Director

Sherri specializes in multi-unit retail/restaurant branding & marketing and can be accurately classified as an Expert in local-store-marketing. Her 16-year career includes leading a multitude of successful QSR, fast casual, c-store and retail new product branding and launches across all mediums. For 6 years she provided national retail marketing and POP merchandising plans for Target, Sears and Rack Room including leading the development of innovative solutions to use in-store and on-premise merchandising to increase sales.

Through her subsequent 10 year experience in restaurant marketing with Krystal and Cracker Barrel Sherri has developed an in depth specialty that few share in key customer activation touch points such as menu board research, planning and design, proper zoning, messaging and design of POP and the use of store-level, product mix analysis to turn around under performing markets.

Her continuous involvement in market research from industry leaders such as NPD, Piper Jaffray, SMG, Alexander Babbage and Coke ensures her clients receive the most current and reliable recommendations.

Sherri’s level of commitment and always-enthusiastic personality never backs down from a challenge. (In fact she learned to juggle for her bio photo in one night.) Imagine what she can do for your brand.

Mike Polcari
Partner/Creative Director

Mike loves playing guitar…and walking to the beat of a different drummer than most creatives. For starters, he graduated from a top business school, Indiana University. After being recruited to Washington, D.C., his career became even more unusual, including ghost-writing for Barbara Bush, recruiting for the National Security Administration (NSA…we’re not kidding), and his creative for the U.S. Mint and Selective Service System was even discussed on the floor of Congress. Best of all for a die-hard Redskins fan, Mike produced a long-running Pizza Hut TV campaign that was hailed by The Washington Post as the “The Best Use of the Redskins.”

Mike’s background also has an international flair, working on projects with Dentsu, Young & Rubicam in the Far East for clients including Lufthansa Airlines and Miller Brewing Company. In another unusual twist, Mike happened to visit Chattanooga, fell in love with the Scenic City and later became a founding member of The Johnson Group.

Mike helped put us on the national map with our launch of Cricket Wireless, which propelled them into 42 markets and was praised by Morgan Stanley as the key to the brand’s growth. Similarly, he changed the landscape of truck driver recruitment advertising by winning creative awards in a previously mundane product category. Speaking of awards, Mike has a closetful of ‘em, including heaps of ADDYs, multiple national EFFIEs and a One Show award, the most prestigious creative award in the world.

Roger Vaughn
Partner/Executive Creative Director

There are certain must-have criteria you search for in an Executive Creative Director. Creative awards are certainly among them. Roger’s work has won well over 100 American Advertising Federation ADDY Awards including Regional, National, Best of Show and Judges’ Choice Awards. He’s also earned Show South, Print Magazine, ADWEEK Icon Award for Technology, Mercury Awards for radio, Healthcare Marketing Awards, Wireless Industry Awards, etc.

Another key criteria? Proof that all of this great creative gets results. Roger has led the agency in winning prestigious National EFFIE Awards for advertising effectiveness. (That’s effectiveness as objectively judged using verified results compared to a wide range of national competitors in the same industry category.)

Was this great, effective creative developed for clients you might be familiar with? How about AirTran? Krystal? Sunbelt Granola Bars? Sprint? Dean Foods? Rubbermaid? Volkswagen? Blue Cross/Blue Shield?

Finally, it’s interesting to know what your Executive CD does in his spare time to hone his craft and remain contemporary. Roger, of course, spends his spare time winning awards! His music video concepts for artists like Eric Church, Florida-Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Josh Turner, Thomas Rhett and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek have received numerous CMA, CMT and ACM awards and nominations. Not to mention the song he wrote for Chattanooga’s TV regional campaign to promote tourism—a campaign that has proven to be the most successful in the city’s history.

Christina Oyler
Digital Media Planner

Christina’s intense digital planning and activation background at Carat and iProspect in New York includes performance driven branding and programmatic across Display, Mobile, Video and Native platforms, focusing on e-commerce. Her avid study and grasp of digital media earned her assignments on Under Armour, ADP, Pfizer & luxury brands such as Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels.

She now dedicates her keen insights and energy to the digital success of The Johnson Group’s clients.

Alice Ailey
Director of Account Services

Alice is an account leader with a legacy of achieving long-term strategic marketing goals for national brands. Even early in her career she was instrumental in forming and managing several successful advertising co-ops for a national, publicly traded QSR brand. She also proved adept at managing the staff and intricacies of multi-market franchise organizations (one with 10 DMAs and 180 units). Leaving a prominent Nashville advertising agency to join the Johnson Group in 2006, Alice has been critical to securing market positions for major brands in health care, packaged goods and tourism.

With a deep understanding and passionate commitment to truly extraordinary client service, her clients are as committed to her as she is to them.

Dave Wilson
Director of Search Marketing

Dave is an SEM expert who is 5pecialist Google Certified. In fact, he began his career working for Google building over 2000 campaigns for brands across the country and learning best practices from Google experts in search, display, YouTube and remarketing. But he didn’t stop there. He led agencies in Phoenix and Las Vegas to achieve Google Premiere status. And, over the years, his deep-seeded digital drive expanded his expertise to programmatic DSP, display, online video, Facebook, Instagram, influencer marketing, shopping ads, remarketing, and dynamic ads. His knack for growing and training digital talent was validated when Facebook began hiring his team members.

Dave has now built over 3,500 campaigns for brands such as USA Today, WSOP, Goodwill, Caesars Casino, Harrah’s, Planet Fitness, the Fremont Street Experience—all of which benefited from his relentless focus on ROI regardless of the digital platform. Fun fact: Dave is responsible for a Facebook campaign that achieved an extremely rare 100% conversion rate as he used the platform to propose to his wife. (Per Dave, the ROI continues to roll in.)

Tim Hanners
Director of Content Marketing

Tim began specializing in content marketing long before it had a name and as a result has an unmatched level of experience and expertise in this rapidly evolving—and ever important—discipline. His analytical focus on identifying and engaging the right audience has attracted brands in arguably the most complex, consumer and B2B category: healthcare. Tim has worked with major, national health systems like HCA and Catholic Health Initiatives as well as specialty brands such as Cook Children’s Hospital to engage highly diverse audiences of consumers, physicians and businesses. Over his 20-year career, he’s developed best practice, content marketing strategies that drive leads, conversion, SEO and loyalty for over 100 clients.

His study of the evolving process and his continuing education as a graduate of the Content Marketing Institute, The Disney Institute and Southwest Airlines University ensure he brings the latest thought leadership and innovation to content marketing.

Tim hails from Texas (and as any Texan, will proudly tell you that immediately) where he earned his Masters degree and once swam the Rio Grande to Mexico.


Giant-slayers tend to be a bright, energetic breed who play as hard as they work. Here are some of ours, caught in the act.



Have a few Giants of your own to battle? Contact Dixie.
[email protected]

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