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Andrea Cole Profile

Andrea Cole

Vice-President, Digital Marketing & Analytics

With 13+ years of SEO, Paid Search and Google Analytics experience, Andrea is Beacon’s chief digital strategist and works directly with our Higher Education clients and large commercial accounts. Andrea earned a BA in Communication Studies from the University of NC at Chapel Hill, is certified in Google Analytics and is invited annually to Google’s exclusive GA Summit.

Austin Johnson Profile

Austin Johnson

Digital Marketing Specialist

Austin Johnson is a Digital Marketing Analyst. He has a B.S. in Communications with a Concentration in Advertising from Appalachian State University. Austin worked for several years at various agencies, dealing with CRM data and social media content creation. At Beacon, he works closely with Bassett Home Furniture, Bell Partners, burton + Burton, Kane Residential and New Jersey Resources. Austin enjoys working in SEOClarity, Screaming Frog, Google Search Console and Google My Business to help drive online traffic for his clients and help them be successful.

Brandon Canter Profile

Brandon Canter

Director - UX/UI Design and Development

Brandon has over 14 years of experience in Graphic Design and Development with marketing and design agencies. He joined Beacon in April 2015 and very quickly became a key member of the UI Development team.  Brandon provides leadership to the UI Development team in many areas including defining UI development standards, leading UI development for larger projects, managing the SITEXPRESS product, as well as developing and leading the training for client and new hires.  

Darin Humbard Profile

Darin Humbard

Senior Project Manager

Darin Humbard is a Senior Project Manager with Beacon.

Emily Ledbetter Profile

Emily Ledbetter

Senior Account Executive

Emily Ledbetter joined the Beacon team as an Account Executive after a successful, 10-year stint in the banking industry. She excels in understanding the business and technical requirements of website redesigns and digital marketing projects for our college and university customers. You're likely to find her exploring these subjects at many of the major Higher Ed conferences. Emily has built lasting relationships with long-term Beacon clients, such as Hawaii Pacific University, Michigan State University, Lees McRae College and Birmingham Southern University among others. She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Economics from Greensboro College.

Jacob Hodgins Profile

Jacob Hodgins

Sales & Marketing Associate

Jacob joined the Beacon team in 2023 as an addition to our Sales & Marketing team. He is passionate about working with the variety of creative minds at Beacon and sharing in our collective goals for sales strategy and marketing. As a Sales & Marketing Associate, he works on establishing connections with new and current clients in the Southeast region. Jacob holds an Emerging Leaders Certification from the Truist Leadership Institute and likes to get outside for some electric longboarding or cooking on the grill in his free time. Jacob comes to Beacon with a B.S. in Business Administration and a marketing concentration from East Carolina University.

Jeremiah Barrett Profile

Jeremiah Barrett

Digital Marketing Specialist

Jeremiah is a Digital Marketing Specialist, with over 15 years of experience in inbound marketing, marketing automation, and social media marketing for both B2B and B2C. He’s also a full stack web developer with a concentration on emerging marketing technology like psychographics, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (Ai). Jeremiah has worked with clients ranging from mom and pop businesses to start-ups to major corporations like Chase Bank, Dicks Sporting Goods, Dell Computers, EA Games, Sonos, Intuit TurboTax, Bell Canada, and The Department Of Health and Human Services (DHHS). He also holds certifications in digital marketing, gamification, software development, web development, and project management, and he began at Beacon in 2020.

John Scaramuzzo Profile

John Scaramuzzo

Senior Vice President, IT Services & Co-Founder

John is the Senior VP of Beacon’s IT Services Group, a veteran technology strategist, innovative engineer, and creative entrepreneur with nearly three decades of distinguished service and experience in platform and server technologies, e-commerce, business consulting, and customer service management. Before co-founding Beacon, he worked for 12 years at AT&T, where he was instrumental in building the infrastructure to support AT&T’s global corporate intranet in the mid-90’s while also supporting AT&T’s HR HW/SW/NW. John architected Beacon’s data center, serving hundreds of clients worldwide for web hosting and software to support content management, custom applications and high-end e-commerce for Higher Education institutions and businesses. He also created Beacon’s IT Services division (BITS) which provides managed services for desktops, servers and networks across many states. John also served as an IT consultant on government contracts through subcontracts with Accenture and KPMG, and earned his B.S. in Computer Science/Mathematics from the College of Staten Island.

John Wallwork Profile

John Wallwork

Lead Software/DB Engineer

John Wallwork is a Lead Software/DB Engineer. He has a BS in Chemistry and has taken graduate courses in chemistry and computer science at NC State University. John has over 16 years of IT experience and has the following software skills: VB, ASP, .NET, C, C++, XML, Delphi, SQL, Crystal Reports, VMS, Unix, MS Access, SQL Server

Jordan Burleson Profile

Jordan Burleson

Director - Digital Advertising

Jordan leads the paid search team at Beacon, helping clients like The Princeton Review, Bell Partners, and Bassett Furniture achieve positive growth and ROI through their digital marketing programs. In addition to his 10+ years of digital marketing experience in traditional and digital marketing mediums, Jordan holds a certification in Google Analytics. He is also a Google Advertising Certified Professional in search, display, shopping, mobile, and video campaigns. A graduate of Appalachian State University, Jordan earned a B.S. in Communication with double majors in Broadcasting and Advertising.

Josh Barrer Profile

Josh Barrer

Digital Content Editor

Josh is a Digital Content Editor at Beacon, with over 10 years of experience in marketing and communications. He’s worked with clients including Verizon, AAA, Walmart, Sysco, Interstate Batteries, and more, creating websites, magazines, social posts, books, radio ads, and video. An adept writer, editor, and storyteller, he collaborates with clients and colleagues to create and elevate content that engages, connects, and drives audiences to action. Josh has a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Kaitlyn Marino Profile

Kaitlyn Marino

UI Developer

Kaitlyn is a multifaceted designer and developer with years of experience in web development. After starting her career as a graphic designer, she soon realized a passion for coding and web development strategy which eventually brought her to Beacon. Kaitlyn's expertise in both web design and web development results in unique key insights into every project. Her eagerness to explore the latest best practices in higher education user experiences makes her an instrumental member of the development team.

Keana Massey Profile

Keana Massey

Vice-President, UX Design and Development

Keana has led and consulted for over 35 Higher Education projects and is Beacon’s expert in CMS and Accessibility. She specializes in the analysis, design, and implementation of websites with passion on user experience, accessibility, multi-device interactions and technical best practices. Keana earned an Associate’s Degree in Web Technologies from Guilford Technical Community College and regularly presents at Higher Ed conferences.

Kent Dickinson Profile

Kent Dickinson

Account Executive

Kent is a web design and digital marketing executive with more than 25 years of experience in business development, strategic planning, operations, customer service, and sales management. He has worked in a variety of industries, including educational publishing, digital printing, direct marketing, consulting, financial services, among others. He has worked with many colleges and universities around the country and is a strong proponent of strategic partnership, performance management, and customer service/communication. Kent earned a BS in Business from Wake Forest University and his MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Mark Dirks Profile

Mark Dirks

CEO/Senior Vice President & Co-Founder

Before becoming Beacon's CEO, Mark climbed through the technical ranks, starting as an application developer for RJ Reynolds. He then spent 15 years at AT&T, where he led the creation of one of the world's first corporate intranets. Co-founding Beacon in 1998, he has driven consistent growth, long-term partnerships and a unique culture for 20 years. Mark was instrumental in forming relationships with Google, Accenture, KPMG Consulting, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Department of Education (when Beacon developed FAFSA on the Web). These relationships during the company's early years, coupled with Mark's leadership and business development skills, foreshadowed the growth of Beacon's Higher Education portfolio over the last 10 years.

Mark holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Wake Forest University and an M.S. in Computer Systems from Kansas State University. He serves on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Technology Association, was named Small Business Person of the Year by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and received the Entrepreneurial Success Award by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Mike Wood Profile

Mike Wood

Lead Software/DB Engineer

Michael Wood has been with Beacon 9 years. He provides transactional programming expertise mostly in VB.NET and SQL Server. In the past he worked in the corporate worlds of AT&T and IBM.

Olivia Earley Profile

Olivia Earley

Digital Advertising Strategist

Olivia is a Digital Advertising Strategist and Social Media Manager, managing day-to-day PPC tasks for a number of clients, as well as overseeing all of Beacon’s respective social media channels. Olivia brings over 3 years of social media management experience, most recently as the accounts manager at Social Moxy.

Sarah Strickler Profile

Sarah Strickler

Digital Content Strategist

Sarah comes from a background in both digital marketing and website support with a particular interest in branding, photography, and video production. With experience in creating content for various clients from right down the street in Greensboro, North Carolina, to businesses across the country, Sarah values each opportunity to research client branding and identify audiences. Website content and design strategy is a favorite task of Sarah’s, typically when she can dig into a website’s DNA with a website content audit.

Tracy Dirks Profile

Tracy Dirks

Senior Vice President, Web Development Services

Tracy is the Senior VP over Beacon’s Web Development Services division. She brings 30+ years of Information Technology experience to her clients after serving as a Technical Manager for Bell Labs and the Chief Systems Architect for AT&T’s HRIS. She specializes in strategic planning, intranets, systems architecture and project management. She has led major Higher Education projects at Beacon for over 10 years for institutions such as the University of North Georgia, Colorado State University Pueblo, Winston-Salem State University, California State University East Bay, Husson University and more. Tracy is a trusted source of guidance to her clients because she is uniquely skilled in correlating technical solutions to business needs. Tracy earned a B.S. in Computer Science at NW Missouri State, and a M.S. in Computer Systems from Kansas State University. She regularly attends and occasionally presents at the major Higher Education trade shows. Tracy was selected for the Leadership Greensboro Development Program and was recognized by the Triad Business Journal in their Women in Business edition.

Wayne Garrett Profile

Wayne Garrett

Lead UX Strategist

Wayne Garrett is a content strategist with over 5 years of experience developing, testing, and managing higher-education websites. After graduating with a B.A. in Communication Studies from Lynchburg College in Virginia, Wayne worked as a Web Content Specialist at Miami University of Ohio before joining Beacon in 2016. At Beacon, he specializes in user experience for higher education with a focus in content strategy and web accessibility.

Zedric Myers Profile

Zedric Myers

Senior Lead UI Developer

Zedric joined Beacon in 2011 and is a Senior Lead UI Developer for Beacon Technologies. After earning his degree in Advertising and Graphic Design, he spent 11 years with an advertising agency in Greensboro, NC where he was initially hired as a designer and transitioned to being a Web Developer.

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