JENNY SELBER GUSTAFSON
Founder & Leading Mind
Our leading mind, Jenny Gustafson, serves as chief strategist and marketing consultant, while often overseeing project management of other vendors and/or partners as additional marketing needs come into play.
With more than ten years of experience in the communications sector, specializing in public relations, strategic communications and social media strategy development and implementation, Jenny serves as the marketing arm for clients of all sizes, acting as a true partner to help them achieve their goals.
"Jenny's ability to form strong, genuine connections with just about anyone makes her the ideal partner for those looking to elevate their business practices."
Beginning and spending most of her career within agency settings, she quickly worked her way up from an Account Assistant to an Account Manager within just three years, where she focused on client management and strategic campaign creation, overseeing and managing internal team members, along the way. Before taking the leap to work for herself, she last served as Vice President of Sales & Special Projects at Integrate Agency, overseeing business development initiatives and helping to grow the agency from that of 3 employees to a thriving team of 25+.
Jenny has worked across a wide range of clientele from non-profit organizations and multi-unit restaurant groups to oil and gas corporations, consumer packaged goods brands and real estate giants. She revels in the opportunity to work with brands and businesses who give back to the community and make a greater impact in the world and Like Minds has given her even more opportunities to do just that!
Jenny is actively involved in the Houston community where she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Anti-Defamation League Southwest Region, is an active member of Junior League of Houston, served on Girl's Empowerment Network's We Are Girls Conference Host Committee in 2016 and 2018 and chaired its 2016 conference, is an inaugural member of Mental Health America of Greater Houston's Next Gen Steering Committee and more. When not on the job, you can find Jenny volunteering with and advocating for the many non-profit organizations that she is passionate about, enjoying live music, traveling, indoor cycling and biking (including riding in the BP MS150 twice!), practicing and playing the mandolin and spending time with her husband, Eric, her son, Raegan, their two dogs, E the bully and Millie Grace, and her seven nieces and nephews.
Partner & Leading Mind
Equipped with her MBA and MA in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, Melina joins the team full-time in Summer 2019 to lead Like Minds' growth and operations. Fascinated by the intersection of marketing and social impact, Melina believes in applying the principles of good business to doing good in the community.
As a marketing consultant for the Social Innovation Initiative at Texas McCombs and VP of Marketing for Net Impact: Texas McCombs Graduate Chapter, she helped grow the community of business students at the University of Texas at Austin interested in social innovation, social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, impact investing and nonprofit management. Additionally she consulted for CATCH Global Foundation (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) via Board Fellows, through which Texas McCombs’ MBA students are paired with Austin-area nonprofits for a year-long assignment as honorary board members. In this capacity, Melina and her peer analyzed CATCH’s online portal data to segment user behavior, understand user preferences, and enhance the portal accordingly. Melina rounded out her extracurricular experience with another year-long marketing and communications consulting project for OneSeventeen Media, an Austin-based education technology company that leverages machine learning to monitor and improve students’ mental health.
"As a social entrepreneur, I look for partners with a passion for social impact and the skill and determination to see a project through to a successful end. Without a doubt, Melina is one of the most impressive people I’ve worked with over a career that spans more than 30 years. Her integrity, commitment and enthusiasm for every project she takes on have been impressive to watch. I look forward to being in her corner as she takes on this next adventure in life."
Melina spent the majority of her pre-graduate school career as the area director for AIPAC, overseeing community development, political mobilization and fundraising operations across Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Having worked up from serving as the administrative assistant to leading a team of three development and programming staff, she has a demonstrated history of successfully planning, managing and growing accounts in the social impact space.
Born with an acute awareness of life’s societal and environmental ills, Melina is thrilled to act on her lifelong passion for addressing these ills through Like Minds’ strategic marketing and communications practices.
She is over the moon to be returning to her native Houston and can’t wait to spend her free time with her two nephews. When she’s not hanging out with her human and canine family, Melina can be found sweating in yoga, swearing in spin class, playing the piano and whispering sweet nothings to her plants.
Brand & Marketing Manager
As the Brand & Marketing Manager at Like Minds, Karren works tirelessly every day, to bring clients effective brand voice, graphic design and marketing strategies that maximize their investments.
As an avid volunteer in the arts, she understands that most non-profits are supported by the combined efforts of dedicated individuals who are energized by a common mission. This inspires her to approach projects like an ever-evolving puzzle, crafting piece by piece until the whole comes together. Karren uses agile management principles to guide the team towards creative solutions that propel the client’s mission and expand their reach.
She brings 10+ years experience in communication design, marketing, business development and management and is inspired to contribute to the long term successes of Like Minds’ client base, as well as its own future.
Karren began her agency career with Keystone Resources, where she worked her way from Graphic Designer to Director. Her many responsibilities included management of team members, business development, project management, human resources management, art direction and development of marketing strategies for clients. Previously, she was the Owner of Phenomena, a small company focused on branding & digital marketing.
Karren graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. When she is not working, you can find Karren exploring state and national parks with her dog, Birdee, or hosting Lovelady’s, a food pop-up, around town.
Digital & Social Media Strategist
Jess graduated from the University of Houston (go coogs!) with her degree in journalism. During her time at UH, she was a staff writer for the Daily Cougar, assistant editor of the Life + Arts section and an intern at the Houston Chronicle. Being the true millennial that she is, Jess has always been on the newest social media platforms, tweeting and posting away. During her time as a college student, she began noticing how social media was changing the ways in which people communicate in the digital world.
From then on, Jess has been using her passion for social media to help a variety of clients find their voices in the digital sphere. From political candidates to real estate development to anime, Jess has excelled in reaching goals across individual social media platforms but has helped clients incorporate social media into their overall digital marketing plans and reach larger marketing goals.
During her spare time, you can find Jess reading and experimenting with painting. She has two cats, Tater Tot and Merber, and is looking forward to adding a dog to her life. And when she’s not in Houston, she’s planning her next getaway.
Lauren graduated from the University of Houston in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. As a trained opera singer, passionate music and arts educator and native Houstonian, she knew she wanted to build a career that helped her connect people and make a difference.
Wanting to take the skills she’d been using to market herself as a singer to a much larger scale that would help her impact her community in a meaningful way, she joined the Masters of Arts in Arts Leadership program at her alma mater. This program focuses on building a new generation of engaged and educated leaders while connecting students with Houston’s top professionals and mentors. In addition to being mentored by Joel Luks of the CKP Group and Susan Farb Morris of Susan Farb Morris Public Relations, Lauren’s education included developing strategic, financial and fundraising plans so that she could fully understand the workings of every client situation.
Lauren joined the Like Minds team as Junior Communications Specialist and quickly grew to a Communications Specialist, where she consistently flexes her PR muscles for clients. Over the last year, she has been working with mission-driven organizations such as Best Friends Animal Society and Ars Lyrica Houston. Most recently she was the PR/Marketing staff member at Texas Music Festival, where she helped develop and implement an extensive communications plan for their 30th Season Anniversary. She is most excited about diving deep into what our clients need and helping craft creative solutions to achieve their goals.
When she is not at work you’ll find her snuggling with her two cats, helping out her favorite animal rescue groups, hanging out by the pool with a really good book and always singing!
Nicole graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Honors College at the University of Houston in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. During her time at the university, she worked in the Honors College as an Honors Fellow, assisting students with their writing for the Human Situation literature program.
Nicole also served on the executive board of Alpha Chi Omega as their Vice President of Public Relations. After completing her executive term during her senior year, she found a new way to give back by representing her chapter and winning the title of Fiesta Royalty for her work in fundraising for student scholarships.
She developed her passion for public relations when she served as a Campus Rep for the Victoria’s Secret PINK brand, where she helped influence product design for the company and plan events and promotions for their brand at University of Houston. She later continued to explore her passion for PR as an intern for the Houston Chronicle. While in this position, she developed digital content at Chron.com prior to joining the Like Minds team in April 2019.
Now a full-time member of the Like Minds team, Nicole is thrilled to be a part of the work we do and loves interacting with the communities we serve. Connecting with our clients and finding unique ways to help them communicate their values to the world is the most rewarding aspect of her job as a Communications Specialist.
When Nicole is not in the office, you can find her looking for another great Houston brunch spot (taking her tiny pup, Karlie, with her, of course), in a hot yoga class, modeling at Neal Hamil agency, listening to podcasts and constantly checking things off her 101 in 1001 list.
Brooke joined the Like Minds team as a Junior Communications Specialist after first coming on board as a social media and public relations intern. She now serves as a Communications Specialist, where she helps clients with their media relations, partnerships and social media efforts. Prior to joining the team, Brooke proudly graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in disabilities in society.
It was during her involvement with organizations on campus that she found her passion for public relations. She is also an advocate for inclusive communication and guides many of Like Minds' clients toward such inclusivity though tactics such as using closed captioning and photo descriptions in all social media posts.
During her collegiate summers, Brooke lived in Los Angeles, where she held various internships in the entertainment industry, including music management and talent booking.
Although working in entertainment was nothing short of exciting, Brooke returned to her public relations roots (and her hometown!) as an intern for Like Minds Communications. She loves working with clients who that positively impact so many parts of the Houston community.
Nirmi graduated from The University of Texas Medical Branch in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After working in healthcare for three years, she decided to channel her passion for service and building relationships towards a career in marketing and communications. She is now pursuing a Master of Science in Marketing at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business.
Nirmi joined the Like Minds team as an intern and quickly transitioned to her role as an Account Coordinator where she is thrilled to have the opportunity to help mission-driven clients develop and execute social media strategy while exploring her interest in digital marketing and PR.
She is also an avid photographer and spends most of her weekends shooting or refining her editing skills. In her free time, Nirmi enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family and watching the latest TV shows and movies!"
JOIN OUR TEAM!
We're on the hunt for the industry's most creative minds! If you're excited about the opportunity to work for a growing company that represents mission-driven businesses and organizations and that continuously emphasizes making an impact, then let's talk!
Learn more about who we're looking to work alongside and if you could be one of those people here.
We've built relationships with and work alongside the brightest and most creative minds in the business. When it's not within our scope or expertise, we collaborate with a bevy of brilliant doers, creators and marketers to ensure your marketing needs are taken care of each step of the way. Likewise, many agencies trust Like Minds to serve as their clients' communications arm, which we do often.