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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."

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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.

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MELINA SOROKA

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."

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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.

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LISA DIAZ

Senior Manager, Client Accounts

Senior Manager of Client Accounts, Lisa Diaz, is enthusiastic about helping build relationships and brands that serve our community. She joins us with over 20 years of international experience in corporate and non-profit communications, fundraising, brand management, event planning and strategic sales.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Public Relations and minors in international business and Spanish from Loyola University, New Orleans.

Prior to joining the Like Minds team, Lisa served as a Marketing, Sales and Events Manager at Morton’s The Steakhouse, where she planned thousands of events in collaboration with public relations agencies, the media, philanthropic organizations and companies of all sizes. She successfully created mutually beneficial partnerships across multiple industries resulting in strong global relationships, media coverage and growth. Lisa understands the importance of being able to measure results. She believes that if you take care of people, plan and tell a great story, business will naturally grow and thrive. She brings this passion for storytelling, ability to balance the needs of multiple stakeholders and strategic vision to all of Like Minds’ clients.

Lisa is an advocate for human rights and compassionate leadership. She is an alumna of Up with People, an American nonprofit organization that uses international travel, the performing arts, volunteering and educational intercultural communication workshops to teach young adults how to interact in a multi-cultural environment and create change in communities with varying needs. While on tour with Up with People, Lisa lived and worked in 15 countries in one year with a cast of 150 students representing 25 countries. This experience gave her a strong appreciation for and understanding of diverse cultures and lifestyles. She is currently serving as Interim Communications Chair on the Up with People International Alumni Association Board of Governors where she oversees communications with 13,000 alumni in over 130 countries and works to “inspire our global community to be committed difference makers.”

Lisa is passionate about serving philanthropic and networking organizations including Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Executive Women International (EWI), Texas Business Travel Association (TBTA), The Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), Trees for Houston and Houston Insiders.

In her free time, she loves to explore forests and hiking trails with her son, Jonas, and dog, Charlie, cook with her husband, Jason, travel, sing, and create art.

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LARISA IVY

Manager, Public Relations

Larisa is a graduate of Texas State University where she studied public relations and business administration. During her time at Texas State University, Larisa was a member of the national service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, where she served in multiple leadership roles.

Shortly after graduating, Larisa fell in love with Houston’s art scene and decided to make Bayou City her home. Her passion for the arts and the nonprofit sector is demonstrated by her previous roles at Stages, ZACH Theatre, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) and the Tony Award®-winning Alley Theatre. In her previous roles, Larisa cultivated skills in media relations, content creation, social media management and fundraising. Working in the arts was rewarding, but Larisa desired to flex her prowess as a public relations practitioner, which led her to join the Like Minds team.

In her role at Like Minds, Larisa is excited to lead the public relations strategy and secure high-value coverage for mission-driven organizations.

If she’s not at a cycling class, at a museum or trying food from Houston’s vegan scene, Larisa can be found either watching true crime with her husband or hanging out with her dog, Mildred (“Millie”) the Rescue Schnoodle.

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VERONIKA HERNANDEZ

Graphic Designer

Veronika is a Houston-native and true creative at heart, having vast experience in photography, graphic design, theatre, dance and more. Her creative endeavors led her to Chicago where she studied at DePaul University, graduating with a Bachelors in Digital Media & Design. After graduation, she interned as a photographer for the Lincoln Park Zoo where she fell in love with working alongside mission-led, local businesses and creating content that truly engages their communities. She knew that she wanted to continue this path throughout her career as a creative.

Veronika returned to Houston in 2018 excited to help local businesses in her hometown. Switching her focus to graphic design, her passion as a creative grew stronger and she began to learn how branding and brand design makes a lasting impact for her clients and their audiences. Veronika’s creative experience spans a range of clients from family-owned businesses to large corporations like Phillips66 where she developed logos, brand guidelines oversaw art direction, and more. She is excited to join the Like Minds team as Graphic Designer and use her design skills to help mission-led brands become as strong as they can be.

When Veronika is not designing, you can find her being the biggest foodie and blogging/promoting local Houston restaurants on Instagram. She also loves spending time with her family, her partner and her rescue dachshund, Tanner, cheering on the Astros and spending way too much time on TikTok.

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NICOLE MOSLEY

Project Manager & Influencer Relations Specialist

As Like Minds' Project Manager and Influencer Relations Specialist, Nicole is not only responsible for keeping client strategies and related deliverables on track, but also heading up our influencer relations efforts! With a wide breadth and depth of experience within the influencer relations, social media and general marketing and communications spaces, Nicole 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.

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.

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.

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NIRMI BHAKTA

Digital & Social Media Analyst

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 has since earned her Master of Science in Marketing with a focus in digital marketing at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business. Classes like Integrated Marketing Communications, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing (where she first learned about Like Minds!) built a strong foundation of knowledge that she thoroughly enjoys leveraging for her client scope at Like Minds.

Nirmi joined the Like Minds team as an intern, quickly transitioning to a full-time role as Account Coordinator. As Like Minds' Digital & Social Media Analyst, Nirmi brings her digital marketing and advertising prowess to mission-driven clients through the development and execution of digital and social media advertising, social media, email marketing and website/SEO strategies.

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!

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BROOKE KAPLAN

Communications Specialist

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.

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DAMI AKANDE

Public Relations Account Coordinator

Dami graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychological & Brain Sciences and a minor in Professional Writing. Alongside her academic pursuits, Dami spent a significant portion of her time at UC Santa Barbara developing a love for nonprofit organizations. It was through her work for local nonprofits such as Doctors Without Walls - Santa Barbara Street Medicine and Habitat for Humanity that she was first introduced to the fields of marketing and communications. Her tenure with these organizations showed her that she loved storytelling and connecting people with the known (and unknown) causes close to their hearts.

In light of this self-discovery, Dami knew that her post-grad job search did not have to be limited to careers within her degree field of psychology and eventually found herself immersed in the world of public relations when she joined the Like Minds team as an intern in late 2020. Shortly after joining the team, Dami transitioned into her full-time role as Account Coordinator where she provides media relations, partnership development & community integration and email marketing support for our clients

Outside of work, Dami can be found watching too much reality TV for her own good, catching up on her favorite YouTuber vloggers and reading up on health equity and justice!

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SHARON MCKEOWN

Digital & Social Media Account Coordinator

Sharon graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science. Her love for creative writing, social media and passion for helping others lit her path towards pursuing a career in digital marketing and strategic communications.

During her time at the University of Houston, she completed multiple internships in the medical management and PR industry as well as serving as an active member of a student-run agency on campus, Valenti Integrated. She also worked as a freelance social media manager for a local restaurant in Spring, Texas. It was during these endeavors, did where she realized her love for driving brand awareness for small to medium-sized businesses through creative marketing efforts.

Sharon joined Like Minds as a Digital & Social Media Intern and quickly transitioned to her full-time role as a Digital & Social Media Account Coordinator. In this role, she helps mission-driven clients with digital and social media strategy and execution, email marketing and website copywriting.

When she isn’t working, you can find Sharon running and training for her next race, spending time with family and friends, shopping and being a crazy cat lady with her three kitties, Rue, Chen-Chen and Nico!

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Our Partners

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.

We can manage these relationships and deliverables for you so that all aspects of your marketing initiatives are aligned. Including, but not limited to:

  • Website design, development and copywriting
  • Video production and script writing
  • SEO
  • 3D animation
  • Photography
  • Traditional media buying and/or advertising
  • Event planning
  • and more!
  • If you represent an agency that is looking for a PR, social media or copywriting resource OR think you can help Like Minds' clients as a future partner, learn more here.