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Leadership

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Leadership

julie cortes

Julie Cortés

President/Founder

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Copywriter by day. Freelance Rockstar by night. Julie Cortés lives, breathes, teaches, speaks, and coaches on all things freelance. She’s run her own business for nearly 25 years, is the founder of The Freelance Exchange of KC, and created a much-needed college-level course, Freelancing 101, for the world-renowned KC Art Institute, where she teaches as an adjunct professor. Awarded dozens of times over for her work, leadership, volunteerism, and community involvement, she’s regularly sought out for media interviews, coaching, and speaking engagements. Julie is loving life, living out her passion for helping creative freelancers succeed.

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MichelleSchneider

Michelle Schneider

Vice President

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Michelle has done marketing and design for 15 years focusing primarily on email marketing and web design. She freelanced for several years on top of working full-time in various in-house marketing teams, including Sporting Kansas City, AMC Theatres, and as a Creative Director for Airshare. She recently transitioned to freelancing full-time and is excited to connect with others in the freelancing community.

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Amber Monaco

Secretary

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Amber Monaco is the owner of You Need An Amber, LLC - an agency dedicated to backend operations.  Her goal is to create efficiencies in businesses so owners can have more white space in their calendars. Amber graduated from the University of Maryland and attended The Johns Hopkins University.  She lives in Gladstone, MO with her partner, Andrew, his two kids, one cat, some chickens, and more tomato plants to feed a small army. She is currently working on her first book based on her 2 year expedition as a digital nomad.

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Holly Hempfling

Holly Hempfling

Treasurer

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Holly has over eight years of design and marketing experience. She began her career as a freelance graphic and web designer and has worked on in-house marketing teams in the insurance and financial industry until returning to freelancing full-time in 2020. Holly is a fourth generation entrepreneur, and is committed to education and perfecting her craft. She is currently attending the Entrepreneurship Scholars program at the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Holly joined The Freelance Exchange to get to know other freelancers in the community and share what she’s learned. In addition, Holly is training for her 200 hour yoga teacher certification and incorporates mindfulness and the philosophy of yoga into her marketing and design strategy.

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Jeremy Lips

Member At Large

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Board of Directors

Kelly Ziegler

Kelly Ziegler

Communications Director

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Kelly is the owner of Numerical Tree. Kelly has been a marketing and advertising professional for more than two decades. In that time, Kelly has worked with a wide variety of industries and clients, from consumer goods to manufacturing. What’s more, Kelly has worked on both the client side and the agency side, giving her an excellent 360-degree view of the entire marketing cycle from strategy development through execution all the way through the sales cycle. Today, Numerical Tree clients are reaping the benefits of Kelly’s expertise and unique insight through digital marketing focusing on email, social media and SEO.

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Erin Albright Headshot

Erin Albright

Marketing Director

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Kansas City native Erin Albright is driven by a need to create, whether that’s a memorable graphic, her own business or a children’s book. She’s the owner and founder of Albright Creative, LLC, where she helps businesses put their best visual foot forward with graphic and web design services. Erin is also the author of “Sassie’s New Home,” a whimsical, comforting children’s book that helps kids cope with the death of a beloved pet. In her spare time, she loves going on road trips, watercolor painting, reading a good book, and listening to true crime podcasts.

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Wendy Purcell

Membership Director

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Wendy has been a graphic design professional for two decades working with the home building and home improvement industries in their corporate offices. She has a broad range of talents including page layout, graphic design, logo/branding, project management, fundraising and editing/copywriting. Wendy started doing freelance graphic design again recently, working with clients on print, digital, events and marketing. She also has a passion for working on yearbook and magazine design. Once nicknamed “Eagle Eye” for her meticulous attention to detail and organized process of working, she can anticipate what is needed next. Other things that bring Wendy joy are baking, taking pictures, coaching volleyball and softball, listening to rock music, working out, painting, singing, dancing and getting together with family and friends.

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Max Sheffield

Outreach Director

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Max believes that every organization has a unique and powerful story that allows their business and marketing to connect in a way that’s sincere and doesn’t feel sleazy. Max brings a decade of healthcare experience with them into their career path as a copywriter and content strategist. Max has been helping business owners feel confident about their copy and marketing strategy since 2018 and is excited to work with community organizations such as the Freelance Exchange, No Divide KC, Catcall Magazine, InnovateHER KC, and others. In Max’s free time, they like to hike, listen to podcasts, and dance around their house with the music turned all of the way up.

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Melvin Hogan

Programs

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Melvin is a twenty-plus User Experience and Web Design veteran with a passion for solving problems. A 2000 Kansas City Art Institute graduate, his career has taken him from animating Garfield The Cat to helping design the websites for Trump Tower in New York and Mandalay Bay in Vegas. When he’s not obsessing over user problems, he creates comic book art and spends time with his wife of twenty years, their two dogs, and two cats in their one-hundred-year-old West Plaza airplane bungalow.

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Angela Van Holland

Social Director

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Angela has over 30 years of experience consulting with creative clients. She has spent the last ten years in her current role at NextPage. She uses past experience to help clients explore the possibilities while always being mindful of the goal and the budget of the current opportunity. She thrives on integrating marketing communications into a revenue-generating strategy - to work smarter while protecting budget and brand. NextPage has allowed her the opportunity to bring a great team to the table to assist in the ‘dream making’.

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Brandee Alexander

Social Media Director

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Brandee with the Branding is what her clients said she should call herself on all things social media. Brandee has been designing on the computer since her favorite computer class desktop publishing in high school and hasn’t put the mouse down since. Having an eye for detail, design and a brain full of ideas, Brandee enjoys making the most complex problems as simple as her clients wish to make it. With over a decade of experience helping entrepreneurs, entertainers, and small businesses brand their most innovative ideas, Brandee enjoys reminding client’s everyone is a creative in some capacity, and as a creative you must remove yourself from the strictly business side of things and HAVE SOME FUN! Outside of having fun with her clients, Brandee enjoys reading for leisure, TikTok surfing, and just simply creating.

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Kate Bradshaw

Special Events Director

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Kate is a Graphic Designer living and working in Kansas City. An English major with a deep love for animals, Kate worked full-time in animal rescue for several years after college. She returned to school in 2018 to study graphic design and has been working professionally as a graphic designer since 2020. Kate served as the FX Special Events Director during the 2020-2021 term and is excited to return this year. She loves tea and typography, and has two cats.

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Elizabeth Jones

Web Director

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Elizabeth has over a decade of brand marketing experience. She began her career as an in-house marketer for a national restaurant brand, where she built a love for brand advocacy, content strategy and project management. Since moving to the freelance world, Elizabeth has partnered with large corporate clients, small local businesses, and agencies. A fan of helping bring projects to life and completion, she has a passion for the creative side of marketing as well as processes and deadline-driven projects, working in both copywriting and project management roles. Outside of helping clients succeed, she is an avid gardener and birder, as well as a ceramicist.

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Matthaus Klute

Web Special Projects Chair

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While working full-time in Kansas City, Matthaus found his real passion - solving problems for small and medium sized businesses, especially eCommerce! As a full-time freelancer, he's brought his knowledge of Web, IT, and Business to make life easier for owners, agencies, and fellow freelancers. Matthaus joined the FX's Board of Directors to meet fellow freelancers and to give back to the local freelance community. He loves mountain biking, watching sports, live music, cooking and getting together with friends.

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Linda Waterborg

Web Chair

Linda has been in marketing and journalism for 16 years. Her specialty is large-scale projects (catalogs, magazines, etc), but she’s experienced in all sorts of print and digital work, branding, web design, and copywriting. She considers herself a one-woman agency ready to help clients with all their marketing needs. She’s creative but also efficient and detail-oriented, and she loves getting to know the people she connects with in the small business community. Linda graduated from the University of Missouri and lives in Shawnee, KS with her husband, son, and dog.

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Kenzie Smoot

Design Chair

McKenzie Smoot found her passion for graphic design while studying journalism at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. After working as the lead designer for Washburn’s student-run publications and venturing into the corporate world to expand on her design skills, she formed her freelance design company, McKenzie Smoot Designs. McKenzie Smoot Designs has brought graphic design, writing, marketing, and branding knowledge to businesses since 2018. McKenzie is thrilled to bring her passion and knowledge to the Design Chair seat and is always excited for new connections and adventures. In her spare time, you can often find McKenzie reading a book, experimenting with makeup, or playing outside with her two miniature Aussiedoodles.

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