How We Do It

Let’s shatter expectations. Let’s boldly move ahead. Let’s create B2B marketing that’s never boring. Always fresh. Forever urgent.

Pepper Group is a finely tuned team of seasoned marketing professionals dedicated to applying the best of digital, design, video and new communication technology to help you achieve your goals. Our holistic approach combines best-in-class strategy and always-evolving digital marketing expertise to provide exponential results.

Our goal? To reach your target audience. Draw their interest. And propel them to action—as effectively and powerfully as possible. So, let’s dive into your business. Let’s create the unexpected. Let’s leave “good enough” behind and replace it with “always better.”

Technology is our bread and butter, which is why the old way of doing things is toast.

Creativity and experience make our work powerful. Here are some of the marketing technologies we use to maximize our effectiveness.

What happens when you put a team in a creativity-enhancing space, feed them endless challenges, and sprinkle in a few late afternoon craft beers?

You get consistently powerful work and a culture that’s recognized as one of Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™️. Our clients will tell you that Peppers give you more than you ask for, think through every detail of a request, ask questions you haven’t thought of, look for ways to deliver greater results and consistently dream up the unexpected.

  • George Couris
    Out of the office, George is an expert on Fox River boating and Greek olive oil. During business hours, he uses his 20 years of marketing and business planning experience to deliver strategic, effective, results-driven programs for Pepper Group clients. He is also a member of the DePaul University Marketing Advisory Council, a mentor to high-growth startups, Past President of the Chicago AMA and a Chicago Booth School of Business MBA. George’s scribbles are legendary, on whiteboards and paper. They’re always genius marketing ideas—the trick is deciphering them!
  • Allan Woodrow
    Copy Director
    Our copy guru, Allan, is passionate about writing. He has been crafting advertising concepts longer than he cares to admit. If he isn’t simmering a mouth-watering concoction of words and ideas for our clients to feast on—whether for a website, brochure, online or print campaign, trade show booth, video or anything else—you might find him writing novels, post-it notes, and even grocery lists. (Did we mention that Allan is also a pretty good chef, and a children’s book author?)
  • Lynn Ankele
    Social/Production Manager
    When you see hundreds of jars of mints, custom-printed yarmulkes, boxes of caramels and beautiful paper samples, you know you’re at Lynn’s desk. But finding the lowest prices for our clients and fulfilling odd requests is only part of her job. Lynn can do anything, whether it’s working in InDesign, Dreamweaver, sending out email blasts, handling invoices and purchase orders or keeping everything running smoothly. And did we mention she keeps us all in line with her eagle-eye proofreading skills?
  • Tim Padgett
    Founder & CEO
    Nice guys really do finish first. Tim’s all the proof you need. His roots go back to the printing industry, but in 1994 he set out on his own as a marketer and founded Pepper Group. Over the past 26 years, he’s built an award-winning agency that serves a broad variety of B2B businesses, from local manufacturers and trade organizations to Fortune 500 companies. Tim loves to tell stories. If you have time, ask him what it’s like when your hike is intercepted by a grizzly bear. Apparently, even the bear could tell a nice guy when he saw one.
  • Joe Whittington
    Graphic Designer/Interactive Developer
    Some designers start with a color palette or a font. Joe begins by doing his homework. He excels at research and understanding technical information that gives added dimension to his designs. He also challenges himself to build on what’s been done before for a client, and come up with something new yet true to the brand. When he’s not biking, boating or wakeboarding, you may catch this Green Bay Packers stockholder (ask him about his certificate) watching rally or Formula One racing.
  • Amanda Zindel
    Account Director
    When we call Amanda “certifiable,” we mean that as a compliment. Amanda is certified in Google Analytics, Google Ads, and she’s also a “latte art certified” barista. Amanda joined Pepper Group days after graduating college, left, worked for a number of marketing organizations, lived in Portugal, Canada, Ireland and Hawaii, and came back to us. We’re glad she did. Because not only does Amanda tap into her certifiably impressive credentials when creating marketing strategies for our clients, but her latte certification means she makes a mean cup of java during late night work sessions.
  • Jen Leverenz
    Senior Account Manager
    Jen is a planner. You can see it in her immaculately prepared timelines and marketing strategies, and how she interprets analytical data into action plans. It’s also evident in her carefully planned vacations, which are always jampacked with daily and detailed morning-to-night itineraries. Jen’s organizational and left-brain acumen makes her an extremely valuable part of the Pepper team, managing projects, and both identifying and solving problems. It also means she is a permanent member of our office party planning committee.
  • Cindy Wojdyla
    Vice President & Creative Director
    If you counted up all the frozen Yoplaits that Cindy enjoys every day, you’d have … a lot of yogurt. Cindy develops the creative strategy for our clients and leads the creative team in the execution of marketing initiatives. A loyal reader of The New York Times, she also enjoys gardening and can tell you stories about Frank Perdue and his black notebook. Those pictures she draws in notebooks at client meetings? They’re not just doodles. They’re the start of the next big idea for our clients.
  • Brian Erickson
    Design Director
    Some people always have something beautiful on their screen, while the rest of us have words and numbers. Brian’s the first type. He’s always designing something that’s visually and strategically stunning. He especially enjoys working on printed pieces and the challenges of the online environment. The only things he likes more than creating award-winning work for clients? Sweet tea and hush puppies, favorites from his North Carolinian roots.
  • Todd Underwood
    Interactive Director
    Make no mistake. Todd proves there’s a direct correlation between being a master of all things audio, video and the web and wearing shorts most of the year and socks without shoes. Our own Steven Spielberg, Todd can take hours of video footage and whittle them down into a powerful video, stage a gala event that runs perfectly, create incredible animations and more. And as new technologies emerge, he’s right on top of them for our clients. If you ever feel like talking about bicycling, Todd’s your man.
  • Denise O'Neill
    Co-Founder, Vice President & Finance Director
    Our financial superhero, Pepper Group’s Co-Founder, understands all those things the rest of us find daunting. Lightning-sharp with a calculator (who knows … maybe she doesn’t even use one), she keeps our business on track by handling forecasting, budgets, billing and everything else that requires numbers. She is also a published author. A letter she wrote to her family from summer camp has been published in a compilation called, P.S. I Still Hate it Here: More Kids’ Letters from Camp.
  • Dee Lee
    Dee has lived in Korea, Vietnam, the UK, and Denmark—but we’re fortunate she’s decided to settle in Chicago. Our resident world traveler brings an international flair to our offices thanks to her many global adventures and worldly graphic design skills. With degrees and work experiences stretching across Asia and Europe, the only thing that flies more than Dee’s fingers across her Mac keyboard, is Dee herself.
  • Caleb Smyth
    Account Coordinator
    Although he shines in front of a computer brainstorming marketing opportunities for clients, Caleb is most at home in the great outdoors. Indoors, Caleb enjoys building long-term relationships—both his own with clients, and between consumers and brands. But when Tucson-based Caleb isn’t mapping customer journeys, you’ll probably find him outside on his own journey, biking 30 miles or hiking 10 miles up a rugged mountain pass.

We celebrated our 25th anniversary recently. The cake is long gone (sorry) but this video still reflects who we are today.

Welcome to Pepper Group’s business propulsion laboratories.



Terry Nakagawa, Vice President, Global Marketing

Sogeti USA

“The ideas Pepper Group developed for Innovate were fresh, creative and exceeded our expectations. You helped us energize our employees and made sure that every person visiting the show knew we were there. After an incredibly fun few days, we ended up with 235 leads—more than we’ve ever generated from this show—and two weeks later, we have already scheduled follow-up meetings with five of them. Fantastic!”

Nicole Scrivener
Sogeti USA

Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc.

“The amount of dedication and care to all elements of our intended message is what ultimately drove such a strong graphic result. Pepper Group was dedicated to understanding our business from the inside out in order to provide us a creative direction that fit our brand personality. They translated the vision I had for this project with precision and a unique “out of the box” creative approach that sets their marketing apart from their competitors.”

Nicole Warren, PR & Marketing Supervisor
Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc.

Domino North America

“We couldn’t be happier with the program from Pepper. From the collaboration to the development of the creative and the execution, it was such a positive experience. If Domino had a version of Pepper Group’s “kick ass” award, we would give it to their team.”

Tara Abbott, Marketing Manager
Domino North America

Huron Consulting Group

“The campaign Pepper Group devised and executed with precision was an essential element in the successful launch of our service. As we were introducing a completely new and complex offering, clearly and persuasively communicating key uses and benefits was a must—and Pepper Group helped us do just that.”

Diane Doherty, Marketing Director
Huron Consulting Group

American Auto Guardian, Inc. (AAGI)

“The ROI is evident with everything they produce.”

Susan Buchholz VP, Marketing and Human Resources
American Auto Guardian, Inc. (AAGI)


“I have watched this a few times. You have done a spectacular job. We Roar is ‘goose bump’ time.”

Tony Lakier


“I am very happy with this report … very nice work. I hope you are as proud as we are.”

Mike Lenzi, Senior Creative Coordinator; Strategic Marketing

Hitchcock Design Group

“We appreciated the custom process and approach that Pepper Group took to helping us create our brand platform. Due to the time and effort that they spent with us, as well as our clients during that process, they already understood our culture which allowed us to transition seamlessly into having them develop our new brochure and website.”

Dawn Jones
Hitchcock Design Group

Bronswick Benjamin P.C.

“If you want creative and innovative ideas, Pepper Group is fantastic. Also, their talent marketing work is top notch. We used Pepper Group to help us with core values creation, unique signage, awards programs and much more. I can truly say that Pepper Group has been a big contributor to improving our firm’s culture.”

Jeff Bronswick, Managing Partner
Bronswick Benjamin P.C.

True Partners Consulting LLC

“You guys, these are SO good!!! I’m so impressed with Anli’s polish and the completeness of the videos already! Thank you!”

Amanda Sturdevant, Marketing Director
True Partners Consulting LLC

Ciorba Group

“The brochures turned out fantastic! I was so excited to see them this morning when I came back from vacation. Love them so much! Thank you and the whole Pepper Team for all your hard work and creativity!”

Holly L. Ryan, Marketing Manager
Ciorba Group


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