Staff Profiles 

Ron Smith

APR, Owner/Principal

Ron always has something to do…a project due by a drop-dead deadline. He is first to admit that he is addicted to his own adrenalin. He is always busy often with two or three major activities at the same time. This juggling act began early. During high school he worked 35 hours a week at the local community newspaper. Later, while city editor of a daily newspaper, he went to school at night to finish college while at the same time working a part-time job! All that multi-tasking came in handy when Ron started the company that is today’s S&A Cherokee. And along the way he started several other companies.

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Bill Zadeits


With 16 years at S&A Cherokee and more than 23 years in the media business, Bill brings a wide-ranging set of skills and creative ideas to the company and its clients. As a proud graduate of Appalachian State University, Bill (or “Z” as he’s known to his friends & associates) lists his wedding day, the birth of his three daughters and the day App beat Michigan at the Big House (he was there—ask to see the photos) as the best days in his life.

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Chuck Norman

APR, Owner/Principal

The only thing that rivals Chuck’s passion for public relations and marketing is his love for sports and his unwavering support of his alma mater NC State University. If there is still such as thing as free time, Chuck makes sure he doesn’t have any to spare. From his work with the Public Relations Society of America on the local, district and national level to his involvement with nonprofits, boards of directors and Chambers of Commerce, he strives to leave his mark on every endeavor.

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Michelle Matthews


Even for communicators like us, it’s impossible to paint an accurate picture of everything Michelle does here at S&A Cherokee. An Owner/Principal, Michelle has been with us for going on 23 years…as long as some of our staff have been on this earth! (sorry for that reminder, Michelle!).
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Mike Trainor

Vice President, National Accounts

A native of Rhode Island, Mike spent 15 years working in Boston before relocating his family, his belongings and his love (some might say obsession) of the Red Sox to North Carolina. While in Boston, Mike had the good fortune of working at some of the nation’s most respected public relations firms, and he represented internationally renowned brands such as Virgin, TD Ameritrade, OppenheimerFunds, Deloitte and many more. His focus at S&A Cherokee, Mike is responsible for growing and managing our expanding national client base.

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Glenn Gillen

APR, Account Manager

Glenn earned his degree in radio, television and motion pictures from UNC-Chapel Hill, and he has has worked in TV production, nonprofit communications, corporate communications, marketing and public relations. He has been published in PR Tactics and The Public Relations Strategist, and recently completed the requirements for Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). He vows to never participate in line dancing.

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Email: Twitter: ggpr

Marilu McQuilkin

Director, Meetings & Events

When Marilu decides to place something in her “likes” column, she throws her energy into it 100 percent. That includes her 7-year-old son, Gavin, who is the smartest, funniest kid on the block; the Green Bay Packers, the best football team on the planet (GO PACKERS!); playing pool, a game which she is serious about winning; warm weather, which helped bring her all the way to N.C. State from her home in Wisconsin; and her dog, Cricket, who, while not exactly MacArthur Fellowship material, is a fiercely loyal companion.

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Kati Knowland

Special Projects Manager

Kati is a jack-of-all-trades, both on the job and at home. At home, Kati serves in a variety of roles including (but not limited to) mom, wife, chef, finder of lost things, shooer-away of bad dreams, impromptu dance party DJ and recipient of many an eye roll — doled out both by her husband, Josh, and her son, Oliver.

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Amy Mangels

Graphic Designer

As a graphic designer at S&A Cherokee, Amy helps clients bring their vision to life in the form of print and digital collateral. With more than nine years of experience, Amy and her eye for design help our award-winning team stand out from the crowd. Read more »


Jonathan Fredin

Chief Photographer

For a man of few words, Jonathan has a lot to say. Just look at his photos. From compelling editorial to concise commercial photography, Jonathan lets his images do the talking.

Educated in print journalism at Florida Southern College, Jonathan worked as a reporter, editor and layout artist for numerous publications before discovering his true passion. In 1998, he traded in his pen for a camera and hasn’t looked back once, except to blink, “Show me, don’t tell me.” Read more »


Matt Rice

Junior Interactive Web Designer

Ready to live the Brady Bunch life, Matt and his wife want to have six children. No need to worry – having cared for his 10 nieces and nephews and growing up as part of a big family Matt is well prepared. Read more »