Meet the Collective

When you collaborate with Steven James, you access not one company but a wealth of passionate people whose experience and network of expertise is second to none.

We’re here. We’re ready. Let’s get started.


Jim Pavone

Managing Partner

Meet Jim Pavone, Managing Partner

Steven James is the vision of Jim Pavone, a successful Rochester business owner, and pioneering entrepreneur. Named in honor of his late uncle, Steven James Pavone - the man who started their thriving company YPC Media which serves over 4,000 clients - Jim has constructed with Steven James a full-service multi-media company to meet the commercial marketing needs of companies and organizations large and small, while also pivoting to create original content for mobile devices, computers, televisions, and motion pictures.

Jim's idea was to assemble the best collection of talent that he could, a pool of individuals with experience in foundational sectors of the economy, both public and private - media communications, public relations, entertainment, real estate, and education to name a few.

Our Team

Get to know the rest of our amazing collective!

Stephanie Barkley 030719_059

Stephanie Barkley

Design Director

If Anna Wintour ever needs a new best friend, Stephanie is surely the next Grace Coddington. Her love for building in the digital space stems from her childhood curiosity for motion and animation. She has always been a problem solver and driven by trying new things, which is why design has served to be the perfect outlet for her at Steven James.

Stephanie's education at SUNY Oswego provided her with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design, which opened doors for her into the digital marketplace. Her natural artistic eye gives her a one-up on the competition. She has exhibited work in and around Syracuse, NY and has been published in A Journal of the Arts: Stone Canoe Number 8 by Syracuse University.

Now serving on the Steven James team, Stephanie feels most in her element when working and collaborating with other creatively inclined individuals.

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Luci Breuer

Director of Client Services

Luci is the chess master at Steven James, moving the pieces around the board to ensure delivery of our marketing solutions. Having run her own agency in the past, Luci has a keen understanding of every facet of marketing, including media planning & buying. A powerful negotiator, Luci has executed media purchasing strategies for several major automotive groups and retailers.

A mom, a marketer, and a champion of the client, Luci is an integral part of Steven James’ ability to be expert story tellers.

Renee Brunker

Renee Brunker

Creative Resources Manager

Renee is the go-to person for all things creative, coordinating day-to-day efforts & supporting our team to produce the best results possible. With four years of project management experience and a strong background in graphic design, Renee understands how to maintain an environment where creativity thrives and projects stay on track.

Renee has always been passionate about creating something new as an artist by any medium. Prior to Steven James, Renee started out as a professional make-up artist for over five years before moving to the digital space, when she became certified in graphic design & project management. She’s been working in the agency environment for four years now, and brings her creative ideas and workflows to every project she’s a part of.

As an artist, movie buff, style seeker and designer, Renee believes in embracing the unusual, exploring the unknown, and being one-of-a-kind.

Brian Coughlin

Brian Coughlin

Creative Consultant

Brian is a multi-talented artist who is familiar with many of the various facets of the arts community. In the theatre, Brian has performed in over forty plus productions and has directed a wide variety of plays including Death of a Salesman, Proof, The Normal Heart, August: Osage County and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Over the last several years he has spent time freelancing as a writer, producer and director on a variety of film and video projects for the Eastman Kodak Company, Great Atlantic Pictures, Markethold Productions, and the Rochester City School District. Brian has also worked on several feature-length films written and directed by fellow Rochesterian, Nicholas DiBella, the most recent being King’s Faith and Wildflower.

Brian is also an accomplished graphic artist and award-winning singer-songwriter who performs regularly throughout the region and is the creator and host of the long-running Rochester music series, Songwriters in the Round.

Hayley Dalton

Hayley Dalton

Data Analytics Manager
Hayley has always had an interest in helping clients better understand their results through numbers. Add in her experience with some of the nation’s top companies and her passion for client success, and you’ll see why she brings a different perspective to the Steven James team.

Born and raised in Rochester, Hayley has a passion for all-things athletic, and enjoys photography and spending time out on the water.
Nick Dibella

Nick DiBella

Creative Consultant

Nick is an award-winning writer and director whose self-taught knowledge in filmmaking began at the Eastman Kodak Company where he created films for Kodak's Entertainment Division. There, he produced dozens of marketing films showcasing motion picture products and won the prestigious Golden Hugo Award for Sales and Marketing for his work on Kodak's EXR campaign.

On the feature side, Nick's screenplays Runnin' Home and Address Unknown were produced for cable TV and his spec script, Chasing Bobby Jones, was sold to Warner Bros. Other produced screenplays include Kart Racer (2002), released by MGM and broadcasted on ABC Family, and Cherry Crush (2005) released on Showtime.

Recently, he directed the inspirational drama King's Faith (2013) released worldwide by Sony Provident, and the psychological thriller Wildflower (2016) currently in release worldwide by Sony Provident and Faith Street Films. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America.

Brianna Dioguardi

Brianna Dioguardi

Account Manager

Brianna's artistic nature has been the fuel for her passions in life since the day she first picked up a pencil with her left hand. She discovered that the digital marketplace was her creative outlet of choice, and from there she pursued a degree in strategic communications & digital media from Saint Bonaventure University (Class of '16- go Bonnies!).

After entering the workforce, her eye for visual arts and love for the camera sparked a passion in the realm of photography and video. Her work at Steven James has led to being both in front of the lens as well as behind it, paired with work as an editor in the post-production process and managing SJ's ever-growing podcast capabilities.

Jeremy Dunn

Jeremy Dunn

Video Production Specialist

Jeremy comes to Steven James via FLCC and SUNY Cortland where he earned degrees in new communication media.  Ever since he was young, Jeremy’s been developing the strong sense of story he brings to all of his editing and conceptual projects. Both an avid reader and a lover of all things cinematic, Jeremy uses these dual passions to combine the visual and the verbal to produce compelling pieces for both commercial and creative ventures. A sci-fi fan, Robocop is his number one flick of all-time.

Jeremy has experience in digital vid, editing, design, and he helped to manage Cortland’s 20CSTV in his time there. He looks forward to bringing his skill set to feature film projects in the future. Steven James is thrilled to have Jeremy on the team!

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Thom Georgia

Group Director of Marketing

If Steven James was a Madison Avenue firm, Thom would be Mad Men’s Don Draper. Although he would more allign with Anna Wintour minus the over-sized sunglasses. He is the one laser-focused on the nuances of messaging from the adherence to proper color theory to the emotion of the room when the final presentation is unveiled.

Prior to joining the team, Thom spent the last decade perfecting his craft in political and non-profit marketing. Hailing from NY’s Capital Region, he has worked with and led marketing and communications teams with some of government’s biggest power players, including his time in the NYS Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. During his tenure in politics, his work received the Empire State Development award for best in class branding & marketing.

Transitioning from in-house to agency, Thom now leads the marketing & creative team at Steven James, but it is they who inspire him each day with their faithful service to the brand’s values and commitment to telling every client’s authentic story.

Chris Hart

Chris Hart


Chris was the senior cinematographer for Kodak's Entertainment Imaging division for many years. In this position, he was responsible for producing and shooting marketing films used in launching every new motion picture stock that Kodak introduced since the late 80's.

In addition, Chris has taught cinematography workshops for film students and industry professionals in over twenty countries around the world. He left Kodak in 2011 and since then has shot numerous commercials, dozens of videos for healthcare clients and an independent feature.

With his eye for well-designed lighting and composition, Chris creates consistently remarkable images. Coupled with a good sense of humor and calm intensity on the set, his work ethic as a cinematographer is a great asset to any production.

Jen Larose

Jennifer LaRose

Vice President of Business Development

With over 20 years of experience on both sides of the agency business, as a media rep and as an agency owner, Jen brings a unique perspective to Steven James. She has an appreciation for what it takes to put together an effective marketing campaign for her clients, as both their fiduciary as well as their creative director.

Jen has a passion for brainstorming ideas for clients that will make a difference in their business and change people’s lives. Advertising is really about motivating people to take action based on a need, and Jen loves the challenge of connecting ideas with emotion. Bringing those ideas to life through various media is her passion and she’s not afraid to be held accountable for delivering results. Bring her a challenge; she’ll turn it into a creative opportunity at Steven James.

Nate Mancini

Nate Mancini

Video Production Manager

Nate Mancini is a video producer with a passion for all kinds of excellent art. He manages the video division at Steven James and takes on anything from scripting to shooting to post-production. With a background in both filmmaking and marketing, Nate loves bringing clients’ stories to life on video.

After graduating from Grove City College in 2013 with a degree in marketing, Nate managed video production at EarthLink, a nationwide network services provider. He also has experience in narrative filmmaking — he wrote and directed the feature film “Asleep in a Storm” in 2012 and the short film “Pastime” in 2015. “Pastime” won awards at the Rochester International Film Festival and the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival.

Nate is the founder of Forefront Festival, an organization that equips Christian creators to take their art to the next level. He has hosted events in Pittsburgh, PA and Rochester, NY featuring distinguished artists like tap dancer/TED Fellow Andrew Nemr and pop/folk duo The Gray Havens. Whether it’s making something himself or shining a spotlight on other creators, Nate is a firm believer that excellent art can make a positive difference in our community.

Jess Pavone

Jess Pavone

Public Relations & Social Media Manager

As a singer-songwriter, Jess strives to help others find their voice and tell their story. Graduating from SUNY Fredonia with a Bachelor of Science, studying public relations, communications, and business administration, she has a true passion for everything communication. Jess believes in the positive power of social media, interpersonal relationships, and maintaining authentic brand identity across all mediums and interactions.

Jess has done PR for Fredonia School of Business, the Literacy Volunteers of Chautauqua County, The Riveters all-female a cappella, and for clients right here at Steven James! A proud third generation member of the founding Pavone family, Jess looks forward to devoting her career to continued research and understanding of the industry.

James Pistell

James Pistell

Director of MarTech Solutions

James is the agency’s human supercomputer. He is a resourceful online marketing professional and web developer with six years of experience developing and implementing digital marketing campaigns. James has designed and developed websites, apps and digital marketing strategies for clients and personal use. A forward-thinking marketing guru who creates landing pages and with A/B testing, while analyzing ROI and conversion to adjust marketing campaigns.

In his spare time James moonlights as a commissioned officer in the Army National Guard.

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Kaelin Richards

Director of Strategy

The compass amidst the crazy creatives, Kaelin abides by the concept that keeping a long-term goal in your scope will always lead to a successful brand. Her studies may have led her to a degree in classical music performance from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, but her time overseas was a key stepping stone in falling in love with the music industry and the power behind building a brand: whether it be an individual artist, a record label or a small business.

After graduating, she moved to Rochester, NY, where she put her passion to work. Kaelin has experience in both development and implementation in social media advertising, design, band management, consulting, and video. From there, she discovered that her truest passion of all was in molding the journey that leads to a successful brand through strategy.

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Joanna Romero

Relationship Marketing Manager

Joanna is the agency's bridge builder working to strengthen partnerships and elevate the Steven James brand. Often the first voice & face you will encounter, it is her ability to truly understand your story that lets Steven James tell it.

She was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and she is fluent in Spanish and English. Joanna graduated from St. John Fisher College with a marketing major and a strategic communication minor. She has a passion for social media, photography, design, and dance.

Paul Root

Paul Root

Content Developer

An award-winning creative writer, Paul's career has included crafting and delivering customized communications for public and private organizations for many years.

When Paul was a graduate student, world-renowned writer Nikki Giovanni selected his 'White Rats' as Story of the Year for the international English Honor Society's publication 'The Rectangle.' In the ensuing years, he has had five feature films produced of his scripts, optioned numerous others, and has had four books of fiction published.

Additionally, Paul has written and edited professional presentations, commercial pieces, and plays for the stage. His work has earned him membership in the Writers Guild of America.


Gary Sajdak

Director of Sports Marketing

Gary comes to Steven James with a wealth of diverse experience in the advertising and marketing fields. He has held every management position in the industry, including owning an agency. His expertise includes multimedia advertising, sports marketing, public relations, broadcasting, image consulting, commercial production, graphic design, event management and more.


Brian Wrasman

Director of Innovation

Brian is known for his innovative marketing ideas and strategies and has worked with thousands of clients from many different industries. Prior to joining our team, Brian launched and ran CrossPointe Studios for 12 years and developed multiple product lines aimed around video, web development, and interactive media.

Brian is focused on solving his client's biggest problems by finding solutions that move their business forward through video, web, and social media strategies. Brian has also recognized as a keynote speaker at multiple industry conferences where he has shared his insights of connecting established businesses to a young, social-media-focused generation. Brian and his wife Brittni love living in South Charlotte with their four children.