Meet the Oak Street Social Team!
Johanna Grange - CO-Founder
Johanna Grange discovered her passion for digital media and branding after graduating from the University of Iowa with a Broadcast Journalism degree in 2000. 14 years of marketing experience in both the ad world and the digital space empowered her to nurture relationships in the spa + wellness sector as well as the restaurant and lifestyle brand markets. She approaches each partnership with a consultative approach empowering her clients to be a part of the process. Johanna believes that relationships are fundamentally built on honest feedback and real chemistry. It's the close-knit network of clients turned friends that encouraged her to turn her freelance projects into a full blown social media boutique firm alongside her partner.
Johanna resides in the NorthShore with her husband, two toddler daughters and beagle pup. When she's not working, which is never, she enjoys planning date nights at new restaurant concepts, indulging in California pinot noir and playing dress up with her daughters. She may or may not know all the words to every Disney ballad ever created.
For a peek into the life of this hustling entrepreneur, media maven, working mama and blogger, follow Johanna's personal Instagram account @101thingsilove.
carolyn brundage - CO-founder
After founding several successful dot coms and penning lifestyle columns for top publications for over 15 years, Carolyn Brundage developed a keen eye for content marketing. Her flair for developing effective, appealing content paired with a love of social media, led her to develop, alongside her partner Johanna Grange, Oak St. Social.
Oak Street Social combines a deep and well-versed understanding of what appeals to consumers with an appreciation for how social media drives brand loyalty and consumer spending. With a focus on developing unique, creative and effective marketing strategies for both boutique brands and large corporations, Carolyn enjoys pairing her creative flair and marketing expertise with the instant gratification and long term gains that social media marketing provides.
Carolyn lives in Chicagoland with her three sons. An avid runner, shopper, entrepreneur and lover of life, Carolyn thrives on challenges. new experiences and living for the moment.
For a peek into the life of this creative entrepreneur, author and working mama follow Carolyn's personal Instagram account @carolynjarrettbrundage.
Whitney Parse - director of new business acquisition
Whitney grew up in Kansas City, but has spent most of her adult life living in big cities across the United States (seven to be exact). From coast to coast, and up and down the Midwest, she has been so grateful for all the different communities she has been embraced by and a part of. Studying fashion marketing and management, Whitney has spent most of her career in the fashion industry. She has had the privilege of working for some big name companies when they were in the small phase of creation. Through those experiences she has been able to learn the ins and outs of building an organization from the ground up. Her favorite part of every job is the people. She loves meeting new people, hearing their story, and finding ways in which she can help their personal or professional brand grow.
When not at work, Whitney loves eating barbecue and watching sports with her husband, being in the sun, or building out her personal blog (shopmiltonjames.com)
HALLE Sobczak - project Manager
Halle is a Michigan native who will forever be smitten with the mitten. She recently graduated from Central Michigan University (Fire up Chips!) with a degree in integrative public relations. Soon after graduation she traded the small town shorelines of Lake Huron for the Chicago city views of Lake Michigan. Forever obsessed with branding and discovering the “Why?” behind what makes a brand unique, she finds herself getting lost in the “About” section of every new brand she stumbles upon online.
An Instagram junkie, she always has her eye out for the latest aesthetically pleasing restaurant or trendy spot around the city. When she isn’t captivated by all things Instagram, you can typically find her testing out the latest recipe she found on Pinterest, soaking up the lakeshore or shopping for another piece of clothing she doesn’t really need.
Melissa Pierson - Community Management
Melissa Pierson is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri. She was born and raised in Chicago and loves everything about this city. When she isn’t rooting for the Cubs, she is obsessing over her favorite celebrities on Instagram (mainly Harry Styles and all of One Direction). Melissa spent a summer interning in New York City and is always looking for her next adventure. She loves exploring new things, trying new foods, and getting lost in social media.
Annie Caplis - Project manager
Annie is a North Shore native and recent graduate of Texas Christian University. After receiving her degree in Fashion Merchandising and minor in Communication Studies, she traded Cowtown for the Windy City. In her spare time you can find her watching the latest season of Real Housewives ( NYC is her fav!) and possibly reciting all of the tag lines or taking a class at Pure Barre.
Nina James - Community Management
Nina Williams grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a Senior at Loyola University Chicago with a major in Advertising and Public Relations. Everyday her passion for social media grows! With the ability to network and meet new people, Nina finds Instagram to be her favorite social media platform. While keeping up with her social life, she finds true passion in acting and modeling and being an inspiration to all those around her!
Griffin Nieves - Community Management
Griffin is a New York native, growing up in Western New York and moving to New York City for college. He attended Baruch College, where he studied Corporate Communications, with a minor in Sociology. After graduating from Baruch he relocated to Chicago, where he has been an active member in many sports leagues within the Chicagoland area. He enjoys volleyball, kickball, dodgeball and soccer. When he is not working or cheering on his favorite sports teams, you can probably find him petting every dog on the street (and we mean every single one). Born in Alaska and being raised all across the United States, Griffin has an insatiable desire to travel and try new things; but will always believe that the chicken nuggets are their own food group.
paige Friedrichs- Community MANAGEment
Paige is a Chicago native who grew up in the Northwest suburbs. Aside from being a junior at Loyola University in Chicago, she considers herself a retail-therapist and blueberry pancake connoisseur. After graduating, she hopes her passion for fashion will lead her to a job in the retail merchandising industry. Her free time is consumed with watching reality television and spending countless hours researching new recipes on Pinterest. She is Instagram-obsessed and feels incomplete without when she's without wifi for too long.
Haley arger- Community MANAGEment
Haley is a blogger-obsessed recent graduate of Indiana University with a passion for fashion and food. From the Northwest suburbs of Chicago born and raised, in the city is where she spends most of her days. In her spare time, she likes to go mural-hunting as well as trying to go to as many networking events as possible.
Karley Freitas- Community MANAGEment
Karley is a New York native who is a junior at Michigan State University studying advertising and entrepreneurship! Karley likes to thinks of herself as a foodie and is always down to try anything new! If there is a new restaurant or new food trend she is a the first one outside the door! She is a huge enthusiast for dry shampoo and gel manicures and on the weekends you can catch her doing yoga!
RYANN RUSS - WEB DESIGNER
Ryann Russ grew up in Minnesota and studied at The Ohio State University, where she graduated with a M.A. in History of Art and Art Education. After college she began working with small businesses that had even smaller budgets. During this time she became a firm believer that you can accomplish big things if you have a plan and a little patience. As her design business grew so did her desire to branch out and help small businesses create more than just a website. Ryann now specializes in creating an online presence complete with custom graphics and other marketing materials.
Ryann currently resides in Charlotte, NC and share her office with two French Bulldogs; Iggy Stardust & Stella Luna.
Hallie Duesenberg - creative director
Hallie studied Electronic Media & Photography at Bradley University and at Lorenzo De' Medici in Florence, Italy. After a short stint working in LA she found her way back to Chicago where she belongs! She is grateful to have a career that she is so passionate about, and believes that photography does not only serve to create beautiful, inspiring imagery, but can also enhance our outlook on the world. Hallie lives in Logan Square, working as a freelance photographer focusing on fashion, lifestyle, portraiture, and events.
In her spare time she loves to bike, collaborate up with other creatives, go to concerts, travel, and work on creatively fulfilling personal projects.
Ashley Hutchinson - CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Chicago-native Ashley Hutchinson has been peeking through a lens most of her life. After launching her photography business at 17 with her Father, Ashley's obsession only increased as she ran her Chinatown studio until her Father's passing. After taking a five-year hiatus from photography Ashley returned to her first love after receiving encouragement from the Instagram community (her username is @MushroomStew) and launched her photography business and blog, Sed Bona, in 2014.
Ashley is forever grateful to be back doing what she loves the most -- creating beautiful images with rich stories. When she's not glued to her camera you can find Ashley eating her way around Chicago or taking her two pugs for walks to North Avenue Beach. She currently resides in Old Town and couldn't be happier to finally be doing what she really loves full-time.
HELEN BERKUN - CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Helen Berkun is a fashion photographer, stylists, creative director, influencer, shoe collector and mama. With 20 years in the fashion industry and represented by world-renowned Ford Artists, she has run the gamut from editorial and advertising photography to celebrity styling and commercial print. This multi-talented girl lives, eats, sleeps and breathes fashion.
Born in the former USSR, Helen’s aesthetic is eclectic, trend-driven and artistic—a quality that runs through her family of painters, photographers and designers. After receiving a Fine Arts degree with a photography emphasis from Columbia College Chicago, Helen quickly established herself as an editorial fashion photographer, where she developed a keen eye for composition, lighting and art direction. Her photography is recognized for her fun, beautiful and poppy images.
MELISSA FERRARA - SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER
Melissa Ferrara grew up in Northwest Indiana where she attended Purdue University Calumet to study advertising. After taking a few photography classes, she realized her talent and wanted to make photography more than just a hobby. Upon graduating with her B.A. in Advertising, Melissa started Iron & Honey Photography and now lives in downtown Chicago pursuing her dream as a full-time lifestyle photographer specializing in portraits and events. When she’s not behind the camera, you can find Melissa rocking out at karaoke or rooting on her beloved Chicago White Sox.