We build brands powered by people. Because it’s people — us, our clients and our customers — who shape a brand’s identity, amplify its triumphs and inspire its next move. So, we obsess over our people who are constantly listening to all the ways brands are being considered, challenged and celebrated.

We build brands that are in constant motion. Brands on a never-ending mission to connect with us, surprise us and change behavior. Brands that use strategy and insight to empower us to act or move us to reconsider. Where do you want your brand to go next? Let’s make moves.


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St. Louis +

Great people are our greatest asset, and great people can be found anywhere. Our remote workforce model allows us to work without boundaries, expand the creative environment, and collect top talent from around the country. We’ve set out to master the distributed workforce.

Work With Us

Different States
Messages Sent
at HLK
HLK9 Photos
Shared Daily


Our mission: Provide and support an environment where passionate problem solvers can thrive every day.

Be Curious

Seek out the right problem to solve. Explore endlessly and embrace criticism. Dig deeper and dream bigger.

Be Thoughtful

Do everything — design, strategize, project manage, analyze, deliver — with a sense of humanity. Stay positive, support one another, and act with empathy.

Be Brave

Take calculated risks — big and small. Push the work. Push yourself and move forward fearlessly.

We value all people and reject racism, discrimination, harassment, and hate.

We believe great ideas can come from anyone, which is why we strive for everyone to feel respected, valued, and empowered to bring their voice, perspective, experiences, creativity, and whole selves to their work and lives.

Our culture thrives on diversity of thought that allows each of us to be heard in order to deliver our best work, powered by our greatest asset: our people.

Independent +

HLK is 100% privately held and owned by seven partners. They’re far from figureheads. They’re active contributors to the work, combining a breadth of backgrounds, strengths and passions to keep our people, clients and culture moving forward.

Eric Karlovic

Eric Karlovic

Partner, CEO

Alison Berry

Alison Berry

Partner, COO

Joe Leahy

Joe Leahy

Partner, Co-CCO

Ben Bocklage

Ben Bocklage

Partner, CSO

Shelby Georgis

Shelby Georgis

Partner, Co-CCO

Emily Kircher

Emily Kircher

Partner, CMO

Brad Overby

Brad Overby

Partner, CFO

What Moves Us

We believe truly great work influences people. That’s why we put understanding people and their behavior at the center of everything we create.

Research + Insight

Katherine Moore

As a moderator and researcher, understanding what makes people tick and what moves them drives my work every day. Listening to people’s stories and learning about their lives allows our team to uncover ways to genuinely connect with our audience. Katherine Moore
VP Research & Insights

I love the challenge of uncovering new ways of thinking about seemingly ordinary information and people. Those new perspectives, unlocks and aha moments only happen when we deeply understand what moves people. Kendall McDermott
Senior Brand Planner

Kendall McDermott

Analytics +

Dash Ni

Dash Ni
Marketing Automation Strategist
By putting together the puzzle pieces of disparate data, we harness profound insights that illuminate audiences and fuel effective strategies and compelling experiences that move brands from expected to extraordinary.

We are passionate about building brands that move people — with action and with emotion. We’ve built brands from the ground up and evolved legacy brands for where they need to go.

Brand Strategy: Naming +
Architecture + Positioning

Warren Stepler, VP, Brand Planning

Warren Stepler, VP, Brand Planning Two things are essential: know the business and know the audience. Riffing off each other, sharing our expertise, and combining our deep understanding of the client and the customer are the ways we deliver work that moves brands forward. Arriving at an idea, and having that “Yes!” feeling hit you in the gut, that’s the exciting part.

Design + Identity

Eddie Diazmuñoz, Senior Art Director, and Justin Striebel, Design Director

Eddie Diazmuñoz, Senior Art Director, and Justin Striebel, Design Director Whether it’s building an entirely new brand identity, refreshing an existing one or working with an already strong brand — it doesn’t matter. Thoughtful, brave design makes work move, and we look for those opportunities every chance we get.

We create living and non-static brands that recognize the full journey of the audience. A brand is the collection of the total experience its audience has, and we believe in finding every point of friction to better deliver on the brand strategy and idea.

Platforms + Campaigns

Rachel Weis, Account Director, and Jaclyn Phenicie, Creative Director

Rachel Weis, Account Director, and Jaclyn Phenicie, Creative Director Not all creative or campaigns come from direct asks. Having a partner who understands when there’s an unspoken need, when to steer and when to veer are intensely collaborative moments between creative and account leads.

Technology + CX

Kirk Brauer

Technology is the dynamic playground where we bring creative visions to life and the customer experience is paramount. It’s a thrilling environment of constant growth and innovation. Kirk Brauer
Director of Development

Everything has to start with the audience. I strive to understand what moves them, understand the moments they need our client to show up for them, and assess how we can create memorable experiences that provide value and build trust. Curtis Kingrea
CX Strategist

Curtis Kingrea

Paid + Earned

Michael Welch, Media Director

Michael Welch, Media Director We are storytellers first and foremost. Brands need to have something to say, and then we love working to craft that message and take a data-driven approach to finding new ways to amplify it and move the right audiences.

Client Logos
Client Logos

The Work

Moving our brands so that they can better move the people who matter most.


From an environmental science unit

To a brand driving the future of our environments

As a yet-to-be-named environmental science company prepared to unveil itself to the world, we not only named and positioned the company but we also built a brand to connect with customers and stand for something bigger than the product portfolio.


From selling service

To delivering a brand experience based on our actions

With a firm understanding of our target and tight segmentation strategy, we did more than increase sales leads by 43% — we transformed ad space into advice space.


From individual brands

To a connected portfolio with technology-driven, personalized experiences

We designed and built a flexible solution that allowed for consistent governance and maintenance across a portfolio of 30+ web properties while providing flexibility in the authoring experience to let each brand shine.


From unseen

To advocacy for poverty criminalization

We created a bold campaign to expose people to a harsh, overlooked truth: that judicial inequities criminalize poverty, especially in communities of color. Together with ArchCity Defenders, we’re fighting to change that while inviting St. Louisans to join the cause as allies and advocates.

Wherever you are, let’s get in touch

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