Leif Assurance Hires Two Marketing Specialists

 Leif Assurance, a full-service insurance agency that exclusively handles construction insurance, recently hired Lauren Elizabeth Gulli as Brand Marketing Specialist and Connor Kay as Digital Marketing Specialist.

Gulli’s responsibilities include developing and executing effective marketing campaigns to enhance brand visibility and drive business growth. She will focus on creating strategies and managing content to best engage target audiences. Prior to joining Leif Assurance, Gulli worked as a Marketing Director for a business consulting firm. Gulli earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Multimedia Studies from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla.

As Digital Marketing Specialist, Kay will use various digital platforms to optimize Leif Assurance’s marketing campaigns. He also will ensure the company’s online presence aligns with its long-term goals. Prior to joining Leif Assurance, Kay worked as a Business Development Representative at a Chicago law firm. He previously was the Digital Media Planner for a contemporary clothing label company. Kay earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Communications and Media Advertising from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Il.

“Lauren and Connor add comprehensive experience and insight to our marketing team,” said Leif Assurance CEO JD Powers. “They understand how to create messaging that focuses on our customer’s needs while staying true to our organization’s objectives. Both are a welcome addition to our growing company.”

Founded in 2022, Leif Assurance offers actionable risk management, as well as data-driven pricing models to build the most accurate risk profiles so contractors are rewarded for safe job sites with earned insurance savings. Leif provides cost-effective and comprehensive insurance solutions for worker’s compensation, general liability, builders’ risk, inland marine, and commercial auto.

Leif Assurance is the sister company of Powers Insurance & Risk Management and Valley Insurance Agency Alliance (VIAA), a cohesive family of more than 160 independent insurance agencies in Missouri and Illinois. Powers Insurance & Risk Management is one of the largest family owned and operated independent insurance agencies in the bi-state region. All three companies are located at 6825 Clayton Ave. For more information about Leif Assurance, call (314) 202-4200.

Leif Assurance
JD Powers



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SEMA Hires Karen Bailey-Chapman to Lead Public and Government Affairs


The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has hired Karen Bailey-Chapman to lead its Washington, D.C., office as Senior Vice President, Public & Government Affairs. SEMA represents the $50.9 billion specialty-automotive industry and created the position to strengthen and grow the industry’s legislative and advocacy program.

“As the automotive aftermarket is increasingly impacted and threatened by government actions, it is critical that SEMA continues to represent and protect the industry in Washington, D.C.,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA President and CEO. “Karen will be instrumental in raising visibility of the specialty-equipment market. She is a highly experienced legislative strategist who will elevate SEMA’s advocacy efforts.”

Bailey-Chapman has a proven track record of success in local, state, federal, and global government affairs and advocacy campaigns. Most recently, Bailey-Chapman served as senior vice president of external affairs for American Beverage Association. Previous experience includes senior roles with casino company Penn National Gaming and the D.C.-based public affairs firm DCI Group.

Bailey-Chapman will oversee all government affairs efforts for SEMA and the Performance Racing Industry (PRI), a subsidiary of SEMA dedicated to the motorsports market. She will lead programs related to legislation, regulations, and government policies on issues affecting climate change, consumer choice, business opportunities, and more.

The new senior-level role is the most recent expansion of SEMA’s legislative program. SEMA recently introduced an individual membership program designed to strengthen its PAC, and last month the association hosted the SEMA DC Rally – a two-day fly-in event consisting of about 100 in-person meetings on the Hill. 

About SEMA

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $50.9 billion specialty-automotive industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. Association resources include market research, legislative advocacy, training and product development support, as well as leading trade shows such as the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nev., and the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, Ind. For more information, visit www.sema.org, www.semashow.com, or www.performanceracing.com.

Chicken Bone FX Hires BREAK+ENTER VFX Team

NEW YORKSept. 15, 2022PRLog — Chicken Bone FX, a boutique visual effects company specializing in visual effects for high-end series television, announced today they had seized an opportunity to hire a talented team of professionals from BREAK+ENTER, a visual effects company that was forced to shut its doors. BREAK+ENTER was headquartered in New York City, NY where Chicken Bone FX also has an office, in addition to its headquarters in Manhattan Beach, CA. The acquisition of BREAK+ENTER’s visual effects team increases Chicken Bone’s employee count by about 35% and greatly enhances the company’s ability to take on more projects of interest.

Chicken Bone FX first heard of BREAK+ENTER’s closure from a mutual client who asked if Chicken Bone was able to take on the scope of work that was jeopardized by the sudden closure. John Renzulli, Chicken Bone FX Founder, and President, quickly determined that the company was ready and able to rapidly scale from both a technology and management perspective. “It’s a sad day for the entire VFX community when we hear of vendors shuttering their doors. We are both humbled and excited to have the opportunity to assist our community by employing one of the B+E teams. Adding this talented group of artisans and production professionals strengthens our ecosystem while also filling a void in the market. We are delighted to have them here and proud to give them a place to call home.”

Director of Production, Arissa Blasingame, agrees that “the opportunity to acquire the B+E team felt like a natural evolution for Chicken Bone FX. The team is filled with many like-minded professionals who complement the values and mission Chicken Bone strives for within the industry. It is a very exciting time for everyone involved!”

One of the talented individuals Chicken Bone FX was able to hire includes Creative Director / VFX Supervisor, Ari Rubenstein. Mr. Rubenstein is a 30-year veteran with an impressive array of credits spanning features, television, and animation as a VFX supervisor, lead compositor, compositor, match-move artist, character animator, and technical director. Rubenstein served as a key artist responsible for look development and supervision at Blue Sky Studios for 15 years, where he worked on scores of animated features for Disney and 20th Century Fox. Over the course of his career, he has worn virtually every hat in the VFX production pipeline and worked at three industry pioneers, Xaos Inc., Tippett Studio, and Blue Sky Studios. Rubenstein was also the founder and VFX Supervisor/Producer of Curv Studios. Among his many notable credits are Matrix Revolutions, Constantine, Charlotte’s Web, and Hellboy.

Rubenstein was integral in making the BREAK+ENTER-to-Chicken Bone FX transition happen. He did not take a back seat but rather sat in the driver’s seat spending hours on phone calls with individuals on his team as well as on Chicken Bone’s team and the client to ensure each person was considered on their own merit and with their own concerns in mind. Without Rubenstein, the transition may not have happened at all and likely would not have happened as smoothly as it did. “There is certainly a shared vision and complementary skill sets which make blending these two teams into one much stronger crew, pretty straightforward. And while together we become a formidable VFX outfit with increased capacity, even more exciting is our strategy for future growth. It’s the silver lining in this entire affair, when one door closes, boy did another open!” Rubenstein said.

Integrating the BREAK+ENTER team into the Chicken Bone team has been a large undertaking as a small company made easier by some similarities such as a remote workflow and strong culture of connection and collaboration.

Utilizing a virtual office model since its inception, Chicken Bone FX has been strategic in its approach to scalability, both from a technical perspective, being one of the first to employ Virtual Desktop Interfaces utilizing fully remote production teams in visual effects 10 years ago, and from a cultural perspective with its intentionality around connection and team-building with fully remote teams.

“It’s truly incredible how without forewarning, we were able to attract and hire almost an entire visual effects team consisting of VFX management, CG artists, Compositors, and a VFX Editor. This was a win for everyone involved– the people we hired who were unexpectedly losing their jobs, our client who could rely on a pre-existing trusted partner to help them avoid project delays and extra expense, and Chicken Bone FX which is now able to take on even more exciting work due to employing significantly more talented artists in the industry,” says Emma Everett, Director of Talent & Culture, at Chicken Bone FX.

About Chicken Bone FX Studios

Chicken Bone FX Studios, started by a visual effects artist, has been in the visual effects business since 2012 serving high-end series clients such as HBO, Amazon Studios, Apple TV+ and contributing Emmy-nominated visual effects to series such as See and Foundation. They are a strategic creative partner wielding a unified VFX toolset throughout the entire production continuum to bring creative vision to life. With a remote-based talent pool and processes designed for virtual production from the ground up, Chicken Bone is a valuable partner. Chicken Bone maintains offices in New York City, NY, and Manhattan Beach, CA.



Contact: Emma Everett




BACA Systems Hires Account Executives to Lead Business Development, Manage Customer Relationships in Five States

 BACA Systems today announced that the company has hired two professionals to lead business development and manage customer relationships in several states. Karson Cullimore and Nick Ens have recently joined the company as Regional Territory Managers. Cullimore is based in American Fork, Utah, and is responsible for Arizona, Idaho and Utah. Ens is based in Beaumont, Calif., and is responsible for Southern California and Nevada. Both Cullimore and Ens report to BACA Systems Chief Revenue Officer Tim Burke.

“Karson and Nick bring solid experience in the stone fabrication industry to BACA Systems,” said Burke. “We are excited to have them on board to help us serve our current customers and grow BACA Systems’ business in their respective territories.”

Prior to joining BACA Systems, Cullimore wasa sales executive with Sync Distribution in Salt Lake City, where he was responsible for CNC tooling sales within a large area of Utah. Previously, he held several business development and sales roles with other companies working with the construction and stone industries. Cullimore holds an associate degree in technical sales from Weber State University.

Ens was shop supervisor and CNC operator with Five Star Granite in Woodinville, Wash., before joining BACA Systems. Previously, he held similar roles at San Luis Marble in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

About BACA Systems

BACA Systems, a KUKA Robotics systems integrator, develops innovative fabrication solutions for the countertop industry and is the leader in Robotic SawJet technology. The company’s expert team has been implementing robotic automation for more than 30 years, and its robotic equipment comprises the largest number of robots working in the stone industry. The company also offers both miter and CNC saws plus its BACA Pure water filtration system, which enables water to be recycled and returned to the customer’s cutting process.

The Synergetic Group

Jim Burke



Karson Cullimore

Nick Ens


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InfinyOn Hires Grant Swanson as VP of Marketing to Accelerate Growth

 InfinyOn, a real-time data streaming company, announced the appointment of Grant Swanson as Vice President of Marketing. Swanson joins the InfinyOn senior leadership team, reporting to CEO A.J. Hunyady, and will oversee the marketing discipline that includes brand management, performance marketing, and communications. As VP of Marketing, Swanson will lead the company’s global marketing programs as InfinyOn continues in its mission to make real-time data easy.

“Grant’s business expertise and distinctive track record with high growth startups make him well-suited to lead our marketing team as InfinyOn accelerates to the next stage,” said A.J. Hunyady, CEO of Infinyon. “His leadership and experience as the head of performance and brand marketing will help us elevate our brand, articulate our story, and position our company as an industry leader. We are thrilled to have him on our team.”

Swanson brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing for fast-growing technology companies, most recently as the Sr. Director of Demand Generation at DataStax, a global NoSQL database company. During his time at DataStax, he led the digital marketing, demand generation, events and experience and the marketing operations teams. Prior to DataStax, Swanson held marketing leadership positions at Gigamon, Trustwave, and Avi Networks. He led Gigamon through an initial public offering in 2012, the acquisition of Cenzic by Trustwave in 2014 and the acquisition of Avi Network by VMware in 2018.

“As Data Leaders build and deploy a new generation of services that accelerate decision-making and improve customer experience, InfinyOn will be on the cutting edge of innovation and uniquely positioned to solve some of the hardest challenges of making real-time data a reality,” said Grant Swanson, VP of Marketing at InfinyOn.

About InfinyOn

InfinyOn, a real-time data streaming company, has architected a programmable platform for data in motion that is built on Rust and enables continuous intelligence for connected apps. Smart Streams enable enterprises to intelligently program their data pipelines as they flow between producers and consumers for real-time services. With InfinyOn Cloud, enterprises can quickly correlate events, apply business intelligence, and derive value from their data. To learn more please visit infinyon.com.


Grant Swanson





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