About Vertical

At Vertical, we believe in the power of communication. It has the ability to inform, excite, persuade, and transform ideas into reality. Formed in 2002, Vertical chose to be different. We founded the company based on optimism and the singular goal of helping our clients succeed – whether it’s overcoming challenges or maximizing opportunities for growth. More than twenty years later, Vertical has stayed true to its promise. Today we are helping companies in energy, infrastructure, technology and transportation transform the world by applying the power of communication. Our multi-dimensional approach includes Market Intelligence, Strategic Communications, Visual Communications and Sales Support.
Michael J. Keating
President

Strengths:
Hiring people smarter than himself

Weaknesses:
Coffee and chocolate doughnuts

Work Experience:
Ogilvy Public Relations, Porter/Novelli, Bozell

Past Life:
World traveler, avid reader, interesting conversationalist, martini connoisseur

Current Life:
Helping my son navigate the challenges of middle school and Chicago’s urban bicycle paths

Accomplishments:
Signed affidavits in 50 states vowing never to launch a singing career

Michael Sobczynski
Account Services Director

Strengths:
Details, numbers, analysis and project management

Weaknesses:
Chicago Cubs, Starbucks and Chicago Cubs

Education:
B.S. Economics, University of Chicago

Past Life:
Investment banking, pub crawls, wanted to be the first blond James Bond

Current Life:
Husband, news junkie and Starbucks recovery

Can’t live without:
My wife/my Xbox (hope I never have to choose)

Debbie Dodge
Senior Consultant

Strengths:
Grammatically correct and strategically insightful

Weaknesses:
Small venues full of local art, music, dance, theater & film

Work Experience:
Public relations executive for art museum, hospital and management consultant

Can’t Live Without:
Looking at art

Education:
M.S. – Public Relations; M.S. – Historic Preservation

Hidden Talent:
Photography

Duane Perolio
Creative Director

Strengths:
Helps designers see work through the client’s eyes

Weaknesses:
Potato chips and French Onion dip

Education:
B.F.A. – Graphic Design, Kent State University; M.F.A. – Print Media, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Past Life:
Cultural Theorist and Andy Warhol protégé

Accomplishments:
Had a perfect attendance record in grade school

Hidden Talent:
Can do wheelchair stunts

Jason Gaya
Office Manager

What are your strengths?
Visualizing and solving multiple problems at once.

What are your weaknesses?
Rice and beans, sports, and protein shakes.

What’s your work experience?
Self-employed, Fiscal Manager, Weekend Entrepreneur.

Education?
MBA from Northeastern illinois University; BA in Finance from UIC.

What can’t you live without?
Goals

What’s your favorite thing about Chicago?
The moon reflecting off Lake Michigan at night.

Eric Veazie
Graphic Designer

Strengths:
Strategy, organization, and bringing a clients vision to fruition

Weaknesses:
Expensive cheeseburgers, reality TV

Work Experience:
Has assisted agencies large and small

Education:
B.F.A., Graphic Design, DePaul University, Chicago

Hidden Talent:
Music

Cannot live without:
Air