The Crew

Toy collector. Published author. Disney aficionado. Social justice activist. DIY fanatic. We’re a team of many passions, and where we all converge is our love of marketing. Our goal is to bring talent, passion and a unique perspective to everything we touch, all to create something beautiful for your company: rewarding relationships with your customers.

Learn more about how we can put our craft to work for you.

The Artisans

I’m the only professional here.

Steve Gaither

The OCD S.V.P

Steve Gaither is the senior vice president of C.A. Branding, a division of C.A. Fortune. Founded as JB Chicago, C.A. Branding is an integrated marketing agency whose clients range from Fortune 500, middle-market, to emerging brands.  As a mentor at the Good Food Business Accelerator, ICNC, Chicagoland Food and Bev, and The Hatchery, his relationships with entrepreneurs led him to co-found the Windy City Troublemakers, an early-stage food brands group in Chicago. Steve was formerly a partner in Spiral Sun Ventures and Windy City Food Brands, where he and his fellow CPG experts provided the operational know-how and go-to market strategies that help brands accelerate their growth.

Steve graduated from Ball State University in 1994 with a degree in Architecture and Planning. He resides in Munster, Indiana with his wife and three children.

You know what, just cork it!

Christina Calderon

The cheeky Creative Director

Originally C.A. Branding’s first hire 20+ years ago, Christina is now head of the creative department. Her role includes ensuring our clients’ brand is consistent across all mediums, and her expertise in branding, print, digital and social campaigns helps her guide clients in communicating their vision. Internally, she guides the company’s day-to-day operating activities, as well as overall staff development and leadership.

Christina loves working with not-for-profits at C.A. and has a passion for social justice. She also runs a local Care Center in her neighborhood that serves people who are looking for support services and community.

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Kait Benetz

The lively Account Director

Kait joined the C.A. Branding team with over 5 years in the CPG space working with emerging and established brands in strategy, insights and account management. Kait manages the account team and works in lockstep with the creative department to ensure our client’s goals are met and then some.

With a degree in media arts and design, she spent over 8 years in LaLa Land before moving to the MW to be closer to her precious niece. On the weekends you can find her teaching yoga flows, exploring random city streets and sipping on Sauvy Blanc.

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Dane McDonald

The opinionated Senior Copywriter + Brand Strategist

Dane began his time at C.A. as the team’s first social media coordinator, but has since advanced up the ranks to his current position as senior copywriter and brand strategist. An experienced storyteller, creative writer, and editorial columnist, Dane is the person at C.A. who makes sure our clients’ stories come to life via the written word.

Originally from Indianapolis, Dane moved to Chicago after studying Journalism and Theatre & Drama at Indiana University. When not keeping everyone in the office entertained with his sparkling witticisms, Dane is likely to be found at a local movie theater, in search of the city’s best margarita, or at a Disney theme park.

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Whitney Bell

The free-spirited Graphic Designer

Before starting at C.A. Branding, Whitney spent 4 years designing and art directing in the Seattle apparel industry. After helping a small business platform reach Forbes Main Street Awards and achieve e-commerce success, Whitney is now excited to be a Senior Designer working with both established and emerging brands to tell their story. In addition to her digital design skills, she has appeared in art exhibitions in multiple cities across the country to showcase her hand drawn typography and illustrative work.

Thanks to her roots on the west coast (Idaho and Washington), Whitney loves to spend her time at lakes, beaches, and mountains. Her ideal day involves quality time with her Siberian husky, heaps of espresso, and hunting down her new favorite vintage vinyl record. Her space is always filled with countless houseplants and she prides herself on her green thumb.

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Silpa Joe

The adventurous Graphic Designer

Silpa joined C.A. Branding after working as an art director on various B2B and B2C accounts at a few Chicagoland agencies. At C.A., she’s a designer who uses her love of research and exploration to come up with interesting visual designs that tell compelling stories. Silpa attended Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, where she majored in graphic design, minored in photography, dabbled in advertising, and geeked out at the Disney World.

Originally from the other side of the world (Asia, specifically), Silpa enjoys sharing her heritage with others while also learning about other cultures and history. When not at the office, you can find her road tripping to nature parks in search of mountains, exploring various parts of Chicago, or photographing furry friends at local shelters.

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Erica Hankes

The unflappable Client Strategist

Erica joined C.A. Branding with 5 years’ experience in branding and her role is a hybrid of brand development and client strategy. With a background in audience insight and experimental design, no hypothetical stone is left unturned.

In her spare time, Erica enjoys discovering treasures at flea markets and antique shops and spending time with her pup, Frank. Erica graduated from Aurora University and holds a BA in Psychology, with a focus on Marketing through her American Marketing Association Collegiate Chapter.

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Megan Arnold

The perceptive Copywriter 

After a previous internship with us, Megan returned to the C.A. Branding team as a full-time copywriter after graduating from Indiana University. She studied Creative Advertising and specialized in sex and gender in media as well as diversity in media, using that to drive her passion to contribute to meaningful and inclusive projects.

After work, you can find Megan punching it out at 9Round boxing gym with her best friend or exploring the charming streets of Lincoln Park. Her greatest loves are cover bands, nachos, and golden retrievers.