Our Team
MEET OUR TEAM

Our powerhouse marketing and events team includes strategic project managers, writers, designers, and skilled craftspeople who create inspiring, cost-effective solutions and experiences that help you succeed.

Steve Novak Creative Commander
× Steve Novak
Creative Commander

As partner and vice president, Steve leads the Novak Birch team, instilling his creative vision across all projects. He’s an extraordinary conceptual thinker and illustrator and inspires us with his enthusiasm for fresh, creative design and his commitment to client service. Passionate about the 3D realm, Steve wows clients with unique interactive displays and exhibits. When he’s not planning our next exhibit or answering his ever-ringing phone, Steve enjoys restoring classic cars with his sons—Pontiac GTOs and Firebirds are his passion.

Beau Birch Founder
× Beau Birch
Founder

With a big personality and an even bigger heart, Beau epitomized a great leader. In 1987, he founded Novak Birch, growing it from a small design shop to the successful marketing, events, and exhibits agency it is today. He leaves behind a lasting legacy of creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Here’s to you, Beau.

Valerie Novak Government Guru
× Valerie Novak
Government Guru

As our government contracts expert and senior account executive, Valerie spearheads federal and state government business development, expertly navigating the procurement process and securing new contracts by proposing forward-thinking, cost-effective solutions. Then, she leads projects from concept to completion, offering insightful recommendations that advance clients’ missions. Leveraging her experience in management, public relations, and research, Valerie builds and fosters strategic (often decades-long) partnerships with clients, serving as the key liaison with our team. When she’s not wowing clients with another creative solution, you’’ll find Valerie spending time with her family and spoiling both her kids and her fur babies.

Dawn Clark Empress of Operations
× Dawn Clark
Empress of Operations

Dawn is the heart of the Novak Birch family—the dedicated administrator who keeps the company running like a well-oiled machine. A true jack-of-all-trades, she contributes to every aspect of agency operations, from production and communications to human resources, billing, and herding cats (fittingly, since her childhood dream was to become a veterinarian). Much like her diverse role at Novak Birch, when asked to name her theme song, Dawn said the list was “too extensive” to choose just one.

Jeremy Martin Creative Ringleader
× Jeremy Martin
Creative Ringleader

A conceptual and strategic leader with 20 years of experience in design, branding, and animation, Jeremy’s creative vision guides the development of the agency’s work.

Bill Lanisek Token Brit
× Bill Lanisek
Token Brit

Bill is Novak Birch’s international man of mystery—err, international marketing event strategist. He expertly plans and executes strategic marketing programs and events that expand clients’ global reach. With extensive experience developing ROI strategies across all sectors, he has delivered successful programs in not just memorable events, but also in digital, social media, and experiential channels in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa. Hailing from England, Bill offers decades of business strategy and marketing experience within both corporate and creative agency roles. When not strategizing on the next market to dominate, Bill enjoys perusing ted.com and writing screenplays and comedy.

Rachel Claire Experiential Trailblazer
× Rachel Claire
Experiential Trailblazer

With an eye for detail, Rachel manages our largest account, keeping all the moving parts, well, moving! Rachel’s expertise in experiential marketing and strategic planning means she’s ideally suited to plan and manage international trade shows for this dynamic client—ensuring that we deliver thoughtful, cohesive solutions and engaging user experiences. When she’s not planning top-notch global campaigns and events, you’ll find Rachel out and about in Charm City.

Adam Miller Shop Master & Motorhead
× Adam Miller
Shop Master & Motorhead

Adam leads our team of craftspeople and shop techs, managing the construction of high-impact displays and exhibits. As the liaison between our creative services and exhibits teams, Adam helps dream up unique solutions and then brings those visions to life, creating engaging exhibit experiences. Ensuring that each project is perfectly executed, he also supervises the on-site set-up of trade show booths and environmental installations—and he handles all estimating, consulting, and billing. When he’s not immersed in creating our next show-stopping 20’ x 40’ exhibit, you’ll find Adam working on his car collection.

Patrick Cruise FTP Destroyer
× Patrick Cruise
FTP Destroyer

As a kid, Patrick dreamed of being a triathlete—so naturally, he ended up in art school. As a designer at Novak Birch, Patrick’s signature sense of humor keeps us entertained, while his imaginative 3D designs keep our clients happy. Leveraging 15 years of experience with graphic, production, industrial, and web design software, Patrick conceives, designs, and constructs one-of-a-kind event spaces that support clients’ goals and leave lasting impressions. He takes a holistic approach, considering every aspect of an event space, and then creates trade show exhibits, displays, and environmental installations for large-scale domestic and international trade shows and events.

Rachel Dornon Herder of the Creatives
× Rachel Dornon
Herder of the Creatives

Rachel’s ability to organize and multi-task while remaining detail-oriented only touches the surface of the value she brings to our team. Always on the go, she helps ensure that the company’s daily operations run smoothly, including everything from ordering office supplies to billing. A true Marylander, Rachel’s favorite vacation spot is good ol’ Ocean City. If she could choose any super power, it would be to be invisible.

Sylwia Surowiec Design Muscle
× Sylwia Surowiec
Design Muscle

Growing up, Sylwia dominated in art class—so it didn’t take long for her to realize her calling. At Novak Birch, she designs imaginative marketing solutions ranging from brand identities to collateral and environmental. When Sylwia’s not tackling design projects, she’s intimidating gym goers with her bench press or dreaming of a cross-country road trip with campy roadside attractions and glorious, artery-clogging delicacies. Her theme song, “Gonna Fly Now,” (think Rocky) gets her pumped—and ready to meet her next challenge.

Shane Saunders Builder of All the Things
× Shane Saunders
Builder of All the Things

As a kid, Shane wanted to become an architect—until he realized he’d have more fun actually building things. And that’s exactly what he does at Novak Birch. In Shane’s hands, raw materials become stunning exhibit booths and permanent installations. From metals and plastics to wood and fiberglass, he works wonders with all materials. His favorite vacation destination is the North Fork of Long Island, where he claims you’ll find the best wine on the East Coast.

Tiffany Vandevoordt Globetrotting Wordsmith
× Tiffany Vandevoordt
Globetrotting Wordsmith

With 18 years of professional writing and editing experience, Tiffany is our content guru, leading the editorial team and writing killer copy across a variety of media—from print to interactive—as well as taglines, messaging platforms, and value propositions. She has conceptualized and written award-winning solutions for clients across diverse industries, including government, education, retail, nonprofit, and tourism. Tiffany is passionate about writing, cooking, music, interior design, and traveling (she’s been to 19 countries!). Most weekends, though, you’ll find her exploring Ellicott City and sampling new wines.

Maureen Alsmeyer Event Wrangler
× Maureen Alsmeyer
Event Wrangler

It takes a special set of skills to wrangle all the requirements of national and international trade shows. Lucky for us, Maureen’s got it mastered—and she does it all with a smile! As the primary contact for clients, vendors, show organizers, and decorators, she handles the administration and logistics of all our client events, including scheduling, planning, invoicing, and shipping. When she’s not keeping our events humming, Maureen enjoys a good scare—she loves ghost tours and visiting haunted places.

Chris Blair Visionary Craftsman
× Chris Blair
Visionary Craftsman

Chris is an expert exhibit builder and fabricator who is also well-versed in design renderings, giving him the ability to visualize an exhibit solution and then execute it with ease and precision. Creative and detail-oriented, he works with many materials to craft engaging exhibit displays, including wood, laminates, metal, plastics, and mechanical and electrical components. A versatile builder, Chris is also adept at woodworking, cabinet making, and machining.

Beth Varden All-Around Artiste
× Beth Varden
All-Around Artiste

Beth has what we call a serious case of “the arts.” And that’s great news for us! From print and digital design to illustration, literature, and fine art, Beth’s multi-faceted design prowess results in thoughtful, innovative solutions for our clients. In addition to designer, Beth is a self-described music nerd who also dabbles in writing, giving her a well-rounded yet fresh take on every project she tackles.

Allie Pauson Always Sunny in Philadelphia
× Allie Pauson
Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Allie has a dynamic background in digital content creation, event logistics, and illustration—coupled with stellar account management skills. Fueled by her daily iced coffee, we count on Allie to manage Novak Birch’s client accounts, working with the team to deliver thoughtful marketing solutions that get results. When Allie’s not busy keeping our accounts running smoothly, this Philly native enjoys going “down the shore” and eating “wooder ice.”

Novak Birch

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