The Agency came to life in 2004 when founder Kerry Gladden decided to move from the rat-race of LA back to her hometown in the southern Rocky Mountains. After 14 years working in large international firms and big-brand corporate America, she became a sole proprietor and literally "hung out her shingle" on the main street in small town USA. And since technology has made the world "flat" - she can enjoy life in a small town, collaborate with creatives worldwide and deliver first-rate service to clients across the country.


 The Agency, Ruidoso, NM.

At the helm: Kerry Gladden

Kerry has been accused of being the eternal optimist and is convinced that there is a solution to every problem – which comes in handy in her line of work.  She loves to work with clients and strategize about how to bring a new brand to life or breathe new life into an existing brand. Although Kerry can barely draw a stick figure, she has made her mark by having an eye for good design and inherently knowing what works and what doesn’t. After graduating from the University of Southern California and working at Hill & Knowlton, she spent 10 years in the sporting goods industry branding, publicizing and advertising for Easton Sports. She is lucky to be married to a really great guy and is a proud mom to a USC Trojan (Fight On!). In her spare time – which she figures to be between 2:00 AM – 5:00 AM – she is an avid reader who dreams of writing a best-selling sappy romance novel.




The Creative Genius: Alden Gilligan

Alden, a native New Mexican with a background in project management and event planning, earned a BA of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design from the University of San Francisco. Her twin toddlers keep her beyond busy, but she does find moments of quiet to enjoy a cup of coffee and focus on her design work. Her greatest inspiration is nature, and she loves to incorporate textures and patterns from natural items in her work where they fit. Her portfolio includes everything from small business start-ups to municipalities, tourism-related products and large corporations. Alden and Kerry have a knack for creating distinct visual solutions and marketing strategies that set their clients apart.


The Website Wizard: Ellen Barone

If you can name it, there’s a good chance that Ellen has either done it, taught it, photographed it, lived there or written about it! As an independent web designer and developer, Ellen brings specific talents to The Agency that tick all the boxes of her diverse background and interests -- the technical ability of a mathematician, the storytelling of a professional writer, and the aesthetics of a photographer’s eye. She has stared down the most complicated and daunting requests only to deliver visually compelling and user-friendly solutions that bring brands to life. Together with her husband, Ellen is currently enjoying extended travel abroad while she writes her first book, "I Could Live Here", a memoir of home and belonging. 



Kelly Johnson.jpg

After spending thirteen years fighting the Texas heat and avoiding tornados in Oklahoma, Kelly got smart and moved back to the cool pines of her hometown. Kelly specializes in integrated marketing communications, digital engagement and market research with past clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging businesses, universities and nonprofits. She loves the agency world because every day is different and every client has unique objectives. After graduating from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas (where she rocked a 6 handicap), Kelly worked as the client services manager at Sol Marketing, a brand strategy and market research firm. She then headed north of the Red River and served as a senior account executive at Schnake Turnbo Frank, a Public Relations and Leadership Development firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In a former life, Kelly was an occasional runner, crossfitter and yogi. Now, most of her exercise comes from wrangling a toddler, a baby and two dogs.


The Education Maven: Sandy Gladden

“Finding balance on the swinging pendulum of leadership in education” is the credo of Sandy's personal and professional commitment to developing highly effective leaders for schools and districts. She believes in the art of melding research-based innovation with the uniquely developed leadership practices of each individual…resulting in an educational experience that is rewarding for students, staff, parents, families and communities. As The Agency’s Vice President for Education for the past 10 years, she has worked at the state level for the Priority Schools Bureau and at the national level as a consultant for MGT, Inc. and Maximus Education. Long recognized as a leader in special education, early childhood education, and regional education cooperatives, Sandy earned her BS and Masters degrees from ENMU and NMSU, respectively. In addition, she is licensed in education leadership, special education, educational diagnostics, school psychology, and elementary education. As a professional educator in NM for over 40 years, Sandy cherishes her relationships with veteran leaders in education and thrives on adding the novice district and school leaders to her circle of professional associates. She also loves spending time with her husband Mike, a retired NM educator, and her favorite (and only!) grandson, Brooks.