Vala Marketing man overlooking a project

Our Story

Vala Marketing was born in April 2016 in a Goshen, Indiana basement with $200 tucked away in an old copy of Don Quixote. Starting as a small team of hyper-motivated Millenials, we hustled through the end of the great recession, picking up clients looking to gain a foothold into the quickly growing social media sphere.

Through the years, we have expanded our team to create the largest and fastest-growing agency in the area and have won several awards & accolades along the way including the South Bend Reader’s Choice Award for Best Marketing Agency, the Havilah Beardsley Young Entrepreneur Award, NWIBQ’s Greater Michiana Best Marketing Agency and Best Website Designers, and two ACCE Excellence in Communication awards. We’re not done yet, and we believe the best is yet to come.

Our Mission

01

 Grow

To become a regional provider of the highest quality, full-spectrum, turn-key marketing & advertising solutions to small & medium-sized businesses, startups, events, and places through well-aligned partnerships, concierge-level service & support, and a comprehensive suite of offerings from best-in-class teammates.

02

Learn

To remain consistently on the cutting edge of marketing technologies, platforms, and innovations and properly listen for, identify, and react to shifts in consumer behavior. To form close relationships with our clients & partners to gain a better understanding of the challenges they face in this rapidly shifting digital world.

03

Support

To provide a home base for creatives, artists, internet wizards, social media rockstars, and critical thinkers to thrive, master, and practice their passion without the rigidity of in-office hours & endless meetings. To provide a flexible and supportive workplace where teammates can grow, hustlers can hustle, and we all take care of ourselves & each other.

A full-service marketing & advertising agency that cares

Hiring a traditional, old-school marketing agency can require a lot of expertise and infrastructure. We want you focused on running your business, not coming up with ideas, writing creative briefs, and holding hands. We provide a full suite of marketing services, including full marketing management. That means we can execute on your project, but we can also proactively manage the strategy, ideation, and direction. Whether you need full brand management, a specific project, a product launch, or your marketing team needs additional support we have the experience, expertise, and team to make things happen.

Strategy & Consulting

Strategy always comes first. We operate on a programmatic method of research that takes into account perceptions and realities from consumers and stakeholders. We then perform robust audits of each angle, touchpoint, and process – both external and internal. With this information, we engineer a strategy and create a prioritized and customized roadmap.

Auditing & Planning
Discovery & Research
Consumer Research
Marketing Strategy

Brand Strategy
Brand Architecture
Consulting

 

Branding & Design

We have created and maintained some of our region’s most iconic brands. Our branding work is not just logo design, custom illustration, or copywriting, but a comprehensive approach, both visually and emotionally, internally and externally, to who you are and why you do what you do.

Brand Development
Rebranding
Logo Design
Brand Style Guides
Communications
Visual Identity Systems
Collateral, Print, & Packaging
Point of Purchase Design
Experiential Design
Illustration
Digital Development Icon

Digital Development

In a world of templates and marked-up freelancers, we provide a full in-house team, great technology, and a continually improved process that allows us to complete design projects much quicker than our competitors without using stock assets or slapping your logo on the top of a template.

Website Design
Website Development
UX/UI Design
E-commerce Development
Wireframing & Prototypes
Content Management Systems
Content & Copywriting
WordPress Hosting & Security

Integrated Marketing

We provide marketing management and services across all channels and mediums, specializing in digital marketing. Our best work is done when we can fully integrate with our partners to create consistent and authentic marketing communications, both inbound and outbound.

Marketing as a Service
Social Media Management
Digital Advertising
Voice Advertising
Search Engine Optimization
Paid Search
Traditional Advertising / OOH
Blogging

Creative Production

Our in-house creative team boasts a huge spectrum of competencies, from design and illustration to videography and copywriting. We can help whether you don’t know where to start or have a dream you need realized.

Campaign Creation
Content Creation
Photography
Videography
Motion Design

Explorers. Lifelong Learners. Tinkerers. Builders. We're the kind of people you want on your team.

After a decade in Network Engineering & freelancing on the side, Grant founded Vala Marketing w/ his wife, Heidi, in 2016. Together they have served over 200 clients throughout the Midwest. Grant enjoys podcasting, world-building, & video gaming in his free time.

Grant Mielke
Founder

Heidi founded Vala Marketing w/ her husband, Grant, in 2016. Together they have served over 200 clients throughout the Midwest. They also share two awesome kids together – Desmond & Cambria. Beyond her duties at Vala, she enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, & gardening.

Heidi Mielke
Founder

Jake has over 10 years of design experience in multiple disciplines. From print, to illustration, to digital, to motion – there is almost nothing one could throw at Jake that would leave him stumped. When he’s not designing, he’s honing his skills in other artistic ways and spends time with his wife, Katie, and his hounds, Penelope and Gracie.

Jake Neece
Partner / Creative Director

Ashley joined Vala shortly after its founding & quickly proved herself invaluable. With a Master’s Degree in English & over a decade of experience in creative writing, she has the ability to tell a story & build brand awareness through digital campaigning that has solidified Vala Marketing as the top social media agency in the area. In her free time, she runs an artisan cookie side hustle & is an avid craft beer enthusiast.

Ashley Siery
Partner / Director of Marketing

David grew up in Wisconsin, and spent much of his childhood with a camera in hand, filming his friends’ backyard adventures. He studied film production at Full Sail University, Taylor University, and the Global Cinematography Institute in LA. In his spare time, you can find him eating cheese with a whiskey in hand, going on adventures with his wife, nerding out over the latest camera gear, and watching British crime dramas.

David Perkins
Video Producer

Rachel grew up in Elkhart and studied photography at Taylor University. She loves using a camera to explore the world and to capture the interesting people, places, and things she encounters. In her free time she enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, watching movies with her husband, trying new foods, and cuddling with her cat, Waffles.

Rachel Perkins
Photographer

Cori’s passion lies in creating fun, creative, & engaging content to keep her clients’ online following tuned in & excited. She has managed hundreds of social media accounts across various platforms, increasing brand awareness & loyalty for Michiana household names such as Rise’n Roll Bakery. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, video games, and spending time with her two children, Lucius & Tegan.

Cori Nye
Account Manager

After completing their Master’s of Liberal Studies at Indiana University, Justine worked for 7+ years in technology. Pivoting to follow their passions for helping businesses grow and writing, they took on being an account manager with Vala Marketing. The joy Justine gets from engaging audiences and creative writing is only matched by their love of reading while curled up with two mini dachshunds named Scooter and Tanqueray.

Justine Backus
Account Manager

Erin studied for her Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Illinois in Springfield. Erin has a knack for sniffing out the needs of Vala’s clients, advocating for them, and collaborating with the creative team to create intuitive advertising solutions. Erin and her husband Andy have two children – Lukas, and Elizabeth. She enjoys playing tennis with her team at South Bend Racquet Club.

Erin Ruebbelke
Director of Sales & Accounts

Ryan was once 👊🏾 by Muhammed Ali! It’s true, though he was 8 and Mr. Ali gave the kind of jab that says, “there you go, sport.” Ryan’s work on projects have taken him all over the US, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Canada. He studied aesthetic and digital content creation at Italy’s Santa Reparata International School of Art and loves to read, play in his band, and ride mountain bikes.

Ryan Shields
Director of Videography

Madison is a highly innovative digital artist and marketing specialist. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Cinema Arts and Sciences. After creating marketing assets for years, she found her passion for creating high level marketing plans. Madison joined Vala Marketing and was welcomed into a company that allows her to run marketing campaigns while staying engaged in the creative world.

Madison Gridley
Director of Internal Marketing

Vito is a small business owner and musician, garnering a network of artists and creatives across all innovative spaces that business in Michiana takes place in. His success  comes from his personal skills; he’s eager learn and a great listener. Vito also deeply appreciates statistics and a good numbers crunch, which keeps him driven and focused on his goals and the goals of his clients.

Vito Spano
Account Executive

Ed was born and raised in Anaheim, California. Ed’s desire to deliver results that far exceed his customer’s expectations has led to a successful career in sales and project management. Ed met his wife Heather while he was serving in the Navy and there is nothing he’s more proud of than his two children, Warren and Abageal.

Ed Liptrap
Account Executive
Haleigh started her career as an administrator in a non-profit organization. There, she discovered her passion for marketing and advertising. While doing work in the community, she saw the future for digital marketing and yearned to jump into the burgeoning field. She loves our community and seeing local businesses grow, which carved out a perfect place for her here at Vala.
Haleigh Sherven
Account Executive

Jordan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in Art History from Central Michigan University. He has been focused on design for nearly a decade and working as a graphic designer professionally since 2014. Jordan’s strengths lie in his ability to incorporate fine art into his work; blending elegant, often hand-drawn design with modern digital solutions.

Jordan Hernandez
Art Director

Tony came to Vala with a degree in graphic design, an impressive portfolio & nearly 15 years of experience designing. As a freelancer, Tony worked with major power brands, international musicians, and local businesses. Tony lives in Goshen, Indiana with his wife Laura and their three kids.

Tony Zacarias
Designer

Gretchen majored in graphic design and minored in advertising at Ferris State University. She’s passionate about people and all things art. With a desire to solve problems and create, she finds the sweet spot where the two meet – making an aesthetically pleasing and purposeful design. When she’s not crafting on the computer, she’s crafting in the kitchen or on a canvas.

Gretchen Boley
Designer