BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Jan. 21, 2016) – Alabama-based Big Communications recently promoted eight of its employees to heightened roles within their departments.

Merry Michael Smith was named to the Big management team as media director; two new department leads were announced: Robert Brodrecht in digital operations and Ashley Fulmer, APR in public relations; three account supervisors were named in account management: Mary Jane Cleage, Amanda Howard and Niki Lim; Shannon Harris was named associate creative director; and Katherine Eddleman was promoted to associate media buyer.

As the newly appointed media director, Smith will now serve on Big’s core management team, influencing company protocol, strategic planning and long-range goals – in addition to leading her team of media buyers and coordinators for all Big clientele. A seasoned advertising professional with 14 years of experience, Smith has been with Big for four years, most previously as media lead. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University from which she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

In his new role as digital operations lead, Brodrecht will spearhead budget and scope documentation, manage department technology infrastructure, foster interdepartmental collaboration and create and maintain external developer relationships. He initially joined Big in April 2013 as senior web developer. Brodrecht attended the University of Alabama where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Philosophy.

Fulmer was welcomed to Big in 2014 as senior public relations account executive. In her new role as PR lead, she will serve as head of the PR department, managing direct reports, providing strategic direction and offering counsel for all PR employees. Prior to Big, Fulmer was PR director at Duffey Communications in Atlanta. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Fulmer earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) designation in 2007 and was named a Senior PR Practitioner by the Southern Public Relations Federation that same year.

As newly appointed account supervisors, Cleage, Howard and Lim will be positioned as departmental leaders as account teams and client workloads expand, managing multiple team members and overseeing strategic account direction.

As she transitions from senior account executive to the more managerial account supervisor position, Cleage will also continue to manage the client-agency relationships for her existing clients, including global motor oil giant, Valvoline™. Cleage has more than a decade of industry experience on both the agency and client side. She is a 2005 graduate of Rhodes College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Political Science.

Howard joined Big as an account executive in October 2014, and in her new role as account supervisor, she will continue to serve clients across a variety of industries –including workforce development and healthcare – while assuming a more leadership position over account teams. Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Troy University.

Also promoted to account supervisor, Lim will ensure her teams complete each project as proposed while leading efforts and providing support for all client needs. Lim held the title senior account executive for four years and will continue to serve clients in food and beverage, entertainment and retail industries. She is a 2005 graduate from Wake Forest University, from which she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. 

Promoted from senior art director, Harris will tackle her new role as associate creative director by leading advertising and branding projects across industry verticals including healthcare, retail and food and beverage. She is an Auburn University graduate, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design in 2006. Harris was awarded the 2011 Designer of the Year, 2011 Illustrator of the Year and 2013 Web Designer of the Year by the American Advertising Federation Birmingham and most recently was recognized by as Influencer of the Year for her involvement in an array of community projects, including Design Week Birmingham. 

Eddleman first became a member of the Big team as a media intern and quickly worked her way to media assistant, then media/traffic coordinator and now as associate media buyer where she will lead and train the current media coordinator in addition to managing all paid social media and search amplification for Big clientele. Eddleman earned a Bachelor of Science in International Business from Auburn University and a Master of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Alabama. 

“We are very proud of the talented team we have cultivated at Big, and all of these individuals have earned their new positions with personal drive, dedication and hunger for operational success,” said John Montgomery, president.