The Tampa-based creative marketing agency designed, developed, and branded the app to make tuition management easy.

January 28, 2021 / TAMPA, FL — Tuition Education Platform (, allows schools to collect tuition and fees from parents with an app for iOS and Android. The app, which can be branded for individual schools, has collected over $3.3 million in tuition payments and fees for educational institutions since it was created in 2018, saving schools over six figures on tuition management along the way.

Creative marketing and design agency energyhill, based in Tampa, Florida, led the marketing, design, and development of TuitionEP (TEP) in order to help schools and administrators collect payments and ease traditionally clunky processes for parents.

tuition payments made simple

Tuition Payments — TuitionEP

TuitionEP is a user-friendly app that offers a simple payment solution for parents. Collect payments conveniently and securely for your school, club or organization.

“As a parent of four, the frustration we had led to the creation of TEP.” Dr. Ryan Lowe, founder of said. “We haven’t written checks for years, and schools need something easy and app-driven to improve the payment experience. Our solution is an app that allows freedom for parents to pay or autopay any time — not just when banks are open. TuitionEP solves this simple need and saves schools and organizations money in the process.

With secure payment collection and ease in tracking tuition using TuitionEP, Renton Prep Christian School saved over $80,000 in processing and overhead fees in 2020.

stress-free transactions

With TuitionEP, parents link their preferred payment method and make payments with just a few swipes. In addition to tuition payments, schools use the app to collect fees for field trips, school lunches, sports, and other activity fees.

Other features include:

  • Multi-user payment options
  • Swipe N’Pay
  • Check payment history
  • Financial summary report
  • Evergreen enrollment

secure tuition payment options

TEP uses the Stripe payment platform to guarantee safe and secure payments. All transactions are audited by a PCI Quality Security Assessor (QSA). Payment options include: checking and savings accounts, debit or credit cards, and even international payments.

brandable tuition platform

Schools can customize the app and create a branded experience. Add school logo, colors, school information, and make the platform perfect for students’ parents.

“Schools and organizations should want to keep all of their tools looking and aligning with their brand,” Dr. Lowe said. “Administrators can upload their logo and colors and the app will align with their brand, keeping everything consistent.”

Tuition Payments — TuitionEP

future of TuitionEP

The roadmap for TuitionEP includes a growth plan for self-serve export of payments (completed in 2020), dashboards, bulk edit, field trips, an even better user design and experience, integrations with bookkeeping and accounting software, and much more.

“The next large update for TEP 2.0 is going to be a game-changer for the industry.” Dr. Lowe said. “2020 was a wake-up call for education. We want to help schools and organizations be ready for what’s coming.”

about energyhill

energyhill was founded in 2013 in Tampa, Florida, by Dr. Ryan and Gloria Lowe, to deliver excellence in creative marketing. After decades of experience working in marketing including high-profile clients such as Walmart, eBay, and Best Buy, they created energyhill to be a marketing agency that’s different — one that prioritizes great design and the client’s needs.

Learn more about what they do and their award-winning work at

TAMPA, Fla. — Mighty Carver, a unique electric knife invented by a Florida couple, was selected from over 37,000 applicants to present on Season 12 of ABC’s Shark Tank. Creative marketing agency energyhill, based in Tampa, Florida, led the marketing, design, and brand of the Mighty Carver to position the business for retail success since its inception in 2017.

Kim and Lance Burney, founders of the Mighty Carver, will appear on Shark Tank on Friday, November 6 for Season 12, Episode 4 of the Emmy Award-winning show where entrepreneurs pitch their products to business moguls and venture capitalists. The couple will present their electric carving knife shaped like a chainsaw, which is already sold internationally.

“energyhill was really instrumental with helping us from the very concept,” Kim Burney, inventor and owner of the Mighty Carver said. “Creating our brand from scratch was a big task. We couldn’t have asked for a better result.”

Mighty Carver MarketingMighty Carver Logo

From the time the Mighty Carver began, energyhill positioned the brand to establish it as a first of its kind in electric kitchen tools. The creative marketing agency focused on the experience of families and friends using the Mighty Carver throughout the brand, design, and marketing

With user experience in mind, energyhill created the logo, brand collateral, package design, landing page, eCommerce store, photography, conference material, and an optimized Amazon product page. The Mighty Carver has since ranked as one of the best sellers in “Carving Knives” and “Electric Knives” on Amazon.

“We knew we wanted to be part of something that has the potential to bring people together for shared experiences,” energyhill president Dr. Ryan Lowe said. “We refined every detail of the design, branding, and digital presence with Kim and Lance until we got it just right. Ultimately, the aesthetics of the Mighty Carver and the brand aligned perfectly with the story, the experience, and the originality of the product.”

Shark Tank Pitch Preparation

The Sharks for Season 12, Episode 4 are five of the most frequent on the show: Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary.Mighty Carver on Shark Tank

To give them the best chance to secure an investment from one of the Sharks, energyhill prepared the Mighty Carver stakeholders for their pitch on Shark Tank. The marketing team developed accurate business reports leading up to the pitch, including financial forecasts, customer acquisition costs, sales projections, and more. 

“Everyone always says, ‘know your numbers,’ when you mention going before the sharks,” Kim Burney said. “We were able to rely on energyhill to provide pertinent business information so we were prepared for the pitch.”

About energyhill

energyhill was founded in 2013 in Tampa, Florida, by Dr. Ryan and Gloria Lowe. After decades of experience working in marketing including high-profile clients such as Walmart, eBay, and Best Buy, they created energyhill to be a marketing agency that’s different — one that prioritizes great design and puts the client first.

In 2020, energyhill won nine national marketing awards for their work in interactive brand experience, web design, mobile app design, augmented reality, print media, and video. You can learn more about the work they’ve done for clients on their website.

This has been a massive year for energyhill, a creative digital marketing agency in Tampa, Florida. It was an honor to win nine marketing awards from national and international organizations for our work in 2020.

The awards ranged across digital marketing campaigns, brand design, website design, app design and development, video campaigns, print media, and augmented reality. Our team worked tirelessly to bring brands to life through campaigns. Those campaigns were recognized for breaking through with poignant messages from four different organizations.

“Awards aren’t our goal, however it’s affirmation for what we do to help our clients,” energyhill President Dr. Ryan Lowe said. “The perfect win-win-win for us in any project is if it helps us grow, it’s profitable for the client, and if it’s award-worthy, which is just the cherry on top. … I know we do good work, but it’s gratifying that other people think so too.”

Of the 9 awards, four are Hermes Awards for video, print media, interactive brand experience, and mobile app. Two of the awards came from the dotCOMM Awards — platinum in business-to-consumer website and gold for innovative mobile app. Two others were from the Communicator Awards for website and web series, both recognizing work for our partner Renton Prep. Lastly, our video campaign for Renton Prep also won an NYX Video Award.

Hermes Awards

energyhill was awarded one Platinum and three Gold awards from the Hermes Creative Awards. Hermes Awards

First, we received the Platinum award in Video for our Renton Prep Stories campaign. The campaign’s mission was to feature stories of student success and opportunities at the K-10 school in Renton, Washington. In total, the campaign included 17 stories from the school.

“It’s easier to tell a story than create a mission statement,” Dr. Ryan Lowe said. “With Stories from Renton Prep, we took that element of graduates and some still in school and told their story for something that’s relatable. It can be fun for prospective families, and it’s good for the culture of the school.”

The first of our three gold awards were awarded in print media and design, recognizing our branded event materials for Sigalarm. In order to promote the brand at conference events, we created branded invitations, flyers, one-sheets, playing cards, bottle koozies, and event banners for the proximity alarm company.

interactive brand experience marketing awards

Furthermore, the second and third gold awards were for the interactive brand experience and app we created for Founding Fathers Fireworks. To begin with, energyhill handled the branding of Founding Fathers Fireworks, working closely with founder Kristy Hunnewell to achieve the company’s goals.

Specifically, that included web design, brand design, and app design centered around the augmented reality and history of United States Presidents through fireworks.

“Kristy’s vision was there, we just had to bring it to life,” energyhill Creative Director Gloria Lowe said. “It was very fun to start from the beginning when there’s nothing — logo colors, packaging design, branding, website, and then the app and augmented reality.”

DotCOMM AwardsDotCOMM Awards

When we started working with client Griffin Pools this year, their fantastic pool constructions in Central Florida were buried behind an uninspiring website and inconsistent branding. However, with great work comes massive potential. energyhill created a new set of brand colors and freshened up their website with an entirely new, modern design and improved SEO.

The project was recognized with a Platinum Award from the dotCOMM Awards for excellence in website redesign (business-to-consumer). Coupled with an interactive tool to generate leads for the Lakeland-based pool company, Griffin Pools has far exceeded their expectations for leads.

Additionally, energyhill won a Gold award for our work on the previously mentioned Founding Fathers Fireworks mobile app.

Communicator AwardsCommunicator Awards

Both submissions to the Communicator Awards stemmed from our work with Renton Prep. Our Renton Stories campaign was recognized with a Gold Award of Excellence for Campaign or Web Series.

Additionally, we were awarded a Silver Award of Excellence for our website redesign for Renton Prep. At the start of our relationship, our team started working with Renton Prep with a website redesign. This included both in visual design and content organization for SEO. Notably, the redesign met the school’s goals to position them as an established technology-first school and greatly increased traffic to the website.

“Renton Prep is naturally content-driven, putting out great content from an educational standpoint. However, they weren’t doing it on their website,” Dr. Ryan Lowe said. “We decided, ‘Let’s open this up across the board,’ and that’s where they became a Microsoft Showcase school and it certainly helped achieve all the goals they had.”

NYX Video AwardNYX Video Award

Finally, we wrap up our awards with an NYX Video Award for our Renton Prep Stories series. NYX Awards are for the best visual creative ideas from around the world. As noted before, this campaign’s goal was to highlight students’ successes and opportunities at Renton Prep.

creative marketing that inspires

Behind all of our projects is the same creative energy to build inspiring experiences that exceed our partners’ goals. We’re so proud that our work was recognized among the best of the best this year. But moreover, we’re excited to help organizations consistently reach their business goals.

Are you looking for an award-winning marketing team to help your business grow? We’re here for you. Contact us today, and let’s build an award-winning experience for your business.

As the cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to rise and social distancing remains a recommendation, much of world is shut down. Many businesses are at a standstill or close to it, many are left wondering, “Do I need a coronavirus marketing strategy?”

Never in the digital age has a crisis so abruptly changed the way businesses operate. But marketing doesn’t stop, even for a global pandemic.

While some of these changes may be temporary for businesses, many of them are going to influence marketing for years to come.

The businesses that use this time to adapt through the crisis in their marketing, rather than stand still, will be in the best shape to survive a downturn in the economy. Thus, they’ll be able to thrive in the long term.

#1: CORONAVIRUS consumer behavior is shifting MARKETING STRATEGIES

As social distancing remains in place, consumers are shifting from in-person purchases to digital. 89% of consumers say their shopping behavior has been affected by COVID-19. Businesses should shift with them, investing more into SEO, website and online learning management systems, virtual connection with customers, and online marketing channels. If at all possible, sell your product or services through your website via an online store.

Some industries, like restaurants and bars, have been hit much harder regardless of the actions they’ve taken. Others, like home furnishings and fashion, have exceeded their 2019 revenue marks. Businesses should continue to shift to online delivery and click-and-collect services when possible to attract new customers, among other marketing shifts.

reaching customers with content marketing

Up to 40% of many marketing budgets are focused on in-person trade shows every year. Compare that to 8% on average spend on online marketing. The near future of large in-person gatherings is in question, with conferences into May already getting postponed. With those marketing budgets slashed, now is the time to shift those dollars into content for your digital footprint. This should include online lead generation, social media, and content marketing to sustain business growth and interest new customers.

Especially now, consumers want to connect to the brands they trust and see how they’re reacting to a global pandemic. Consumers want to see that brands are there for them and how they are embracing community. This is a huge opportunity for brands to increase loyalty, especially those that are already positioned for online success.

B2B investing more in digital marketing

Trade shows are especially important for business-to-business marketers. With no face-to-face interactions, marketing teams should take time to move their online marketing strategies forward and redefine their online marketing messages.

content planning and editorial strategy is essential

Whether that’s a website refresh, new lead magnets, improving website SEO, or general content marketing — there are countless ways to start the shift and invest more in your content plan. This is a time when B2B marketers must find new paths keep their sales pipeline flowing. Fresh content is a primary source to generate traffic for your business.

You content plan should be simple but effective in reaching the audiences that are important. In turn, this shift will pay long-term dividends even when things do return to a level of normalcy.

#2: working from home will become more common

In a digital age, working remotely was starting to become the new normal. But it’s becoming a necessity as the novel coronavirus spreads.

As of 2018, more than 70 percent of the global workforce reported working remotely at least once a week. Since 2005, the share of the American labor force that works from home has tripled. The majority of employees said remote work improves self-care, stress, personal health, physical activity, and romantic relationships.

The following months will very likely shape the future of remote work in marketing positions that have the ability to shift to digital.

what does remote work look like for a marketing agency?

The digital marketing sector is in an ideal position to benefit from working remotely. Regardless of the indsutry you’re in, digital marketers can continue to align your marketing and brand efforts from anywhere with an internet connection.

Forward-thinking marketing agencies have been prepared for remote work for some time now. Marketing teams communicate digitally internally and with clients, giving regular constant updates on the marketing processes and materials. With tools like HubSpot, filestage, and Google Drive, communication and content can be executed seamlessly.

productivity during remote work

Oftentime with remote work, companies are aiming to increase employee productivity and engagement by emphasizing a work-life balance. According to a Gallup poll, those efforts have been effective, and energyhill has seen success as well.

This is a time to refine these remote work strategies and build on the technology that could make marketing remotely between agencies and clients easier in the long term.

#3: soft skills WILL become more essential

As technology continues to develop, bots and automation can complete mundane tasks (chatting with a customer, for example). However, bots can’t interact and connect the same as humans to create emotional responses, from content creation to business pitches.

While every job requires varying levels of developed hard skills, soft skills are the intangibles that employers often seek out when hiring. 91% of talent professionals agree that soft skills are important to the future of job recruiting. To present value to a company, individuals must portray these soft skills that make them indispensable for their business’s success despite some shifting to automation.

“While hard skills may get a candidate’s foot in the door, it’s the soft skills that ultimately open it,” said Lydia Liu, head of HR at Home Credit Consumer Finance Co. Ltd.


Research shows that creativity is the most crucial soft skill marketers are looking for in new employees. Creativity is a skill that no machine can replicate. This is especially true in marketing, where creativity is important not only in campaigns but in managing business relationships.

Our marketing team regularly meets for design charrettes to get creative juices flowing and create a dialogue around our marketing strategies for individual clients.

communication and teamwork

Arguably the most difficult part of remote work is not team-working in-person to craft solutions. Face-to-face conversations can spark creativity and innovation in marketing messages.

However, working from home doesn’t change the importance of constant, clear communication that keeps teams on the same page. Putting emphasis on communication between your marketing team and clients is more important than ever to carryout successful sales and marketing strategies.


With technology shifting and improving, fearless team members are important to adapting to the changes and keeping clients on the cutting edge. For many, adaptability is an attitude. It’s certainly an important one to have as many marketers shift to remote work and rely on new tech.

Employees who are adaptable show potential to become leaders and embrace the challenges they must overcome. These employees can ask the tough questions, make mistakes, and then learn from them and their peers.

Remaining a work-life balance and prioritizing your health as you work from home is just one form of adapting.

the coronavirus impact

Ultimately, we can’t yet see the full scope of the lasting impact the novel coronavirus will have on marketing. However, it’s clear that trends in this age of coronavirus are beginning to take shape and marketers and sales teams will have to make adjustments.

energyhill has helped position our clients to embrace the marketing shifts in these unheralded times. To learn more about what energyhill can do to drive revenue for your business, contact us to discuss your business goals, or check out our services page.

We’re merely halfway through the year and energyhill has already seen many changes. To begin with, the creative marketing agency welcomed the new year in a new location. The new office has an open space concept that fosters collaboration among team members and boosts creativity. However, one of the biggest happenings this year is energyhill winning three awards! The awards are in the categories of Digital Marketing; Public Relations and Communications; and Marketing and Communications. Our team is proud and thankful for all the hard work that resulted in this recognition.

Award-Winning Creativity

energyhill has been helping organizations with creative marketing solutions since 2013. One of them is U.S. Bridge, a steel bridge manufacturing company based in Cambridge, Ohio. After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, U.S. Bridge acted quickly to contribute to hurricane relief. They provided five steel bridges in five different communities throughout the island. This was a monumental project that would not only enrich U.S. Bridge’s portfolio, but also respond to a humanitarian call for help. energyhill saw an opportunity and created a full marketing campaign for the project.

The marketing campaign included the following:

  • press releases
  • landing page
  • Google Ads
  • email campaigns
  • videos
  • social posts
  • SEO and content
  • infographics
  • ENR Award submission

energyhill Wins Awards for #WeHeartPR

energyhill called the digital campaign #WeHeartPR. A title that not only shows the emotional attachment, empathy, and focus on the island, but also allows the audience to connect with it. This strategy of using the hashtag as a title for the project took into account the mediums that would be used to bring awareness of what the island was going through. It gave the audience a way to engage with and follow the project on all social media platforms.


Hermes Creative Awards

energyhill won the Hermes Creative Awards Platinum award in Public Relations and Communications. This is an international competition that evaluates and recognizes creativity, design and technology of campaigns.


Communicator Awards

Communicator Awards is a leading international awards program that recognizes creative work in marketing and communications. energyhill won the Award of Excellence in the Campaign-Cause Marketing category.


AVA Digital Awards

The AVA Digital Awards honors the work of creative professionals in the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication. These awards recognize excellence in digital creativity, branding, and strategy. Thus, energyhill was awarded Gold in Digital Marketing.

Tampa Creative Marketing to the World

The convergence of compelling content and creative digital arts yielded energyhill the three awards that honor creative professionals in Marketing and Communications. The team is proud of the work, which resulted in a campaign that brought awareness to a good cause and reflected the work done by U.S. Bridge. Furthermore, it was a campaign that was carefully created and executed to meet the high quality standards of U.S. Bridge. energyhill prides itself on its work and passion for creating pieces that will impact the audience and make change happen. Contact us today to talk about how you can benefit from creative marketing.

The best part about highlighting outstanding women is appreciating the diversity and versatility of each one. The beauty of diversity is that each component contributes to benefit the whole. And that is exactly what this group of women does. Their diverse background and work experience enrich the organizations they are a part of and promotes creative solutions for their community.

Lynda Garber, Partner of Garber Development

When it comes to versatility, we cannot help but think of Lynda Garber. A University of Florida graduate in Business Administration, Lynda has decades of experience in Marketing and Home Sales. Her resume displays an extensive career of home sales which led to the increase of revenue for various realty companies, including Garber Development. Lynda’s career began in General Homes in Central Florida. There, she stood out by making record-setting sales. Thus, awarding her “Rookie of the Year” and the National Top Producer Award. Additionally, some time later, Landstar Homes appointed her as the manager of one of the largest projects in Central Florida. This project resulted in her creating a custom marketing sales program for the United Kingdom market.

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” -Albert Einstein.

Words Lynda lives by.

Lynda’s natural ability to win people and her contagious personality has made her successful in the real state and marketing fields. Today, with her growth-oriented demeanor, she advises and gives input in decision-making at Garber Development, thus contributing to its success. Lynda Garber is the true embodiment of what happens when you love what you do and play well with others.

Jessica Van Curen, Director of Marketing and Communication at Admiral Farragut Academy

The mission of Admiral Farragut Academy is to prepare students by providing a college preparatory environment that promotes academic excellence, leadership skills, and social development. But in order to achieve this mission, its Marketing and Communication department devises creative ways to convey the school’s mission and vision to the world. And all of this is thanks to Jessica Van Curen. Under Jessica’s leadership, Admiral Farragut Academy has been able to share stories about the impact that the school has had on students and alumni. Also, through her work, the school has been able to reach out to a population nationally and internationally.

“Every day I am dedicated to giving my best. I think that hard work, building strong relationships with my colleagues and connections, as well as my desire to have clear, effective communication has kept me on the road which led me to a leadership role.”

Jessica reflects on her career at Admiral Farragut Academy.

Jessica’s success comes from her solution-driven attitude and a desire to improve the organization as a whole. Additionally, the Marketing and Communication opportunities that the school provides, allow Jessica to efficiently lead her team to carry out a multitude of projects on a daily basis. Jessica’s story is an example of the positive impact of marketing.

Kimberly Ellis, Program Director at energyhill

Kimberly  brings a unique perspective to the energyhill team. She has over 20 years of professional experience in engineering, manufacturing, and program management in the automotive, aerospace, and firearms industries. Her education includes Stanford University, where she obtained her Masters of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering (MSMSE) as a General Motors fellow.

Kimberly lived overseas (China) and traveled extensively to Germany, Brazil, and Poland, working on startup teams for manufacturing facilities. Her background and experience complement energyhill in many aspects. Her input is unparalleled, as she analyzes things from an engineering point of view. And although she is the program director, Kimberly also wears many hats including quality assurance and brainstorming. But as a program director, she is responsible for the successful initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and completion of projects.

“Making success personal:
For me, success is not in a title or what your annual salary is.

Success is being a:
Loving but Disciplined Parent – Prepare your children to tackle the world with integrity and compassion.
Supportive Mentor – Build your subordinates up to become better than you; It’s not a competition, their successes are your successes.
Forever Student – Grow and experience new things through continued learning through all avenues and from all people, both young and old.
Giver of Appreciation & Praise – Appreciate those who support and value you: Say thank you and say it a lot! Recognize those who do great work & give praise where it’s due.

UNHAPPY? Have faith and CHANGE your circumstances.”

Kimberly definition of success.

energyhill is grateful to have Kimberly on the team, as her input and participation have contributed to the agency’s growth. A lover of country music and all things healthy, Kimberly also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, volunteering, and golfing.

Shara Maxwell, Classic Jazz and Blues Singer

Shara was raised musically by her mother (adept in piano, clarinet and accordion) who encouraged the young songbird to experiment in the world of melodies. With her mom’s support, Shara demonstrated a passion for jazz music at a young age. In college she studied with professor Karen Sala in Southern Illinois, moving on to Chicago with iconic pianist and performer Ruth Allyn. She continued studying with Karen Saren and Los Angeles vocal and performance coach Stephen Memel, “the science of switching on.”

“Determination never betrays you.”

Shara’s outlook on life.

Along with gracing the stages of Chicago’s hot spots, Shara has also collaborated and performed with Chicago’s finest. Her repertoire includes a long list of respected artists such as Dave Green, Lloyd Wilson, Willie Pickens, Bob Solone, Dave Gordon, Mark Burnell, Joel Barry, and Rob Amster. But it does not stop there, she has also collaborated with John Bany, Dennis Luxion, Hans Luchs, Brian O’Hearn, Steve Ramsdell, Charlie Braun, Jim Cox, Phil Gratteau and Samuel Jewell, Eric Schneider, Alejandro Urzagaste, Joe Policastro, Dennis Luxion, Jo Ann Daugherty and Jon Deitemyer.

Prior to her main-stage days, Shara sung background vocals for the Indie Rock band Sister Machinegun. This contributed to her breakthrough credits, thus opening up for Stanley Jordan and Fareed Haque. Currently, she performs in jazz venues in the Chicago area. With weekly and monthly shows, Shara is one of the few contemporary artists who keep jazz and blues music alive. Check out her calendar and be on the lookout for her next shows.

Outstanding Women Making History

energyhill is proud to work and partner with so many talented women. It has been a privilege to highlight them during Women’s History Month and recognize their work. Finally, it is important to know that as women we find our value not from diminishing that of men’s, but through our hard work, resilience, and tenacity. Here’s to strong and outstanding women, we see you!

In the month of March, energyhill highlighted outstanding women in different fields for Women’s History Month. And as an agency that is woman-owned, we wanted to commemorate the contributions of some of the women we have the privilege to know and work with. So, March is not just 31 days of celebrating female strength and history. It is a month to honor leaders and reflect on how to continue the work that was started.

Women’s History Month in a Nutshell

Today, most women around the globe are able to enjoy rights that were once denied. However, accomplishing this came at a cost. But while there is still a long road ahead, the work of many pioneers and visionaries have given women the chance to write their own story. And as we continue to lay a foundation for the future generation, we are grateful to all the women who have disrupted the status quo, thus giving many of us an opportunity to contribute to society.

Women’s History Week

Women’s History Month traces its origins as a national celebration on March 7th. This date represented the beginning of Women’s History Week in 1982. After years of petitions and requests to have a month dedicated to women, it finally came through in 1994. That year, Congress passed resolutions requesting the authorization to proclaim March of each year to be Women’s History Month. Also, at the time some state departments of education encouraged the implementation of women’s history as a topic of study. This prompted the participation of thousands of schools and communities within a few years, resulting in what we know today.

Outstanding Women Today

There are many inspiring women leaders today, activists, politicians, scientists, writers, and artists. But we thought, why not highlight our local outstanding women? Although they may not be famous, they have surely impacted the industry they are in. Ranging from marketing, to education technology, to healthcare, and even pyrotechnics, these ladies are a force to be reckoned with.

Gloria Lowe, President and Creative Lead at energyhill

Gloria Lowe has a diverse background. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, she always demonstrated an affinity for art, which led her to study Graphic Design at the Art Institute. Along with her husband, she founded energyhill, a creative marketing and advertising agency in Tampa, FL. Her passion is to create beautiful experiences for consumers locally, regionally, and worldwide.

“Be bold, hold nothing back; give life your everything as we only have this life to live. Be true to yourself. One of my goals as an entrepreneur is to create an environment where team members want to be present and engaged.”

Gloria’s background (both education and experience) includes working as an advertiser, designer, and creative director. She has done work for some of the world‘s top brands ranging from Walmart to Johns Hopkins University. Also she has done work for local brands, Lee Roy Selmon’s and Admiral Farragut Academy. Currently, her life is all about her family and bringing her high level advertising expertise to clients at energyhill.

Dr. Michelle Zimmerman, Chief Innovative at Renton Prep Christian School

Dr. Michelle Zimmerman has experienced multiple aspects of education, from apprenticeship and co-teaching to research, leadership, and training educators. Her experience includes teaching of all ages, from 3 through 16. Michelle received her PhD in Learning Sciences and Human Development from the College of Education at University of Washington, Seattle. Her research, focusing on learning design, has been recognized through multiple awards, as she leads the ongoing re-envisioning at Renton Prep. The research puts into practice blended, authentic learning environments and socio-cultural perspectives, where students learn to become mentor teachers and researchers.

“Technology is all around us. Rather than avoiding it in education, we have the opportunity to help guide a new generation to use technology in a way that emphasizes positive aspects of humanity. Technology can be powerful in uplifting, encouraging, sharing new ideas and diverse perspectives, and creatively developing elegant solutions to local and global challenges.”

Under her leadership, Microsoft selected both school campuses of Renton Prep as Showcase Schools since 2015. Also, Renton Prep was selected in September 2018 as the first K-12 Microsoft Flagship School in the United States. Since 2007 she has presented around the world on how her research has been put into practice. Her presentations repertoire include American Education Research Association, UCLA CRESST, ISTE, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, New York Academy of Sciences and New York Academy of Medicine, DigiPen, educational technology conferences, and multiple universities. Additionally, her students have been presenting and co-authoring with her since 2011. Finally, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman has been selected to represent at global leadership events at Microsoft Headquarters, Google Headquarters, and T-Mobile Headquarters. As she shares her message of education technology, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman strives to encourage students and educators to develop a voice and be empowered through learning.

Ashley Pertler, Operations Manager at Sigalarm

Sigalarm is known worldwide as the leader in power line warning systems. With more than 50 years in the business of saving lives, Sigalarm is trusted to keep employees safe in the line of work. Today, Sigalarm owes a lot of its success to the hard work and influence of Ashley Pertler. Ashley is the Operations Manager at the company. Some of her duties consist of overseeing the manufacturing and distribution of Sigalarms and performing thorough quality assurance on all alarms.

“Innovation is rarely a Big Bang and more often a steady drumbeat.”

Ashley’s background is diverse. She began her career as a singer and dancer at Disney’s Epcot Entertainment, followed by getting an associates degree in interior design in Winter Park, FL. However, she switched her major and completed her studies in Business Management from the University of Central Florida. After finishing her Bachelors, she began working for Sigalarm, where she has been for the last 10 years. Her passion to help companies be safe has made Ashley a crucial component in the development and evolution of Sigalarm proximity alarms. Always looking for more efficient ways to improve the alarms, Ashley works closely with manufacturers and companies. Thus providing the best quality of safety to companies and employees who work close to power lines.

KellGrace, Owner and Master Stylist at KellGrace

Kell is known for doing 4 updos in 4 minutes! Her international shows and seminars focus on time-saving updo techniques to help stylists generate more revenue for themselves and for their salons. Along with her seminars, she has developed 12 tutorial DVD’s and an online tutorial page, the KellGrace Academy. A licensed Cosmetologist & Certified Wig Maker/Dresser from institutions in the United States and England, KellGrace has developed a trend of creating beautiful updos in just minutes.

“When you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.”

Kell is the Owner and Master Stylist at KellGrace, located in Winter Park, FL. Her salon specializes in a variety of services including cuts, color, hair extensions, makeup, a profitable bridal business, and much more. Kell is proud to be with a great team, bringing the latest and highest quality trends to clients. Follow KellGrace on social to stay updated on the latest hair trends.

Rose Lampert, Physical Therapist and Co-Founder of Lampert’s Therapy Group

Rose Lampert, has a masters degree in Physical Therapy from Florida International University. Throughout her career her focus has been in Neuro-pediatrics and adults’ Neuro disorders. Throughout her 28 years in therapy, her focus has been in customer service. In the rehabilitation field, therapists have to have the ability to listen with caring eyes and ears. Rose thinks that it is important to be consistent and gain the client’s trust for a successful outcome. Working with the intent to serve is a quality that clients notice.

“Share knowledge with other professionals and never fear competition, only fear your own incompetence.”

Moreover, Rose is a TheraSuit Method Certified Instructor working closely with the developers of this therapy method. She coordinates and organizes courses in Brazil, the US, and Europe imparting her knowledge of the Therasuit Method and conducting training. Her focus on treating clients with care has given Lampert’s Therapy Group a great reputation in therapy in the Largo area.

Tanya Ebersole, President of Camelot Custom Construction, Inc.

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”

Getting started in the custom construction industry, Tanya followed in her father’s footsteps, a renown custom builder in South Florida. The first challenge as the president of the company was assembling the best team of subcontractors and suppliers to meet the high standard of quality. The next challenge of her business was staying afloat during the long economic crash. So in order to do this, her business diversified the types of construction (residential, commercial, medical, renovations, Grant funded projects, Community revitalization projects).

Camelot Custom Construction, Inc. focuses on low maintenance design, energy efficiency, aging in place, and high quality for every home they build. Tanya works with clients from site selection/evaluation through design to completion. Also, the homes they build are warranted for 10 years. It is this attention to detail that has yielded her awards and nominations.

  • First Place Grand Award in the Million Dollar Custom Homes Division in the VHBA Parade of Homes in 2006
  • Nomination for Volunteer of the Year for Habitat for Humanity 2007
  • Nomination for Most Influential Woman in Business in Volusia County in 2017

Kristy Hunnewell, Founder of Founding Fathers Fireworks, LLC

Kristy Hunnewell is the founder of Founding Fathers Fireworks, LLC. and a Realtor in the Tampa Bay area. Born and raised in the bay area, she had the opportunity to grow up in a small family business environment. She claims that this exposure to business from an early age ignited an entrepreneur spirit in her. She remembers that even as a young child, she enjoyed going to work with her parents to watch them run a very successful fireworks business.

“My advice to anyone that wants to be an entrepreneur is to find a mentor, do your research, and then shoot for the stars!”

Kristy’s parents always motivated her to work hard and to put sweat, blood, and tears into her goals. So, at the age of 24 she joined the American Pyrotechnic Association and the National Fireworks Association. Thus, allowing her to get more involved in the fireworks business. Currently, she is developing and growing her own brand of fireworks that will focus on highlighting the Founding Fathers of our nation.

Women Making History

It is a privilege for energyhill to work closely with these outstanding women who continue to make history in their community. Although we recognize their work on a daily basis, this Women History Month is the perfect occasion to voice our gratitude by commemorating all their work. Read Part 2 of this series to learn about more strong leaders that are highlighted.

Increasing online sales year after year has resulted in a steady decline of brick and mortar locations for many retailers. While this year’s Cyber Monday sales hit record highs, according to the Washington Post, in-store visits declined by 1.6 percent over last year. As a result, below are 20 of the biggest retailers who will be closing locations before the end of 2017:

Retail Apocalypse: 20 Big Retailers Closing Stores In 2017

Clothing Retailers

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
    The speciality clothing retailer for tweens, teens and young adults has closed hundreds of locations in the past few years. They have announced another 60 locations will close in 2017.
  • American Apparel
    Once considered an edgy clothing retailer due to their envelope-pushing ad campaigns, American Apparel filed for bankruptcy in 2017. This resulted in all 110 of their retail locations closing their doors.
  • BCBG
    Based in Los Angeles, the clothier filed for bankruptcy in February 2017 and closed over 110 stores. However, through a company-reorganization, 300 stores remain open.
  • Bebe
    This women’s apparel brand closed all 168 of its stores in May 2017.
  • Guess
    They have announced that 60 of its U.S. locations will close as the company focuses more attention on consumer markets.
  • J. Crew
    The once preppy clothing brand announced 50 of its stores would close in 2017.
  • J.C. Penney
    This department store will restructure its business to more closely align with shifting consumer tastes. It will close 138 of its locations.
  • The Limited
    A specialty clothing retailer, The Limited had a particularly difficult 2016 holiday season. This resulted in closing all 250 of its retail locations and a loss of more than 4,000 jobs.
  • Macy’s
    While only closing 68 of its retail locations, this will supposedly result in the loss of thousands of jobs.
  • Michael Kors
    The high-end clothing brand will close 125 stores to better adapt to a changing retail landscape.
  • Rue21
    After closing 400 of its 1,100 retail locations, the teen clothing retailer then filed for bankruptcy in May.
  • Sears/Kmart
    The once ubiquitous department store and discount chain has suffered from a changing e-commerce retail landscape. The company has closed 35 Kmart locations and 8 Sears stores and has plans to close over 300 more.
  • Wet Seal
    Another teen clothing retailer, Wet Seal filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and closed all of its 171 stores in 2017.

Specialty Retailers

  • Aerosoles
    A New Jersey-based shoe company, Aerosoles filed for bankruptcy in September 2017. It is unclear how many of its 88 retail locations will be affected.
  • The Children’s Place
    Once a mall staple, The Children’s Place will adjust its business model to focus on ecommerce. This will result in hundreds of store closures by 2020.
  • CVS
    The pharmacy retailer is slated to close 70 locations.
  • Gymboree
    Another children’s clothing retailer plans to close 350 of its 1,200 locations.
  • H.H. Gregg
    Unable to find a buyer once it filed for bankruptcy, the electronics retailer will close all of its 220 stores.
  • Payless
    The shoe retailer will close 800 stores this year and filed for bankruptcy in April 2017.
  • RadioShack
    Only 70 retail locations remain after another 1,000 were closed in 2017.
  • Toys R Us
    One of the last remaining independent toy store chains, Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in September. However, it has said its 1,600 retail locations will remain open and operate as normal.

There are advantages and disadvantages to shopping purely online. The convenience factor is certainly an advantage; while the inability to touch and feel the product prior to purchase is a challenge. Perhaps the biggest challenge, however, is the loss of local jobs associated with closing retail stores. Whether you’re part of a brick-and-mortar location or own an online retail store, you’ll need robust digital marketing efforts to keep the business healthy. Energyhill is committed to working with clients in all aspects of advertising, design, and video promotion. For more information about our work and how we can help your business, please contact us today.

There are times in life and business when things come together for the good. It could be called destiny, karma, luck, sovereignty, or a plethora of descriptive phrases.  Ryan and Gloria Lowe have found it. Maybe it found them. However it may be described, there is an “Aura” about this couple and their rising marketing and design business. Somehow they have found the opportunity to do what they love. Behind Energyhill’s aura of excellence is a story of the American dream.

Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.   – Confucius

Behind Energyhill, Our Sotry

Gloria A. Lowe, CEO and Dr. Ryan E. Lowe, President

Behind Energyhill – Emergence of a Design Agency

The journey began in 2001 in Pittsburgh, PA. Ryan started building computers from scratch. It was a wonderful time with amazing technology surging on every front. Ryan was there in the middle of it all investing in a future enterprise loosely referred to as “RyTek.” Later, it evolved to “RyDesign”.

He drew his whole family into the process and a lengthy debate arose to choose the ideal domain name for the future. The final choices were and (believe it or not) Obviously, Energyhill won the vote.

As time passed, DESIGN emerged, and then MARKETING. Ryan was honing his skills and loving every minute of it. In 2002, Ryan was accepted at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. On scholarship for his strong personal portfolio of work and development of an innovative hub for students, Ryan began gathering the building blocks for the owned but dormant domain name of

Behind Energyhill – Evolution of a Quality Brand

Meanwhile, far away in Florida, a highly skilled designer was enrolled at the Art Institute of Tampa. It was there that Gloria began infusing her Dominican passion into her beautiful art and where she would meet her soulmate. Meanwhile, Ryan completed his Master’s degree at SCAD and was hired by the Art Institute and moved to Tampa. After Gloria completed her degree, she began working with Ryan on the side. As their professional relationship grew, so did their courtship and they married in 2008. After joining together, they realized what advantages they had as a couple that they didn’t have before. Their combined skills, knowledge, and experience exceeded the combination of the same as separate individuals. After a few years of contracting and outsourcing in the industry, they decided in 2013 to officially launch To better equip himself for a future enterprise, Ryan earned a doctorate in business from Argosy University in 2014.

When a team works well together as a unit, they are able to accomplish more than the individual members can do alone.

Behind Energyhill – Expectations for Future Vision

Gloria and Ryan found the sweet spot of collaborative design and business aptitude. They complement each other, work tirelessly, and put everything into their brand. The result is a design and marketing agency that is competitive with much larger companies. They deliver in every aspect to make others succeed and grow while at the same time establishing solid relationships with each of their clients.

Each client knows they can be trusted to deliver on time and with the highest quality, and every member of their staff is trained with this in mind. Energyhill is now established and entering its fifth year as an entity. With many years prior to that working with small and large businesses, Ryan and Gloria were positioned to hit the ground running.

Making others succeed is a pretty good formula for Ryan and Gloria; it’s what makes them successful. “Clients are part of us, and we are part of them,” they say. If the clients, who they call “partners” suffer, so do they. If they prosper, so do they. Thankfully, the latter is what happens with Energyhill.

Behind Energyhill – Loving What We Do

It’s obvious that Ryan and Gloria and every one of their team at Energyhill LOVE what they do. Does this mean they never WORK a day in their lives? Hardly. The fact is they are TIRELESS workers, and they function as a TEAM. They are so passionate about design, advertising, and marketing, that it seems like they are not working. That’s the mystery of the Confucius quote, it’s about LOVING what you do.

By the way, they have three small children that require NO WORK, and are a JOY. Well, at least the second one 🙂

Dr. Michelle Zimmerman’s Testimony

Capturing the heart of a message is the most important thing we do. Dr. Michelle Zimmerman testimonial conveys this point. In advertising and design we are not always challenged with simply solving a problem. Sometimes it goes much deeper than that. How do you convey a mission, that doesn’t have a simple ending point. Energyhill’s culture is to capture an audience by exemplifying the core of your message. Thanks Dr. Zimmerman for including us in your schools’ journey.

Renton Prep Leading Education

It was the summer of 2016 and we received a request for more information from a school with a unique mission, strong vision, and enlightened action. Renton Prep wanted a full redesign of their web presence, as well as, marketing and design support for their schools. After a business consultation, we set goals to position them as the global leaders in technology. Energyhill achieved this by creating branding, video, advertising, and marketing collateral for the schools. Since the summer of 2016, we have partnered with Renton Prep to create stunning videos and collaborative experiences. The work that has come from this partnership spans, print collateral, landing page design, conference banners, one sheets, ad campaigns, social campaigns, and more.Featured Partner: Renton Prep

Renton Prep Leading Technology and Education

This forward thinking school needed to be showcased. The challenge was fairly simple. We only needed to tell their stories. How fantastic are the Renton Prep teachers, students, staff, and technology that they use? Simply put, world class. Microsoft, Amazon, HTC, and other leading tech companies and organizations often visit Renton Prep to see and study the trends of where technology and education are headed.

Energyhill Redesigns

The redesign of their website and re-organization of their content yielded a 6,844% increase in monthly traffic to their website. Yes, almost 7,000%. This is organic traffic, no digital advertising (yet). What’s great about Renton Prep is that they are an amazing brand. Working with them is a complete joy. For one of the video shoots we produced, a local makeup artist was hired. She said, “I just really like working with this group of people, they’re fantastic.” We couldn’t agree more, great people, amazing students.