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Meet the TopFire Media Leadership Team

Our full team of professionals has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in public relations and digital marketing, including experience in areas as wide ranging as franchising, consumer brand marketing, B2B and B2C marketing communications, healthcare, foodservice, manufacturing, media relations, event marketing, crisis management, technology, e-commerce, and more.

Meet our Executive Team:

Matthew Jonas

Matthew Jonas

President

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Matthew Jonas is president and co-founder of TopFire Media. As TopFire Media’s brand steward, he defines high-impact digital PR and marketing strategies for an impressive cache of consumer and franchise-based clientele. A seasoned marketer and highly respected franchising expert, Matthew has built a nearly 20-year career dedicated to delivering outcomes and results through an integrated and strategically-based approach for emerging, established and mature brands including HoneyBaked Ham, Huntington Learning Center, i9 Sports, Dale Carnegie Training, Nexterus, Kahala Brands, Pizza Hotline, Ville-Marie, Earl of Sandwich, and many others.

A product of the dot-com era, Matthew built his marketing expertise during digital media’s infancy, and continues to refine them today. With a distinct understanding and expertise of all digital strategies, and a persistent dedication to his craft, Matthew has successfully guided clients through the ever-evolving environment of the online media world.

Matthew speaks frequently at franchise and industry events and is an established thought leader in the marketing and franchising space. Matthew often contributes to Forbes, Franchising World, Franchising USA, Global Franchise, and several other publications.

Official Member Forbes Agency Council

In 2017, Matthew was named a member of the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.

Lia Brakel

Lia Brakel

Director of Marketing - iFranchise Group | Marketing/Operations - TopFire Media

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Lia brings extensive experience in franchise marketing, franchise sales, communications, copywriting, and international business to TopFire Media. Her background in franchising spans more than 30 years, in the U.S. and abroad.

As the Director of Marketing for iFranchise Group, Lia has overseen the content, design and production of hundreds of print and digital franchise marketing tools, including brochures and websites, and also developed comprehensive franchise marketing plans. Lia has also created market research reports, sales/marketing reporting tools, and has coordinated marketing and advertising campaigns (direct mail, print, and Internet), conducted consultative sales meetings, and created, edited and translated franchise operations and training manuals and other business documents. Her role on the TopFire Media team includes oversight of the organization’s ongoing operations.

In the U.S., Lia consulted with franchise companies including Ace Hardware, Bridgestone/Firestone, Texaco, Payless ShoeSource, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Sears Auto Centers, and many others. Outside of the U.S., she has consulted with franchisors primarily in Latin America and the Middle East. Lia is fluent in Spanish and holds B.A. degrees in English and Spanish from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and an MBA with a focus on Latin America and marketing from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Judy Janusz

Judy Janusz

Vice President of Operations

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Judy has more than 25 years of diverse franchise experience. As Vice President of Operations, Judy’s current responsibilities include developing and implementing various advertising and marketing efforts on behalf of iFranchise Group, a sister company to TopFire Media. Judy oversees the company’s budgets, schedules, quality control and systems. She is also responsible for the daily management and administration of the corporate headquarters, including the day-to-day management and production oversight.

Judy also coordinates the company’s marketing and advertising campaigns (direct mail, print, and Internet), and organizes and attends trade shows throughout the country, where she meets with individuals to discuss their readiness to franchise and asses their franchise potential.

Over the course of her career, Judy has developed the franchise marketing strategies that have launched some of the nation’s largest franchised brands including Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Sunshine Café, Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard, A Shade Better, and Starmark Kitchen & Bath. Prior to her role in marketing, Judy assisted franchise with legal compliance issues. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Purdue University.

Kylon Gustin

Kylon Gustin

Director of Strategic Accounts

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Kylon Gustin is Director of Strategic Accounts. He is charged with developing and overseeing the implementation of the strategy for each of our clients. Kylon was previously in charge of franchise development marketing for 10 brands at Neighborly (formerly called Dwyer Group), the world’s largest franchisor in the home services space. He built the marketing team to transform the way leads were generated and utilized, to increase Neighborly’s footprint across the country.

Kylon got his start in 1984 with the first company to put the Bible on computer, where his experience spanned across customer support, software development, marketing and sales. Later he was a partner in a business planning and strategy software company where he transitioned the business from traditional to digital marketing in the mid 90’s. He’s provided business planning marketing strategy services for over a decade to help entrepreneurs and marketers achieve their objectives.

Kylon brings a passion for client success and innovation that our clients appreciate in a tangible way. He enjoys mentoring his teammates and working towards a common goal of success for everyone involved in the process.

Board of Directors

Mark Siebert

Mark Siebert

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A franchise business consultant since 1985, Mr. Siebert founded the iFranchise Group in 1998 as an organization dedicated to developing long-term relationships with successful franchisor clientele. Mr. Siebert has worked with hundreds of franchisors, from start-up operations to corporate giants. He is an expert in evaluating companies for franchisability, structuring franchise offerings, and developing franchise programs.

David Hood

David Hood

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Specializing in aggressive growth strategies and implementation, Mr. Hood has held senior management and consulting positions within the franchising and retailing industries since 1988. He is an expert in areas of franchise development and implementation, retail management, site selection, international business, and strategic planning.

iFranchise Group Named #1 Franchise Consultants – 2019

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905 175th Street
Homewood, IL 60430
Call 708-249-1090