Key Team

Terry Terry

Terry Terry

President

Terry, founder and CEO of MessageMakers, is an artist who has served as a producer, cameraperson and video editor on five continents for programs and networks including Nightline, WNET-13, NBC Sportsworld, CNN and PBS; served as communications futurist and systems integrator with the Michigan Senate for the formation of Michigan Government Television; and has developed, from creative concept to completion, myriad programs that have helped organizations grow, promote their initiatives and manage change. He has served as a catalyzing force in the revitalization of Lansing’s Old Town historic commercial district. He helped create and successfully establish the names and brands Old Town Lansing, Lansing JazzFest and Michigan BluesFest, which have transformed Lansing.

Through MessageMakers, he expanded the brand activation efforts of Harley Owners Group, launching their initiatives in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and the Asia Pacific regions, helping grow membership from 450,000 to 1 million world-wide over a 15 year period. Under his leadership, MessageMakers has guided and produced award-winning marketing communications for Business Leaders for Michigan, GM, Herman Miller, Two Men and a Truck, Triton Industries, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Greenstone Farm Credit, Michigan Humanities Council, US Department of Education, US Department of Commerce, US Navy, US Paralympic Team, Michigan State University, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan National Guard, Michigan 4H Foundation, Demmer Corporation, Small Business Association of Michigan, Lansing Regional Chamber, National Association for Family Child Care, ReMax, Roberts Sinto, Mackinaw State History Parks, Indian Trails, LCC Business Community Institute ( BCI) , American Red Cross, Spartan Motors and many more.


Rick Weaver

Rick Weaver

Chief Operating Officer

Rick leads and organizes the creative team on projects for a variety of commercial, non-profit, and governmental clients. He acts as the main client contact while organizing deadlines, budgets and client reviews, and assists with creative direction. Rick is fully conversant with relevant applications including Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, and Adobe After Effects, and has a background in videography, editing, sound design, and motion graphic design.

Rick enjoys coaching high school basketball and playing basketball in his free time, along with listening to music, playing the guitar, exploring the great outdoors and traveling.


Tom Lietz

Tom Lietz

Chief Creative Officer

Tom is a hands-on producer, director, and storyteller. Over the past 14 years he has led production efforts for feature films, training programs, marketing campaigns, and non-profit development efforts. For clients ranging from the American Red Cross to the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Tom has helped to structure narratives that engage, inform and inspire audiences in alignment with specific objectives. These stories frequently come from the real world, told with a documentary sensibility and cinematic production values. As an experienced editor and director of photography, Tom is able to efficiently plan and execute unique creative concepts within schedule and budget constraints, while also maintaining a quality regularly recognized by various industry creative awards. Tom has also developed and led several instructional programs on video production.


Sophia (Chiung) Cheng

Sophia (Chiung) Cheng

Chief Financial Officer and Research Director

Sophia, as MessageMakers' research director and controller, ensures projects stay within scope and budget. She manages all aspects of budgets, procurements and billing and has extensive experience with financial analysis, forecasting and research, as well as survey data collection, management, analysis and interpretation. She is the Principal Research Investigator (PRI) for projects related to results measurement, success assessments, and surveys. After graduating with a Ph.D. in Economics from the Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University, Sophia served as PRI for Harley-Davidson Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) Officer Training, for both the U.S. and international training sessions.

A self-described thinker and optimist, Sophia enjoys making a contribution to the Festival Committee for the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art, where she is involved in setting up Old Town music festivals and brainstorming ideas.


Matt Penniman

Matt Penniman

Writer and Communication Strategist

Matt writes and edits project plans, proposals, press releases, business letters, reports, and presentations. A creative thinker and savvy connector, networker, and social media coordinator, he has also worked for nonprofits including Power of We Consortium, AmeriCorps Vista, Allen Neighborhood Center, and the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, writing grants and proposals, designing and leading workshops and developing web sites to build program capacity. His scriptwriting and speechwriting experience includes clients such as Harley-Davidson Motor Company, for whom he also led shared work sessions with executives and management personnel to refine their messages and improve their stage presence. His graduate-level rhetorical training, stage experience, and son-of-a-preacher background contribute to his understanding of showmanship and affinity for clear communication.


Barret Baxter

Barret Baxter

Video Producer

Barret has a long history in his chosen field, having started his video editing career at age 12. He has since shot many short films, worked on a television pilot with a crew from Hollywood, and branched out into motion graphic production. At MessageMakers, Barret helps create emotionally-driven documentaries, animated projects, commercials, PSAs, company profiles and short films. Before joining MessageMakers, positions as a freelance media specialist and a role as the DMAC Student Lab Aid at Lansing Community College provided valuable experience.

Barret is a self-professed golf fanatic, a passion which is only matched for his love of his chosen profession, in which he enjoys seeing life’s unique stories and understanding how their pieces fit together to form a complete picture. He has won several HD video awards and was a Skills USA Gold Medalist in Web Design in 2006.


Rob Sumbler

Video Producer / Director of Photography

Rob Sumbler is an experienced producer with 20+ years of experience spanning both video and live events. As a director of photography, Rob has lead production teams on a wide range of commercial and feature projects. He served as a news videographer for over 18 years, including 8 years as chief videographer supervising a staff of 17 as well as more recent work in long-form investigative pieces. He has won 5 Emmy Awards, 7 AP Awards, and 2 Michigan Association of Broadcasters Awards for the quality of his video production.


Tina Miller

Director of Marketing

Tina offers a comprehensive understanding of how to help clients achieve their goals through creative marketing and communication solutions. She is a highly accomplished entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in business ownership, management and marketing. Her career has included founding several businesses (including a fitness franchise), later shifting to provide business consulting to a portfolio of over 400 clients with revenues ranging from $1M to $50M. Tina has also served the community as a member of the board of directors for the Portland Chamber of Commerce, Chair on the Chamber Growth Committee, and Vice President for Lansing Community College's Professional Admin Committee. For her service and achievements, Tina has received many awards including Business Person of the Year, Portland's People's Choice Award (7 years in a row.) and a feature in the Business Weekly Magazine of Michigan. When not working, Tina enjoys running the river trail and spending time with her two daughters.