About Manifest Creative

Where different skillsets creatively unite for a common goal

Meet Our Team

Monica Rhodes

Monica Rhodes

PRESIDENT & CEO
SR. ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

As the President & CEO of Manifest Creative, an association management and conference / meeting planning firm, Monica takes immense pride in the work her team does managing a diverse group of non-profit associations and membership organizations as well as planning a variety of meetings and conferences. A hands-on leader, Monica regularly carries out client services, consults with clients, manages projects and oversees business development efforts and the strategic direction of the company. From meeting deadlines, exceeding expectations, negotiating contracts, implementing best practices and executing forward-thinking events, there’s no detail too big or small for her and her team. Monica’s “Figure It Out” mentality and ability is now a company philosophy that empowers the team to improvise and be inventive to meet each client’s needs.

Throughout her decades-long career, Monica has devoted her talents and honed her skills in non-profit administration, event and meeting planning, marketing, program and project management, media and public relations, community relations and outreach, photography, hospitality, transportation and tourism promotion.

After 10 years of building her career in public relations, she launched Monica Rhodes Unlimited in 2010. A naturally gifted networker, Monica quickly found a niche providing PR, marketing and event planning services to a wide range of organizations. In 2012, she expanded her services to include association & project management, an organic progression after previously managing organizations such as the South Main Alliance and Houston Museum District Association, and changed the company name to Manifest Creative.

Monica’s client roster has included corporate and non-profit organizations in industries such as visual and performing arts, museums, education, weather and climate, beverage distribution, architecture, hospitality, dining, government, medical, transportation and tourism. She has served on various non-profit boards and committees and is currently an Advisory Board member of Hope Stone, Inc.

She and her long-term partner, Maureen, have a son and live in Sugar Land, Texas. When she’s not working, Monica spends her time making memories with her kiddo, taking photographs, traveling, volunteering, attempting karaoke, playing board games, spending time with friends and family, reading the novels penned by favorite authors Jodi Picoult, Sandra Brown, Danielle Steele or Nicolas Sparks, catching up on her favorite Netflix shows, and relaxing on the porch with a glass of Malbec.

Monica Rhodes

Maureen T. Maiuri

VICE PRESIDENT & COO,
SR. ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Maureen, Manifest Creative’s Co-Owner, officially joined the Manifest Creative team in May 2012 as Vice President & Chief Operating Officer when the firm expanded its scope to include association management.

Maureen oversees the bulk of the association management services provided to Manifest Creative’s clients. Her experience and leadership management shine through in this instrumental role, which includes coordinating with client committees and boards of directors, supervising staff, managing client websites and databases and executing client events and conferences. She also manages vendor relations, administers membership services, coordinates the production and distribution of all communication materials and provides general administration. Additionally, she serves as financial manager and bookkeeper for Manifest Creative and all association management clients.

Originally from Philadelphia, Maureen has called Houston “home” since 2005 when she began her career as a meteorologist at Weather Research Center (WRC) and museum coordinator at The John C. Freeman Weather Museum in the Houston Museum District. She became Chief Meteorologist in 2008 and Executive Director of the Museum in 2011.

In her free time, Maureen enjoys spending time with family and friends, including her partner Monica and their son, exploring parks, riding bikes, playing pickleball, coaching her son’s sports teams, tasting new IPAs and cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Monica Rhodes

Kristi J. Marchand

ASSISTANT ACCOUNT MANAGER & MEMBERSHIP SPECIALIST

Kristi joined the Manifest Creative team as Assistant Account Manager in December 2020, after a two-year stint in New Orleans as a Client Specialist for an MSP IT company. Happy to be back “home” in Houston, she is thrilled to return to her passion – working with non-profits – while supporting the various efforts of the firm and its diverse and exciting client roster.

Kristi is no stranger to the non-profit world. In fact, she was bitten by the “non-profit bug” at a young age while she was in college working as a front desk clerk, and later a membership coordinator, at Vic Coppinger YMCA in Pearland, Texas. After receiving her BA in History, Kristi pursued an MA in Anthropology Cross Cultural Studies and followed her philanthropic heart to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. For 17 years, Kristi served in the MFAH’s membership and guest services department and was responsible for marketing, selling, renewing and retaining memberships; managing a team of more than 50 people; planning and overseeing membership drives and events; meeting and surpassing admissions revenue goals; reporting with consistency and precision; and most importantly, connecting with guests and ensuring outstanding guest experiences.

As the oldest of five children, Kristi is very close to her parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. She loves spending time with her best friends laughing, dancing and enjoying wine. After living in the UK for several years, Kristi is now a bit obsessed with anything and everything British, including quoting her favorite British comedies. When she’s not hanging out with family and friends, Kristi can be found curled up with a cuppa and a good book.

Monica Rhodes

Jennifer Coleman

ASSISTANT ACCOUNT MANAGER & DIGITAL SPECIALIST

A native Texan, Jennifer joined the Manifest Creative team in March of 2021. She has spent her career working in the nonprofit field, first for museums and later in nonprofit and association management. While working in small museums, she gained experience in everything from exhibit design to volunteer management, even helping to publish a series of books for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Her transition to association management came when she joined the staff of the Texas Association of Museums, where she managed the membership program, planned events and oversaw the day-to-day functions of this state-wide organization. During this time, she also completed a certificate in graphic design and began working as a consultant in the museum field. After four years with TAM, a family move took her to Colorado, where she worked as a freelance museum and nonprofit specialist before taking a position with a nonprofit management company in Denver. She also joined the staff of the Coalition of State Museum Associations, providing support for museum associations across the country.

After returning to Texas in early 2021, Jennifer joined the staff of Manifest Creative as Account Coordinator, where she exercises her skills in design and administration on behalf of nonprofit clients in Houston and across Texas. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Vanderbilt University, an MA in Museum Science from Texas Tech University and an Undergraduate Certificate in Graphic Design from Sessions College for Professional Design. Off the clock, she is an avid reader and foodie, trying out new recipes and restaurants as often as possible.

Monica Rhodes

Sandra Cook

Operations & Business Development Manager

Sandra officially joined the Manifest Creative team in April 2022 after working with Monica and Maureen on a variety of projects and initiatives over the past 20 years, including, most recently, revamping the Manifest Creative’s employee handbook and collaborating with the team to craft the company’s mission statement, culture and values.

Utilizing her research, analysis and critical thinking skills, Sandra is charged with optimizing and streamlining Manifest Creative’s workflow to help the team achieve optimum results for clients while maintaining a positive work environment and work-life balance. In her developing role, she will also help define the company’s growth through expanding the team and client base by developing the company’s recruiting and marketing strategies.

Years before the launch of Manifest Creative, Sandra was editor of the Houston Visitors Guide, published for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. During her many years in that role, she frequently collaborated with Monica, who at the time served as the Programs Director for the Houston Museum District Association and South Main Alliance, to coordinate the magazine’s coverage of exhibitions and happenings in Museum District.

This early working relationship became the foundation for numerous collaborations. Sandra has worked in tandem with Manifest Creative as a copywriter on such projects as a website overhaul for the National Museum of Funeral History and a website update for Hope Stone, Inc.

Sandra’s early career was dedicated to developing her talents as a writer and editor. She served as editor of the Houston Visitors Guide for more than 12 years, and then as editor for Houston House & Home for three years. Since 2009, she has been a features contributor to Downtown, a magazine produced by the Houston Downtown Management District. Sandra authored the guidebook Relocating to Houston and Surrounding Areas (2000) and co-authored From Rendering to Reality: The Story of Buffalo Bayou Park (2017) with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

Sandra has written articles for a wide range of publications on architecture, urban planning, museums, civic art, interior design, gardening, restaurants and more. Through her work she has gained a near encyclopedic knowledge of the Houston area.

She has also held copywriting positions in corporate marking with a nationwide HR outsourcing company and a regional bank with a nine-state footprint. Since 2019, Sandra has produced marketing, public relations and investor relations content for a Houston start-up restaurant, including a crowdfunding campaign resulting in more than $400k and 482 investors. In this role she also helped develop the restaurant’s employee handbook, policies and procedures, employee training materials and hiring strategies.

Outside of work, Sandra enjoys outdoor adventures, such as exploring urban parks, nature preserves or public sculpture installations with her beau, who is also a writer and walking encyclopedia.

Meet Our Partners

Non-Profit Administration, Project Management, Bookkeeping Partner

Mona Fluitt has worked with the Manifest Creative team for many years offering a variety of services, from bookkeeping to event logistics for conferences to general non-profit administration consulting. She has enjoyed a nearly 35-year career as a nonprofit manager serving many of Houston’s finest nonprofit organizations. Her work includes board training, strategic planning, project management, volunteer management, event management, nonprofit accounting, grant writing and management, grant review, database management, records management, and state and IRS compliance. Mona has taught on these topics at the University of Houston Small Business Development Center and the United Way of Greater Houston as well as being a speaker at state and national conventions. She is an expert in QuickBooks accounting software and developed a training program for using QuickBooks in nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she has added app developer to her extensive resume. She recently launched the Festival Chasers mobile app and is developing apps for a variety of nonprofit management purposes. When she’s not working, Mona and her husband enjoy traveling and entertaining friends and family.

Monica Rhodes

Joanne Gore, CPA

Certified Public Accountant & Bookkeeping Partner

Joanne Gore is Manifest Creative’s CPA and bookkeeping partner. Joanne is a responsive CPA who blends personal service with integrity and loves working with small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and individuals, providing assistance in navigating complex tax codes and guiding clients in best practices. She formed her CPA practice in 2004 after several years of experience at various local CPA firms after graduating from the University of Houston in 1992 and securing her CPA license in 1995. Joanne, who is originally from Seattle, has lived in Texas most of her adult life. Her after-hours interests and passions include scuba diving, traveling, gardening and reading for pleasure.

Membership Strategy Partner

Cathi Hight, President of organizational development firm Hight Performance Group, is Manifest Creative’s go-to expert and resource on all things membership related, assisting Manifest Creative’s association clients to build strategies for membership recruitment and retention, journey mapping and more. Her firm aims to lead its clients to the development of healthier organizations that manage constant change, enhance customer loyalty and “work smarter, not harder.” She is the developer of “The Member Retention Kit,” “A New Approach to Tiered Membership,” and the “Work Smarter, Not Harder” program. Cathi and her team offer resources to help associations attract, engage, and retain members, as well as provide them with tools to stay relevant, deliver benefits that members appreciate, and effectively communicate the value of membership with proven strategies that save time and increase the bottom line. As a certified Wiley Workplace Solutions Partner, Cathi works with organizations to develop high performing teams, effective leaders and productive work environments. Cathi believes in living a balanced lifestyle and loves spending time with her grandkids, cooking, traveling, knitting, and watching her Netflix queue.

Monica Rhodes

Ramon West

Video Editing & Production Partner

Ramon West of DesignsW, a creative services studio he runs with his lovely wife Christine West, is Manifest Creative's video editing and production partner. He specializes in creating and developing projects that include sound designs, video editing, motion graphics design, and voice over, as well as audio composition and correction for video projects. Ramon works in all aspects of video editing for projects including web streaming, conference videos, event productions, and web applications. He and Christine are based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and enjoy spending time hiking and exploring the great outdoors with their adventurous canine sidekick Riley.

Gayle Wheeler-LeSueur

Gayle Wheeler- LeSueur

Graphic Design Partner

Gayle Wheeler-Lesueur, who is originally from Houston and now based in Northern California, is a creative and multi-talented graphic designer with 20+ years of experience in the management of the complete design process, from conceptualization to delivery. Gayle has been Manifest Creative’s go-to designer for nearly 10 years, helping their clients bring their ideas to life through great design. She is well-grounded in a creative and deadline driven environment while upholding customer relations, organizational and creative design skills. She consistently upholds the Manifest Creative value to go above and beyond, and is always up for whatever challenge the team and their clients throw her way. She is a graduate of St. Edward’s University in Austin, where starting out as a Photography major, ultimately led her to a degree in Media Production and Graphic Design. When not designing, Gayle enjoys playing video games with her husband and their two children, attending Anime conventions with her oldest daughter and cooking with her youngest. She also loves animals and volunteers at the local SPCA.

Wayne Springer
Wayne Springer

Wayne Springer

Information Technology Partner

Atiwa, one of Houston’s most responsive and reliable IT services companies for nearly four decades, is Manifest Creative’s trusted IT partner and committed to “helping others by eradicating office technology frustrations and improving office efficiency.” The core of their mission centers on Helping Others, two powerful words that serve as the heartbeat of every single Atiwa team member, including its founder and president, Wayne Springer, and every policy the company makes. It’s also why the company was named and branded as “Atiwa,” which is the Native American word for a “welcoming safe haven.” Atiwa embraces the mindset of providing a safe haven to others in order to free their time and energy on efficiently running their own businesses. They bend to accommodate their customers’ needs and challenges. These philosophies make Atiwa a great partner to Manifest Creative on all things techy. Whether keeping Manifest Creative’s IT infrastructure operating optimally or providing clients with top-notch IT support, Atiwa delivers exceptional customer service and goes above and beyond in every interaction, encounter and situation. 

Monica Rhodes

Password Productions

AV Partner

Password Productions is Manifest Creative's preferred AV partner, providing a variety of creative audio-visual solutions for conventions and social events, specializing in LED concepts and digital signage.

HR Ally
Bryan Neely

Bryan Neely

Human Resources Partner

As a small business consultant, Bryan Neely and his team provide guidance in the areas of human resource management with specialization within the non-profit and hospitality sector, offering an enhanced level of knowledge and expertise in the ever-evolving Human Resources ecosystem.

Since 2016, HR Ally has been a partner to Manifest Creative, supporting the Manifest Creative mission and valuing the work Manifest does for its clients while managing any and all human resource initiatives and challenges that allow the Manifest team to focus on delivering exceptional results to its clients. With more than 20 years of HR know-how, Bryan and his team work collaboratively with Manifest Creative to identify specific needs and provide customized solutions. With a genuine passion for the work they do and the work Manifest Creative does for its clients, HR Ally and Manifest Creative’s partnership and the work they do together make a real difference. 

Bryan Neely

Mikos Adams

Social Media Partner
Specializing in Brand Strategy, Events, Social Media Marketing, and Influencer Partnerships, Mikos and the Hustle To The Top Marketing team have spent the last 10 years proving the power of digital with some of the world’s favorite brands. Now, they’re focused on helping organizations, service providers, creative entrepreneurs and businesses, such as Manifest Creative and its clients, succeed by increasing their visibility online, improving consumer engagement, and boosting their sales.