Our partners have spent decades in brand management for world-class marketing organizations, like Coca Cola and Unilever, and in strategic development for high-performing management consulting firms. Our partners balance each other well. Some bring strong quantitative and analytic problem-solving skills, while others lead with more of a qualitative and creative problem-solving approach.

The core of our firm is made up of the two founding partners, Mitch Duckler and Michael Million, who worked together for over a decade at leading global management consulting firms focused on brand and business strategy. Additional “network” partners include those who have specific subject-matter expertise relative to brand and business strategy, and/or deep expertise in particular industry verticals.

Mitch DucklerMitch Duckler, Managing Partner

Mitch Duckler is managing partner of FullSurge. He brings over 25 years of line management and strategy consulting experience in leading complex engagements and overseeing client relationships.

His areas of expertise include brand strategy, customer and consumer insights, and innovation. Prior to FullSurge, Mitch was a senior partner at Vivaldi Partners Group and a partner...

Natalie_headshotNatalie Ross, Managing Partner

Natalie has extensive experience in brand marketing and strategy development—having done everything from working for top branding firms to being a brand marketer for a Fortune 500 company to building her own successful branding agency that consulted several of today’s most respected global brands. This vast expertise gives her a uniquely holistic and seasoned perspective on what it takes to build, grow and maintain indispensible brands today.

Carolyn Crafts

Carolyn Crafts, Partner

Carolyn Crafts an experienced marketing leader with a passion for insights and translating them into effective brand, digital and communication strategies and been partnering with clients beginning in early 2018. Most recently, Carolyn was VP Marketing for Entertainment Cruises, where she is responsible for driving digital engagement, including the company’s website and ecommerce platforms, developing brand communication and content strategies, conducting market research and gathering guest insights, leading in-house creative development, and coordinating marketing with local sales and marketing teams. During her tenure...

Michael Million

Michael Million, Partner

Michael has over 20 years of experience advising companies on customer, brand, and go-to-market strategies, as well as the communication and design systems driven by those strategies.

Michael’s ability to solve a broad set of underlying business challenges comes from his extensive knowledge of insight methodologies, strong conceptual and strategic skills, knack for identifying what matters... 

Vicky WilkensVicky Wilkens

Vicky has over 15 years of executive brand, digital & marketing strategy experience with leading Fortune 500 companies. Her career has spanned across technology, media & entertainment, sports & consumer products to better position offerings and services in the marketplace for brands such as Under Armour, IBM, The Weather Channel, Mizuno, Active, Time Inc., and Turner Broadcasting.

As an executive, decision maker within the corporate ecosystem...

Michelle SanchezMichelle Sanchez

Michelle has over 18 years of experience advising leading companies on brand and marketing strategies that deliver tangible top and bottom-line growth. Her work focuses on developing innovative brand positionings, actionable customer segmentations models, customer journey mapping, brand architecture, new product development and optimizing brand portfolios.

Over the span of her career...

Verna DonovanVerna Donovan

With over 25 years of consulting, account management, sales and marketing experience, Verna understands both the client and agency sides of business. She is a seasoned consumer insights-driven strategic marketer and brand builder. Verna served as the Associate Vice President for Marketing Strategy and Branding at DePaul University.

At DePaul, she spearheaded the university’s first...

Judy Hopelain

Judy Hopelain

Judy has over 20 years of experience helping to position companies for marketplace success. Her thought leadership and insight have driven top- and bottom-line impact for clients like J. Crew, Angie’s List, Outward Bound, Kaiser Permanente, and McKesson.

As a member of the senior leadership teams at multi-channel retailers and leading consulting firms, Judy gained...

Ruth Saunders

Ruth Saunders

Based in London, Ruth Saunders brings almost 30 years of experience in marketing and brand strategy, helping clients develop, get board buy-in, and implement innovative marketing strategies that deliver tangible business growth. Her work includes ...


Todd Piper-Hauswirth

Todd Piper-Hauswirth

Todd Piper-Hauswirth is the founder and creative director of All-Good – a nimble, industry-leading design firm that is dedicated to combining art and strategic insights.

Throughout his 20 years in the industry, he has delivered fresh thinking that solves problems, shifts markets, and leads to long-term results. Todd's ability to tailor his design...


Deborah Maue

Over the past 25+ years, Deborah has been helping companies drive growth through strategic consumer branding, product development, organizational development, and lead generation. She has led highly successful consumer marketing initiatives in consumer packaged goods, higher education and agency settings.

At Columbia College Chicago, she built a centralized marketing team of over 30 marketing communications, design, web development, and public relations professionals. In this role...


Cynthia Opie

Cynthia Opie has almost 20 years of experience in helping companies use research insights to improve the way they deliver on and leverage their brands. She uncovers employee and customer insights using a variety of research techniques including in-depth interviews, focus groups, online bulletin boards, and quantitative surveys. Her experience includes...