Our Team

CAPABILITIES

Founded in July 2011, Team IDEA is a combination of graphic design, multimedia, copywriting, presentation, trade and special event professionals. We create experiences – whether physical or visual – for various audiences to engage, interact and strengthen relationships with the Cars.com brand.

What can we do? A better question is what can’t we do – because when it comes to creative and events, the answer is, “not much.”

The “IDEA” in Team IDEA stands for four areas in which we excel at providing service to others: We INVENT, we DESIGN, we EXPERIENCE and we ASPIRE.

Want to learn more? Take a look at some of our best work. With hundreds of deliverables and events each year – from the smallest piece of print collateral to the biggest, thousand-person marquee event – we definitely keep ourselves busy.

Contact Us: teamidea@cars.com

Kelly Carroll
Senior Event Planner


Senior Event Planner

As Team IDEA’s Senior Event Planner, Kelly is responsible for planning and executing some of our biggest internal events, often for 1,000+ attendees.

Kelly started at Cars.com in 2004 an Account Manager, and has spent the last eight years in a variety of marketing and events roles.

In her spare time Kelly enjoys cheering on Chicago sports teams, spending time with her large, Chicago-based family and exploring her Wicker Park neighborhood.

Katie Nordness
Manager, Special Events & Meetings, CMP, DMCP


Manager, Special Events & Meetings, CMP, DMCP

With a love for the hospitality industry and its inner workings, Katie’s career began in the hotel arena. She soon switched her focus to event marketing for the wide variety of services she could provide her clients. Katie’s sales and operational positions have led her to use a unique, hands-on approach that allows her to capitalize her attention on exceptional client experiences at Cars.com. With more than a decade in event marketing, Katie has directed thousands of programs with attendance levels up to 40,000.

Before joining Cars.com, Katie branched into event production, where she successfully produced US Open and PGA Championship hospitality villages, created the Ryder Cup Team USA & Europe onsite experiences, as well as managed the opening events for the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Katie is a member of Meeting Professional International and holds two highly regarded industry designations, Destination Management Certified Professional and Certified Meeting Professional. She received her Bachelors of Science in Recreation Management and Tourism from Arizona State University.

In her spare time, Katie enjoys exploring new destinations. If you can bike to them or if they are dog friendly… even better!

Elaine Barone
Manager, Trade Events


Manager, Trade Events

Elaine is Manager of Trade Events on Team IDEA. She’s responsible for the trade events strategy, creating compelling opportunities for Cars.com to increase its brand and leadership position throughout trade shows, conferences, sponsorships and other relevant industry events. With more than 15 years of trade events experience, Elaine comes to Cars.com from HERE (A Nokia Business), where she managed trade and customer events at a global level.

Elaine is originally from Glasgow, Scotland; she eventually landed in Elmhurst, Ill., where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Psychology from Elmhurst College. She is a classically trained vocalist AND a die-hard Chicago Blackhawks fan who loves any time she can spend with friends. And yes, that often includes wine.

Emily Sandberg
Senior Copywriter


Senior Copywriter

Emily spends her days writing and editing – emails, social posts, video scripts, Web copy, white papers, print collateral, internal communications, presentations, ads, messaging docs and anything else that requires a wordsmith. She’s passionate about reaching audiences with human, engaging language that’s free of jargon and buzzwords. Emily started her career in public relations, followed that with a stint as a copywriter for a national health nonprofit and has been with Cars.com since November 2011.

A Pittsburgh native, Emily has a B.S. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and an M.A. in New Media Studies from DePaul University. She loves comedy podcasts, salt, pop culture, firm handshakes and hoppy beers. Swing by and say hi on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Heidi Allen
Associate Manager, Trade Event Marketing


Associate Manager, Trade Event Marketing

Heidi recently stepped into the role of managing the Cars.com presence at trade shows and memberships with state and local dealer associations. She stepped into that position after more than three years traveling the east coast managing local client events for Cars.com. She was also responsible for the logistics of the Cars.com Best Of Awards in 2013 and 2014. Prior to joining the team, Heidi worked at a small suburban marketing agency and Bally Total Fitness as a marketing project manager who dabbled in planning events and branding experiences.

Heidi is an Iowa native who moved to the Chicago area after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wartburg College. During her time at Wartburg, she developed a love of running and goofy novelty socks. She enjoys pairing those two loves frequently, as well as exploring new places near home and far away and spending time with her two cats.

Melissa Galicia Vega
Graphic Designer


Graphic Designer

Melissa received her BFA in Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Chicago and less than a year later, found herself as the newest member of Team IDEA. While in school, she freelanced and held design internships in the entertainment and healthcare industries. Melissa is passionate about music, interior and graphic design, and also has a love for photography. She is constantly finding inspiration in her surroundings and experiences and enjoys bringing her creative ideas to life.

When she’s not designing, you can find Melissa at various electronic music events supporting her husband Frankie as he DJs, or obsessing over sloths and English bulldogs on the Internet. She also enjoys spending time in her beloved neighborhood of Logan Square with Frankie and their two cats.

Angie Trigilio
Manager, Creative Services


Manager, Creative Services

Angie received her BFA from the University of Dayton in Visual Communications and quickly after graduation got herself to the big city of Chicago. She started her career in package design at a boutique agency, moved into the startup world doing front-end Web design and then made her way to the purple side at Cars.com, where she’s been for over five years. As a designer, planner and maker, Angie brings her enthusiasm and passion into everything she does. She’s a nerd for process, organization and puppies, and would love to talk to you about them anytime.

In her free time, she plays tennis, sees live music and travels whenever possible leaving her in a constant state of wanderlust.

Follow her antics and adventures on Twitter or Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn.

Ken Nesbit
Senior Designer, Interactive Lead


Senior Designer, Interactive Lead

Ken is the Interactive Lead for the creative team. He graduated from New Mexico State University with a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Computer Science. Ken has been at Cars.com for seven years. Before that, he worked primarily at design studios creating websites, annual reports, brand identities, collateral and everything in between.

Ken loves his tools and tinkering, which can be: building a studio shed from a kit, using the latest front-end web development workflow, rebuilding the carburetors on his vintage Honda motorcycles or under the hood of a web app. In his free time he loves hanging with his (three!!!) French bulldogs, riding on two wheels, photography, margaritas and Manhattans.

Maureen Boyle
Director, Team IDEA


Director, Team IDEA

Maureen is Team IDEA’s fearless leader. She provides strategic direction, creative vision, ideation and organizational leadership to fulfill Team IDEA’s mission to create experiences – whether physical or visual – for various audiences to engage, interact and strengthen relationships with the Cars.com brand. With more than 17 years of diverse marketing experience, Maureen has been able to effectively elevate the brand of in-house resources and establish her team as the Cars.com authority and go-to resource for creative & multimedia development, execution and brand positioning as well as event strategy, planning and execution. Prior to joining Cars.com, Maureen held various marketing roles at Apartments.com, Jam Theatricals, Tribune Company and TMP Worldwide.

Maureen is a Chicago native and attended the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, where she received the exclusive leadership award of her graduating class. When she is not inventing or eventing, she enjoys checking out new local hotspots, traveling to tropical destinations and spending quality time with friends and family.

Ryan Rockenbaugh
Event Planner


Event Planner

Ryan graduated from Purdue University with his degree in Law & Society, but followed his passion to Washington, DC where he began his career in event and hospitality management. He had the opportunity to work for major hotel brands within the DC market and brush shoulders with politicians, celebrities, and major world leaders. Since then, Ryan’s path has brought him to Chicago where he is bringing seven years of experience and passion to his new role as Event Planner. If it’s a weekend in the fall, you can find Ryan watching Purdue and Patriots football, but when he isn’t watching football or traveling for work, Ryan is father to one small, yet very spunky kitten who deserves his own bio.