The Team

Collectively, our team has over 100 years of experience in branding and marketing. We’re a group of branding nerds, marketing gurus, digital experts, designers and writers working together to help you focus on strategy and building awareness to grow your business. Our Kansas City crew includes a full creative team, marketing strategists/buyers and photographers.

Novella Brandhouse Team

Our executive leadership.

Our executive leadership team leads the 3 areas of our business: Brand Development, Creative, and Marketing Strategy. We also have a dedicated executive team leader on each account.

Elizabeth McFadden

Elizabeth McFadden


Elizabeth brings the expertise, creativity and award-winning strategy of a big-time ad agency to businesses who want to scale. Over a decade ago, she developed a process to help organizations of all sizes find their voice in a crowded market. Taking the brand strategy model used by Fortune 500 companies, she designed a method for smaller companies to develop their brand.

At Novella, her role involves leading the brand strategy side of the house in addition to managing the day-to-day operations.

During her career, Elizabeth has successfully positioned businesses in the marketplace by developing brand strategies and executing marketing and media plans. She’s worked with clients such as the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department, the City of Cedar Rapids, in addition to beloved brands such as Brookside and The Big Biscuit, plus locally-owned businesses like Flutterhabit.  

She has been featured in The New York Times, the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Business Journal, Startland News, and others. Elizabeth is a published author, co-writing two business books with April Beach in 2008 and 2010. In 2022, she was named one of the Enterprising Women of the Year and in 2023, one of the 100 Women to KNOW in America.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Journalism from Missouri State University and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Babson College. She is a member of the Kansas City Tomorrow Class 36, ScaleUP KC Cohort 6 and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business National Cohort 15. 

Elizabeth is a Kansas City native and lives in Brookside with her husband Matt, and three boys. 

Kelly Klinkon

Kelly Klinkon


Chief Happiness Officer | Director of Client Engagement is one long title but we believe that happy, healthy employees do the best work for our clients. Kelly’s role includes developing strategic direction, building relationships with our clients and cultivating a supportive culture inside Novella Brandhouse. Her major brand experience from category leaders like Hallmark Cards and Lorillard Tobacco informs her marketing, branding and communications expertise in consumer, as well as business-to-business industries.

She serves our diverse client roster by developing and leading marketing strategies in both traditional and digital mediums to increase business performance and product awareness. Kelly oversees researching, planning and buying all print, broadcast, and digital media. She is part of the award-winning brand strategy development team at Novella defining target audiences and constructing audience personas.

Kelly earned a BA from UMKC in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations. She loves to travel, read, explore KC with her family and can always be depended on for that perfectly funny, witty comeback line!

Abbie Smith

Abbie Smith


Over the course of her career Abbie has worn many hats, working as a graphic designer, marketing manager, UI/UX designer, business owner, art director, and photographer. At Novella her role as Creative Director brings the best of these experiences together. Leading the creative across all Novella brands and clients, Abbie loves bringing brand strategy to life through cohesive visuals and influential design.

Abbie’s background spans nationally recognized brands like U.S. Bank, Tyson Pet Products, Taco John’s, MGP, Vanity Fair,, AMC, Justin’s, and Dairy Farmers of America. She also has experience with smaller up-and-comers like Factora, Mean Mule, and The Geek Foundation. Abbie holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Kansas State University.

Curious by nature, Abbie is continually expanding her skillset in advertising execution while honing her craft in copywriting, website design, digital product design, campaign creation, and above all building brands for passionate businesses. She gives polish to scrappy creativity and loves bringing teams together to share wins with everyone.

Strategic Partners

Public Relations

PR is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Our clients in the B2B space need something different than our B2C clients. Our local clients have different needs than those based in NYC. Depending on the PR scope of work, we mobilize our strategic PR partners as needed.

Locally, we partner with Page Communications for all things Kansas City. We work with an agency based in New York City, with an office in Phoenix, for national B2C clients. For more specialized or nuanced B2B work, we have two battle-tested PR pros that round out our team.