Here are our shot-callers

Ged King


Since taking over the reins of the agency his father founded in 1984, Ged King, CEO, has transformed the small company into what is now the largest privately owned marketing agency in the region. Bringing more than 20 years of experience in advertising, marketing communications and branding insights to the table, King employs a scientific process to ensure his clients win in the marketplace. His belief in questioning standards: Why are we doing it this way? Is there a different, better way? Why can’t we…? continually evokes new ideas and positive change for his clients.

Ged graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in industrial engineering and began his career at Swing-N-Slide, growing the business from a $5 million to $50 million company. Today, Ged leads the SFW executive team and is also an adjunct professor of marketing, teaching second-year MBA students at Wake Forest University School of Business. Both Ged and SFW are the recipients of many awards across various categories.

An active community leader, Ged has served on numerous boards and established SFW as the largest nationwide participant in the annual 24-hour CreateAthon event that provides pro-bono marketing services to non-profits.

A devoted road cyclist, Ged spearheads healthy living initiatives both within his company and the community. He and his wife and two children live in Greensboro, NC.

Matt King

Chief Marketing officer

Matt King, Chief Marketing Officer of SFW, joined his family’s business in 1996 after graduating from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He worked his way through accounting, account management and sales positions within the company, but his ultimate goal was to be on the creative side of the business. After learning the ins and outs of the agency, Matt moved into management and spent five years as creative director before being named vice president of customer strategy in 2007. Now, as the agency’s chief marketing officer, Matt directs major creative projects, develops teams and oversees new business development.

Matt embodies the philosophies and principles learned from his father, namely that relationships are at the core of every successful working partnership. He has played an integral role in developing SFW into the successful agency it is today.

A board member for the Greensboro Children’s Museum, Matt enjoys spending time with his three daughters and will rarely say no to an invitation to play golf.

Peter Mitchell


President of SFW, Peter Mitchell has more than 30 years of experience in branding, advertising and integrated marketing. After graduating with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication and with an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School, Mitchell spent 20 years working in NYC at Jordan McGrath Case & Taylor and Saatchi & Saatchi. There he supervised EFFIE award-winning campaigns for companies such as General Mills, Quaker Oats and Pepperidge Farms and rose to the position of executive vice president, group account director. In 2001, Mitchell moved back to North Carolina to eventually become President and CEO of Woodbine. Woodbine merged with The Sales Factory in 2013 (which rebranded to SFW soon after) with Peter assuming the role of president.

Peter is an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University teaching graduate school Consumer Behavior and also Writing for PR & Advertising for undergraduates. He serves on the board of the Carolinas Council of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As). He and his wife live in Winston-Salem, NC and enjoy worldwide travels.

Rob Cates


As the CFO of SFW, Rob is responsible for cost accounting, purchasing, budgeting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, human resources and financial reporting. He received his bachelor’s degree from Guilford College and his master’s degree from UNC-G. He is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. A long-time friend of the King family, Rob started working with SFW in 2007 and came on full-time in 2011. Know for his attention to detail, Rob was honored as a Triad Financial Executive of the Year in 2014.

Rob lives in Greensboro where he enjoys spending time with friends over good food and drinks. A voracious reader, Rob is the person you want on your Trivial Pursuit team.

Vickie Canada

VP, Creative Director

As VP, Creative Director at SFW, Vickie oversees a team of designers and copywriters responsible for the development and execution of high-level concepts that best represent a company or brand’s identity. A designer by trade, Vickie’s path began immediately after college. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from East Carolina University, she accrued more than 20 years of experience at several regional agencies, working on national accounts like Northface, Wrangler, Jansport, Lee, and Nokia. At SFW, Vickie takes her wealth of experience and translates that into strategic, creative solutions for our clients.

We often compare Vickie’s role to that of an orchestra conductor. They know how it feels to direct not only people, but the tools and instruments those people use to create something beautiful. For the vast majority of us who’ve never conducted an orchestra, well…Vickie’s work speaks for itself.

Dave Geren

EVP, Accounts

Formerly the Vice President of Marketing for Lowe’s Home Improvement, Dave Geren began consulting with SFW in early 2015 before becoming a full time team member. Geren is currently EVP, Accounts where he oversees SFW’s account teams.

With more than 20 years experience in strategy, branding, CRM and multi-channel communications, Geren has worked in large and small retail, manufacturing, and ad agency environments. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor of communications in advertising and lives in Clemmons with his wife and son.

Rick McCarthy

SR. Director of Research

Rick McCarthy knows a thing or two about a thing or two. Rick is SFW’s Senior Director of Insights and provides SFW with the information needed to help brands win. He runs a tight, 6 person ship responsible for conducting and drawing actionable insights from business immersion, qualitative research, and quantitative research. Easier said, whatever you need to know, Rick and his team will find it.

Armed with a BA in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MBA from Cleveland State University, Rick has over 20 years leading agency strategy and research groups. If that weren’t enough, Rick also has over 20 years of client-side marketing experience with industry titans Black & Decker, Rubbermaid, and Newell. His experience as both a consumer and producer of research leads SFW in discovering what makes brands win in the marketplace.

When not pouring over actionable data, you can find Rick on the back nine, cooking, reading or playing with his grandkids. But, regardless of what he’s doing, he’s always running the numbers and thinking of strategies to help SFW’s clients win. His passion for solving client’s problems makes him an essential part of the SFW machine and helps differentiate SFW as a leading agency.

Emily Bratton

Director of Digital

As the Director of Digital at SFW, Emily is a problem-solver who’s always willing to figure out the toughest solutions that SFW faces. She oversees a team of developers, strategists and content producers responsible for all of the agency’s digital activation projects.

Once she received her B.A. in Broadcast Communications and M.A. in Interactive Media from Elon University, she hit the ground running. Her education helped immerse her in the ever-changing trade, but it also gave her the experience she needed to stay competitive in the workforce. After working as a web developer and Associate Director of Creative Communications at Wake Forest for over three years, she finally found her home in SFW, starting as a Front-End Developer.

Emily is constantly active in her local community, particularly in Ultimate Frisbee. She’s been an organizer and player for 12 years, and she’s the Triad Area Ultimate captain in her league. Her other hobbies include cycling, hiking, and playing with Parry, her energetic German Shorthair Pointer. No matter what, Emily is definitely someone you want on your team.

it began with purpose.

In 1984, our founder, George King, believed there's a better way to help brands overcome challenges in the marketplace. Fast forward some 35 years later, SFW upholds that passion for helping brands win in an ever faster-paced world.


George King, Founder

The 4-part process

We don’t just approach client problems — we attack them, head on. That’s why we created the Four Part Process, to help attack our clients’ most pressing challenges. Intuitive, proven, and repeatable, it creates purpose and teamwork between the client and SFW. What better way to build stronger strategies, more creativity, and bigger ideas?

partner pricing

we only win when you win

SFW offers a Partner Pricing structure that ties our compensation on to your success. You tell us what you would consider a win, and we design a bonus based on your goal. Then comes the interesting part: we reduce our upfront fee. If we reach your goal, we receive the bonus. If we do not meet your goal, you pay only the reduced fee. Not many agencies are willing to put skin in the game. Why are we? Because SFW believes we win only when you win.

core team structure

designed for the 22nd century

Instead of operating in “departments” like most agencies, SFW consists of integrated Core Teams that operate like agencies within the agency. They are responsible for their own P&L’s and their compensation is tied to client business performance. This organizational structure encourages accountability, and every member of the core team becomes immersed in the business.