About MiddleM Creative

We offer creative solutions exclusively for innovative middle-market firms that wish to stand out in a crowded sea of look-alikes.

It’s no secret that the M&A middle market is highly inefficient for buyers, sellers and intermediaries.

Having a strong marketing and business development strategy that communicates your focus and approach in a manner that is both consistent and unique can be the difference-maker."

With our background as former investment bankers and private equity professionals, we understand the intricacies of the M&A environment, and what it takes to stand out and remain top of mind. 

MiddleM Creative overview

Team Biographies


Joanne Verkuilen

Founder + Managing Partner

Watching the middle market M&A environment mature over the past 10 – 15 years brought me to the conclusion that firms competing for the next great transaction need a thoughtful and intentional brand and marketing strategy.


With a combination of marketing and investment banking/private equity experience, I started MiddleM Creative with a deep understanding that a differentiating brand can have true ROI vis-à-vis efficiencies around deal origination.

I’ve worked on more than two dozen middle-market M&A transactions and private capital raises for such firms as Smith Barney (now Morgan Stanley), Sanders Morris Harris, Conversus Capital (now HarbourVest) – and most recently was the Director of Marketing and part of the leadership team at BlackArch Partners.

I want MiddleM Creative to become the premier marketing and branding firm not for the sake of growth, but because I love the work we do and am passionate about helping clients realize their aspirations.

O 980 785 4356
M 917 744 7351


Kara Petracek

Managing Director

Having a strong brand and marketing strategy used to be a “nice thing to have” when competing for deals. Now it is essential. Clearly articulating your firm’s unique value proposition – who you are and what you do – will give you an important edge in what is a dynamic, noisy middle market.

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Every firm has a story. The challenge is telling it in a compelling, consistent and strategic way to win deals. Helping clients realize the power of their stories is my passion.

I am a highly driven person with a strong mix of creativity, strategy and getting things done. Prior to joining MiddleM, I was the Director of Marketing & Strategy at Bowstring Advisors where I was a member of the Executive Leadership team and oversaw the firm’s marketing and communications efforts including the firm’s recent rebrand initiative. Outside of work, I strive to fulfil my dream of representing the U.S. in the Olympics as a competitive pistol shooter.

Developing a focused brand and marketing strategy to best compete in the middle market has real ROI. We can help.

O 770 282 9442
M 404 274 7794


Allie Gamble

Senior Client Services Associate

With more players in the field, PE and investment banking firms have to be able to differentiate themselves in order to compete.

Allie Gamble MiddleM Creative.jpg

Marketing with intention yields results. I am passionate about helping companies build their brands and reach their goals through tactful, purposeful marketing strategies while serving as their right-hand to execute each aspect of that strategy. 

Prior to joining the MiddleM Creative team, I worked for over four years at a full-service global marketing agency. I was the senior account lead, I focused on B2B and B2C clients while also managing client services. In my free time, I love anything health and wellness related and spending time with friends and family.

Working with clients that understand the value in marketing and why it is necessary for growth drives me to continue to improve my skillset every day.

O 704 780 4359
M 704 280 1432


Heidi Vanhoozier

Client Services Associate

I genuinely care about the success of my clients, always putting their goals and satisfaction at the forefront of my business activities.


I’ve worked in the financial industry for the past fifteen years, gaining experience in business development, account management, and sales. I spent a notable portion of my career at Bank of America on a team dedicated to facilitating portfolio loans for the bank’s high net worth U.S. Trust clients. These loan requests predominately fell outside-of-the-box, requiring creative thinking and tactful strategy to get them approved.

I thoroughly enjoy working through challenges by seeking solutions that culminate with positive results. I have a passion for uncovering business opportunities through networking, research, and analytics, all while fostering strong, long-lasting client relationships. Providing exceptional service is paramount to who I am and I feel very fortunate to be on a team with that same priority.

M 980.322.1245

MiddleM Creative team 1
MiddleM Creative team 2