About

Flock and Rally: Integrated Communications for a Brave New South

Our mission is to rally our community around great ideas.

Founded in 2010, Flock and Rally is a full-service, women-owned creative agency based in Columbia, South Carolina. The firm integrates branding, public relations, marketing, traditional advertising, digital advertising, social media and more into campaigns for a diverse base of clients, ranging from local nonprofits to large-scale businesses. Serving industry sectors ranging from hospitality, lifestyle and tourism to business, technology, real estate, economic development and more, Flock and Rally’s mission is to rally the community around great ideas.

We're honored to be a part of a larger movement to strengthen our economy and draw attention to the Columbia, S.C., region — and to South Carolina — as a destination for high quality of life.

Our Approach

Our brand, communications and marketing strategies are audience-forward, using target audience research — from data to anecdotal evidence — to craft brands and campaigns that address key audience needs and concerns from their points of view.

We don’t sell or coerce — we engage and empower.

Company Leadership

While Debi Schadel and Tracie Broom, the firm's owners and co-founding partners, provide executive leadership, guiding the firm and serving as creative directors and senior advisors across a number of projects, each team member is empowered to be the boss of every project they lead.

Co-Founding Partners Debi Schadel and Tracie Broom. Photo: Sean Rayford

Before forming Flock and Rally in 2010, partners Debi Schadel and Tracie Broom each worked independently for over a decade in marketing, publishing, project management, event planning, and online content development for entities ranging from the Columbia QuadSquad Rollergirls, Viva la Vista and real estate mogul Don Tomlin to national brands like Toyota, Hilton, and Spa Magazine.


Debi Schadel, Co-Founding Partner

Debi Schadel, Co-Founding Partner. Photo: Sean Rayford

Co-founding partner at Flock and Rally, Debi Schadel is a marketing professional based in Columbia, S.C., who has a lengthy and successful track record in developing and managing integrated communications campaigns, creative direction and new brand development, long-term project management and launching new initiatives in the Midlands.

Originally from upstate New York, she brings an open, direct approach to the table, which makes it incredibly easy to get big things done. Debi co-founded TedXColumbiaSC, One Million Cups Columbia, Crafty Feast, the Columbia chapter of the American Marketing Association and more. She has been honored as one of Columbia Business Monthly magazine’s “50 Most Influential,” Free Times’ “Power 50” and Columbia Regional Business Report’s “Women to Watch,” and her team has garnered multiple awards, including the IABC-SC's 2016 Best in Show Palmetto Award for the Famously Hot New Year campaign and a 2018 Southeast Tourism Society Shining Example Award for the Green Book of South Carolina.

A graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia, she holds a Master of Real Estate Development degree from Clemson University and a Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems degree from the University of South Carolina.

Tracie Broom, Co-Founding Partner

Tracie Broom, Co-Founding Partner. Photo: Sean Rayford

Co-founding partner at Flock and Rally, Tracie Broom is a marketing and communications professional from Columbia, S.C. She collaborates with her team to develop new brands and roll out integrated communications and marketing campaigns, with specializations in media relations, content strategy, copywriting, customer experience and partnership building. Skilled in the art of getting the word out, she is passionate about introducing people to one another and spoke on the subject at TedXColumbiaSC in 2014.

She has been honored as one of Columbia Business Monthly magazine’s “50 Most Influential,” Free Times’ “Power 50” and Columbia Regional Business Report’s “Women to Watch,” and her team has been honored with multiple awards, including the S.C. Public Relations Society of America (SCPRSA) 2018 Best in Show Mercury Award for the Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. campaign and SCPRSA’s 2019 Best in Show Silver Wing Award for Capgemini North America's Columbia expansion campaign.

Tracie worked as a professional writer, editor and event planner for 12 years in San Francisco, California, where she maintained a roster of clients ranging from Toyota, Hilton and AOL to Spa Magazine, Splendora, Interiors Magazine and Daily Candy SF. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Dance Choreography and Performance, and she was awarded a grant for studies at Harvard University. Tracie serves as Marketing Committee Chair on the Foundation Board of the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, S.C.

Our Team

Merritt McNeely, Vice President of Marketing

Merritt McNeely, Vice President of Marketing.

Merritt (McHaffie) McNeely joined Flock and Rally in 2018, bringing with her an extensive background in marketing, communications and organizational leadership. Since 2005, she has been involved with several high-profile events, campaigns, and organizations and is known widely as a leader in the Midlands community. Merritt worked as the executive director for the Five Points Association from 2005-2013 and during her tenure, accomplished numerous vital projects for the neighborhood, including serving as the chair of the annual St. Pat's in Five Points festival.

From 2013-2018, Merritt was the director of marketing for the South Carolina State Museum, overseeing an annual advertising budget of $250,000. She led the marketing and communications for the grand opening of the new museum in 2014 and became founder and chair of the Total Eclipse Weekend, Columbia, S.C. campaign, which drew hundreds of thousands of travelers to the Midlands.

Merritt attended the University of South Carolina and earned her degree in Public Relations from the school of Journalism and Mass Communications.

She is a recipient of the State Media Company's “20 Under 40,” Columbia Regional Business Report’s “Women of Influence” and Columbia Business Monthly's “50 Most Influential” honors. Merritt serves as president of the board of the Vista Guild. In the past, she served on the boards of the Columbia Design League, the Animal Mission and the Babcock Center Foundation.

Rachel Carter, Operations Manager

Rachel Carter, Operations Manager. Photo: Sean Rayford

Rachel Carter is armed with acuity for project management and the ability to enforce deadlines with a smile. While she excels at managing integrated communications campaigns, large-scale advertising and graphics production, content creation and beyond, her role enables her to manage training, staff capacity, HR, internal operations and more for the firm. A member of the firm’s leadership team, Rachel drives initiatives and process improvements company-wide that empower the team and increase operational excellence.

She is constantly on the lookout for all things handmade and delicious, and she is passionate about playing a role in the flourishing small business economy in Columbia, S.C.

Rachel serves as president of the board of the nonprofit Jam Room Music Festival and serves on the advisory committee for 701 Center for Contemporary Art.

Shawn Skillman, Senior Integrated Communications Manager

Shawn Skillman, Senior Integrated Communications Manager.

Shawn Skillman is an accomplished public relations professional who serves as a lead storyteller for clients, leveraging his years of experience in newsrooms and in the corporate sector. He joined Flock and Rally in September 2019 after six years with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, where he served as media relations strategist and spokesperson from 2016 to 2019.

Prior to his position at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Shawn worked as a sports anchor in television news for eight years at four stations across the country, including Rapid City, S.D., Waco, TX., Columbus, GA. and lastly Columbia, S.C., where he transitioned to writing the daily newscast as a producer.

Shawn has received several industry awards from the S.C. Public Relations Society of America (SCPRSA), International Association of Business Communicators (IABC-SC) and the American Advertising Federation (AAF). He also received three Associated Press (AP) awards during his time in television news.

Shawn is from Hendersonville, N.C., and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in electronic journalism. He currently serves on the board of Palmetto Place Children and Youth Services, SCPRSA and on the United Way Community Impact committee.

Ashley Cady, Senior Integrated Communications Manager

Ashley Cady, Senior Integrated Communications Manager. Photo: Sean Rayford

Ashley Cady, senior integrated communications manager, is a marketing professional based in Columbia, S.C., who has been a key member of the Flock and Rally team since 2016.

An avid content creator with a knack for visual storytelling, Ashley manages social media empires and grows engagement with an eye toward staying on top of ever-changing best practices in the inbound marketing and tourism industries in particular. 

Originally from Aiken, S.C., Ashley graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in tourism management. Ashley serves on the board of the Contemporaries of the Columbia Museum of Art and is a member of the COR Action Team.

Tanita Gaither, Senior Integrated Communications Manager

Tanita Gaither, Senior Integrated Communications Manager.

Tanita A. Gaither is a communications, public relations and journalism professional based in Columbia, S.C. She joined the Flock and Rally team in 2019 after serving for two years as the digital content manager for WIS News 10, one of the state’s leading television and digital news brands.

First entering digital media as a sports blogger, Tanita began her career in 2012 at Raycom Media’s national digital content center in Montgomery, Ala. In 2014, she was selected for the Raycom Newsroom Leadership Academy and was subsequently named digital content manager for WTVM News Leader 9 in Columbus, Ga.

In 2017, Tanita accepted a position as digital content manager for WIS News 10 in Columbia, S.C. During her time at WIS, she was part of a team honored for the best website of the year at the South Carolina Broadcasters Association’s (SCBA) 2017 STAR Awards. Tanita was also one of 25 participants picked from hundreds of emerging digital leaders to take part in the 2017 Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media.

A native of Covington, Ga., Tanita graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications.

Tanita serves on the communications advisory committee for the Harriet Hancock LGBT Center.

Hailey Covell, Integrated Communications Manager

Hailey Covell, Integrated Communications Manager. Photo: Sean Rayford

Hailey Covell is a creative integrated communications manager who combines her skill for innovative content development with social media management to build the community around people, places and ideas. Hailey takes pride in her ability to implement emerging trends of the social media landscape to grow accounts and garner engagement.

In 2018, Hailey graduated with a degree in Mass Communications and Marketing from the University of South Carolina. She strategically applies her studies to her work to communicate crafted messages to targeted audiences and markets. Native to the Columbia, S.C. region, Hailey is passionate about showcasing Columbia as a lively city to shop, dine and play.

Mary Kate Korpita, Integrated Communications Manager

Mary Kate Korpita, Integrated Communications Manager.

Mary Kate Korpita is a strategic communications professional from Columbia, S.C. Prior to joining Flock and Rally in 2019, she worked in Dallas for global communications marketing firm Edelman, where she specialized in content development, strategic planning and internal communications. Through her work with Edelman Intelligence, the firm’s global research and analytics consultancy, she analyzed trends and incorporated research into media relations efforts for her clients.

Mary Kate attended the University of South Carolina and earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. During her collegiate career, she served as the vice president of the International Association of Business Communicators student chapter.

Mary Kate is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America and enjoys networking with brilliant minds across the Palmetto State.

Caitlin Dingler, Integrated Communications Associate


Caitlin Dingler is an integrated communications professional based in Columbia, S.C., who loves to develop and implement a purposeful vision for client growth and success. Caitlin uses her attention to detail to tell client stories and expand brand impact through creative content development and implementation.

A native of Virginia Beach, Caitlin earned a marketing and management degree from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. She specializes in social media content planning, project management, and marketing.

In addition to her experience at Flock and Rally, Caitlin has served in marketing and social media roles for Her Campus Media and the American Heart Association. Caitlin serves on the communications advisory committee for the Harriet Hancock LGBT Center.


Want to know more? 

View our client list.

View press and awards for Flock and Rally


DBE Certification

Flock and Rally is federally certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and is eligible to partner or team on federal projects which include a DBE set-aside or requirement for women-owned and minority businesses. Flock and Rally is also certified by Richland County as a Small, Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) and by the City of Columbia as a Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE).

  

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