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Our culture

For 8 years, we've been building a place where we love to come to work. Through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, our focus on building an outstanding company culture has remained steady.

We’re building a place where we can be our best selves.

So that together, we can make our most meaningful impact.

It's why we come to work each day. We strive to create an environment where our team and clients can bring their authentic selves to work.

Our team

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Erin Walter

Erin is the CEO & Co-Founder of nuphoriq. Her unique perspective is the product of having grown up in a family of successful business and catering entrepreneurs. Chicago-based Tasty Catering (where Erin also serves as a Leadership & Advisory Board Member) has provided her the environment and foundation to truly flourish as a thought leader in the space. Prior to starting her business, Erin cultivated her passion and competitiveness as a professional soccer player in the WPS.

Erin holds two degrees from DePaul University (a Bachelor’s in Management and Marketing and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing Strategy) and formerly sat on the school’s Marketing Advisory Council (MAC). Ask her about dogs.

Jamie Pritscher

Jamie Pritscher’s passion in business resides at the intersections of catering, communication and creativity.

In the last five years, she has been awarded Diversity Magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Emerging Leader Award, Ecovers’ 30 Under 30 for Sustainability, and Harper College’s Distinguished Alumni. She has also been a featured speaker for Inc. Magazine, Winning Workplaces Leadership Conference, and The Thought Board STRENGTH Conference.

Jamie holds two degrees: a Bachelors in Communications with Psychology and Visual Communications minors from Illinois State University and a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University. And she’s getting married this year!

Brian Ottosen

Brian wears many hats, serving as the go-to man for all things marketing-related. His catchphrase is “don’t worry, I’ll figure it out,” a true testament to his relentless work ethic.

Brian has a degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from Illinois State University and began his marketing career at Tasty Catering.

Jeanette Esquivel

Jeanette’s our Social Media Director. She does everything social, from strategy to execution. You’ll work with Jeanette to plan, schedule, and grow your social media presence.

She has a degree in Marketing from DePaul University and runs the popular food blog Just Pure Enjoyment.

Emily Ebert

As our graphic designer, Emily defines the look of everything we do. You’ll work with her to design your logo, menus, email blasts and more.

Emily joined us in 2012 after graduating from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Graphic Design. In her free time, Emily runs Pancakes for Parkinson’s, an annual fundraising event that has generated over $20k to promote a cure for Parkinson’s.

Benjamin Dowell

You’ll meet Benjamin during the website creation process. His job is to ensure every site we make runs perfectly (and prettily) on clean, fast, stable code. Benjamin’s secret power, “alien mode”, enables him to code with the speed and accuracy of 15 human developers.

Sarah Cimarusti

Sarah writes a lot. And likes it. You’ll work with Sarah to create web copy, blog posts, marketing materials and more.

Sarah has a degree from Loyola University and is our newest teammate. She’s very good at drawing horses and bathtubs, among other things.

Michael Larson

As nuphoriq’s Web Director, Michael oversees all web projects and develops internal systems to keep our team ahead of the curve. He holds a degree in strategy from Trinity College Dublin, and worked freelance before joining nuphoriq in 2012. Michael’s favorite pastime is reading epic fantasy while enjoying premium beverages, such as ice water, tea and craft beer.

Peggy Kulato

Peggy handles prospecting and sales, acting as a liaison between clients and the nuphoriq team and ensuring clients’ sales success. She brings over 15 years of sales experience and training, working specifically in the catering industry, et al., with companies like Apple, AT&T and Tasty Catering where she maintained relationships with clients like Merrill Lynch and Big Ten.

Peggy has a degree in Forensic Psychology from San Diego State University, with a minor in communication. She is married and has two sons, Temani, age 5 and Jordan, age 3.

Karen Walter

Karen leads the management and organization of all projects and administrative responsibilities—a big job with this crew. She is able to focus simultaneously on our team’s and clients’ needs, allowing our worker bees to focus on creating!

Karen earned a degree in Communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Our value-behavior framework

We are a values-driven company. The values we created help guide our strategy, open up our meetings together and address conflict when it inevitably arises. By having meaningful, agreed upon principles to live by, we can leave our egos at the door and makes decisions based off our shared vision.

1. Choose your best self

We’re all about mental, emotional, physical and spiritual life balance. It has a direct impact on day-to day happiness and productivity.

2. Keep your word

Keeping your word is a social currency in a lot of circles. For us, when we say we’ll do something, we aim to follow through on it. And if we’re unable to, we immediately inform the rest of the team and any affected parties.

3. Know your purpose

There is no “I” in team, eh? We, like the many before us, have realized how our day-to-day work affects our company strategy and larger purpose.

4. Choose courage over comfort

We have the tough conversations when necessary. It’s important for any workplace to succeed. Our team makes it a point to approach these conversations head-on — with honesty and openness.

5. Appreciate the journey

In business and in life, it’s all to easy to get caught up in where you’re going. We make a point of finding joy and meaning in the moments that make up our journey.

6. Add kindness to the world

It’s amazing to see far kindness and appreciation goes. Every person deserves to be seen. We strive to bring people up, not down.

7. Think big

We strive to tackle challenges head-on but are unafraid to seek help when needed.

Giving back

We love to give back to the industry that's given us so much. We frequently attend events and contribute to great organizations like the ICA, Catersource, and the LCA. We also share what we're learning on our blog, and publish a popular newsletter, Catering Trends.

We also love to give back to our community. Our designer, Emily, runs a yearly Parkinson's fundraiser called Pancakes for Parkinson's. Our co-founder, Jamie, runs the social mission company That's Caring. And as a team we frequently participate in local charity events.