912.658.6212 info@usspros.com

About Us

Our Mission

Uncommon Sense Social’s core mission is to partner with educational institutions to facilitate the urgent but often overlooked conversations among administrations, teachers, parents, and students relating to the proper use of social media.

Our Team

Uncommon Sense Social | Pat BrooksPat Brooks
Co-Founder

I’m a father to two active boys, ages 11 and 14, and our family stays busy exploring the marshes and waterways around Savannah.  Together, we enjoy tennis, pickleball, golf, fishing and just about anything that comes our way living on Georgia’s Skidaway Island.  I have been married to Jill for over 25 years.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Coker College with a BSBA in Marketing and was a 2-time Academic All-American in soccer.  I was fortunate to be named by the faculty and coaches at Coker as the school’s top student-athlete my Junior and Senior years, something that no Coker student-athlete has achieved prior or since.  I am also a graduate of The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University where I received the Pruitt Award as the top graduate of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center.  I am fascinated by Risk Management as well as human and institutional behavior in as it relates to dealing with various forms of risk.  Throughout my career, I have worked with several top-tier firms such as BB&T, Northwestern Mutual, and Edward Jones in Regional and leadership roles.  I am a Chartered Financial Consultant, Chartered Life Underwriter, and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner (CFP).  I enjoy writing and have had over 50 articles published in various magazines along with many of my original photographs.  I serve on several non-profit boards and was a co-founder of Paddle Savannah.  Having served in leadership roles in both Savannah’s public and private schools in addition to being a past member of the Board of Trustees for Coker College, I have been involved with the education industry for several decades.

Uncommon Sense SocialAngela Kalo
Co-Founder

I’m a mom to two teens who’ve faced social media challenges, which drove me to start this business. I’ve been in public relations, advertising, and marketing for more than 20 years. I’ve been fortunate enough to develop marketing and PR strategy for clients as interesting and varied as Ingles Markets, Cato Fashion, Karpen Steel, The Grove Park Inn and Spa, and Tops for Shoes. I realized early in my career that I loved working on the unique marketing challenges faced by nonprofit agencies, and have worked with the Asheville Art Museum, Manna Food Bank, Advantage West, The Health Adventure, Alamance Alliance for Children and Families, and the Alamance Partnership for Children. I’ve also served on multiple nonprofit boards, including as a founding member of the Alamance County Children’s Museum, the Education Council and AYLA (both at the Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce), and VOICE with the Alamance Burlington School System.

My current market focus is the challenging and ever-changing world of social media marketing and helping clients achieve maximum, targeted results while being aware of both the positives and pitfalls of social media. I both direct and implement social media strategy for market areas from health care to animal rescue and rehab to non-profit organizations.

Before I was a mom and a social media ace, I attended Meredith College and received my BA in English with a minor in political science. In my free time I foster and transport rescue dogs, volunteer, read, and watch HGTV.

Lauren Kalo
Collegiate Ambassador

I am a sophomore at UNC Greensboro in the Lloyd International Honors College majoring in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. My involvement with social media began at an early stage in my life and when I was 13, I ran a well-regarded social media account with over 14,000 followers. I also began working for a regionally-known photographer at the age of 14 and have experience beyond my years.

Outside of taking classes, I am involved in the Student Government Association and will be serving as the Chief of Staff for the 96th session, hold a Team Leader position for BUS 105: Blueprint for Professional Success Team Leader which is an intro freshman business class, and I am a member of the National Millennial Community. I am also doing an internship for co//ab which is a collaborative space for entrepreneurs that is a part of the Chamber of Commerce.

My engagement on campus has been crucial in my success in college and I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had within these organizations. I just returned from a summer program in Geneva, Switzerland, with UC Berkeley, studying sustainable business practices.

View my LinkedIn Profile.

Carl VarnedoeCarl Varnedoe
Advisory Board Member

I grew up in coastal Georgia, and when I am not working I enjoy tennis and any moment I can get fishing offshore with my all girl crew of my wife and two daughters. They often catch more fish than I do. When we are in the boat and see flying fish, dolphin and other interesting wildlife and my girls are laughing, that is where I am the happiest.

I graduated with a B.B.A from the University of Georgia and a J.D. from Mercer University and was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 2003. I am a Partner at Jones, Osteen & Jones in Hinesville, Georgia where I practice in the areas of Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Premises and Products Liability and Eminent Domain. My current and past memberships include the State Bar of Georgia: Member, Board of Governors, 2010-present; Member, Advisory Committee on Legislation, 2012-present; Member, Board of Directors, Young Lawyers Division, 2004-2011, 2013; Co-Chair, Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy, 2008-2011; Mercer University School of Law Moot Court Board: Constitutional Law Competition Brief Captain.

I am proud to have been selected as National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers; 2013 Daily Report On the Rise- Top 40 Lawyer Under 40; Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2009 and 2010. I received the Award of Achievement for Outstanding Service to the Bar, State Bar of Georgia, 2009, 2010 and 2013; Ethics and Professionalism Award, State Bar of Georgia, 2010; Thomas E. Ryals Scholarship; Mercer University School of Law Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in Legal Writing.

I am honored to have served as the attorney for the family of Sydney Sanders and to also represent the family in front of the Georgia Supreme Court regarding privacy issues for minors and the impact of cause and effect related to teen suicide and the law. I am proud to be an advisor to Uncommon Sense Social and the fine work that they are doing in helping teens, parents and schools navigate the often treacherous landscape of social media along with the often difficult, but amazing teenage years.

Uncommon Sense Social | Laura Laine MaiaLaura Lane Maia
Advisory Board Member

Caring, loving, smart, star athlete, funny, beautiful, friendly, special, could light up a room…all words used by friends of my daughter, Sydney, to describe her. Sydney was a special young lady in every sense of the word. As her mother, I am biased, but I have to believe based on the countless stories and memories her friends have shared with me that Sydney touched thousands and continues to inspire others. Sydney had a tender heart, and when she was intimidated and threatened by the local police that because of her actions, others would suffer, it became unbearable to her. She could not see a clear path and sadly chose to take her own life at the age of 14. Looking back, this never should have happened, even though we were closer than most moms and teenage daughters are. We miss her terribly and not a day goes by that we don’t think of her warm smile, quick wit and generous nature.

Growing up today as a pre-teen and teenager is much different than even a few years ago. Social Media doesn’t stop and kids can become overwhelmed with a sense of not belonging or think that everyone else’s life is perfect based on what they see online. The teen years have always been tough, especially for girls. If you aren’t having real conversations with your child, the time to start is now. Not tonight, not tomorrow, not next week, but now.

I started Forever 4 Change Inc.; an organization founded and started in loving memory of Sydney L. Sanders. This non-profit organization is dedicated to reducing the stigma of suicide, instilling hope to those who have been affected by suicide, and working to prevent suicide through educational and awareness programs. We area active on Facebook and are a resource along with Uncommon Sense Social to schools, parents and students especially in the area of suicide prevention.

Phil GerbyshakPhil Gerbyshak
Advisory Board Member

My hometown is a little town in Wisconsin called Crivitz, population 996. It doesn’t have a movie theater and just got a McDonald’s and a stop light after I graduated high school in 1992. Growing up I was a good but not great student and I was fortunate to have amazing and encouraging teachers. Upon graduation from high school, I joined the Navy where I travelled the world and worked with all five branches of the service – as well as the NSA, the ones who listen – as a communications operator.
Fast forward to the current civilian world where I got an early jump on social media because of my fascination with LinkedIn and other platforms and how they could be used to connect individuals and companies together.

I am a former VP of information technology at a full service financial services company, where my team and I were responsible for supporting over 500 applications used by advisors, investment bankers, research analysts and support staff. I also worked as a director of social strategy for a compliance software vendor focused on the financial services vertical, where I coached, consulted with and trained customers and prospects how to integrate social media and social selling into their daily sales practices. Currently I do programs, training, and coach people how to build their business by maximizing their use of technology and social media. I have written 5 books, more than 2,500 articles, and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Daily Globe and Mail, Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, Investor’s Business Daily, Inc. and many other publications. I live in Tampa, Florida where I spend my free time reading business books, listening to podcasts, and playing pinball. I have been on the cover of and writer for Speaker Magazine for the NSA – the ones who talk – a lot!

Currently I have a network of approximately 3 million on social media.
I can be reached at http://linkedin.com/in/philgerb or visit my website at http://philgerbyshak.com

Uncommon Sense Social | Michele-SimariMichele Simari
Advisory Board Member

Michele is the Chief Marketing + Communications Officer for New York Edge.

Located at the crossroads of education and technology Michele Simari has created marketing strategies that heighten visibility, credibility, and positioning for international companies. Her award winning work with cloud education systems for Barron’s, AOL and McGraw-Hill have become industry standards.

As an executive of New York City’s largest nonprofit after school program, Ms. Simari has lead the efforts to rebrand the 26 year old organization. Changing the name and logo to New York Edge to reflect the expanded mission and the advantage underprivileged students receive through this extensive K-12 educational program.

Dr. Ed NaggiarDr. Ed Naggiar
Advisory Board Member

I hold a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. My area of expertise is performance under stress in extreme conditions. My fascination in the performance of humans in stressful situations led me to a 20 year career as a U.S. Navy SEAL Officer, where I put my fascination to the test. My tours included SEAL Team ONE, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, and Special Boat Team TWENTY TWO. I also served as a human experimental test subject at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit, testing the limits of human performance in extreme environments both in and out of the water. I have been a human performance consultant on drilling rigs, worked side by side with Correctional Officers teaching them about resilience, and serve as a Resilience Consultant for Law Enforcement, SWAT and First Responders.

Currently, I am working with opiate addicted prisoners in a pilot program using a curriculum I designed. A documentary on this program has been done and is scheduled for a January 2019 release. My company, Human Performance Consulting, (http://www.hpconsulting.pro/) focuses on helping people become more resilient in order to live more productive and fulfilling lives.

I am an avid Scuba Diver, Sky Diver, Stand-Up Paddle Boarder, musician, photographer, husband and father of five.

Uncommon Sense Social | Felice Gray Kemp

Felice Gray-Kemp
Advisory Board Member

Felice is a legal executive with U.S. and international commercial law expertise. She has been a leader in several functions for Fortune 500, privately-held, global industrial, technology and iconic consumer product companies. Felice has received various recognition and awards for her legal and business acumen, leadership skills and for mentoring individuals from all walks of life.

In 2017, the Urban League of Southern Connecticut named her a “Woman of Power” for her career successes in a male-dominated field. The Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund honored Felice for making a difference in the lives of Connecticut residents. She has served on various non-profit and for-profit Boards of Directors including as Trustee for Life on the Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls in Greater Hartford, a non-profit that she co-founded nearly twenty years ago. Most recently, Felice was a Board Trustee for the non-profit Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.

Felice received her B.A. in English literature from Yale University and her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law (courtesy of The Travelers Insurance Company which awarded her its full-fellowship). While working full-time at United Technologies Corporations (UTC), Felice received her Masters in Taxation degree from Boston University School of Law as part of its Employee Scholars Program. She furthers her commitment to continuing education by serving as an adjunct professor in several Connecticut colleges that focus on the education of adult learners.

Felice has served her adopted home state at the pleasure of several Connecticut governors of different political parties. Felice was appointed to the Board of Regents for Higher Education by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on which she is a member of the Board’s Finance & Infrastructure Committee.
Felice and her husband have been married to one another over half of their lives and have been parents to eight-year-old Evan for all of his. The three of them laugh a great deal- often with as well as at one another.

Gina Pampinella Gina Pampinella
Advisory Board Member

My career has been exciting and rewarding and I can truly say that no two days have been the same. I have edited national network news broadcasts for ABC News, 20/20 and PrimeTime reaching audiences of millions of viewers. I enjoy working in a team environment with high profile talented people including Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, John Stossel, Charles Gibson, Cynthia McFadden, Brian Ross and Jay Shadler and have won numerous awards along the way including 4 Emmy’s, a DuPont, a Gracie and several others.

I love crafting pieces and working with people that care about the final product. At 20/20 many of our episodes deal with social media, teen bullying, inappropriate relationships between teachers and students and the emerging issues as technology becomes more integral to our daily lives. I believe that the more knowledge and information that parents, teens and schools have, the better. In the new media landscape, things happen in nanoseconds and an event in a small town can become international news literally within minutes.

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