We’re seasoned experts with decades of market research and strategy experience in the educational arena. Like our namesake – Sweden’s Kalix archipelago of nearly 800 islands – our collective force combines to create customized marketing plans for our clients.


Jonathan Oleisky

Jonathan is passionate about helping independent schools and institutions of higher education communicate more effectively. With a deep understanding of what enables them to thrive and a respect for the critical role mission-driven organizations have in our broader community, Jonathan has an authentic ability to connect with and counsel school leaders. His expertise includes a wide range of marketing tactics and strategies to best engage prospective families and students. With problem-solving skills gleaned from 25 years in senior management in publishing and marketing, Jonathan offers creative solutions to complex challenges. Since 1992, he has been a faculty spouse at an all-girls Baltimore day/boarding school and is the proud father of two independent school graduates. As an active community volunteer, Jonathan believes strongly that giving back to others is an important part of citizen leadership and enjoys helping those who ask.

Fun Fact:

As a teenager in Tucson, Ariz., Jonathan mowed a 10-by-10-foot patch of brown grass with a push mower. Today, mowing his Maryland lawn is a favorite chore and his best time to think. His lawn lines receive numerous compliments.

Donna Balinkie

Marketing Strategy Lead
With expertise in data-driven branding and marketing strategy and prowess in market research, Donna develops breakthrough strategic marketing plans that deliver results. Her valuable insights and analysis bridge the understanding of a school’s goals and objectives with actionable conclusions and recommendations. For more than two decades, Donna led brand development and marketing strategies for leading global and regional companies, including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola Co. and TESSCO Technologies. Donna holds a B.S. in economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is an active board member of Krieger Schechter Day School (KSDS). She has two daughters who currently attend KSDS and McDonogh School.

Fun Fact:

She enjoys helicopter skiing in Canada and bicycling across Vancouver’s Gulf Islands.

Gerri Baum

Digital and Social Lead
Following 25 years in the marketing and communications world, Gerri found her niche in social media when she worked with college students on “The Facebook,” its original iteration. A passionate social media aficionado, Gerri is an expert on digital marketing and everything social, from developing strategic social media campaigns to speaking fluent Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat and a variety of applications. Her college-aged daughter attended Krieger Schechter Day School and Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, two Jewish independent day schools.

Fun Fact:

She and her daughter, Mira, are raising Chester, a mixed lab/golden retriever, as a service dog for a visually impaired individual.

Sarah Achenbach

Communications Lead
An award-winning author of two books and hundreds of magazine articles, Sarah helps Kalix tell its story. Her wisdom gleaned from a 30-year career in communications and advancement for Garrison Forest School, Swarthmore College, Hollins University (her alma mater) and Loyola University Maryland offers clients practical advice for navigating 21st-century independent school communications.

Fun Fact:

She was a college intern for the Muppets where she channeled Kermit’s voice for a series of children’s books.

Wayne Jacobs

Research Lead
A widely published author of national and international research and marketing studies, Wayne has more than 30 years’ experience in the design, data collection, analysis and presentation of qualitative and quantitative market research studies. He moderates approximately 100 focus groups annually and teaches classes on the use and practice of qualitative research. In addition to a long list of educational clients, Wayne has conducted studies for the American Association of University Women, FBI, IRS and National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Fun Fact:

Wayne has traveled to all 50 United States and more than 50 countries.

Maureen Cannon

Director of Client Relations and Enrollment Management Strategist
With a passion for education and supporting mission-driven organizations, Maureen Cannon brings 27 years of leadership and enrollment management expertise to Kalix Marketing Group. She spent 16 years in admissions, recruitment and enrollment management in the independent school marketplace at Notre Dame Preparatory School (NDP) in Baltimore. Promoted three times during her NDP tenure, Maureen spent the last 11 years as director of admissions and enrollment management, recording NDP’s highest enrollment in five of those years. Additionally, she was a NDP parent for seven years as both her daughters are graduates. Prior to NDP, Maureen spent seven years at the nonprofit Baltimore Collegetown Network, a marketing arm for the 14 Baltimore-area colleges and universities. She has vast experience in advertising, marketing, fundraising, client-relations and project management for other education and nonprofits. As a recruitment/enrollment management and education marketing expert, Maureen enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise with Kalix clients.

Fun Fact:

She enjoys helicopter skiing in Canada and bicycling across Vancouver’s Gulf Islands.

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