How do you tell your story?

About Us

Kalix Marketing serves the educational market, bringing high-level, strategic marketing services to independent day and boarding schools nationwide along with educational organizations. Your strategy is customized and agile, designed just for you, with carefully researched data driving your plan and clear metrics tracking how well it’s working. Jonathan Oleisky founded Kalix in 2012 to help independent schools engage and enroll the best and brightest. We’re often asked where the name Kalix came from. We took our inspiration from Sweden’s Kalix archipelago of nearly 800 islands to highlight our collective force.

Brand Strategy & Positioning

Enrollment Strategy

Marketing research

Digital Marketing & Social Media Strategy

Web Design/Development

Marketing/Social Media Coaching

Advertising & Design: Logo/Identity, Branding, Print Collateral

Photography & Video


Content Development

Recruitment For Marketing & Communications Staff


We give back.

As part of our commitment to making the world a better place, we donate a portion of our annual profits to the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust to support academically ambitious African-American children with financial need through the admissions process at local independent schools.B.E.S.T. - Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust

Our Team

We understand the independent school world. Each Kalix expert has either worked in independent schools or has current or former independent school children.

Jonathan Oleisky

Kalix President

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 in Baltimore, where her daughters attend.

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.

Anne Schulte

Senior Designer

Anne brings a sharp eye, creative vision and 30 years of expertise to brand identities, view books and multimedia. She knows the independent school landscape well through her daughter’s experiences at McDonogh School, a Baltimore-area day/boarding school. Anne has worked on such recognized accounts as Raleigh Bicycles, University of Virginia/Wellness, Presidential Airways and Marriott. Her numerous awards include a Clio nomination and many Washington and Baltimore ADDYs.

Fun Fact:

While hiking with her boyfriend, a Baltimore Symphony trombone player, she caused a "head-on" collision and exploded his lip. Following reconstructive surgery and several months of recovery, he married her anyway.

Susan Ciaverelli

Senior Copywriter

As the other half of the Kalix creative leadership, Susan brings 30 years of experience in consumer advertising to your marketing. She helps our clients find their voice and share their unique message in the marketplace. Winner of a Clio and two national One Show awards, Susan has created powerful and emotional work for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Head Sportswear and Martin Marietta. Her children attended Baltimore’s Bryn Mawr School and Jemicy School.

Fun Fact:

She hasn’t cooked dinner since the kids moved out.

Sarah Achenbach


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.

W. Kirk Lutz

Web Designer/Developer

An award-winning designer for print and interactive pieces, Kirk uses his left-brain for programming, animation and problem-solving skills. His right-brain skills help him with photography, design, illustration and to create captivating, customized websites and web animation.

Fun Fact:

His love for Bruce Springsteen encompasses more than 40 concerts, two handshakes with The Boss and hearing loss.

Ruth Eve


Ruth coordinates operations at Kalix Marketing and manages our finances. Before joining Kalix, she spent 13 years as the CFO for a Baltimore media-buying agency. Born and educated in England, Ruth has degrees in chemistry, French and math. Her children attended the St. Paul’s Schools.

Fun Fact:

With her charming personality and lead foot, Ruth is Fast and Not-So-Furious. She’s driven over 100 mph in England and the U.S. (and has never received a ticket).

Alison Greer

Admissions and Enrollment Management Strategist

Alison brings extensive strategic vision and expertise in independent school admissions and enrollment management and planning. From leading admissions for Garrison Forest School and York Country Day School to advancement and leadership roles at Harvard Business School and Wellesley College (her alma mater), she has a deep understanding of day/boarding schools and the innovations needed in the ever-changing admissions arena.

Fun Fact:

An avid runner and foodie, she once competed in an 8-mile race dressed as a giant ravioli.

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.