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About Cognitive

We pledge to always listen carefully, apply creative intelligence, and exercise sound judgment.
Who we are.

Who we are.

Cognitive Marketing produces high impact brand communications in service to student recruitment, alumni engagement, and fundraising success. We work for educational institutions that recognize that their ability to tell their own powerful story effectively depends on having not only a clear and compelling foundational message, but an internal community of stakeholders committed to advancing and telling the same consistent and powerful story. Our Market Voicing approach is designed to ensure that the work we do not only responds to the market data, but is informed by creative insight. We engage all constituents of the schools we serve in deep dialogue, with the result that the work itself is not just recognizeable, but welcomed, and willingly put to use by the people it is meant to represent.

Working with us.

Working with us.

Through Market Voicing we discover an institution’s DNA—the essence of the school. Together with our clients, we build their brands around the stories that are uniquely theirs.

We developed our Market Voicing brand development process specifically to help our clients discover and use their most distinct, competitive, and differentiating institutional voices to meet challenges, unite community, and advance their relationships with all constituencies. The process is a highly qualitative exploration of your school’s brand through progressive conversations with members of every constituency of your community. Market Voicing is a disciplined, analytical, and yet ultimately creative process that helps form strong, emotional bonds between your school and its many communities.

Great Brands

Core Concepts of Brand Building

Great brands are found in stories. At the heart of our work is the sifting of countless stories of the people of an institution. We carefully read the history and engage in conversations with key members of the community. We search for the stories that have the power to reveal the distinctive nature of the school and convince others of the school’s essential truth and value. These are the stories that will combine to form a coherent whole, an anthology of brand.

Great brands are great because they’re affirming. The brand must allow for all who are invested in the institution—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents—to find their own memories that affirm their satisfaction and pride.

Great brands are built on elegant, simple, and timeless ideas. They transcend the moment. Great brands of educational institutions are a conversation between the very first students granted a degree and the ones about to enroll.

Cognitive Company Values

We are committed to education.

We believe that the work of educators is fundamental and of vital importance to our society, and that worthy schools can only become better schools if they are able to attract, through effective communication and self-expression, the people and the resources necessary to assure their forward progress. Our commitment is to helping good schools become stronger and more capable of providing for the common good.

We believe in exemplary service.

We seek to delight our clients with what we produce, not just meet a need. The “delight factor” is achieved by the quality of the creative work we produce, and the care with which we serve every account. We serve people first, and through them, the institutions they work for.

We deliver personal and collective expertise.

Because each of us is a consultant to the education marketplace in our own right, we each endeavor to develop our own personal area of specialized knowledge, and to freely share that knowledge to colleagues and clients alike. In so doing, we are able to present Cognitive Marketing as a multi-dimensional resource to educational institutions.

We maintain high standards.

We are committed to delivering great solutions to our clients, and therefore cannot settle on the easy or predictable or merely satisfactory. Our goal is always to find the solution that will most surely stand the test of time, maintaining its own integrity and tensile strength. To accomplish this, we willingly hold our ideas to close personal and collective scrutiny.

We are learners and teachers.

We are avid students of the industries of which we are a part—marketing communications and education. We are always seeking new information about trends, issues and communications solutions, and we assume the obligation to teach and to mentor those who work at our client schools in order to help them develop their own skills and confidence. We serve people first, and through them, the institutions they work for.

We stay connected.

We each recognize that we play an important role in maintaining connections between our company, our partners, and the people of the industry we serve, whether or not a given connection is of immediate importance or relevance to the work we have in front of us. There is no such thing as an “ex-client” or “ex-friend” of the firm.


We pledge to apply the judicious gathering and utilization of useful market data, and the full power of effective, pointed, institutional storytelling.

Market Voicingsm

  • Research that gauges internal and external audience perceptions and attitudes
  • Institutional brand strategy and messaging development
  • Institutional identity design
  • Website content redevelopment, organization and design
  • Online presence management, including Editorial Calendar development
  • Media advertising and social media programs to advance brand
  • Analytics and program effectiveness monitoring

Admissions Voicingsm

  • Research to guide student recruitment messaging and marketing strategies
  • Brand empowered student recruitment materials
  • Media advertising and social media programs to support student recruitment
  • Coordinated print, online, and direct marketing to support student recruitment
  • Brand revealing video production to support institutional identity and student recruitment
  • Video library system for easy inventorying and utilization of video assets

Community Voicingsm

  • On-campus brand awareness and visibility
  • On-campus brand launch and celebration programming
  • Admissions tour “brand makeovers” and tour guide training
  • Brand and storytelling training for faculty, staff and student leadership
  • Alumni engagement research and communications programs

Leadership Voicingsm

  • Brand development and identity consulting for senior leadership
  • Brand and storytelling training for trustees and senior leadership
  • Fundraising campaign marketing and communications
  • Annual Fund marketing and communications
  • Speechwriting and blog writing
  • PR program development, writing services, press conference and special events management

Our Clients

We pledge to make sure that everything we do, whatever may be its specific purpose, will contribute to strengthening and deepening our clients’ relationships with prospective and current students, parents and guardians, faculty and staff, alumni, friends, and donors.

Colleges and Universities

  • Alfred University
  • The College at Brockport, State University of New York
  • Dartmouth College, Thayer School of Engineering
  • Gettysburg College
  • Georgian Court University
  • Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • Hudson Valley Community College
  • Keuka College
  • Juniata College
  • Lebanon Valley College
  • Marywood University
  • Millersville University of Pennsylvania
  • Nazareth College
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Northeastern Seminary
  • SUNY Cobleskill
  • SUNY Oswego
  • Purchase College, State University of New York
  • St. John Fisher College
  • St. Thomas University (Canada)
  • Salem College
  • Skidmore College
  • Smith College, Educational Outreach Programs
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Trocaire College 
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • University of Rochester:
     Warner Graduate School of Education
     Graduate School of Medicine & Dentistry
  • Utica College
  • Villa Maria College
  • Wells College

Independent Schools

  • Carson Long Military Academy
  • Columbus Academy
  • Emma Willard School
  • Friends School of Baltimore
  • Gould Academy
  • The Harley School
  • Hochstein School of Music & Dance
  • Leysin American School
  • Nichols School
  • Oak Hill Academy
  • Holy Child School at Rosemont
  • Rye Country Day School
  • The Rectory School
  • Salem Academy
  • Tabor Academy Summer Program
  • Taft School Summer Program

Educational Organizations

  • Center for Student Opportunity,
  • Colleges of Distinction
  • Horizons Student Enrichment Program at The Harley School
  • Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC)
  • Rochester College Access Network of the Rochester Education Foundation

Other Businesses and Organizations

  • Miller Gesko Advisors
  • Parrone Engineering
  • Rochester Area Community Foundation
  • SWBR Architects & Engineers
  • Woods Oviatt Gilman Attorneys

Economic Development and Organizations

  • City of Rochester
  • County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency
  • ConnectRochester: A Partnership for the Greater Rochester New Economy
  • Monroe County Development Corporation
  • Photonics NY

Solutions Gallery

We pledge to create work of high integrity and human appeal, and marketing and media programs that are on point, efficient and measureable.

Institutional Identities

We pledge to build identities that are firmly rooted in institutional truths that nurture  self-respect.

Our Core Team

The Cognitive Marketing team represents depth of experience and a breadth of perspectives. We share a commitment to creativity and an unwavering enthusiasm for the advancement of our client schools.

Co-Founder & CEO
Peter Holloran

Peter Holloran

Peter is our Strategic Director. He developed Cognitive's Market Voicing process, and leads our brand identity engagements. A graduate of Gettysburg College (B.A. English) and Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications (M.S. Advertising), Peter's career has included account management work in the Advertising & Sales Promotion Operation of General Electric Company; design and management of an in-house marketing operation at the National Flood Insurance Program; and account supervision at three advertising agencies, including the Rochester, NY offices of BBDO (Omnicom Group) and Young & Rubicam. He's also an alumnus of The Harley School and the Preparatory Department at Eastman School of Music.

Co-Founder & President
Josanne DeNatale

Josanne DeNatale

Josanne is our Creative Director. She oversees the development of all integrated marketing plans and brand identity systems, forming and leading teams of writers, designers, videographers, media planners, and Web development specialists tailored to the needs of individual clients. Josanne is a graduate of the State University of New York College at Buffalo (B.S. Design) and has served as adjunct faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of Horizons at The Harley School, a summer learning and enrichment program for city school children, and is a volunteer with the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association. With a focus on college access for low-income families, Josanne is a volunteer with the Rochester College Access Network of the Rochester Education Foundation and serves as an advisor to the Center for Student Opportunity and their initiative.

Director of Research
Ann O'Grady

Ann O'Grady

A founder of Insight Solutions, Ann brings significant research capabilities to our service offering. Her strong technical and analytical background produces a solid foundation upon which our client schools can depend in order to implement positive change. She employs the most appropriate qualitative and quantitative methodologies to reveal an organization’s brand, and then applies the learnings from the data to hone actionable marketing strategies. Prior to founding Insight Solutions, she worked primarily in healthcare and consumer package goods market research. Ann is on the board of directors of the Rochester Chapter of the American Marketing Association. She is a past board member of Russell Sage College Alumnae Association, and a past trustee of Our Lady of Mercy High School. Ann holds a B.S. from Russell Sage College and an MBA from the University at Buffalo.

Senior Writer
Amy Bown

Amy Bown

Amy is a frequent Market Voicing brand development team member,lending creative intelligence and extensive copywriting expertise to this specialized work. Over the course of her long association with Cognitive Marketing, she has produced messaging standards guides, recruitment materials, website and advertising components for many of our client schools, including Utica College, Millersville University, Holy Child School at Rosemont, and The College at Brockport. A member of our broadcast development team, she is skilled at directing television, radio, and video productions. Throughout her diverse career, she has produced work for Guinness Imports, Suncloud Sunglasses, Okobos Shoes, The Kenyan Boys Choir, National Grid, and others. Amy holds a B.A. in English from St. John Fisher College and was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in Poetry at Harvard University. She is a frequent visitor to Italy, where she divides her time between Venice and Florence.

Senior Writer
Jon Everitt

Jonathan Everitt

Jonathan is a Syracuse University graduate with a B.S. in Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He sharpened his storytelling talents as a newspaper editor and educational journal editor before diving into the ad agency world. There, he served as senior copywriter on national campaigns for Fortune 500 brands such as Xerox Corporation and MasterCard Worldwide. In the academic world, Jonathan has written for NYU's Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management; the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester; Nazareth College; Hobart and William Smith Colleges; and The Harley School. In his association with Cognitive, Jonathan served as lead writer for advertising and brand strategy projects for Georgian Court University, Millersville University and Keuka College. An active independent writer, Jonathan is a published poet, short fiction author, and blogger, and serves on the Board of Directors of the award-winning poetry press, BOA Editions, Ltd.

Art Director
Peggy Ilacqua

Peggy Ilacqua

Peggy attended Kent State University and the Art Institute of Colorado, which began her 20-plus year career as a versatile, marketing-oriented graphic designer and Art Director. More recently, Peggy has added interior design to her services as a creative consultant. During her 13-year tenure as Associate Creative Director at Sigma Marketing, a direct response agency, Peggy served clients in the finance industries as well as higher education, including a comprehensive rebranding program for the Simon School of Business of the University of Rochester. At Cognitive, Peggy is a great team player; applying strategic thinking, strong design skill and an experienced marketing sense to every project she works on including those for Holy Child School at Rosemont and for Georgian Court University.




Senior Designer
Michele Hamilton-Randall

Michele Hamilton-Randall

Michele brings fresh thinking to her work as an art director and designer. Through her analytical yet intuitive approach, and responsiveness to sound brand strategy, Michele consistently delivers smart, thoughtful, and inspirational design work. Michele earned her B.F.A. with high honors in graphic design from Rochester Institute of Technology. She began her career as a designer and marketing manager at a leading Rochester graphic design firm, working in service to Fortune 500 companies, colleges, and nonprofits. Michele is the lead designer of the work we are doing for Utica College, Wells College, and Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She is a board member of the Rochester Advertising Federation and an avid cyclist and triathlete.

Senior Designer and Web Specialist
Michael Tutino

Michael Tutino

Mike’s work as a designer straddles graphic and interactive focus areas, allowing him to produce a wide range of electronic communications and online marketing programs. Mike was an integral member of the design teams for Gettysburg College, Wells College, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and The College at Brockport, among others. He has served as principal liaison with the in-house Web programming teams at a number of our client institutions, and has developed microsites for use in student recruitment marketing campaigns. A graduate of the State University of New York College at Buffalo, Mike also attended Rochester Institute of Technology. His career includes serving as Manager of Corporate Graphics at Champion Products, where he was responsible for creative direction of branded collegiate, licensed, and Olympic apparel development and marketing. Other accounts of interest he has worked on include Joe Boxer, Cone Denim, Bob Timberlake, Nike, London Fog, Girbaud, and Wrangler.

Office Manager
Lisa Lennox

Lisa Lennox

Lisa is a veteran of the marketing communications business, having spent the first decade of her professional life in administrative and account service positions at two of Rochester's largest advertising agencies. Lisa joined the Cognitive team in 2000, and is responsible for seeing to the smooth and efficient operation of our company.

Our Partners

Media Partner


Adworkshop is an award-winning employee-owned, digital marketing agency offering strategic and creative solutions to the destination marketing and economic development industry and businesses in New York State. Since 1977, it has effectively delivered measurable results across the full-suite of marketing services from its Lake Placid, N.Y. location. The integrated capabilities of the agency allow it to stand out among larger agencies, while its intimate size gives it agility. Layered with talent from different backgrounds, wrapped with passion and experience for digital marketing, Adworkshop channels this energy to build successful brands.

Hello. How can we help?

Hi. Josanne here.

I’m the co-founder of Cognitive Marketing and would be happy to take your call, email, or direct message.
Phone: (585) 244-4140, extension 22
Email: “josanned” along with “”
Twitter: @JosanneDeNatale

And, to reach Peter Holloran, fellow co-founder:
Phone: (585) 244-4140, extension 23
Email: “peterh” along with “”

Contact Us

  • Our office postal address is:
  • Cognitive Marketing
    1130 Highland Avenue
    Rochester, NY 14620