Our Team

Craig Makepeace and Caroline Makepeace from This Is Raleigh working online in a coffee shop, Heirloom Brewshop in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Working online at Heirloom Brewshop in Raleigh

If you think This is Raleigh is successful purely because of the work the Makepeace Family does each day on our channels, you’d be gravely mistaken. There is no way we could do all we do, without standing on the shoulders of giants!

We couldn’t be more thrilled with our growing team of experts. Some we’ve worked with for YEARS on our international travel blog, yTravelBlog.com, and have become like family.

All are exceptional at what they do and are in alignment with our values and missions based around kindness, service, community, a giant LOVE for travel, and belief that it helps create a more tolerant and joyful life experience.

Of course, our team includes founders, Caroline Makepeace and Craig Makepeace. But you can easily learn about us all over this website, and also on our About Us page. Let’s focus instead on the wonder of our team!

konstantin nehel

Konstantin Nehel / Mantis Studio

Video Editor | Founder Mantis Studio

What a find Konstantin was 8 years ago! Yes, we’ve been working with him for this long as our video and podcast editor. He’s talented, creative, efficient, and has many tips and insights to share with us. There is no way we could create videos on any channels without him. He’s also loyal and a person of great character, who we appreciate and love as part of our family!

Originally from the Ukraine but now based in Portugal, Konstantin Nehel is the founder of Mantis Studio. With over 8 years of industry experience, he’s honed his craft and transformed over 2,500 videos and 150 podcasts into engaging visual masterpieces. His expertise extends across various sectors, including YouTube, bloggers, Instagram influencers, media websites, big businesses, consulting companies, and more.

Inspired by the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, Mantis Studios embraces constant improvement to push the boundaries of creativity.

Louisa Smith

Louisa Smith

SEO Editor | Writer

I can’t even begin to tell you the relief I feel in having an SEO expert and qualified writer on our team like Louisa. SEO steals the joy from my writing, so I love passing it to Louisa to edit for the SERPS and to update all our old content. She’s highly reliable, efficient, responsible, and independent.

Louisa Smith is a globetrotting travel blogger and content writer with a passion for storytelling and uncovering off the beaten path destinations. Originally from the UK, Louisa was born with an everlasting case of the travel bug, having been raised by two Travel Agent parents who introduced her to a life of travel from a young age.

Louisa had already visited 30 countries by the time she left high school, so it was no surprise when in 2018 she left the rolling hills of England with the idea of traveling the world for good. Since then, she’s visited over 60 countries and 6 continents, worked as an English Teacher in Hong Kong, as well as a travel writer for some of the largest travel sites.

Today, Louisa can still be found working remotely on the road. She is often found up a mountain somewhere or lying on a beach on a tropical island. Her favorite countries are Thailand, Brazil, Japan, and The Philippines…so far.

bobby bodner

Bobby Bodner / Breadify

Accountant | Founder Breadify

Every time I get off the phone with Bobby, I say “Why couldn’t we have found him years ago!” Bobby is savvy with his knowledge about tax strategies to save money using the best structures and investment portals. He has saved us thousands and relieves the burden of having to figure this out ourselves. We have a great plan in place for securing our future, we never would have done without his insights. Bobby and the Breadify team also specialize in working with content creators, a unique and quite new business form that tax people don’t often understand. Bobby will make sure they do!

Bobby Bodner’s extensive education includes graduating with a Master of Science in Accounting Taxation from Purdue University Global. Paired with his experience as an active Enrolled Agent with unlimited practicing rights before the Internal Revenue Service, Bobby helps entrepreneurs save thousands of dollars annually on taxes by applying vastly underutilized but completely legal loopholes within the Internal Revenue Code.

allison lancaster

Allison Lancaster

Pinterest and Web Stories Manager

There are some aspects of our business I want to be completely hands off in! That’s where Allison steps in. She helps manage our Pinterest account, Google Web Stories, and promoting our content on Facebook and X. Not worrying about this helps me feel better, but also allows me to be more productive doing the things I love – content creation – and to be more effective with my monetization strategies – the most important part of business. We’ve worked with Allison now for several years and love how independent and efficient she is as well as knowledgeable on current best practices. We also love that Allison is an NC local!

Allison Lancaster provides streamlined digital marketing solutions for bloggers & small business owners. She has been in business for over 8 years, helped hundreds of clients and have a stellar reputation in the industry. Her mission is to help you find the freedom you deserve and stop working on things you don’t need to or don’t have the time for! You can expect one simple thing from Allison’s team: streamlined excellence.

Michael Tieso

Michael Tieso

Website Manager/ Founder Reggio Digital

We’ve known Michael for years through the travel blogging world and have worked with him for a long time on both our sites and in roles such as website design, coding, website management, and soon-to-be online store for selling our merch.

It’s thanks to Michael that you can interact with our site online and rarely find any technical issues. If there are any, he fixes them very quickly. He’s also knowledgeable on SEO, optimal site navigation and plugins to use, and how to increase the speed of our site! All the things I have no skillset or interest in!

Thank goodness I no longer have to watch hours of YouTube videos trying to solve issues that can cost me a lot more in time and money! Having our site go down, or not perform optimally, is one of the worst things that can happen to our business! And a bonus is, Micheal is now a Triangle local!

Founded in 2018, Reggio Digital specializes in managed WordPress hosting for many business owners. We take the lead in offering the best hosting plans with scalability to ensure your website stays up and running without any hitches. From ecommerce stores and corporations to small businesses, our competitive hosting plans are designed to meet your specific needs.

Not currently on our team, but who we’ve worked with in the past for short term contract work. We’ll work with them again and are very happy to recommend them.

Michael Tieso

Devon Lewis

Designer & Brand Strategies| Founder Devize Creative

 If you’re looking for a creative branding agency, local Devon Lewis helps startups create an unforgettable brand to stand out in a competitive marketplace. We know Devon from when he worked at Raleigh Founded (our co-working space). He was always helpful, friendly, and professional. We knew when it was time for us to create T-Shirts designs, Devon had the creative skillset and professionalism we were looking for (coming soon). Devon really dug deep into our vision for the T-Shirts and how we could align them with our brand. We can highly recommend Devon’s excellent design skills, great communication, and professionalism.

Devize is a creative studio that specializes in brand identities. They believe that a strong brand is the foundation of any successful business, and that’s why they offer customized branding solutions that help their clients stand out in today’s competitive marketplace. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to revamp your existing brand, Devize can help you create a brand that truly reflects your unique vision and values.

Michael Tieso

Mikaya Thurmond

PR Strategist

Of course, when you need help with a PR strategy, there is former WRAL anchor, Mikaya Thurmond. Who else is better to train you for media appearances and interviews, AND actually get you sitting in the chair on morning TV shows? Hello two appearances on My Carolina CBS 17.

At WRAL, Mikaya was the youngest weekday anchor in the station’s history, and reported nationally for CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and CBS Evening News. She’s also earned two Associated Press awards and four Emmy nominations. Mikaya puts her media skills and PR wizardry to work as a PR strategist for brands, business owners, and entrepreneurs. She’s a thought leader and influencer.  Watch her TEDx talk on authenticity in public relations.

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