Celebrating our 2017 TeamCS™ Award Winners!

Here at Opus, we take teamwork very seriously. Our philosophy when it comes to our team can be summed up simply: We hire amazing people, guide them with strong values, and empower them to do great work with industry-best methodology. This formula drives success for our customers—we call it TeamCS.

Every year, we hold a special all-day agency offsite (check out our fun recap video!), where we recognize those employees who’ve gone above and beyond to exemplify TeamCS values, as well as two rock-star rookies. Without further ado, here are this year’s winners:


The People award signifies an outstanding personal contribution to our team and our customers’ success. Winners of this award consistently produce outstanding work, exude knowledge and experience, show personal initiative, team spirit, effective communication, and don’t shy away from mentoring their peers.

Marissa Parker Long

Marissa is a Senior Manager of Event Operations and has been with Opus since 2012.

A few things Marissa’s peers had to say about her:

Marissa goes out of her way to welcome new employees, train, and mentor. She is critical to our success when onboarding new hires. Very knowledgeable and gave me the skills to be successful.

Marissa welcomes you into the Opus family from the beginning and is always there to answer any question with an array of possible avenues to explore.

Not only was welcoming to me, but really took her responsibilities of EM training and mentoring to heart. Making sure we had the answers that we needed and that she was available to us. She’s given me more feedback on projects that I haven’t been able to get from other team members. She seems to always have a smile. She’s cross-departmental.

Marissa has done an outstanding job stepping up on the Event Operations team as a mentor and leader. She is always available to help train and guide a peer, answer a question or talk through a challenge.

April Abernathy

April has been with Opus since 2008 and serves as Senior Director of Event Operations.

April’s peers shared some of their reasons for nominating her for this award:

April is team success. She is a great resource for everyone in the company. She is knowledgeable, practical, and supportive. She wants Opus to be successful and understands that means cultivating a successful team.

April is the example of sharing knowledge and experience!

April is the best manager you can ask for. I can always go to her with questions, concerns or just to talk and she will provide the most instructive feedback. Her maturity far surpasses her years, and she is a true leader.

April is a great motivator, she drives her team to success, ensuring they have the right tools to do their jobs well.

April is so good at what she does. She leads a large team, sets a positive example and just simply gets the job done.


The Values awards are given to Maestros who have shown a commitment to customer success through superior communication, management, mentorship, team and client retention, peer training, and plain hard work. These people embody Opus’ strong values and are shining examples of how much fun it can be to create success.

Liz McCoy

Liz serves as Director of Operations for Creative Services, after joining the Opus team in 2013.

Liz’s coworker’s voted her as a Values award winner for the following reasons:

Where would the Creative department be without Liz? I feel like she’s the glue that holds them together.

Liz ensures only the best product goes out from the CS team, with rightfully high standards and a smile on her face.

Liz can see creative from the big picture down to the details. She asks questions of the team to ensure she is delivering what is expected of her/her team, but also wants to understand where she is able to push the boundaries and find growth/opportunities.

Liz has changed the creative department into a well-oiled machine without changing the culture!

She is great to work with, professional, organized and helps me to learn more about our creative processes.

I don’t know how Liz does what she does, much less do it with so much grace. She’s cool under pressure, refuses to play the “hair on fire” card at any time (ever), and keeps an absolutely insane number of plates spinning for the Creative team, seemingly without breaking a sweat.

Brian Carlson

Brian serves as Opus’ Senior Director of Brand Content and has been a member of the team since 2014.

Brian’s teammates had these thoughts to share about him:

Brian has done a great job of creating the voice of Opus. I love that you can tell he loves his work.

Brian plays an instrumental role in who we are as an organization and how our message is seen by the rest of the world. He’s enthusiastic on every project that comes his way and focuses on every last detail. He represents integrity in all ways—personally, professionally, and truly lives and breathes the TeamCS spirit.

Brian has a positive attitude and exudes the “Opus way.”

He’s an inspiration to others and exemplifies an employee who will grow, prosper, and overcome any challenge.

Brian is a strong contributor to our marketing success. His ability to see big picture, showcase our TeamCS, and can-do attitude is amazing.

Love watching him grow as our Marketing leader. Thank you for showcasing Opus and who we are!


Our Methodology awards signify an outstanding contribution to our team productivity and the delivery of exceptional results. Award recipients demonstrate personal leadership in process innovation, technological acumen, customer experience improvements, metrics, documentation, and knowledge sharing.

Mackenzie Phelps

Mackenzie serves as an Event Financial Manager and has been with Opus since 2015.

Her coworkers had these things to share about her contributions to the team:

Talk about a budget wizard! Her knowledge and ability to not only speak to numbers and templates but also train her teams is empowering. She is creating change in financial management for all areas of TeamCS.

Mackenzie is fairly new to Opus but she has become one of the main go-to budget owners. She has a positive attitude and is willing to jump in and help whenever she is needed. She is smart, personable, process-driven, and is constantly working to improve the Opus processes.

Excel guru. Every time she does a training in EM staff meetings there are Oooohhhs and Aaaahhhhs—because she makes everyone’s work like easier and teaches everyone tips and tricks.

She is a Excel ninja and is really a leader (with Katie of course) of the growing financial team.

She has come to Opus with financial skills a-blazing! She is super smart, willing to learn new things, and is understanding that everything doesn’t necessarily fit in a box.

Erin Johansen

Erin serves the Opus Account Management team as a Business Analyst and has been with the agency since 2000.

Her fellow Maestros had this to say about her:

When I think of process, I think of Erin. She must have magic in her fingers that just make things happen. Full of logic and able to get to the root of a matter in no time, Erin is highly methodical, process-driven, and full of historical knowledge that aids in helping to refine new ideas.

Erin is constantly finding ways to improve our process. You can count on her to get things done and make improvements for everyone’s benefit. She works hard to make our process efficient. We are truly lucky to have Erin.

Erin is a model of efficiency. Always striving to figure a quicker way to solve for X.

Erin is very process-driven and is always updating the best practices documents as we grow and things change. Her main focus is what is best for Opus and what will create the most efficiency.

Erin embodies “get it done”—she’s like WD-40, makes everything run smoother and quieter.

Rookies of the Year

Attracting and successfully onboarding new employees who excel makes Opus a more successful company and a place where people want to work. Our Rookies of the Year embody a can-do spirit and fully embrace our company values—integrity in all we do—from Day One.

Cori Brown

Cori joined the Opus team just over a year ago as a Manager of Client Services.

Though she serves the team from her home in Columbia, South Carolina, she has clearly made a huge impact on her team members. Here are some of their thoughts:

Cori has only been at Opus a year but seems like it has been a lot longer. She is a great team player and shows true integrity in her work and relationships.

Cori is the integrity package. She represents herself and Opus so well, you would think she had been here for decades! Cori supports her team and her clients. She works through challenges in a thoughtful deliberate manner and clients trust her to navigate through sticky situations.

I love Cori’s enthusiasm, integrity and personal work ethic that she brought immediately to Opus. I have enjoyed watching her blend her unique personality to all our client successes.

She is a strong leader who works hard and expects the same of her team members. However, she will support them each step of the way.

Sylecia Johnston

Sylecia joined the Opus team last year as our Contractor Specialist.

She plays an integral role in our staffing efforts, and her work is greatly appreciated. Her teammates had this to say:

Sylecia is always determined to do the right thing while sustaining and cultivating relationships with our contractors. She is extremely professional and easy to work with.

Sylecia has really taken her department and ran with it. She walks the walk and talks the talk. She is very knowledgeable in her area of expertise and she is consistently getting to know her team and everyone else around her.

Wonderful addition to our family! Awesome rapport with contractors.

Sylecia has taken a lot off everyone’s plate by being a perfect asset to the HR team. Her assistance has helped Opus be more efficient and she doesn’t limit herself to one area of work.

Sylecia is a behind-the-scenes contributor to Opus employees but is on the front lines with our contractors. All of the contractors love her and look to her for guidance and encouragement.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be an exceptional team member and a positive addition to our TeamCS formula, head over to our Careers page and take a look at our job openings. We could be calling your name at next year’s TeamCS Awards!

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