Our Team

What do you get when you place very different individuals – each with their own passionate perspectives and multi-faceted talents – into one room? Our team.

Together we have a collective sense of energy and magic that is difficult to describe.
It must be felt.

Emily Soccorsy

Owner + Lead Brand Strategist

Emily is our taproot. The one that reaches the farthest down into the ground to find the water, the sustenance, for all the limbs and leaves. She is the stretch of deep river that allows us to expand, to pause and be inspired by what we see around us. She is the compassionate, empathetic leader at the helm of Root + River.

Full of insight, thoughtfulness, curiosity, kindness and magic, Emily sees words as power sources, as feelings, as reflections of the deepest parts of each of us and believes they are a potent energy source for our souls.

A former journalist, publisher and VP of corporate communications, she is the co-author of the book, Rooting Up: Essays on Modern Branding, the author of the Substack newsletter Thought Cookie and the author of over 100 LinkedIn articles on brand, marketing, leadership and communication. A popular keynote speaker and presenter, she co-hosts the podcast Reclaiming Ourselves with Sonya Stattmann and has been featured on dozens of podcasts including Coaching for LeadersOn BrandCreative WarriorPonderings from the Perch and more.

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in human communication (summa cum laude) and a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from Arizona State University, (go Devils!). She has a background in human behavioral research and neurological studies and uses her intuitive wisdom and sketch art in her speaking and facilitating.

She finds her grounding, bliss and joy in the midst of her family. She brings kindness into this world and strives towards undivided living, remembering that we are one beautiful whole with all the pieces touching every other piece.

In her early 20s, Emily spent a year in Japan teaching English, has spent a year living in Edinburgh, Scotland writing poetry, and was a some-time award-winning set designer for a local theater. When not intensely advocating for her team or her clients, she can be found with her nose in a book, practicing yoga or binging a fashion-design show.

Chris Klonoski

An insightful, generous, soul-level writer, strategist, wordsmith, intrinsic marketer and thought leader, Chris is above all one of the best listeners we know. She is able to sift through the words and find those that are most true – or most telling – and get curious. Her questions are the wellsprings of inspiration and authenticity for our clients (and for us, truth be told).

Chris believes in truth and beauty – and how you cannot have one without the other. She is loyal, supportive, funny and challenging in all the right ways. She helps us be who we are at Root + River and she helps our clients bring their souls to flight in the world as she holds the space for them to bravely search themselves to find the language that resonates inside.

With a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Arizona and 30+ years of serious credentials in politics, public relations, community outreach, marketing, strategy, writing, editing and design direction, Chris is one of our essential roots and a deep eddy in our river.

As an only child, she deeply reveres her friendships. If she invites you to dinner, go. For one, she can talk backwards – and does there need to be a follow up to that?

Kel Barlow

Kel Barlow

Kel is here to help people. He thrives on knowing he’s making a difference in the world and we are so lucky to have him and his eight pets (two dogs, a cat and five fish) as part of our team.

One of Kel’s many gifts is inviting our clients into our soul-searching space with his warmth and huge smile. He also knows things about tech that saves us every time. We are a better team for having his organizational help and even more important, his full-of-light spirit.

He leads by example, teaching us to be comfortable in our own skin and to be grateful that we have the freedom and independence to be and express ourselves authentically.

Kel is a life saver, here at Root + River, and out in the world. Not content to train dogs just for fun, he teaches those who are struggling to meet the basic needs of their companions how to train and keep their dogs. That way, he keeps shelter dogs and the humans who may need them the most together.

Kel comes to us with a BA in Film from University of North Texas and sometimes takes side gigs as a production assistant on movie sets. He is also the master of flawless backflips off a swing and juggling scarves – not at the same time.

Jocelyn Lovelle

Jocelyn Lovelle

Jocelyn believes the juiciest parts of our lives are found in the imperfections of being human and working to create the world we’d like to live in, even when it seems impossible.

Like Chris, she is a world-class listener (we think most writers are) with a penchant for typewriters and a patient streak that doesn’t quit. She is the calm, deep pool in our river and the branch on our tree that can hold a tire swing big enough for us all.

Jocelyn holds a BA in English with a specialization in Creative Writing from UCLA. With a background in content production, brand strategy, marketing, writing and organizational development she sees the intersection of branding and people as not an intersection at all, but the same road. She believes deeply that how we show up as individuals in the world is paramount and she lives our ethos that brand is how someone experiences your soul.

If she sees a body of water, she will get in. No matter how cold. Her talents run wide but her true love is writing and discovering the power words have to connect. She prefers anything old over most things new and if you see her without a cup of herbal tea, she’s probably asleep.

Partner Studio:

It takes a talented tribe to build and amplify a brand. Rather than a traditional agency, our studio approach is to bring together intentional, graceful and excellent individuals in each area of expertise, to create custom teams for you, our client. This Root + River tribe provides inspired design, content development, research and execution under our creative and strategic guidance.


Visual designers


Photographers & videographers

SEO & digital advertising

Web developers

PR / media relations

CRM & marketing platforms

E-commerce implementation

Event production

Content writers & editors

Social media management

Customer experience design

Merchandise / promo items