Our Company

Founded in 2003, the original plan was for Venture to be a resource where clients could find help with small design projects and media relation plans.

Our attention to detail, eye for good design, and common-sense marketing approach was just what clients needed. For clients willing to step out, or “Venture” if you will, into a bold new world where customers are waiting to be motivated, the sky is the limit.

As for the Venture staff, let’s just say our collective experiences led us to exactly where we need to be. Degrees in public relations, marketing, and finance pepper our resumes. Stints with Southern Living, the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel and other equally challenging stops along the way have helped us shape Venture into the marketing firm it is now.

And that’s just the management staff. Add in our go-to designers, favorite production crew, savvy web tech friends, talented photographers and other outsourcers, and there’s no wonder that Venture Marketing Group is the preeminent advertising agency in Northeast Alabama.

Heather Roberts (Rickles) Turk


(256) 490-6153

Heather Turk is co-founder and owner of Venture Marketing Group.  Heather oversees Venture’s day-to-day activities. She is directly involved in coordinating research, creative concepting, and implementation. She works closely with clients to making sure projects are timely and productive. Heather is a talented writer and an experienced film producer.

Heather’s career began in the mid-1990s as a media relations specialist for the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel. After her tenure in Montgomery, she oversaw marketing efforts for the Auburn/Opelika Convention and Visitors Bureau and Gadsden’s Center for Cultural Arts. She then joined RealtyBid International to oversee their nationwide media relations efforts. She and her business partner, the late Julie Waldrup, founded Venture Marketing Group in 2003.

Heather’s experience includes managing branding campaigns, overseeing major special events, developing extensive media relations programs, leading focus groups for non-profit organizations, writing and designing countless collateral pieces, and directing complete public relations/marketing programs. In recent years, Heather has been instrumental in helping clients embrace the digital age by introducing strong online components to their marketing mix, including search engine marketing, digital banner advertising, social media campaigns, pre-roll video and more.

Heather is a 1994 summa cum laude graduate of Auburn University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations with concentrations in marketing and journalism. Born in Virginia, Heather was raised in Alabama and graduated from Southside High School in 1990. Since returning to Gadsden in 1998, her community involvement efforts have included serving as an active volunteer for Gadsden City Schools, Gadsden Service Guild Board Member, Gadsden Regional Medical Center Women’s Advisory Board Member, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board Member, serving as an Adult Education volunteer and a Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentor. She is a member of the First Friday Forum, Gadsden/Etowah Chamber of Commerce, and Church of the Highlands.

Susan Day is the creative director at Venture Marketing Group. She oversees all aspects of design, from concepting campaigns with other Venture staff members, to making sure the appearance and message of the final product meet the standards set forth by Venture and the client. This includes newspaper ads, magazine ads, digital ads, brochures, rack cards, direct mail pieces, billboards, digital billboards, other signage, posters, and long-format special publications.

Susan is a 1993 graduate of The University of Alabama where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with a major in advertising and minors in marketing and English. Susan then served as a marketing research analyst, marketing research associate, and marketing and promotions specialist for Southern Progress Corporation. She worked directly with Southern Living, Coastal Living, Cooking Light, and Southern Accents magazines. She also worked directly with programs like The Southern Living Idea House, The Southern Living/Lowe’s Home and Garden Show, and The Southern Living Cooking School Program. From there she served as Marketing Director for Rite Way Service, Inc., a $90-million Birmingham-based company with operations in 13 states.

Susan has served as president of the Birmingham Chapter of the American Marketing Association and served as a board member of the Birmingham Chapter of Executive Women International. She is an alumni of the Gadsden Service Guild and an active member of Rainbow Presbyterian Church. Susan has been with Venture Marketing since 2007.

Jason Hodges

Graphics Specialist


Jason is a 2001 magna cum laude graduate from The Art Institute of Atlanta where he received his bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Born and raised in Grant, Alabama, this scenic region of the state was his inspiration for creativity. At an early age, Jason took an interest in drawing, painting, and photography. This later would become the foundation for his leap into the digital world. His focus now turns to developing creative graphic solutions for clients that work seamlessly for their business. Since partnering with the team at Venture Marketing Group, Jason has worked with the agency to create award-winning graphics for a variety of clients.

Jason is married to his lovely wife Kathie and together they have two daughters and a son. He is very involved in his community and children’s school activities. In 2019, Jason received the Community Hero Award for his leadership and volunteer service toward the restoration of the town’s park and playground. He has also served on numerous advisory boards for the school and other organizations. Jason has been with Venture Marketing Group since 2009.