TSI is a brand management and visual storytelling firm - we tell stories for good through a digital-first lens. Our brand management team serves as agency-of-record for brands who want to reach the right person with the right message at the right time - through media relations and digital & experiential marketing. Our visual storytelling team is a full-service production company specializing in cinematic commercials that make you stop, listen and think. The Southern Influence is a global firm based in Austin, Texas and Los Angeles, California.

MEET THE TEAM

TEAM

Arielle Olfers

Arielle is the founder and creative director of The Southern Influence and serves as the director of PR and brand management for P. Terry's Burger Stand. She's a happy hour instigator and social impact enthusiast. Born and raised in the Midwest, yet undeniably obsessed with the South, Arielle attended Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Her adoration for southern hospitality, the entertainment industry, and travel came together and formed a brand management powerhouse.

 

Arielle has a BA in the Entertainment Industry with an emphasis on TV/video production and media ethics. She cut her teeth in commercial video production and digital advertising while living in both Nashville and Houston and working with brands like Walmart, Kraft, First Aid Beauty, and Sara Happ. In 2014, Arielle ventured with her husband to his hometown of Austin to work with The Austin Trail of Lights and eventually launched her own agency in 2016. Arielle has worked with companies and events like Aerie, Microsoft, Walmart, Simon Malls, the CMT & ACM Awards, Create + Cultivate, P.Terry’s, Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Community First! Village, inLieu, The Wayback Austin and more. 

 

Arielle is enthusiastic, persistent, magnetic, and bull-headed. She's an avid traveler and has a deep passion for history and design, especially when it relates to the hospitality industry. When she's not planning campaigns and producing for her clients, you can find her in an aisle seat on the next flight out of AUS headed for Tulum.

Chris Olfers

Chris' life has always involved commercials in one form or another - he's the TSI in-house DP/videographer, photographer, and label-maker-lover. As far back as high school, Chris modeled in national advertising campaigns for the likes of Chevrolet and Verizon - and since stepping onto that first set he hasn't been able to shake the feeling.

 

After graduating with a degree in Physics and Mathematics, Chris worked for almost a decade consulting Fortune 100 clients in the energy, software, and pharmaceuticals / life sciences industries. All the while he continued to hone his skill behind the camera and eventually combined his knowledge to build what is now the thriving commercial video arm of The Southern Influence.

 

Chris is succinct, punctual, focused, and seemingly always surrounded by fierce women - one of whom is his beautiful wife and TSI founder, Arielle.

Caroline Dedeker

A native of Nashville, TN, Caroline moved to New York City after graduating Texas Christian University with a degree in business and fashion merchandising.

 

Caroline has worked with Marie Claire and Holly Hunt New York, and eventually moved into the corporate retail space. After 3 years supporting the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Brand Creative at West Elm, Caroline moved to Austin and joined The Southern Influence leadership team as employee #2.

 

Caroline loves all things equestrian, and fun fact - has spent a summer working on a ranch! When Caroline isn't steering the operational ship at TSI, you can find her enjoying the outdoors with her dog Boone, or traveling and adventuring with her husband, Derek.

Courtney Shontz

Courtney is TSI's resident unicorn - an Austin native responsible for rebranding most of the city's most iconic holiday event, The Austin Trail of Lights. Courtney's not-so-secret talent is taking on the brand voice of any client you drop into her lap. This well-traveled lady is working her way up the East coast, and hopes to return to her Texas roots soon. Before relocating to Florida, North Carolina and currently DC, Courtney spent 3 years in the event marketing space in Austin, and has spent the last 5 years in freelance marketing roles while moving around the country as a military spouse. When Courtney isn't creating belly-laughing and jaw-dropping creative for our awesome clients, you can find her spoiling her two German short-haired pointers or enjoying a good staple cheese board and a great glass of pinot noir.

Mark Freiburger

Mark Freiburger is an Award-Winning Filmmaker who has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, USA Today, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and countless other Publications.


In 2014 Mark received tremendous acclaim by CBS for directing the ‘Greatest Super Bowl Ad of All Time’ — his commercial Fashionista Daddy — which won the “Doritos Crash the Super Bowl” contest, beating out 5,000 other filmmakers. His commercial was the #1 ranked :30 ad of the 2013 Super Bowl according to the USA Today Ad Meter, and received over 4.2 Billion Facebook impressions—the most in Doritos/Frito Lay advertising history.


In addition to other commercial directing, Mark’s 2017 TV campaign for IKEA in Korea became IKEA’s highest-rated commercial ever in that country. As a young director, Mark was mentored by legendary director Michael Bay. Mark shadowed Bay for months on the set of TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, shooting in the U.S. and in Hong Kong. Early in his career, Mark directed digital shorts for Nickelodeon and DreamworksTV, and the feature films JIMMY, and DOG DAYS OF SUMMER . He also co-wrote and produced the 20th Century Fox released film THE TRIAL, starring Matthew Modine.

When he's not working, Mark likes to spend his time to help others achieve their dreams. He serves on the board of a non-profit organization called The Hope Project International in Matagalpa, Nicaragua where his team is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty in one the most underserved communities in the Western Hemisphere - providing Nutrition, Education, Vocational Training, Construction of Houses, Child Protection, and Anti-Trafficking programs.

 

Mark hopes to one day raise a family of his own, and to continue to tell stories that touch the heart and inspire people on a global scale.

Alexandra George

Introducing Alexandra George, a true Austinite growing up just outside of downtown and graduating from The University of Texas in 2019. After sitting down with the TSI team for just an hour, Alexandra’s level of enthusiasm made her addition to the team a no-brainer. By the time Alexandra joined TSI, she’d already racked up a seriously impressive resume: a degree in International Relations, an internship with influencer Jessi Afshin, and time spent helping build brands like Tecovas and Kelly Wynne.
She leads our team in creativity and check-lists; no task is too big or too small for Alexandra. Alexandra will likely be the first “HI!” you hear when you walk into the TSI office, and as Account Manager, she handles everything from social media engagement across multiple accounts to producing + coordinating onsite on commercial productions.
In her spare time outside the office, Alexandra enjoys “spilling the tea” from Love Island, jogging on Lady Bird Lake, eating queso at Matt’s El Rancho with her beau or manning the TSI TikTok account.

SELECT CLIENTS

Reebok

goop

​Create & Cultivate

Microsoft

P. Terry's

Samaritan's Feet

The Wayback Café & Cottages

Sanctuary Project

Tequila 512

Viva Day Spa

Rejuvenate Austin

Bark & Zoom

Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Community First! Village

Forefront Networks

Austin Trail of Lights

inLieu

Kasita

Love Cycling Studio

The Scout Guide Austin

GARNERED PRESS

Apartment Therapy

Austin After Hours CBS

Austin Business Journal

Austin Chronical

Austin Eater

Austin Fit Magazine

Austin Monthly

Austin Woman

Austin-American Statesman

Austin360

AustinTexas.gov

Camille Styles

CNBC

Community Impact

Create & Cultivate

Culture Map

Do512

Do512 Family

Fox7

GirlBoss

Hoodline

KEYE

KVUE

KXAN

Politico

PopSugar

Real Simple

Southern Living

Spectrum News

Texas Lifestyle Magazine

Texas Monthly

The Bump

The Daily Texan

The Scout Guide

Tribeza

Word of Mom Radio

105 W. 8th STREET, AUSTIN

THE SOUTHERN INFLUENCE