Meet the team

Jeff Charlton
Jeff Charlton, founder of Graphic Connections Group, is a long time successful entrepreneur. He believes long-term success is rooted in hard work and personal relationships. The key is to provide high quality products and service to the end consumer, at a fair price, and going the extra mile to provide a superior level of service. It's the simple things that make a difference. Jeff started Graphic Connections Group (GCG), in his basement in 1992. In 2000 he started acquiring other printing and graphic design companies. In 2012, he acquired the Independent Publishing Corporation (IPC). His interest in IPC arose as he saw a need for a company that could help the small author self-publish their book after struggling to self-publish to books of his own over the years. The various mergers have been a success and the company has grown to over 9000 square feet and manufactures a wide range of printing and Embroidered products.
Brian Charlton
Director of Sales
Brian graduated from the University of Missouri with a Major in Marketing in 1996. After working for another printing company for a short time after graduation, he came to work at GCG in November of 1997. Since then Brian has been key in helping to grow the overall client base at GCG. His passion for learning technology and his products, combined with his vast knowledge in marketing and direct mail helps to make him a better consultant to his clients. Combined with his expertise in marketing, this allows him to be more than just a sales person, but a problem solver.
Peg Lestina
Publishing Art Director
Peg is the Art Director for GCG and Publishing Art Director for Mira Digital Publishing, a division of the Graphic Connections Group. She has been designing for companies large and small in the St. Louis area since 1977 as co-owner of IPC Graphics-Independent Publishing Corporation.
Karen Klar
Client Service Specialist
Karen Klar has been working in the printing industry longer than fax machines have been around. She has focused on customer service for her entire career. Karen has been with GCG since 2000. Her strongest asset is her innate attention to detail (her co-workers describe that differently) and desire to get things done right. She is a pleasure to work with and has a perpetual smile on her face at all times. Please give her a call with your next project!
Heidi Gaeng
Client Service Specialist

Heidi Gaeng started in printing as an inside sales rep focusing on selling advertising for golf yardage books that GCG printed. After GCG sold that division back in 2001, Heidi stayed on as a client service specialist and her natural people skills have served her well in that capacity. She has a unique ability to make everyone feel like her best friend almost immediately. She is also very good at recognizing clients voices on the phone after only a couple of phone calls and you will often find her calling you by name when you call before you even tell her who it is. 

“I’m just here to make your life easier.”
Lauren Klar
Client Service Specialist
Lauren has worked for Graphic Connections since December 2009 and works with a majority of the direct mail that comes though GCG. She will work with you to create a mail piece that will work for you and your direct mail needs. Her knowledge in Excel is an asset; she can help organize multiple mailing lists and as well as assist with creating custom mail pieces.
Denise Hesskamp
Client Service Specialist
Denise graduated from Florissant Valley Community College with a degree in Commercial Art. She started her career at RPI Graphics, where she worked in the pre-press, bindery and customer service departments. Denise was later promoted to Production Manager, where she was responsible for all printing operations. In 1998, IPC purchased RPI Graphics, and Denise became one of our valued customer service representatives. Denise has been with Graphic Connections since June of 2012 when IPC Graphics was purchased by Graphic Connections Group. Denise continues to be an asset to our customer service team. Denise has over 27 years of layout and print experience to insure that our clients receive a product that is designed well, printed correctly, and is cost effective to produce.
Alan Crook
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Alan graduated from Lindenwood University in 2012 with a M.A. in communications with an emphasis in video production. He worked full time as a videographer and video editor for almost 3 years. With extensive knowledge of digital media production, he wanted to use this knowledge but shift it into a different area of communications, marketing. As the digital marketing coordinator he is able to use his skills to help grow GCG. Alan also is the digital marketing specialist for, using social media marketing to grow the brand. When not working, he is usually on his Harley or playing music.
Susan Mertens McGraw
Sales Assistant
I am Sales Assistant and I qualify prospects and leads for the Sales Director and our publishing department. Graphic Connections Group is the most pleasant environment I have ever worked in, and that is because of it is family, caring environment along with everyone being professional and creating a win/win for our clients and Graphic Connection Group.
Anne O'Brien
Mira Publishing Project Manager
Anne started with Mira Digital Publishing in 2010. Her degrees include a B.S. in English, M.A. in Elementary Education, and M.S in Library Science. As a Project Manager at Mira, she guides book projects through the pipeline, communicating with authors, prepress and production staff to create a finished product we can all be proud of. Anne enjoys personally connecting with authors and getting to know each one’s story.
Nikki Melvin
With 20 years experience in accounting, Nikki’ has been with Graphic Connections Group for 5 years solely managing the books for not only Graphic Connections Group, but also for all of the entities under Graphic Connections Group, including our Publishing and T-Shirt division. Her ability to multi-task along with her ability to prioritize has proven beneficial in keeping up with our growing business.
Nicki Gelineau
Marketing and Production Manager
Nicki graduated from Webster University in 2012 with a BFA in Graphic Design. She has been working for DPCTED Apparel, a sister company of GCG, since 2014. Recently her duties have come to include Marketing Manager and Graphic Designer for DPCTED Apparel. Nicki has over 10 years of customer service experience, 8 years of graphic design experience and she’s helping grow to the DPCTED Apparel brand.
Kim Koenig
Mira Publishing Project Manager
Kim started her career in printing in 1990, handling accounts payable and receivable. As she broadened her knowledge of the printing industry, her job responsibilities increased to include: typesetting, layout, estimating, scheduling and customer service. She also has been involved in press and bindery operations. Kim joined GCG in 2012 and now focuses her energy as a project manager for the self-publishing division. With over 25 years of printing and book publishing experience, Kim is well qualified to handle any challenge that may arise.
Jill Mettendorf
Mira Publishing Senior Publishing Consultant