About Us - Sterling Sky Inc

About Us

Sterling Sky Inc was founded in 2017 by Joy Hawkins.  Joy has been working in the SEO industry since 2006.  She worked for 2 different online marketing agencies for a total of 11 years before starting Sterling Sky.  You may have seen us around online at:

Our Achievements

Here are some of our achievements:

Sterling Sky is a Google Partner, Google Product Expert, SMX, Serach Engine Land, MOZ, Sterling Sky  Local Search Forum, and SMX

Joy Hawkins

Owner/Founder

Joy Hawkins has been working in the Local SEO industry since 2006 and loves being a Google Top Contributor. She also loves spending time managing Google Ads accounts and has been certified in both Google Search & Display. She is also a speaker at various search engine marketing conferences such as SMX & LocalU, Pubcon & Mozcon. Joy…

Colan Nielsen

VP of Local Search

Colan started in the local SEO world back in 2010 and is also deemed a product expert by Google as a Top Contributor on the Google My Business Forum. He is a contributor to Moz’s famous Local Search Ranking Factors survey and is a former Google MapMaker Regional Lead. Like Joy, he is obsessed with everything related to…

Deborah Hickey

Paid Search Analyst

Deborah has been working with Google Ads since 2010. She loves problem solving and is always up to the challenge of optimizing Ads accounts for many types of industries. She also enjoys baking and loves to challenge herself with any new or complex recipes. On her free time she loves having tea parties and playing


Yan Gilbert

Senior SEO Specialist & Analyst

Yan has been creating websites since 2008 and now enjoys helping others grow their businesses through SEO. He is certified in many digital marketing products including Google Analytics, Google Mobile sites and Inbound Marketing through Hubspot Academy. Armed with a psychology degree from McGill University, Yan is adept at finding ways to help businesses achieve…

Richard Hawkins

Chief Technology Officer

Richard has been running IT systems for over a decade and graduated from Liberty University in 2008 with his Bachelor of Science in Communications. When he’s not working with his wife, Joy, he works full-time as a video editor & technician for Living Truth.

Josh Mallett

Paid Search Analyst

Josh has been working with Google AdWords since 2013. He enjoys doing the day-to-day maintenance, troubleshooting issues with accounts and doing keyword research. His parents are still trying to understand how he makes money; and some say he ages backwards. When he isn’t working, he is usually out climbing mountains?

Nikki Brown

Local SEO Analyst & Account Manager

Nikki has been working in the Local SEO industry since early 2014. She is passionate about helping small businesses and uses her ever growing knowledge of the industry to help them succeed. Nikki has a Business Management degree from Ryerson University, where she majored in Marketing. In her spare time, Nikki loves to spend time with her husband and 2-year-old daughter.


Wes Michy

Publicist & Local SEO Analyst

Wes began his career working in mass media in 2004, but decided to learn more about “The Google” in 2011. Since then he’s been working in the trenches securing earned media links and publicity for his clients, deep diving into competitor research, and being an all-around outreach pro. Similarly to how Neo sees the world…

Dave DiGregorio

Director of Local Search

Dave has been in the digital space for over 15 years now, dating back to high school, where he created his first website for a robotics class. As a hobby in college and shortly thereafter, he created and maintained various sports forums and blogs, before moving on to a professional role for an SEO agency.  Starting out as an Analyst doing reporting and link building, Dave worked his way up to the Senior SEO Specialist role, where he worked on the technical SEO for the agency’s corporate sites.

Zach Mallett

Paid Search Analyst

Zach works on Google Ads accounts and link building. He enjoys learning new things, optimizing accounts, and finding that perfect keyword. In his spare time, He is often volunteering at his church, just hanging out with friends or getting beat in a game of Super Smash Bros.


Becky Weller

Content Writer & Local SEO Analyst

New to the team, Becky comes from a writing-focused background. She previously worked both in the healthcare field and for a website designer working on content creation and some limited optimization. She is an eager student, ready to dive deeper into the world of SEO and learn all she can from her incredibly experienced colleagues. In her off time she also writes young adult fiction novels, and loves spending time with her two kids and husband.


Jason Brown

Local Search Analyst & Spam Fighter

Jason Brown is a Local SEO Specialist at Sterling Sky. He is one of our spam fighters and is also a Google My Business Product Expert on the Google My Business forum. He spends his free time battling fake online business reviews. He has over 13 years working in SEO and is a leading expert on online reviews. He is also a columnist for SEMrush and a regular speaker at Pubcon.


Carrie Hill

Local Search Analyst & Community Manager

Carrie comes to Sterling Sky with SEO experience that dates back to 2006!  She has a passion for figuring out what works for each and every client and picking apart the problems that arise in our “it depends” relationship with Google. When notnoodling around in all things Local Search, Carrie can be found curled up with her 4 dogs, 1 cat, and a good book – or cooking up something fairly amazing in the kitchen.


Mary Bowling, Sterling Sky

Mary Bowling

Local SEO Analyst

Mary has been involved in all aspects of SEO since 2003 and has always been intrigued by Local Search. With a background as a serial entrepreneur, she always tries to approach Local Search and Internet Marketing in a practical way and from a small business owner’s perspective. She enjoys educating others on Local Search and speaks frequently on the topic.


Brian Barwig, Sterling Sky

Brian Barwig

Local SEO Analyst & Account Manager

Brian has been working in Local SEO since 2008 when he began building an online business. He has built several websites from the ground up and enjoys all aspects of Local SEO, especially helping small businesses grow. When not doing SEO things, you can find him at a hockey rink playing, or coaching his 2 kids.


Sheron Chiwa, Sterling Sky

Sheron Chiwa

Executive Assistant


Krystal Prior, Sterling Sky

Krystal Prior

Digital PR Specialist

Krystail has been working in the digital marketing world since 2013. She started out on the sales side and along the way she developed a passion for SEO. She jumped right into Digital PR, spending her days building links and building relationships. Krystal enjoys connecting businesses to the people who need them. She loves helping businesses grow and succeed.


Is This You?

Sterling Sky Might be Hiring!

Occasionally we’re looking for the right fit for our amazing team, do you think you have what it takes? If you’re interested in working with the best of the best, drop us an email with your resume/CV and we’ll take a look!


Client Testimonials

Read about the experiences our clients have had with Sterling Sky.

Colan reviewed our website and then delivered a report on how to optimize for local SEO. He presented factor after factor, accompanied by separate TO DO lists for each. MY partner and I both recognized the excellence and value of the information delivered. Colan, thank you. https://www.lidivorcemediation.com/ 

Sterling Sky testimonials by Diane Kramer

-Diane Kramer

In the past 10 years we've worked with many SEO companies to improve our web presence, organic positioning, and lead generation. Absolutely none of those companies were able to make an impact on our business like Sterling Sky has.

Sterling Sky specializes in value-driven SEO, which to a small business like ours means smart, strategic, long term, value-aligned SEO, and not gaming the latest twists for ephemeral gains.

Sterling Sky constantly strives to create a detailed understanding of our business industry in general and our particular space specifically - then combines that knowledge with our SOAP analysis and desired market positioning. The Sterling Sky team utilizes a wide range of strategies from internal brainstorming, website improvement, link building, earned media, and advertising. I experience this congruence personally because I have a monthly meeting to go over exactly this analysis on each of our verticals. Essentially, Sterling Sky is a detailed oriented, custom-built, local SEO company that is interested in understanding its clients' business in order to deliver long term value and relationship.

Over the past years, our business has grown constantly, culminating in more than 50% growth in 2019 alone. I attribute a significant chunk of that growth to our relationship with Sterling Sky maturing after years of carefully building blocks of success with our partnership. After being burned several times with generic, copy-paste one size fit-all SEO companies, I can confidently and very happily say that we found a home SEO company with whom we intend to have a very long partnership.

https://www.makingyousmile.nyc

Sterling Sky testimonials - Dr. Ziad Jalbout, Owner of Making You Smile Cosmetic Dental Stuido

-Dr. Ziad Jalbout Owner, Making You Smile Cosmetic Dental Studio

Joy Hawkins is one of the most knowledgeable local search practitioners in the industry. She understands how to research, identify, and solve GMB ranking issues like no one else. If you’re struggling to rank in local search, Joy is the consultant that will get you on the right track. www.whitespark.ca

Sterling Sky testimonials - Darren Shaw who's the Founder & President, Whitespark

-Darren Shaw Founder & President, Whitespark

I have to say, your help in the Denver area has paid off CONSIDERABLY! 931 website visits and 370 phone calls in the last 30 days. We had no idea GMB had that type of capacity. Unreal. www.bintheredumpthatusa.com

Sterling Sky testimonials - Luke Hancock, Marketing Manager, Local Initiatives - Bin There Dump That

-Luke Hancock Marketing Manager, Local Initiatives - Bin There Dump That

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