About Us

From Web site design and e-commerce to logo creation and marketing materials, our specialized design services integrate multiple components, all of them necessary to build your business and your brand image.

And we do it well because we simply love what we do.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of our work is the ongoing relationships we develop with our clients. It is extremely gratifying for us to follow our clients’ successes and achievements, and we stay in touch and follow their activities. And when our clients are ready to launch a new product or revitalize their image, we are able to jump right in as if we have always been a part of their team, because we have!

Michelle Tjelmeland, owner of e-websmart, is a high-energy dynamo, founder of the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (www.ciafonline.org), an accomplished public speaker, a recipient of Microsoft's prestigious 2005 "Start Something Amazing Award,” and a dedicated wife and mother.  

Additionally, in October of 2009, Michelle became certified as a Social Media Specialist by training under Internet marketing expert, Mari Smith. Fully immersed in the social media culture, tools, applications, and plug-ins, Michelle and her team can custom design, optimize, and sync all your social networking sites as well as your Web site to maximize brand exposure, both organically and virally.

What most people do not realize is that Michelle has accomplished this all while being profoundly Deaf, "hearing" only through a miraculous technology called a cochlear implant, a small electronic device that translates sound in the environment into electrical impulses that the brain can interpret. 

Before losing her hearing, Michelle taught 7th and 8th grade language arts for the Springfield, Illinois public school district.  She possesses a master's degree in Education and Computer Technology from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and a bachelor's degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. 

Michelle maintains active involvement in her community. Her achievements and the contribution of e-websmart to the field of Web design and to the community where the business is located have been applauded through numerous awards and nominations, including:

  • Recipient of Non-Profit of the Year from MacArthur Blvd Association, for District 23, December 2014
  • Recipient of Non-profit Director of the Year from the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, June 2014
  • Co-recipient of The Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities Non-Profit Award from the State of Illinois, May 2014
  • District 23 (www.district23.com) - Owner, April, 2013
  • Certified Expert Constant Contact E-mail Marketing Trainer, February 2011
  • Exclusive Web vendor for D'Arcy's Pint (www.darcyspintonline.com), January 2011
  • Board member of Lincolnland Community College Foundation, December 2010
  • Named as Distinguished Lincoln Land Community College Alum, May 2010
  • Certified Social Media Specialist by Mari Smith, October, 2009
  • Exclusive Web vendor for Apricot Lane USA  (www.apricotlaneusa.com)
  • Co-Inventor of Alerts Made Easy (www.alertsmadeeasy.com), the original 4-in-1 Web, e-mail, text, and phone messaging service
  • Recipient of Security Bank and Springfield Business Journal’s “Woman of Influence” award, April 2009
  • Recipient of Rochester School Districts “Volunteer of the Year” award, May 2009
  • Recipient of the "Woman on the Rise award" by Illinois State Treasurer; March 2008;
  • "Inc Magazine Winner for Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Reader and Editor's Pick", November 2007
  • "NAWBO Mirassou Business Optimist 10k Award Recipient", May 2006;
  • "Silver Addy Award" from the American Advertising Federation, February 2006, 2007,2008;
  • "Innovate Illinois Regional Semi-Finalist", March/April 2006
  • "Milliken Regional Entrepreneurial Network 5k Grant" recipient, January 2006.
  • 1st place winner in the national Microsoft "Start Something Amazing" Campaign in the culture and community category, November 2005;
  • "National Inspirational Deaf Person of the Year Award" by Oticon, February 2005;
  • "Small Business Owner of the Year" by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, June 2003;
  • "Gold Award" by the World Wide Web Awards Association, July 2003;
  • "40 under 40 Award" by the Springfield Business Journal, February 2002

In addition to her work with e-websmart, Michelle is the Founder and Board Chairman of the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (www.ciafonline.org), a nonprofit organization that exists to provide information, resources, and financial assistance for individuals who can overcome deafness through utilization of cochlear implant technology.  

Armed only with an amazing passion to bring her nonprofit to life, Michelle built the organization from the ground up and marketed her way to widespread name recognition within her niche.

Michelle serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation and serves on the board of directors for Lincoln Land Community College Foundation. She is also an active member of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Taylorville Chamber of Commerce.

Michelle resides in Springfield, Illinois with her husband and two daughters.

Darren Gander is an imaginative designer with more than 25 years of experience in graphic design and printing.  His creative talent and conceptual designs have achieved international recognition.

Darren's expertise includes working knowledge of Quark Express, InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.  He is as comfortable with small-scale print design as he is with large-scale signage, exhibition displays, and textiles.

Amanda Folwell joins the e-websmart team as a talented and vibrant graphic designer with over 23 years of design experience. She enjoys experimenting with different design techniques and tools, but relies on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create most of her artwork.

Having once worked for a printing company as a typesetter, Amanda's interests have expanded as the industry has evolved, and she now works as a freelance designer creating for Web sites, print, and advertising.

Amanda is married and they have a 3-year-old daughter. They enjoy spending time in the garden and creating "edible messes" in the kitchen.

Crista Gebhart, Customer Support

Crista Gebhardt is our Manager and runs the day-to-day operations of e-websmart, which includes building sites.  She also sits on the Board of the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation. Originally from the Chicago area, she has been in Springfield for almost 20 years.  After spending 8 years as a gymnastics teacher and competitive coach, Crista has been a stay-at-home mom to her four very active kids. She has spent a majority of her time very involved in her children’s school, including President of the Home and School board for 4 years and Chairman of various fundraisers.

Crista is enjoying the many aspects of the e-websmart business, and loves dealing directly with the clients and helping with their various needs and concerns.



Shelly Pawelczak, one of our newest team members, is our Social Media Manager.  She oversees all Social Media for our clients here at e-websmart. Shelly worked for the Secretary of State before she began her journey of being a stay-at-home mom for several years. When both of her kids started school, she rejoined the workforce at her church as a Business Associate.   She has served on committees at her children’s school and is very involved with their activities.

Shelly enjoys the “behind the scenes” work she does for e-websmart.  She has been in the Springfield area for 20+ years where she resides with her husband, Mike and two children. In their free time, they enjoy traveling and spending time with friends and family.



Amy Robbins Real Estate
Amy Robbins Real Estate
Our Services We develop long-lasting relationships that continue to grow over time.  We enjoy watching you succeed and celebrating your accomplishments with you, and that is the most rewarding part of our work! LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SERVICES:
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