Through the big sit, like everyone else I’ve been reflecting on the last 20 years. It’s been a ride. If we’re honest. The path from practitioner to leader can be a rough one. We’re often celebrated for making great work, not building healthy systems for folks to thrive. My path started early and turbulent (I was just 26 when I was given my first design department to run) but it stoked a fire, and shifted my mindset. I became obsessed with the craft of creative leadership. I’m thankful for all the success and failure, coaching and therapy, and so many of the patient and generous folks who continue to share and pass down their knowledge.
My job is to create space. Rick Rubin, Malcom Gladwell, Brene Brown kind of space. The daily creation and cultivation of a heart-centered curious culture and environment not bound by walls (my team has been remote centric since 2016), allowing for people to bring their whole selves to work, no matter where they live, with the courage to wrestle with adversity in the pursuit of their best work while forging meaningful relationships — that's what it’s all about. (Yes, I have an issue with run on sentences. It's from all the Hunter Thompson and Aaron Sorkin being shoved into my head)
That kind of space was made for me by wise and thoughtful folks, and I’m doing my part to pay it forward. Considering the state of the world we could use more places where people are seen, heard, and supported.
The most recent five years I’ve had the pleasure of building and leading an amazing team of makers and thinkers at MullenLowe. Completing more than a dozen rebrands of various sizes including Century 21 Real Estate, Royal Caribbean, USCellular, E*Trade Monster.com, Sperry, and Mount Gay Rum. The pandemic has not been kind to us, but together we’ve learned a lot about what’s within our control and what’s not, about empathy, resilience, and vulnerability. In the face of it all I’m very proud of our collective response.
Moving from Northern California to Minnesota in 2013 just in time for the coldest winter in 30 years was a shock. My riding season was cut in half, and I needed a healthy way to pass the time. The 'Hibernation' series came to mind in the middle of a sleepless bourbon and Ben & Jerry's fueled February night. It all started with a craigslist post looking for riders to photograph. From then on, I spent the next 4 winters going from garage to garage meeting, photographing, and spending time with riders of all kinds. Finding solace in community and conversation through the bitter cold, and learning how each had a different way of coping with the long months holed up inside.
Now based in rural Minnesota leading the practice of Design at MullenLowe’s Boston office — after nearly 20 years of the creative life spending time on both the east and west coast between SF, Portland, Boston, Miami and the far north in Minneapolis earning an unusual breadth of experience leading teams and building purpose-driven brands from the ground up or refreshed across all mediums — digital to traditional, for campaigns and projects global to local.