Creative Thinker • Strategic Partner • Seasoned Designer
As an experienced design professional, my background is rich in graphic design, art direction and visual communications. Through the years, I've developed advanced skills in project management, leading and mentoring creative teams, verbal and visual communications, relationship building and cross-functional teamwork. My work is fueled by passion, enthusiasm and making things come to life with visual storytelling.
Director, National Marketing services + creative director
Entertainment cruises, studio26 - Chicago // December 2017 – present
Life’s a boat!
We are North American’s premier provider of water-based dining, sightseeing and transportation experiences. We live by the mantra that we work for the guest and my team works to deliver the best creative possible to deliver on that experience.
In 2018, we rolled out our first ever comprehensive advertising campaign, Find It on the Water. This allowed us to connect all the brands and cities with a unified look, feel and tone zooming in on increasing brand awareness and our unique selling points. Views, views, views!
We’ve nearly doubled in size over the last few years, acquiring more and more brands under our parent company, Entertainment Cruises. With that has come many branding challenges and creative marketing solutions. A large focus of my time has been partnering with the leadership team and working on a comprehensive brand re-architecture initiative to drive increased revenue across the organization as it continues to expand and evolve.
Capturing updated photo and video content for the entire fleet (yes, we speak in boat terms) has also been a strong focus of my year. Lots of cruises, lots of cities, but also lots of fun. I must say, you start speaking in nautical puns very quickly.
freelance design and consulting // June 2017 – Present
From branding to email and annual reports to digital advertising, I help brands fill the gaps or offer a fresh perspective. I can lead brainstorm sessions with internal teams, work collaboratively with agency partners or pop in your team as an extra resource. My project management and leadership skills provide a special mix to your creative team.
associate creative director
Cars.com, Team IDEA - Chicago // August 2015 – may 2017
Cars.com, Team IDEA - Chicago, Illinois // March 2013 – August 2015
Leader, enthusiast and a nerd for process.
Nearly eight years in the automotive space has been an adventure. I learned the ins and outs of the industry as well as grown my career building an internal creative services team from the ground floor. I served as a project manager, creative lead, art director and creative strategist, helping to transform the department from a production shop to a full service agency that outputs high-quality work. Additionally, I worked to improve workflow by introducing several process management solutions, including Workfront and WebDAM.
Our work ranged from various projects including advertisements, sales collateral, email, banner advertisements, event signage, invitations, microsites, brochures, infographics, identity packages, logos and more. We used visual storytelling through the translation of complex business information, metrics and data into compelling visuals. Always acting as brand champions, upholding standards in all design deliverables and communicating timelines and status with project stakeholders.
We participated and facilitated brainstorming sessions for our clients. Developed and maintained relationships with various vendors. And always had a keen eye for typography and layout hierarchy, as well as acute attention to detail.
As a manager, I worked to empower my team. Coaching, mentoring and learning on the job are very important to me as a leader. Inspiration can come from anywhere when the environment is open to any and all ideas.
senior Designer & Project Manager
Cars.com, Team IDEA - Chicago // September 2009 – February 2013
Not really a car gal, but here I am.
No day is ever the same at Cars.com. Some days you developed sales materials to support the national and direct sales teams and some days you were on site at a hotel measuring pillars and figuring out how to transform a space into a major brand takeover that would inspire a staff and recharge them for the year. Other days you were on a press check or designing banner ads for National campaigns. But all days, there was a strong focus on project management to calm the chaos of everyday life.
COMMUNITY & CREATIVE
FLOCKTHERE - CHICAGO // JANUARY 2009 – MARCH 2010
Basically we *almost* beat Uber to the punch.
FlockThere was a 2009 startup. We worked towards arranging exclusive arrangements with venue and transportation partners allowing us to offer the lowest-priced packages to the city's hottest spots. "Don't walk there! Flock there!"
I managed the community (twitter, Facebook, blog, events, newsletters) and the creative side of things (website, collateral). It was a great dive into entrepreneurship with a good friend, but life got in the way and we weren't ready to take the full time leap. Learned tons along the way.
Sittercity.com - Chicago // June 2006 – August 2009
Sixth employee at a Chicago start-up before start-ups were a "thing."
Developed front-end web skills, email campaign strategies and countless print ads. This was a place where you wore many hats and you wore them well. From illustrating iconography and developing annual press kits to creating the company's first National billboard campaign, as the only designer on the team you had to be up to the challenge to continuously evolve the brand. Partnering with PETCO to launch into the pet sitting market was especially fulfilling, specifically the stock photography search for the perfect dachshund pup.
KGA, Garrett Associates - Chicago // July 2004 – June 2006
Food packaging and photo shoots and late nights, oh my!
Fresh out of college, in a West Loop loft, this small shop was a great introduction to the real (design) world. I learned the ins and outs of nutrition labels, violators and package design - and worked closely (and in awe) with food stylists and photographers alike. Procured the art of prop shopping, mastered the skills to build a strong identity system and absorbed more than you could ever want to know about production work. I have fond memories of the West Loop before Google and the SoHo House moved in, not that I have anything against that perfect Cowshed Spa.