Coming from a graphic design background (what I went to college for), I see the recognized understanding of the importance of design by all stakeholders of a given project as being crucial to its success. In today’s culture, you would think this across-the-board understanding of the importance design is a given, but there is still room for improvement in this regard.

In the early years of my career, I had the privilege of working with incredibly talented designers and creative directors that have helped shape and direct the confidence needed to be able to present well thought out design solutions. These experiences included everything from designing collateral materials – including season tickets, branding, billboards, posters, etc – for the NBA’s Miami HEAT and the American Airlines Arena to understanding the importance of maintaining branding standards for corporate clients like Ryder and international media consortiums like GDA.

After a few great years of experience in the Miami advertising and design scene, I made the move to an in-house design department in one of the largest and fastest growing churches in America – Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. The move from an agency to an in-house team comes with it’s pros and cons and occurred when accolades in the industry for the creative work by in-house teams was on the increase. As common with a non-profit company, the communication challenges many times revolved around limited budgets and resources, which stretched my creativity and resourcefulness.

When one moves into management or leadership, they go from a known understanding of being responsible solely for their own, personal work to now being responsible for the work of themselves and others. This is always an interesting transition. For me, I had exhibited abilities and excellence in my own work as a designer and was rewarded with the oversight of a team of designers in a role of a Creative Manager.

Working with direction from organizational leadership and clients to then steer the creative team of designers was a challenge, but one met well, eventually to the point of being entrusted with the role of Communications Director. This meant the oversight of a team of graphic designers, writers and editors, and web and social media professionals (and a few project managers for good measure). This role that I currently hold entails aspects of setting the creative direction for major initiatives while continually motivating the team I have the privilege to lead to strive for innovation and creative excellence.

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