Here are some semi-chronological facts about me:
- I'm a husband, brother, and middle child. I grew up in a suburb outside of Philadelphia, PA. In 2021, my wife, Dana, and I found ourselves moving back to PA after a decade in NYC. I'll admit, I never saw this in our future, but things change. Learn more about our decision to relocate here.
- I spent most of my childhood writing and performing music. At age 12, I released my first "album" as a singer/songwriter and sold it via MySpace. By age 18, I had won first place twice at Amateur Night at the Apollo and appeared on America's Got Talent. My latest project is under the moniker Balast. You can listen to music here.
- Music was my pathway to design. Early on, I was creating album artwork, designing posters, and building websites without realizing it was a career path.
- Growing up, my neighbor was a graphic designer. She introduced me to design as a career and before I knew it, I was applying to college. I happened to fall in love with her alma mater; Tyler School of Art, Temple University. I scared my parents and only applied there. Luckily, it worked out.
- I originally went to school to become an Art Teacher but shifted focus to working in the industry after my first year. I later established the Teaching Assistant program within the GAID (Graphic and Interactive Design) department. That's how I met Dana, my wife. She was a student in my first class. It's funny how life works sometimes. We got married in 2018. And then "again" a few months later.
- Dana and I share a love for vintage objects and furniture. Much of our apartment in Brooklyn was found or restored objects. My Pop-Pop (Grandfather) spent a great deal of his life finding objects and re-selling them at a flea-market in Philadelphia. I often wonder if that had a bigger impact than I realize.
- In 2019, I competed in two USAPL powerlifting competitions. My best numbers in competition were (158 lb bodyweight): 292 lb squat, 170 lb bench press, and 385 lb deadlift. Since then, I competed in my first Strongman competition and have had fun taking up distance/gravel cycling.
- After a trip to Barcelona, Dana and I returned to Brooklyn and bought a scooter. Not a coincidence. It was a game-changer when living in the city. In 2021, we moved to Pennsylvania. Months later, I made a childhood dream come true and bought a motorcycle. I've enjoyed immersing myself in this world and the lessons learned along the way.
- In 2013, I joined Barrel as a freelance designer. I'm currently a Partner and Chief Experience Officer (CXO). We're an independent and creative marketing agency passionate about helping brands meet their business objectives and build meaningful connections with their customers. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the partners and play a part in building the team into what it is today.
- In 2019, my partners at Barrel and I started Barrel Venture Partners. We invest in early-stage startups, incubate new businesses, and oversee a growing portfolio of public equities focused on companies we understand well. In 2021, we launched Barrel Holdings as Barrel's parent company and platform to launch new businesses that can help our clients succeed. Outside of Barrel, our sibling agencies include Vaulted Oak and BX Studio.
Thanks for reading!
PS: From time to time, I chat with like-minded teams and communities. Below are some past talks and interviews. Shoot me an email if you're interested in discussing a potential topic.
- Season 2, Episode 3 of Novus Global's "Beyond High Performance" podcast on my professional journey, coaching experience, company culture and its role with clients, and how powerlifting changed my mindset. Listen here.
- SoDA Series LIVE (with Adobe) on creative leadership & the influence of design patterns. Watch here.
- Love Magazine feature on what led me to design and my experience at Barrel. Read here.
- Webflow case study on how Barrel used Webflow to increase the speed of delivery (prior to launching BX Studio). Read here.
- Guest speaker with Tyler Graphic & Interactive Design Graduate MFA students helping them establish their unique roles within the team for a group project. See case study here.
- Clubhouse talk with Seth Schmidt of Novus Global: "The Coaching Series: Self Accountability"
- Fireside chat with Seer Interactive creative team on agency process, rituals, and team structure.
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