A look inside.
- Brian BurkeCEO
Years of experience | 23
9:00 – 5:00 | As CEO, Brian is responsible for managing the daily operations of the agency, leading the overall direction for Smashing’s market strategy and helping the agency fulfill its vision to be “digital pioneers who make things that matter.” A believer in a collaborative culture where talent is nurtured and aligned with the agency’s values, he guides Smashing to build strategic design and technology-driven products and services, helping our Global Fortune 500 clients thrive in competitive markets and engage at a deeper level with their customers.
Expertise | Brian’s specialty in growth strategies and emerging trends in technology and design has helped keep product companies ahead of the shifting digital landscape, resulting in a partner/client list that includes prominent Fortune 100 companies. He has spoken at numerous conferences, from CES to SXSW and GDC, on topics ranging from the future of mobile gaming to the impact that technology has on our collective experiences as consumers.
Past life | Prior to Brian’s professional life at Smashing, he helped build digital companies such as Atom Entertainment (AtomFilms/Shockwave) as Vice President of Syndication and at Zango, as Senior Director of Business Development.
The smarts | Master of European Studies from K.U. Leuven, Belgium and BA of Communication Studies from Seattle University
Hidden talent | Punk rock singer, guitarist, and drummer
- Victor AllenChief Technical Officer
Years of experience | 22
9:00 – 5:00 | As CTO, Victor leads the development and emergent technology team to drive innovation for our partner clients. He guides the process of delivering products that realize a proposition’s potential – from product definition and validation to release. He is a strong proponent of lean, integrated product development where our clients and Smashing’s strategy, UX, and innovation teams work together closely. Victor believes the best results come from focused experimentation, bold decisions, and solid engineering.
Expertise | Victor is a technical and creative leader with more than two decades of experience bringing technology and design together, forming a sum greater than the parts. He specializes in guiding teams through the process of lean development, from vision to experiment to reality. His approach is inclusive, equally adept at building internal teams and integrating our partner’s innovation experts. Victor puts into practice the belief that innovation springs from transparent and diverse teams working openly and collaboratively together.
Past life | Before leading the technical charge at SI, Victor was the Director of Development for The Buddy Group and Senior Flash Developer at Juxt Interactive
The smarts | BA of English/Critical Theory from the University of California, Irvine
Hidden talent | Cat whisperer.
- Chad OtisExecutive Creative Director
Years of experience | 25
9:00 – 5:00 | As Executive Creative Director, Chad inspires and leads the Creative Team to design the most visually appealing and user-centered experiences possible. For nearly 10 years at SI, Chad has helped create a collaborative environment where personal and professional growth go hand-in-hand, resulting in the creation of innovative and disruptive solutions for our clients.
Expertise | Chad’s an idea guy – generating blue sky thinking that produces creative results, while solving both consumer and business needs. From best practices for user experience and internal production methodologies, to interaction and visual design tenets for desktop experiences and mobile interfaces, he guides the agency towards creative solutions that produce measurable results. A sampling of clients include Discovery Communications, Microsoft, Nickelodeon, Penguin Random House, Disney, and the Cartoon Network.
Past life | Life before SI saw Chad as Art Director for Cricket Moon Media and Art Director/Lead Designer for the Edmark Corporation
The smarts | BFA in Visual Communication Design from the University of Washington
Hidden talent | Extreme word un-jumbler – once the #1 ranking global word un-jumbler for the top word game app in the world.
- Lisa DawsonExecutive Director, Program Management
Years of experience | 23
9:00 – 5:00 | As Executive Director, Program Management, Lisa oversees the day-to-day operations of the teams who work closely with our Smashing clients, focusing on maximizing team performance, meeting program objectives, and ensuring the successful delivery of large-scale, complex digital products.
Expertise | Lisa excels at guiding successful project teams through program lifecycles, with an emphasis on the adoption of Agile methods to manage scope and budget, foster cross-team communication, and quickly respond to change. She is passionate about the growth and advancement of her team and is a seasoned veteran of effective personnel management, career mentoring, and client collaboration. Her work spans the healthcare, retail, travel, technology, and cyber-security industries, and a sampling of clients include Philips, Swedish Medical Center, Microsoft, and AT&T.
Past life | Before leading the production charge, Lisa was the Director of Product Management at Internet Identity, Director of Project Services at Allyis, and Manager of Corporate Systems at REI.
The smarts | Bachelor of Arts in Leadership & Organizational Studies from Antioch University
Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
Hidden talent | Award-winning Morse code translator
- Patrick CousansExecutive Director, Client Engagement
Years of experience | 22
9:00 – 5:00 | As Executive Director, Client Engagement, Patrick manages the partnership between Smashing and our partner clients. From defining product success metrics to helping establish cross-team client/agency collaboration, he works to refine business objectives and helps translate them into actionable project plans. In partnership with the Program Management Team, Patrick guides clients and project teams as they scope, plan, budget, track, and launch a wide range of large-scale digital endeavors.
Expertise | Patrick has a track record of converting ideas into achievable product deliverables by working with teams on strategic business planning, partnering with Smashing’s Strategy Team to understand core user and business needs, and how it dictates the overall digital direction. In addition, he works with clients to navigate complex regulatory requirements, when they arise. Clients include Philips, Johnson Controls, Penguin Random House, and Nickelodeon.
Past life | Pre-Smashing, Patrick was Producer at Screenlife, Senior Producer at Digeo, and Executive Producer at Reel.com
The smarts | BA of Communications from the University of Southern California
Hidden talent | Resident Smashing travel planner
- Drew EricksonDirector of Finance
Years of experience | 22
9:00 – 5:00 | As Director of Finance, Drew leads the finance and administrative teams that support the monetary health of the agency. From measuring and evaluating performance to identifying opportunities that optimize business growth, Drew helps guide SI’s economic strategy and forecasting.
Expertise | Drew has a long-standing history in financial leadership for technical and creative businesses, centered around deep analysis and planning. His 20+ years of experience include financial management with venture-backed start-ups and corporate mergers and acquisitions.
Past life | Prior to Smashing, Drew was the VP of Finance and Operations for the Washington Technology Industry Association, a non-profit serving the Washington tech community. In addition, he worked with several startup software and hardware companies, as well as in investment banking.
The smarts | BA of Business and Economics from Washington State University
Hidden talent | Finding the deeply hidden logic error in a spreadsheet.
- Brian MarrChief Strategy Officer
Years of experience | 21
9:00 – 5:00 | As CSO, Brian partners with client and internal teams to drive product, service, and experience vision. As the head of the Smashing strategy practice, he is focused on identifying insights and opportunities that lead to innovative, differentiated solutions, and for helping teams set an ambitious, but achievable, vision and roadmap. He is a strong believer in taking a lean approach to strategy and for the use of Motivational UX™ to create an engaged, loyal audience.
Expertise | Brian is a strategist, business leader, marketer, and educator highly adept at discovering and applying the triggers that motivate customer behavior towards a desired business outcome. His experience in software product management, digital media, and advertising has resulted in the opportunity to work in an executive consulting role with clients including Philips, Microsoft, Johnson Controls, Wilson, and Seattle Sounders FC.
Past life | Life before Smashing included roles as Managing Director/Director of Digital at the Wexley School for Girls advertising agency, Group Manager of Emerging Media at Microsoft, and Senior Product Manager for Windows x64 at Microsoft. He also worked at a few Silicon Valley startups you’ve probably (and unfortunately) never heard of.
The smarts | BA of Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz
On the other side of the podium, Brian teaches two graduate courses in the Master of Communication Leadership program at the University of Washington.
Hidden talent | Riding bicycles fast in the woods
- Lisa ForsythSenior Director, Strategic Accounts
Years of experience | 20
9:00 – 5:00 | As Senior Director, Strategic Accounts, Lisa is responsible for the successful management of one of the agency’s largest clients. She leads and manages a highly skilled team of front-end and back-end developers, QA engineers, designers, and producers that support more than 70 sites in 20 different languages across the globe for Sony Pictures Television, Digital Media Networks.
Expertise | From design, development, project management, strategic planning, and team management, Lisa’s expertise covers nearly every facet of a digital engagement, from an initial concept’s action plan to post deployment maintenance. She manages multiple projects and their corresponding deadlines and objectives with hyper-focus, ensuring continued project success that is aligned with her clients’ long-term business goals.
Past life | Before Smashing, Lisa was the Director of Shared Application Engineering at msnbc.com, the Director of Tactical Development at msnbc.com, Program Manager at drugstore.com, and Software Engineer at Ignition Mortgage Technology Solutions.
The smarts | MA of English and Film Theory from the University of Florida and BA of English and Visual Culture from the University of California, Riverside
Hidden talent | Elephant juggler by day, published eBook content author by night
- Bill WrightTechnical Director
- Paola Reyes-SanchezAssociate Principal Designer
- Adam MichelCreative Director
- Lisa SmithProgram Manager
- Chris HannonCreative Director
- Nick PollockSenior UX Designer
- Jessica BarnesCreative Director
- Sam JacobsenProduction Manager
- Clemente MillerSenior UX Designer
- Antonio HolguinAssociate Principal Designer