Design is both the process and the product of empathy, purpose, function, form, delight — and a great story. With positivity, passion, patience, and wit, I lead teams and collaborate with clients to successfully build experiences that enhance lives.


Speaking & podcasts


Joint Futures, September 3–5, Helsinki, Finland

Design Thinkers, October 2019, Toronto, Canada



2019–01 Workshop during In/Visible Talks, Feedback: The Gift you Keep on Giving (and Receiving), San Francisco, CA

2019–03 Presented at South Dakota Advertising Federation, Sioux Falls, SD

2018–11 Presented at Global Innovation Forum, London, UK

2018–09 Workshop about The People Layer at the Google Sprint Conference, San Francisco, CA

2018–08 Workshop at Otis College of Art + Design, Los Angeles, CA

2018–05 Presented at Bucharest Tech Week, Bucharest, Romania

2018–05 Presented at HOW Design Live, Boston, MA

2018–04 Presented at Designers & Geeks’ “Get Shit Done Club,” San Francisco, CA

2018–01 Profiled on Obsessed with Design Podcast [iTunes]

2017–11 Profiled on Meet the Creatives Podcast [iTunes]

2017–11 Presented at Clarity Conference, San Francisco, CA

2017–10 Presented “14 Lessons x 22 Years” at Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts #Redesignschool, Phoenix, AZ

2017–09 Presented at Hopscotch Design Festival, Raleigh, NC

2016 Episode 1, This Makes Me Happy Podcast


Professional experience

Blend, Design Operations consultant, San Francisco, CA, January–May 2019
In a 60-day engagement, I helped the 18-person design team at a fintech startup ship their first design system and file naming protocol. We upgraded their practices of critique, team profiles, marketing & design storytelling & evangelism, intake form, and company-wide process.

Salesforce, Design Operations consultant, San Francisco, CA, September 2018–present
The Business Technology Innovation team hired me to establish their operations before they scale. Projects include: workflow, new employee onboarding, tools, process, cultural activities, critique, and interview practices.

Sequoia Design Lab, Design Consultant, Menlo Park, CA, June–November 2018
Early stage product, brand, and marketing strategy for portfolio companies, plus industry-level projects such as a designer’s career ladder.

Twitter, Design Operations, San Francisco, CA, August 2016–June 2018
As the first DesignOps person inside Twitter’s Product Team, my role was strategic, cultural, and situational. I bridged the Brand/Marketing and Product teams. Supporting a distributed team of 60–100 designers, some of the programs I created and led were:

  • weekly design critiques, facilitation, socialization, documentation, and ongoing process improvement – including the prototyping of a CritKit for anytime, anywhere crits

  • initiating Product and Data Science critiques, modeled after Product critiques

  • branding and naming the design system, Horizon, including ongoing education to designers about its use, effectiveness, and governance

  • spearheading the Chat education & inspiration event series, and hosting speakers

  • founding a cross-functional OpsTeam, including roadmap sync

  • and more, including design process, design principles, project leaderboard, library of experiments & case studies, standardizing on tools, blog writing & facilitation, guest visits from local UX classes, mentoring program, recruiting events, industry promotion on DesignBetter.co, and studio space configuration

Startnership, Founder & CEO. San Francisco, CA and New York, NY, 2013–present
We solve for…

  • productized design and communications needs at different scales of operation

  • patterns of decision-making in business

  • breakpoints of teams

…thus allowing leaders and founders to focus on the product and service they’re building

Clients include Salesforce, CSTMR, Buildium, SloFoodGroup, Colloquial Insights, Trove, Logobase, StartOut, DreamFund, Tizra, Madge’s Hatbox, We The Future, Endemex.

IBM Bluemix Garage, Senior Designer, San Francisco, CA, November 2015–August 2016 
Led workshops and sprints around the world, using a suite of IBM Design tools, for both startups and Fortune 500 global corporations. Pitched new client business, improved processes and marketing content, customized curriculum to local markets, aligned the tools & communications methods of six locations.

Schwadesign, Founder & CEO. Providence, RI and San Francisco, CA, 1997–2017
Schwadesign was a network of brand strategists, content strategists, designers of all kinds, and developers, all curated in project-specific teams to reflect client needs. Clients included Blue Man Group, the City of Providence RI, DentaQuest, Friends of Dana-Farber, AIDS Action Committee of MA, MassEquality, Harvard University Systems Biology PhD Program, Brown University, Jobs for the Future, Ounce Labs, Perforce, MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, Trinity Pharma.

Community building

AIGA, the professional association for design, 1994–present

StartOut, empowering LGBT entrepreneurs, 2013–present

National Novel Writing Month, Book cover designer, 2012–2013

Betaspring, Mentor, 2008–2010 

ReBrand, Jury Coordinator, 2004–2007 



California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Transition to Professional Practice, Graduate Level, Spring 2019

General Assembly, San Francisco, CA
Visual Design Fellow, 2015–2016
Visual Design Instructor (four cohorts), 2015–2017

CreativeLive, San Francisco, CA
Instructor, Building A Brand Book: When, Why, and How, October 2015

AIGA Facilitation by Design 
Co-facilitator, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA, June 2015
Co-facilitator, Walmart Labs, San Bruno, CA, October 2015

College of Art and Design, Lesley University, Boston, MA

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA




AIGA Design Envy

Hello Mr. Kickstarter & writer for issue 01 and 02 in start-up gay-oriented print quarterly

Hunger Mountain, “My Time with Maurice,” a remembrance of collaborating with Maurice Sendak


Lecturing & jurying

2000–2017 Guest lectures and final portfolio crits at RISD, UCLA Extension, California College of the Arts, Academy of Art SF, University of San Francisco, Lesley College of Art & Design, MassArt, University of Connecticut at Storrs, New England Art Institute, Johnson & Wales, Rutgers University, Roger Williams University  

2010 Presenter, Connecticut Art Director’s Club, ReBrand Case Studies, New Haven, CT

2010 Presenter, UConn Storrs, New Haven, CT

2009 Panelist, RISD/Careers/Build

2009 Juror, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Design Innovation Grant

2009 Presenter, AIGA, Make/Think National Design Conference, Memphis TN (invited) 

2009 Panelist, RI Economic Development Corporation, “Consulting in the Downturn”

2009 Panelist, Brown University Forum for Enterprise talk, “Unique Paths to Success”

2009 Juror, Connecticut Art Director’s Club 34th Annual Awards Show

2008 Juror, AIGA Charlotte’s Boom! Regional Design Show


Press & awards

2019–03 “Design in Tech report 2019,” cited

2018–12 “Embracing open design in 2019,” UX Collective, contributor and reviewer

2017–12 “18 designers predict UI/UX trends for 2018,” Figma blog, contributor

2017–05 “How San Francisco is Redefining Design,” Print Magazine

2014 Featured in “Gays and the Tech Industry,” Forbes

2014 Featured in “The First-Ever Meet-Up of Gay Designtrepreneurs,” ReCode

2013 ReBrand 100 Merit Award – Trinity Pharma rebrand

2010 ReBrand 100 Merit Award – Providence the Creative Capital rebrand

2010 ReBrand 100 Notable Award – Highlander Charter School rebrand

2007 Print Magazine Regional Design Annual – Peter Roux identity

2007 ReBrand 100 Notable Award – Harvard Systems Biology PhD Program rebrand

2007 Featured in “Extreme Makeover,” The Wall Street Journal

2007 Featured in “A Clearinghouse for Design Talent,” Providence Business News

2006 Featured in “Going Up,” The Boston Globe

2006 ReBrand 100 Distinction Award – 360 NeuroMuscular Therapy rebrand

2006 RSA Best Tradeshow Booth Award – Ounce Labs

2005 ReBrand 100 Merit Award – Well Well Well, Inc. rebrand

2005 Profiled in Inspirability: 40 Top Designers Speak Out About What Inspires 

2005 Bookbuilders of Boston Best in Category – Great Chefs Cooking for Great Friends cookbook

2004 Best of Business Card Design 6, Rockport Publishers – Schwadesign identity

2003 What Teams Can Do, Stora Enso – BU Center for International Health brochure

2001 Best of New England [BoNE] Show, AIGA Boston – Thompson Design Group rebrand

1994 Advertising Women of New York [AWNY]


1994, Ithaca College Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies, English minor
2011, Yale School of Management, Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders