Some Real Talent

Along with a little fun.

  • Jason White (Keynote Speaker)

    LEVIATHAN | Chicago, IL

    Jason White is the Executive Creative Director for creative studio Leviathan, which he co-founded in 2010 and quickly built into an industry leader in creating phenomenal visual experiences that maximize all media platforms.

    Among Leviathan’s most high-profile projects to date are Amon Tobin’s “ISAM Live,” – which won the 2012 FITC Best Animation Award, was featured in the 2012 Communication Arts Interactive Annual and shortlisted in the 2012 AICP Next Awards – along with other buzz-worthy feats for musical artists Drake and Skrillex and major brands including Callaway, Dodge, HP, Samsung and The North Face, to name but a few.

    Prior to that he co-founded Chicago’s Lift Motion Design under the auspices of the Filmworkers Club, where he worked with leading agencies and the world’s top brands. A graduate of the Illinois Institute of Art, early in his career Jason achieved wide recognition in fine arts.

  • Scott Klinker

    Cranbrook | Bloomfield Hills, MI

    Scott Klinker is principal of Scott Klinker Product Design and 3D designer-in-residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI, where he has taught the graduate 3D Design program since 2001. His studio practice develops furniture designs for the residential and contract furniture markets. As a designer and educator he has worked with design-driven companies such as Alessi, Herman Miller, Steelcase, Burton Snowboards, Fab.com and IDEO. He is an alumnus of Cranbrook.

    ISDA Magazine

  • Matt Olpinski

    Dumbwaiter | Rochester, NY

    With a heavy focus on UI/UX design for web and mobile combined with a degree in New Media Design from RIT, Matt's 6 years of industry experience has led him to work with everyone from startups to world-class brands such as Coca Cola, Porsche, PayPal, DonQ, and Google. Matt's exceptional leadership and communication skills are a result of his teaching experience at RIT, Art Director position at his current employer, Dumbwaiter, and his successful execution of 30+ freelance projects.

  • Greg Smiley

    The Raymond Corporation | Greene, NY

    Greg Smiley is the Industrial Design Manager for The Raymond Corporation, a warehouse electric lift truck manufacturer in the Toyota Material Handling Group.

    Prior to Raymond, he worked in various freelance, corporate and consultant roles, primarily as a product designer in the consumer electronics industry. Besides over 20 material handling patents, he holds two “Glide Key” patents for text input on mobile phones.

    His interests include photography, music composition and various vehicle projects including aircraft (human powered helicopters), auto and watercraft designs (including a patent for Quick-Fold kayaks).

    Born and raised in New York’s Hudson Valley, he’s an ’87 ID graduate of the University of Bridgeport and completed additional course work in Human Factors at the University of Michigan. He is currently serving as IDSA CNY chapter chair and transportation chair.

  • Brad Ascalon

    Brad Ascalon Studio NYC | New York, NY

    Born outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA), Brad Ascalon was immersed in the world of art and design from an early age. His grandfather was a noted sculptor and industrial designer, and his father is renowned for his large scale art installations throughout North America. Ascalon earned his Masters’ degree in Industrial Design from New York’s Pratt Institute in 2005, and that same year was recognized by Wallpaper* magazine as one of the world’s "Ten Most Wanted” emerging designers.

    Brad Ascalon Studio NYC was founded in 2006. The multidisciplinary design studio specializes in furniture, packaging, consumer products, environment design and development, as well as site-specific sound composition and installation art projects. Working with clients ranging from large-scale manufacturers to smaller start-ups, branding agencies and private clients, Ascalon’s collaborators have included Fasem, Ligne Roset, Design Within Reach, Bernhardt Design, L’Oreal, Shu Uemura, Esquire magazine, Intel and many others.

  • Len Nicholas

    Free Lance | Syracuse, NY

    Len graduated from RIT in 1999 with a BFA in Industrial Design. He went on to work as an industrial designer for Brownlie Design for 9 years, where he had contracts with companies like Nalgene, Honda, and Raymond Corp. Presently he is the sole proprietor of Len Nicholas Design, with a concentration in product design, concept art for film and television. His clients have included Fisher Price, Spin Master, Hasbro, and Mattel.

  • Miguel Cardona

    Imgix | San Francisco, CA

    Miguel was most recently a Visiting Professor at RIT, instructing classes in web and user interface design. In 2005, he co-founded Dumbwaiter Design, LLC where he provided creative direction and interactive design for universities and not-for-profit companies. He graduated from RIT New Media Design in 2004, and holds an MFA in Industrial Design from RIT. He is now the Lead Designer at Imgix in San Francisco.

  • Patty Johnson

    Patty Johnson Design | Toronto, Canada

    Patty Johnson is Canadian designer who is interested in the interchange between research, design, commerce and culture. She collaborates with start-ups, manufacturers, governments, and other designers in creating unique design programs and product collections. Based in Canada and the US, she has expanded her studio to combine the strengths of complimentary groups to build new linkages, new cultures and new ideas.

    She has created platforms for government funded, multi-year design programs in countries in Africa, South America and the Caribbean including Haiti, as well as product lines for established manufacturers worldwide. Recent honours include three ICFF Editors’ Awards, Wallpaper’s Best Issue, and Fast Company’s Design Issue. She has developed products for companies like Keilhauer, Nienkamper, David design, Mabeo, and, is currently working on new furniture product lines for Moroso in Italy.

    With the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Designworks Centre, she received a Skoll Foundation Seed Grant to investigate new business models for alternative means of organizing creation, design and production in the developing world. She is currently on the advisory board of the Interior Design Show in Toronto.

    Patty Johnson was educated at the University of Toronto, Toronto, and, received a Masters degree in Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.

  • Richard Funnell

    KeyShot | Boston, MA

    Richard Funnell is an award winning industrial designer with a passion for visualization & 3D rendering. His work experiences includes designing for the Bosch and Thermador brands, and he is currently responsible for customer training at Luxion, makers of KeyShot. He has trained at design studios globally for companies such as Microsoft, IDEO, Philips, Dell, and Nissan Design America.

  • Jeff Smith

    Reflex Design | Pompano Beach, FL

    Jeff has been a practicing Industrial Designer for almost 22 years. A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Jeff has worked on a wide range of products. This includes home appliances, Fitness equipment, medical, industrial, handheld and game/toy designs. As a passionate Designer, Jeff is a firm supporter of Design education. Jeff regularly hosts workshops for Schools and IDSA events to promote design sketching, design thinking and CAD modeling. In addition to professional work, Jeff was also an adjunct faculty member at the Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale for eight years in the ID department.

  • Greg Brown

    The Foundry | Chicago, IL

    Greg Brown is a Modo Creative Specialist at the Foundry. He has worked in advertising as a 3D artist for 5 years and as a freelance character modeler for 8. Greg has produced work for variety of high profile brands during his time at Alter, including Coors, Mcdonalds, Corona, Bacardi, Conoco, Kenmore, Hersheys, Cascade and many others. He currently lives in Chicago, Il and spends his days serving up fresh, hot Modo goodness...

  • Claudio Guglieri

    Fantasy Interactive | San Francisco, CA

    Claudio Guglieri is a designer and Design Director living in San Francisco and working at the international digital agency Fantasy Interactive. Claudio leads the west coast design department and has been responsible for directing and executing interactive experiences for clients like Google, Kayak, EA, CNN, Nickelodeon, Microsoft, History Channel and Motorola to name a few.

    Alongside his daily job, Claudio's personal projects and interests vary from illustration, typography, videogames and Space. 

    Claudio has spoken at several international conferences including the Adobe User Group in Rotterdam, OFFF in Barcelona, the International Design Symposium at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and his work has been displayed at design conferences and festivals in London, Barcelona, Athens, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Stockholm and New York.

  • Scott Carter

    Fantasy Interactive | San Francisco, CA

    Scott Carter is a UX Lead at Fantasy Interactive where he helps manage the UX team and works closely with clients, producers and designers to craft successful experiences. He translates business requirements into intuitive solutions for the end-user through ideation, strategy, wireframing, usability and interaction models. Scott pulls inspiration and ideas from the world around him as he approaches user experience solutions.

    Scott has had a diverse background straddling design and user experience to deliver cohesive brand experiences across many mediums from desktop to mobile and from consumer to enterprises. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries, helping to connect consumers with brands such as Citi, Papa Johns, United Airlines, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Google, and Marriott among others.

    Feel free to say hi on Twitter @designcarter

  • Erica Nwankwo

    Autodesk | San Francisco, CA

    Erica Nwankwo works as an Education Evangelist for Fusion 360 at Autodesk Inc. As an Evangelist, Erica helps to deliver learning content for Fusion 360 CAD/CAM solution into the curricula of secondary and postsecondary academic markets. She also supports STEAM based collective/co-creative projects and initiatives that use Fusion 360 to visualize ideas and inspire designers/engineers to imagine, design and create innovative solutions.

    Erica recently completed the Master of Fine Arts degree program in Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Morgan State University. In her spare time, she enjoys indoor rock climbing, cooking traditional West African cuisines, and watching classic American and West African movies.

  • Ratchanon Keawmanee

    Autodesk | San Francisco, CA

    Originally from Thailand, Ratchanon Keawmanee, or Arm, began his design journey here in New York at RIT. Inspired by his love of design and creativity, he decided to cross a field from Management Technology to Industrial Design for his Master's. His enthusiasm for learning and his love of technology has mixed together and given him a unique perspective on design. His design style is "Easy but Smart.”

  • Jesse Harrington

    Autodesk | San Francisco, CA

    Maker with a goal to design, I educate and fabricate in a beautiful and efficient manner. I am passionate about problem solving with an expertise in design, personal fabrication, crowd funding and CAD.

    I also love to consult on building out community workshops or maker spaces and have experience creating several from business plans to machine purchasing and installation. I am always seeking to expand upon and diversify existing experience and knowledge in the Design and Maker Education, Museum Exhibit and Product Design fields.

  • Chris Hall

    Autodesk | San Francisco, CA

    Chris has worked for Autodesk since 2006. He has held various positions in the company from Technical Marketing, Education Solutions Specialist to Education Program Manager. Prior to Autodesk he worked in the consulting organization at Alias delivering services across multiple disciplines at customers such as Nike, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

  • Devin Roberts

    Fisher-Price | East Aurora, NY

    Devin is currently a Designer at Fisher-Price. After graduating with a BFA in Industrial Design from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2001, he spent the first 11 years of his career at Fisher-Price designing amazing preschool boys toys, like Rescue Heroes and Shake ‘N Go. Since then, he has received his MBA from The State University of New York at Buffalo, and is now designing incredible baby gear product for children, newborn to 18 months.

  • Becca Freund

    Fisher-Price | East Aurora, NY

    Becca is a new designer at Fisher-Price. She graduated with a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in May 2014. During her schooling, she interned at Anthropologie, Xerox and Fisher-Price. Becca was offered a job at Fisher-Price before graduation. She is now working on the Learning Team, designing great toys for children ages 3 to 5.

  • Joe Mallek

    LookThink | Washington, DC

    Joe Mallek is president and owner of LookThink, a boutique User Experience design and development firm in Washington DC. Joe’s passion for problem solving and client engagement has fueled a career that includes work in an array of industries including Consumer Products, Publishing, Pharmaceuticals, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Education, the Federal Government, Museums, Software, and Technology. Joe has a BFA in Visual Communications, Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute, College of Art.

  • Betsy Barnhart

    STX | Baltimore, MD

    Betsy Barnhart is the Design Supervisor at STX, a global sports equipment manufacturer in Baltimore, MD. Prior to STX she worked in immersive design at Sardi Design and as an industrial designer at Newell Rubbermaid.

  • Kyle Simpson

    Open Web Evangelist | Austin, TX

    Kyle Simpson is an Open Web Evangelist from Austin, TX. He's passionate about JavaScript, HTML5, real-time/peer-to-peer communications, and web performance. Otherwise, he's probably bored by it. Kyle is an author, workshop trainer, tech speaker, and avid OSS community member. Kyle is the author of the "You Don't Know JS" book series (available free online), and a teacher at Front End Masters.

  • Andy Williams

    B-REEL | New York, NY

    Andy joined B-Reel as Managing Director early in the year after wrapping as Director of Digital Strategy at Barton F. Graf 9000 working across all agency accounts. At 72andSunny he lead the strategic direction for all things digital on such brands as Activision, Target, Google, Samsung, Anheuser Busch, Carl's Jr and Sonos. Before that he headed strategy at Resn where he helped create ground-breaking work for Google, Toyota, Puma, Dominos and MySpace that has been recognized by The Webbys, One Show, SXSW, The FWA and AIMIA.

  • Emily Fife

    B-REEL | New York, NY

    Emily leads her team with a strong technical understanding and a passion for the creative. She started her career at Warner Bros. Records creating digital campaigns at the dawn of iTunes for the likes of Madonna, The Prodigy and Alanis Morrissette. In her 4th year here at B-Reel NY, she’s worked with State Farm, National Geographic, Coca-cola, Google, FedEx and Skype. If it can be better, Emily will find a way. Her work has been recognized at Cannes, The Webby’s, the One Show, SXSW and the FWA.

    She has a cat named Stuart who sleeps on her head.

  • Mike Potter

    B-REEL | New York, NY

    Mike Potter is an art director with a background in film and video. He has taken on just about every role you can on a film set, but most often found himself directing and editing. At the heart of it all, he enjoys telling stories.

    While he doesn’t like to limit himself to one thing, he finds that documentaries are the most fulfilling work for him and has provided some of the proudest (and most ridiculous) moments in his professional life. Such as touring South America with the biggest rockers and rollers of the 70’s & 80’s, premiering a film to a sold out crowd at South by Southwest, and chasing polar bears in the arctic.

    When he isn’t working, he’s most likely at a concert or traveling - or eating a sandwich.

  • Tim Wood

    EffectiveUI | Rochester, NY

    Tim Wood is Vice President of Design and User Experience at EffectiveUI, an award-winning agency focused on creating robust user experiences and user interface solutions for the Fortune 100 and ambitious innovators. He has personally designed solutions for Microsoft, National Geographic, Honeywell, Abbott Laboratories and Boston Scientific, among others.

    Tim holds an MFA in Computer Graphics Design, an Advanced Certificate in Interactive Media Development from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a BFA in Design Arts from Memphis College of Art. He is also an internationally recognized speaker and author on the topic of user experience and user interface design.