I’m the Vice President of Technology at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
My day job is an endeavor that makes me a print designer, a web designer, a photographer, IT professional and accountant. Its also kind of fun. In addition to my day job, I also own my own marketing and web design company, facilitating the marketing and social media needs of individuals and small businesses. It’s been a weird and interesting road to get here.
When i was about five years old my family made the move back home to Texas after a few years in the great white north of Michigan. As we wound our way south (waiting for the house and job in Texas to become ready), we stopped at family and friends where i got my first taste of designing with a computer – a cutting edge Mac classic, with a basic pain application, and the old kludgy one button mouse, with all the ergonomic forethought of a small cardboard box.
It was awesome. I spent the next week drawing a variety of spaceships and, shockingly, more spaceships.
Fast forward fifteen years, and i find myself in college, working on an undergrad degree in architecture, but spending most of my time learning about the nascent field of web design and development, even working on a few small free-lance projects while building my photography skills.
Post college, I took on more freelance work and eventually found an in-house design position at the Texas Council on Family Violence, where I learned in a trial-by-fire process about actual print production, building relationships with local vendors and managing large-scale projects. In addition to my duties as designer, I also was the main website administrator, for the agencies two sites. We immediately tackled redesigns of both sites to support a content management system, and began rolling out more support infrastructure in concert with a massive IT fundraising campaign and internal systems overhaul.
In late 2006, after being promoted to a manager level, i oversaw the creation and launch of the national teen dating abuse helpline, a first of it’s kind project that featured a phone line, website, blog and most importantly a peer advocate live chat. Since the launch in February of 2007 the project has helped more that half a million teens learn about safe and healthy dating relationships. The site also won a 2008 Webby award for non profit web design.
In 2007 my wife and I launched my own enterprise with Spoke Creative Group. we specialize in web and print design, social media management, marketing,creative consulting and more. Our first clients covered a group of self published authors who needed sites, a hosted e-commerce solution that could integrate into a warehousing system, and continued support on maintaining their sites. we have since focused on small professional clients, like architects, lawyers, etc.
In 2008 I was promoted to director of design and interactive communications at the National council on Family Violence, where i oversee a combined communications and fundraising team. We now manage, three distinct brands, five websites, a multitude off social media presences and over see over 40 major print projects. Currently we’re exploring ways to expand our outreach and services via non-traditional channels like facebook, twitter and SMS.
In the Spring of 2013, I broke a long-standing oath never to return to the halls of higher education and started a masters program at the School of Information at the University of Texas. My expected graduation date is Spring of 2015.