E M P L O Y E R H I S T O R Y
LATCHA & ASSOCIATES
2001 – Present
J. WALTER THOMPSON
BUSINESS NEWS PUBLISHING
CTS ASSOCIATES, INC.
C A R E E R H I G H L I G H T S
Director of Strategic Design / Creative Director
As Creative Director at L+A, I lead a team of art directors and copywriters and work closely with photographers, CG artists and retouchers. At the onset of a creative request, I am involved in every aspect of collaboration from the idea phase to the final execution, continually involving both the account and product teams. During each project, I supervise and guide the art directors and copywriters to deliver solutions that cleverly communicate information that will resonate with the customer. I shepherd all creative design and messaging to maintain consistencies throughout. I am the creative lead responsible for presenting all conceptual ideas to clients and continue leadership with their input.
At present, my responsibilities focus on the Ford and Lincoln brands, creating memorable, human experiences during the vehicle decision phase. I believe customer experience starts before people are even customers. With a wide selection of vehicles to choose from, the shopping process can be overwhelming. The goal of every communication touch point is to deliver positive experiences that clearly communicate a vehicles content and how the brand fits into the consumer’s life.
My self-motivation is driven by the desire to ideate and create design solutions. Brainstorming and collaborating with team members enhances the excitement of the creative process. The best solutions derive from communicating relevant content to the customers.
In my journey at L+A, I developed conceptual pitches that have helped win new accounts: Lincoln/Mercury, Audi Parts and Service, and Vera Bradley.
- For the 2020 launch of the All-New Ford Escape, I filmed and edited two lifestyle videos that correlated to the imagery in the brochure. Based on the concept “life is hard enough, escaping shouldn’t be,” the first video featured a couple heading to their cabin for a weekend. The second featured a working woman escaping the work day to attend a yoga class with her friends. While on location, I also experimented with a 360 virtual reality featuring the yoga classmates demonstrating product features on four different Escape models.
- In 2015, completed a campaign pitch for Vera Bradley, which scored the highest through focus group testing. The new campaign captured moments in life that felt emotional and true. The photo design purposefully created a story featuring natural talent doing familiar and fun activities while carrying their favorite bag. Consumers responded: “…Vera can be part of whatever my lifestyle is.” “…it’s about owning who you are today…” “These ads…spoke to my soul.” The campaign extended into national magazines, OLAs, CRM, in-store displays, and more. With retail, came quick thinking and fast reacting.
- One of my major accomplishments, was in 2013 when Lincoln launched the new MKZ; it was at the same time the company changed its name back to The Lincoln Motor Company. Understanding customers might struggle to connect with the brand and its 90+ year heritage, I conceptualized a smartphone app to accompany the printed brochure. Hovering a smartphone over the brochure, the app showed the updated 2013 MKZ image included in the brochure while allowing the customer to swipe left and right to see it change to a comparable historic image of a vintage Lincoln ad. This experience enabled the customer to look at Lincoln in a new engaging way and increased the favorable impression of Lincoln, as well as the new redesigned MKZ. Brand perception, shopping intent and other key behavior measures improved significantly after viewing the brochure and app. In addition, the creative execution won several awards, including a Davey. Test results: 60% increase in “favorable impression of Lincoln” after using the app; 67% increase in “interest in MKZ” after using the app; 85% users said the app was “engaging.”
- In 2013, contributed to the launched of a Lincoln Brand app for smartphones. Produced comprehensive product information, lifestyle content, and demonstration videos to create an interactive experience. Having product information in the palm of the consumer’s hand was a completely new touchpoint for Lincoln.
- Since winning the Lincoln and Mercury business in 2003, I have been the sole designer from start to finish for all brochures conceptualizing, designing and directing creative photography. At present I continue to be dedicated to the Lincoln brand, completing an average of seven brochures annually, managing and mentoring eight creative team member working on the Ford business.
- Joining L+A in the start-up years, I have contributed to the evolution of a paperless workflow for creative edits, job requests and approvals.
Senior Art Director
J. Walter Thompson
- Created and produced websites and banner advertising for ’98 Ford vehicle lineup, Ford Credit and Goodyear. Programmed and presented a working model of the website designs to all clients.
- Branded the 1999 model year Ford brochures and Race for the Cure event communications.
- Created and produced nine recruitment brochures for Ford. Produced seven 15-minute recruitment videos for Ford. Managed every task from story boarding and talent selection to animation creation and editing.
- Directed recruitment marketing pieces for GM OnStar, Mercy Health Services, St. John Hospital, Kmart, Henry Ford Health Systems, and Kelly Services.
Senior Art Director
Business News Publishing
- Received Most Outstanding Employee award upon finishing my first year of employment.
- Rebranded and produced monthly trade magazine.
- Established new start-up bimonthly magazine.
- Created logos / icons and a variety of promotional pieces for five other magazines driving advertisement placement in upcoming magazine issues.
Certified Group Fitness Instructor
Studio 8 Fitness
In 2019, I took my personal passion for health and fitness to the next level. Throughout the year, I attended certification courses learning how to help others live healthy and happier lives, both physically and mentally. Teaching fitness gives me the opportunity to learn my client’s challenges and desired outcomes. Each week I engage with my clients in order to provide a positive experience catered to their specific needs.
I am certified in Group Fitness, BOSU, Barre and Active-Aging Nutrition.