• Katie Schtevie

    Katie Schtevie

    Research

    As a researcher, Katie explores the connections between individual and shared experience—between the quirky particulars of one and the intersection of many. With a background in anthropology and design, she is passionate about communicating research in ways that excite and inspire both team and client. Prior to gravitytank, Katie worked as an account manager for the design firm, VSA Partners, and as a consultant for nonprofit arts organizations. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Cornell University and an MDes from IIT's Institute of Design.

  • Stephanie Szabó

    Stephanie Szabó

    Interaction Design

    Stephanie creates strategic and holistic brand experiences—bridging the gap between business and user needs. As a Lead Interaction Designer, Stephanie helps clients identify unmet opportunities, define relevant content, and develop engaging touch points across channels. She holds a BBA in Business Entrepreneurship from Boston University (BU), attended the Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK) for Visual Communication, and holds a BFA in Graphic Design from California College of the Arts (CCA).

  • Kate Krc

    Kate Krc

    Strategy

    With a background in performance improvement and operations, Kate has extensive experience in observing behaviors to identify unmet needs, facilitating creative problem-solving and bringing innovative solutions to end-users. She is experienced in leading strategic planning efforts to drive innovative solutions forward in a dynamic healthcare landscape. Kate holds a B.S. in Industrial Management with a minor in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.

  • Patrick Buggy

    Patrick Buggy

    Strategy

    Patrick is passionate about using human-centered design to build stronger businesses. As a strategist at gravitytank, he draws on past experience in marketing and digital media across a range of industries including CPG, advertising, and non-profit. Patrick hails from the Land of 10,000 Lakes and holds a BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied marketing, international business, and communication design.

  • Jonathan Ota

    Jonathan Ota

    Interaction Design

    Jonathan is a hybrid designer and entrepreneur. Right after graduating from Carnegie Mellon with a BFA in industrial design, he jumped straight into a startup he co-founded called Project Aura, a bicycle safety lighting startup that has been recognized through awards from Core77 and Behance as well as featured in publications around the world. True to his bootstrap entrepreneurial nature, Jonathan’s interests and skills span from exploring tangible interactive systems with Arduino and Processing, researching and defining future strategies to directing and editing videos.

  • Aaron Burghard

    Aaron Burghard

    Communications Design

    As part of gravitytank’s communication design team, Aaron works on the interpretation, organization, and visual presentation of complex strategies by turning them into compelling stories and brands. With over 9 years of previous experience in brand consulting at Landor Associates, he has a strong understanding of brand with an added emphasis on packaging, identity, and creative strategy. Aaron received a BA in Arts from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.

  • Amy Schwartz

    Amy Schwartz

    Interaction Design

    As an interaction designer, Amy uses her design and illustration skills to visualize engaging and enriching digital experiences across various platforms and media. Prior to joining gravitytank, Amy worked at strategic interactive agency, Bright Bright Great and Leo Burnett. Amy holds an MFA in graphic design from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BA in Art & Design from DePaul University.

  • Margaret McGill

    Margaret McGill

    Research

    As a research associate, Margaret strives to advocate for consumers and tell their stories in a compelling way. She works with cross-discipline teams to solve problems through a design lens. Her primary interest is in how digital technology is affecting our everyday lives. Prior to joining gravitytank, she worked as a design strategist at Webb deVlam, building and reimagining brands within the consumer-packaging world. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor in Industrial and Interaction Design.

  • Elaine Lopez

    Elaine Lopez

    Communications Design

    Elaine applies her background in advertising and shopper marketing to help clients tell compelling stories through design. Prior to gravitytank, Elaine worked as a Senior Art Director at Ogilvy Action and Arc Worldwide helping brands such as Tide, Olay, Cottonelle, and Kleenex create engaging point of purchase campaigns. She currently teaches Design Fundamentals at the Chicago Portfolio School and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Florida.

  • Thomas Sublewski

    Thomas Sublewski

    Operations

    Thomas Sublewski is responsible for human logistics and accounting support at Gravitytank. He recently came from a large financial services company where he was a member of their institutional wealth management arm. He specialized in client servicing, and solution discovery. Having a strong affinity for numbers, Thomas thoroughly enjoys working with this medium. However, he also has had past experiences marketing and selling adult beverages as well as running and coaching sailing programs. He still tries to stay involved with the sailing community as much as his schedule allows. Thomas has a BBA from Lake Forest College, and an AS from Landmark College.

  • Charlie Smith

    Charlie Smith

    Interaction Design

    Charlie joined gravitytank as a member of the interaction design team in 2014 specializing in motion design and video post-production after spending time with design firms Firebelly, Thirst and Closerlook. He brings a unique perspective to storytelling through video and brand experience, having worked with a variety of clients like Honda, the Atlanta Braves, Allstate and Takeda. Charlie received his BFA in Digital Video from Savannah College of Art and Design and enjoys interaction design puzzles whether designing a full-blown responsive web app or hacking the interface of his home theater.

  • Lauren Argo

    Lauren Argo

    Industrial Design

    Lauren joins the gravitytank team as an industrial designer with a background in product development and experience design. Her work is fueled by the deep contextual understanding of people and their needs which she gains through hands-on design research. Additionally, her comfort with a range of materials and processes allows her to bring meaningful solutions to life in new and engaging ways. Lauren comes to gravitytank with experience bringing products to life for clients in housewares, consumer packaged goods, electronics and health and beauty. She holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati.

  • Adia Benson

    Adia Benson

    Culinary Design

    After receiving her degree in Culinary Arts from Auguste Escoffier in Avignon, France, Adia spent the next several years working with food and branding for Daniel Boulud's The Dinex Group and Thomas Keller’s Restaurant Group. In 2011 she joined Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia where she worked with the editorial team focusing on storyline development for food related content as well as supporting Marketing and Sales. With a bachelors degree in Organizational Behavior and Communication from New York University, Adia combines her passion for culinary art and food products with her understanding of human behavior and brand development.

  • Jensen Warner

    Jensen Warner

    Communications Design

    Hailing from the great state of Texas, Jensen joins gravitytank with a BSD in Graphic Design from Arizona State University. During her time in the southwest, she became fascinated with beautiful type, geometrical forms, and research/process documentation. These skills, combined with her interest in the human experience, have inspired her to improve the lives of others through visual communication.

  • Treanndis Hurst

    Treanndis Hurst

    Research

    Trey is a Researcher and Visual/Environmental Designer. He thrives where careful research, surprising revelations, bold strategies, social responsibility, cultural immersion and inspired design meet. Trey's professional background is in Architecture and Interior Design, which he previously practiced with Gensler and Associates in San Francisco. Trey has a Bachelor in Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an MFA in Design from the California College of the Arts.

  • Peter Grimmer

    Peter Grimmer

    Operations

    Peter’s career began in the earliest days of internet media broadcasting as a webcast engineer at RollingStone.Com. He was responsible for the technology side of webcasting events large and small, from Mega concerts to local bands - which was a particularly exciting first job! Over time his work evolved into IT operations, which included everything from data center management and daily website content pushes to helpdesk management. Peter went on to co-found a Managed IT services firm to provide IT consulting to area businesses. Peter studied Physics and Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has sixteen years of experience in network engineering and infrastructure delivery.

  • Susie Kang

    Susie Kang

    Strategy

    Susie is a strategist at gravitytank, where she combines her curiosity for understanding people and analytical skills to help clients define consumer needs and formulate viable business solutions. With a background in the service industry, Susie draws from her experiences in both interacting with customers in the front-end and performing management function in the back-end of businesses. Susie holds a BS in Hospitality Management from Cornell University.

  • Ben Hastings

    Ben Hastings

    Industrial Design

    Hailing from Massachusetts, Ben comes to gravitytank with a BFA in Industrial Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Ben's passion for custom knife and jewelry making combined with his love of problem solving led him to the field of Industrial Design. As a Jr. Associate on the ID team, Ben helps bring ideas to life by guiding teams toward solutions through highly tangible means. When he is not sketching, building a new contraption or pondering life’s many questions he is most likely to be found on the saddle of a two wheeled vehicle, motorized or otherwise.

  • Sarah Read

    Sarah Read

    Research

    Sarah joined gravitytank as a Research Junior Associate in 2013. As a researcher, she works with clients and project teams to understand users’ behaviors, attitudes and motivations. Drawing from a background in behavioral science and design, she aims to plan research and identify insights in order to inspire meaningful design. Sarah holds a Bachelors of Humanities and Arts in Decision Science and Design from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Theresa Stewart

    Theresa Stewart

    Interaction Design

    Theresa’s enthusiasm for interaction design is deeply rooted in her love of problem solving. She has helped companies craft meaningful solutions in a range of industries including consumer electronics, retail, and healthcare. A personal interest of hers is to make information transparent and understandable through engaging experiences. Theresa received her B.S in Design from the University of Cincinnati.

  • Noel Bryan

    Noel Bryan

    Operations

    Noel joined gravitytank in 2013 after 20 years in Architecture where he managed multi-million construction cost projects including laboratory, healthcare, retail, hospitality, airport and governmental buildings. During his tenure in architecture, he served as an Office Director, Director of Operations, Project Director and Project Manager and was committed to ensuring quality design within the constraints of available funding resources. Noel is a licensed Architect and holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a MBA from the University of Utah. Noel currently leads gravitytank’s financial and legal team.

  • John Dominski

    John Dominski

    Research

    As a curious scholar of the world and social situations, John has an incredible respect for micro-interactional patterns that reveal greater truths about relations with others and objects. These are often considered mundane realities by users, yet herein lie some of the strongest insights for design. Spending time as an academic at the Illinois Institute of Technology and University of Notre Dame, John garnered a passion for the field of sociology and now applies his learnings in a consulting context. John is an avid practitioner of fitness which has exploded similarly with the growth of CrossFit. John is also a co-author on an upcoming book about gorillas where his portraits of the individuals from the Lincoln Park Zoo and beyond are truly captivating.

  • Seth Cothron

    Seth Cothron

    Operations

    Seth manages gravitytank's Chicago facilities. With a wide range of experience and talents, he is a "jack of all trades." Seth's unique background and skill set allows him to be a great problem solver and helps to ensure the smooth daily operation of our Chicago space. In his spare time, he enjoys doing custom woodwork and art creation and is an avid hockey player. Seth holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

  • Arthur Valentin

    Arthur Valentin

    Operations

    Arthur brings his positive outlook and can-do attitude as a Jr Associate on the Operations Team. He works daily to ensure a seamless space experience for clients and employees alike. He is responsible for stocking the host areas, overseeing general space upkeep, accepting deliveries, and taking inventory/cataloging of Gravitytank's ever expanding list of resources and supplies. Arthur has a strong background in customer service and operations as a former retail branch officer at Tiffany & Co. He is also a qualified Class C Maintenance Tech with basic knowledge and application of mechanical troubleshooting, carpentry, and electrical. In his spare time, Arthur enjoys playing video games, watching movies, and DIY projects.

  • Eleanor Sandford

    Eleanor Sandford

    Product Design

    With a BS in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati, Eleanor has helped companies like Burton Snowboards, Wrigley and Hasbro develop meaningful product solutions. Eleanor believes that innovation grows out of knowing your user and the challenges they face. Her close interaction with consumers combined with a high level of tangibility when developing ideas helps lead her project teams through compelling stories out of which solutions can be born. Since joining gravitytank in 2013, Eleanor has helped forge new approaches to problem solving as well as delivering high quality results to clients.

  • Lauren Braun

    Lauren Braun

    Strategy

    Lauren leverages her background in writing and her desire to understand the drivers of business success to help clients define and articulate new ideas. Prior to gravitytank, Lauren worked at an international NGO and as a public affairs consultant, helping organizations in a range of fields — from nuclear power to poetry publication — craft and execute strategic communication initiatives. Lauren holds a Masters of Design from the IIT Institute of Design as well as a BA (Art History) and BBA from the University of Michigan.

  • Sabella Flagg

    Sabella Flagg

    Interaction Design

    Sabella's interaction work is influenced by a background in print and web design, along with front-end development. She believes design is a great tool to identify and solve problems in useful, creative and engaging ways. She has a BFA in Graphic Design from Drake University with minors in Creative Writing and Lithographic Printmaking. She's an avid fan of comics and anything in the horror genre and is constantly thinking of destinations for future travel adventures.

  • Leah Marcus

    Leah Marcus

    Strategy

    Leah integrates business acumen with a passion for understanding human behavior to develop strategic business solutions for clients. Prior to joining gravitytank as a strategist, Leah specialized in logistics and design usability projects in the missile defense industry. Leah holds a BSBA in finance and economics from Washington University in St. Louis, an MBA in marketing from the Kellogg School of Management, and an MEM in design from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

  • Tiffany Huang

    Tiffany Huang

    Operations

    Tiffany specializes in the development of new projects and explores avenues of business growth. With a professional background in management consulting, she seeks to integrate her business acumen with passions of storytelling and cross-cultural collaboration to structure projects. In her spare time, she volunteers with social startups in the metro Chicago area. After growing up across Taiwan and the US, Tiffany earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

  • Jordan Fischer

    Jordan Fischer

    Strategy

    Jordan Fischer is a strategist driven by understanding the people side of business strategy, innovation, and organizational challenges. He leads innovation efforts from problem framing through to concept creation and implementation. Jordan comes to gravitytank from Jump Associates, where he developed growth strategies for clients in financial services, CPG, retail, and healthcare. Jordan has lectured about design research and strategy at conferences, corporations, and design programs. He holds a BS in Documentary Photography from the University of Florida and a Masters of Design from IIT’s Institute of Design.

  • PJ Macklin

    PJ Macklin

    Interaction Design

    PJ Macklin is a UI/UX designer and illustrator who has experience building digital products and services as well as agency work. He co-founded Soundslice, a website that helps people tab and learn music. Before that, he designed interfaces for EveryBlock, a website that helped people interact with and learn about their neighborhood. PJ holds a BS in art and design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When not designing, he's probably playing upright bass or trying to find a better cup of coffee.

  • Katie DeCecca

    Katie DeCecca

    Research

    As a Research Junior Associate, Katie assists teams by planning and conducting primary research, as well as discovering research themes that inform design solutions. She graduated from Syracuse University's Industrial and Interaction Design program in 2013. She very much enjoys the explorative nature of the design process, especially when it comes to creating immersive research methods.

  • David Hull

    David Hull

    Product Design

    David is a product designer with a diverse background. He has developed house wares, soft goods, electronics, branding and user experiences. His passion for making ideas tangible is backed by well honed skills in drawing, building prototypes and 3D computer modeling while his expertise in manufacturing processes assures that concepts are realistic and attainable. David is also an independent artist and part time instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his MFA in Designed Objects after receiving a BS degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University.

  • Megan Hensley

    Megan Hensley

    Operations

    As reception with the Operations team, Megan ensures that clients and guests are greeted promptly and hosted with care. She is in charge of non-disclosure agreements, delivering guests to their proper contacts, and managing gravitytank’s second floor event space. Five years working as a police dispatcher gave her an extensive background in triaging public needs, rendering lawful documents, and extending a sense of calm to many people involved in stressful situations.

  • Brittnee Dowdy

    Brittnee Dowdy

    Operations

    Brittnee is responsible for the wide variety of video and multimedia devices gravitytank team members use daily for research and project development. She received her B.A. in Television Production from Columbia College Chicago where she started her journey into the world of audiovisual and technology systems. Prior to joining gravitytank Brittnee worked in some of the largest and most notable event spaces in Chicago, setting and operating audiovisual production systems. Brittnee is currently pursuing a MS in Computer Science at DePaul University, where she hopes to expand her knowledge and passion for technology even further.

  • Clay Stelzer

    Clay Stelzer

    Strategy

    Clay is a Lead Strategist at gravitytank with 15 years experience transforming consumer insights into business opportunities. Partnering with clients including MillerCoors, eBay, Intuit, Kaiser Permanente, Emerson, Walgreens, Whirlpool and IBM, Clay has a diverse background synthesizing consumer journeys, facilitating creative ideation, and framing consumer-centric go-to-market strategies. Prior to gravitytank, Clay was a Vice President in the Brand Strategy group at Digitas, innovating new ways to engage consumers in meaningful online brand experiences. Clay holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois and an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

  • Elizabeth Glenewinkel

    Elizabeth Glenewinkel

    Business Development

    Elizabeth Glenewinkel is an Associate Partner with a background in consumer research, experience design, and design strategy. She has over 15 years’ experience leading consumer and business-to-business cross-disciplinary teams through innovation engagements. Elizabeth has worked with a wide range of companies including Dannon, Blurb, Liberty Mutual, HP, Plantronics and Best Buy. In 2010, she co-founded Leading by Design at the California College of the Arts, a six-month executive education program exploring design thinking, leadership and sustainability. She holds a Master of Design Methods degree from IIT’s Institute of Design and a BS in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.

  • Mike Youngblood

    Mike Youngblood

    Research

    Mike joined gravity tank in 2013 after a dozen years of innovation research in his own consulting practice in New York City and, before that, as a member of the pathbreaking Experience Modeling discipline at Sapient. He has worked with clients around the globe in a broad range of industries, including financial services, transportation, telecommunications, food and nutrition, education, healthcare, and social services. A roving Midwesterner, Mike earned his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, but honed his research chops studying social networking, popular culture, and adaptive innovation in North Africa, India, and other emerging economic regions. Mike has served on college faculties in the US and abroad, and is a frequent speaker on topics related to anthropology and design.

  • Elliott Sweeney

    Elliott Sweeney

    Research

    Elliott brings a serious fascination for people to his work at gravitytank. How we think, behave, make choices and express ourselves are a few of the things he strives to understand. This curiosity has led him down diverse roads, from youth education and development to creative writing to research in New Delhi, India. He received a BA in psychology from Northwestern University, and got a taste for design through the McCormick School of Engineering’s Engineering Design Program. Weaving these two disciplines together, Elliott makes sure that the human factor has a voice in the innovation process.

  • Nick Maschinski

    Nick Maschinski

    Interaction Design

    Straight off a one year stint at s2 Financial Marketing where Nick was in charge of all things digital, he is excited join a team of like-minded thinkers and problem solvers. Masch, as his friends call him, holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois down in Champaign where he received a strong foundation in print and typography.

  • Ashley Behm

    Ashley Behm

    Operations

    Ashley is responsible for accounting administration at gravitytank and is a member of the operations team. Most recently working as a staff accountant in a credit union, she has the dexterity of sniffing out numerical discrepancies and balancing accounts to the penny! Ashley obtained her BSBA double majoring in Accounting and Finance from Columbia College of Missouri. She found her niche in accounting while taking an introduction course in high school and knew immediately that it was the profession for her! Ashley truly enjoys daily applying her strong mathematical skills to keep the books straight and problem solving to work out the numerical glitches. Ashley is as enthusiastic about physical activity as she is about numbers; enjoying sports such as volleyball, biking, snowboarding and skydiving.

  • Jennifer Lee

    Jennifer Lee

    Research

    Jenny is an educator-turned-researcher who utilizes her multidisciplinary background in ethnic studies, curriculum & teaching, and design to untangle complexity and translate research insights into new opportunities. She has worked on projects for a range of client needs including workplace environments, retail experiences as well as consumer product and packaging development. Jenny leads gravitytank’s education and learning domain, and has worked to foster partnerships with local schools and non-profits using immersive design experiences to explore and further the impact of innovation “on the ground” in education. Multilingual in English, Spanish and Taiwanese, she holds a BA from Brown University, an MA from Teachers College Columbia University, and an MDes from IIT Institute of Design.

  • Alex Killough

    Alex Killough

    gtLabs

    Alex helps to prototype and build software tools for gravitytank's project teams. Previously, he has worked as a web developer at Firebelly Design and The Onion, and, as a contractor, for various clients in the fields of journalism, architecture, design, healthcare, education, and foodservice. Alex holds a BFA in Studio Arts from the University of Texas, Austin, and an MFA in Film/Video/Performance from California College of the Arts.

  • Amy Guterman

    Amy Guterman

    Communications Design

    Amy is a graphic designer who uses data to tell meaningful stories. She believes design has the power to provoke thought and create positive change. While a fellow at Firebelly University, she founded Knowtify, an information design startup focused on making complex information clear for the common good. Previously, Amy was the lead designer for a financial services company where she honed her skills in visualizing financial strategies. She received a BFA in visual communications from Washington University in St. Louis.

  • Kate Lackie

    Kate Lackie

    Operations

    Kate is responsible for gravitytank’s Human Resources and Project Operations. She coordinates gravitytank’s proprietary mentoring processes, which include 360 project reviews, annual goal setting & performance appraisals, end-of-project debriefs, and client feedback. She oversees operational aspects of careers at gravitytank, including candidate inquiries and searches, interviewing, and new staff onboarding. Kate brings her knowledge of staff development, project coordination, and all-around administrative support to gravitytank after having worked in HR at a leading academic center in Chicago. She holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Illinois and has completed graduate coursework in English at DePaul University, where she wrote more research papers than she cares to remember.

  • Jeff Wain

    Jeff Wain

    Interaction Design

    Jeff is an interaction designer who is passionate about using technology as a meaningful and enriching solution in people's lives. He received his Master's Degree in Human-Computer Interaction Design from Indiana University, Bloomington where he explored the experiential aspects of design, design theory, and behavioral impacts of technology. Before refocusing on design, Jeff worked as a UI developer and web freelancer and holds a BA in Web Design and Development from William Jewell College.

  • Nina Ziebarth-Pavlovich

    Nina Ziebarth-Pavlovich

    Strategy

    Nina integrates her interest in understanding individuals’ motivations with her experience working with large organizations to help clients identify new opportunities and implement change. Prior to her work with gravitytank, Nina worked in the retail field where she was directly responsible for business P&L, managed a team, and consulted on business partnerships. Nina holds a BA in Sociology and minor in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Lisa Boumstein-Smalley

    Lisa Boumstein-Smalley

    Product Design

    Lisa holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her field of study was in the rigorous program of Fiber and Material Studies, which has helped shape her studio practice as a maker of objects and drawings. Driven by concept, she is unbound by medium or technique, and her skill set ranges from soft to hard materials, hand-made to digital realms, one-of-a-kinds to multiples. Prior to joining gravitytank in the spring of 2012, Lisa worked as a Gallery Director where she focused on curating aesthetic experiences and cultivating emerging talent for clients such as Starbucks, Leo Burnett, Joffrey Ballet, Hotel Sax, Nordstrom, as well as numerous residential clients. Lisa’s unique skill set as a trained observer, maker, and curator allows her to seamlessly collaborate with researchers and strategists to develop creative solutions and experiences for clients.

  • Arielle Deane

    Arielle Deane

    Strategy

    Arielle draws upon her background in strategy and marketing to develop innovative solutions for clients as a strategist at gravitytank. Her understanding of how to bridge consumer insights with business strategy has led to successful solutions for clients such as Merck, Kimberly Clark, and the Mayo Clinic. Arielle holds a B.S. in Marketing and Technology Management from Georgetown University, an MBA in Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management and an MEM in Innovation from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

  • Kyleigh Wawak

    Kyleigh Wawak

    Culinary Design

    Kyleigh brings a unique perspective and culinary prowess to gravitytank. As a classically trained chef, she is an integral part of food innovation projects, from the initial trend and consumer research to developing food prototypes. She began her foray into food service by graduating from Kendall College in Chicago and honed her skills at the Peninsula Hotel. Kyleigh also has a degree from Miami University’s Farmer School of Business and experience as a project manager, so she is excited to combine her passion and love of cooking and food with helping companies solve problems, develop new products, and grow their businesses.

  • Andrew Bates

    Andrew Bates

    Product Design

    Andrew Bates was born in Canada and grew up in central Illinois. He has diverse work experience ranging from construction to working as a crew chief in the USAF. He is an avid runner, cyclist, and paddler, taking part in as many as twelve races a year. He began working in design and prototyping while in his third year at The University of Illinois at Chicago, where he received his BFA and spent two years working as a freelance designer in the Chicago area. Andrew enjoys solving problems through building and experimentation, using physical objects to solve compelling problems.

  • Teddy Lu

    Teddy Lu

    Product Design

    Teddy joined gravitytank as a fellow in Summer 2011. His passion for the arts originated from New York City where he was born and raised. After moving to Chicago, he attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and graduated with a BFA in Industrial Design. His design background consists of working with companies such as Life Fitness, Baxter Healthcare, 3M, Kraft Foods, and Kitchen Aid.

  • Stephen Menton

    Stephen Menton

    Communications Design

    Stephen joined gravitytank's communication design team in September 2011. With a background in writing and brand strategy, he is interested in using consumer research to inform clear and elegant user-centered design solutions. He holds a BFA in Communication Design from the University of North Texas.

  • Reina Takahashi

    Reina Takahashi

    Communications Design

    Reina is a visual communication designer with a background in print design. Drawing from professional experience in healthcare innovation, financial services and advertising, she collaborates with project teams at gravitytank to visualize and communicate clear, engaging stories. Prior to joining gravitytank, Reina was a design lead at Morningstar, where she honed skills in information architecture, interaction and visual design for web and mobile. She has served as the Special Exhibit Director for the Chicago Design Museum and received a BFA in Communication Design from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Rebecca Gil

    Rebecca Gil

    Research

    Rebecca joined the gravitytank team in June 2011. She holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rebecca uses creative research methods to understand the needs of users, and then creates stories from these learnings to illustrate meaningful insights and business opportunities for clients. Her work experience at gravitytank has ranged from consumer electronics to beer. Prior to joining the research team, Rebecca was a packaging designer, and her goal is to bridge her experiences in both design and research in her everyday work.

  • Pooja Merai

    Pooja Merai

    Strategy

    Pooja integrates her desire to understand human social activity with her understanding of good business to solve multi-faceted challenges as a strategist at gravitytank. With a background in management consulting, she brings a strong operational perspective to strategic initiatives and a multidisciplinary approach to business problems. Pooja holds a BA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Finance and Sociology where she focused her studies on social enterprise and organizational frameworks.

  • Nadeem Haidary

    Nadeem Haidary

    Product Design

    Nadeem looks at design as applied experimentation and tries to create meaningful, human interactions between people and things. After studying industrial design at Carnegie Mellon University, Nadeem has collaborated on several projects, from the design of OXO kitchen tools to generating concepts for the future of computing. His work incorporates a wide range of interests, from the investigation of form and craft, to making interactions tangible and finding novel ways of visualizing information. Exercising this adaptability, he is equally happy with a pen, carving gouge, or soldering iron in his hand. Nadeem’s work has been exhibited and published in a number of places including I.D. Magazine, Data Flow 2 and Future Everything.

  • Jason Grochowski

    Jason Grochowski

    Product Design

    Jason brings knowledge of craft and manufacturing with a passion for bringing real value to people through product design. He has worked on medical devices, tools, consumer electronics, housewares, personal care, and office products. He uses rapid visualization and prototyping skills to help teams get tangible quickly, and then uses his expertise in 3D development to create clearly refined concepts that deliver on their strategic promise. He holds a BA in industrial design from Purdue University and has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

  • Craig Clark

    Craig Clark

    Interaction Design

    Craig joined gravitytank as an interactive designer in Winter 2011. He strives to better the world through engaging and purposeful experiences while maintaining a balance of aesthetics and strategy. Craig studied Visual Communication and Art History at Northern Illinois University, during which he took a detour and studied contemporary Art and Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland.

  • Bruce Jang

    Bruce Jang

    Strategy

    Bruce is a strategist at gravitytank, where he helps clients seek out new growth opportunities, develop actionable innovation roadmaps, and work at transforming their firms. He is passionate about social innovation and has consulted for organizations such as Blue Shield of California and the National Park Service. Bruce holds a BA in Religious Studies from Pomona College and an MBA in Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management, where he was an F.C. Austin Scholar.

  • Tom Sublewski

    Tom Sublewski

    Operations

    Tom is a creative design technologist with academic and professional training in film, photography, animation, and software development. At gravitytank Tom designs and builds tools and prototypes. Prior to joining gravitytank, Tom worked in the Consumer eXperience Design group at Motorola guiding the development of media and simulations for handsets, at Bear River Associates developing software for handheld devices and at the Doblin Group where he created software and engineering prototypes. Tom spent many of his formative years traveling the globe designing and building corporate communication installations for fortune 500 companies. Tom has studied at the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at Northwestern University.

  • Susan Dell'Osso

    Susan Dell'Osso

    Operations

    Susan joined gravitytank’s Development team in Spring 2010, after two years as a Lead Strategist for the firm. Prior to joining gravitytank, Susan was a brand manager for PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, where she gained experience developing brand strategies and managing day-to-day business performance for Rold Gold, Lays, Fritos and Sun Chips, among others. Susan’s past experience gives her insight into client’s needs and allows her to help clients determine the best ways to grow their own businesses through innovation. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the University of Texas.

  • Martha Cotton

    Martha Cotton

    Research

    Martha is a Partner at gravitytank and has led the Research Discipline since the spring of 2008 when she joined the firm. She began her career at eLab in 1990s, and since then has worked across a wide variety of industries plying her skills as an applied ethnographer and business consultant. Stints include leadership roles at Sapient, Hall & Partners, and HLB. Clients are numerous and range from General Mills to General Motors; from SCJ to J&J; from Fidelity (Investments) to Security (U.S. Department of). Martha holds a BA in English from Indiana University and an MA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. She is currently adjunct faculty at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the McCormick School of Engineering. Martha is former co-chair and current Advisory Committee member of the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC). She is also a contributing author in "The Handbook of Anthropology and Business" (Left Coast Press, May 2014).

  • Shailesh Patel

    Shailesh Patel

    Operations, Strategy

    Shailesh is a partner at gravitytank and leads the strategy group, helping clients connect the dots from meaningful research insights to differentiated market positions that create new business value. He has worked in design, brand, marketing and management roles for a diverse group of companies including Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Wilton industries. As a business executive working from a design point of view, he has learned how to formulate successful new initiatives and champion them to build conviction across all levels of an organization. Shailesh holds a Master's degree in Design Methods from IIT Institute of Design and a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

  • Scott Ternovits

    Scott Ternovits

    Product Design

    A founding partner of gravitytank and the leader of its design practice, Scott brings over 20 years of design and development experience in product, packaging and brand initiatives to GT’s clients. His unique ability to move effortlessly between aesthetic and functional design while transforming concepts to concrete solutions makes him a trusted advisor to consumer packaged goods, retail, and consumer electronics clients. He has helped develop marquee products like Medela’s FreeStyle pump, Goodyear’s ResponsEdge tire, and OfficeMax’s private label TUL line, which includes the award-winning TUL dry erase marker. Scott holds a BS in Industrial Design from Illinois Institute of Technology and is a member of the adjunct faculty at IIT Institute of Design. Scott has been recognized with the IIT Outstanding Alumni Achievement award for his accomplishments as a designer, teacher, and entrepreneur.

  • Seth Mabbott

    Seth Mabbott

    gtLabs

    Seth prototypes and builds interactive software and web-based tools for teams at gravitytank. Prior to joining gravitytank, he worked as a designer and web developer working on projects for MTV, Nike and Disney as well as smaller projects for individual artists and non-profit organizations. Seth graduated with a BA in film from Bard College and has studied graphic design and interactive media at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

  • Sarah Simon

    Sarah Simon

    Research

    Sarah started at gravitytank in June 2008. As a researcher, she helps articulate consumer pain points to create innovation opportunities. Designing qualitative programs in the U.S. and Asia, Sarah takes client teams into the lives of their customers. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Hawaii Pacific University.

  • Robert Zolna

    Robert Zolna

    Communications Design

    Robert leads gravitytank’s communication design team, turning complex strategies into compelling stories and brands. Robert’s experience covers 10 years in Japan helping clients such as Starbucks, Microsoft and SunMicrosystems translate their brand messages to new audiences. He holds a Masters degree in human-centered communication design from IIT Institute of Design where he currently teaches Visual Communication. He currently sits on the AIGA Chicago programming committee.

  • Michelle Novak

    Michelle Novak

    Operations

    Michelle is gravitytank’s resident hostess and an associate of operations. Previously working as a public speaking consultant, research assistant and small business manager, she is responsible for making both gravitytank staff and client teams feel at home. Whether preparing large event logistics or planning an intimate business meeting, she ensures that agendas run smoothly and that teams have what they need to be productive. Michelle earned her B.A. in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.A. in Speech and Interpersonal Communication from New York University. She teaches public speaking courses for local community and city colleges as an adjunct and writes creatively for hobby.

  • Michael Winnick

    Michael Winnick

    Core

    Michael leads dScout, gravitytank's mobile research platform, working closely with a team of developers and researchers as they reshape the qualitative research landscape. Prior to starting dScout, Michael served as gravitytank's Managing Partner, steering the firm through exponential growth. Michael is a subject matter expert in consumer electronics and the digital service landscape, and has a deep passion for developing high performance teams. Before joining gravitytank, Michael led product development efforts at Bay Area start-ups and media companies including Wired. Michael is an alum of IIT Institute of Design (ID) and received a BA from Stanford University. He speaks regularly on innovation in the U.S. and abroad, has taught graduate level courses on concept definition at ID, and serves as adjunct faculty at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Kellogg School of Management.

  • Lucas Daniel

    Lucas Daniel

    Strategy

    Lucas is a Partner at gravitytank. With over 8 years of consulting experience, Lucas has a passion for problem solving and involving others in the innovation process. He is currently leading an internal training initiative called gtU and developing an external-facing offering based on this content. Prior to his work with gravitytank, Lucas received his Master of Design degree from the Institute of Design, IIT. He has a diverse background in interaction design, publishing, and cultural anthropology. He holds a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley.

  • Moritsugu Kariya

    Moritsugu Kariya

    Communications Design

    Moritsugu Kariya has been synthesizing information into energetic and evocative visualizations at gravitytank since 2003. He brings his strong understanding of iconography development, graphic design and illustrations from his work in the U.S. and Japan at Toshiba, Leo Burnett and Wieden + Kennedy. He holds a bachelors degree in graphic design from Columbia College in Chicago and Marketing from Takachiho University in Japan.

  • Justin Rheinfrank

    Justin Rheinfrank

    Interaction Design

    Justin is an interaction designer who helps teams visualize and define exciting new interaction and service concepts. He has created a range of interactions for organizations like Google, Mayo Clinic and NASA. Justin graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with Masters and Bachelors degrees in Human-Computer Interaction and a Bachelors in Industrial Design.

  • Jonathan Dien

    Jonathan Dien

    Product Design

    Jonathan is an industrial designer who helps clients link innovative design solutions with strategy and user research. He has a BFA in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked on programs with a broad range of clients. Jon was the former Midwest District VP for the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) where he chaired their annual district conferences in 2007 and 2008.

  • Joey Nakayama

    Joey Nakayama

    Product Design

    Joey joined gravitytank as a design lead in Summer 2010. His background in product innovation and development consulting has provided him diverse experience in consumer product, packaging and medical equipment design. He has helped clients envision successful design opportunity spaces and solutions. He holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

  • Jenn Schiffman

    Jenn Schiffman

    Research

    Jenn leads the research team at gravitytank's Chicago office. As a trained designer, she develops creative research approaches that enable end users to take part in the innovation process, helping clients build empathy. From shopping with consumers across the globe, to shadowing medical technicians, to observing Australian iron ore miners, Jenn specializes in synthesizing data into tangible, visual frameworks that enable clients to make faster decisions with clarity and enhanced understanding. She holds a BID in Industrial and Interaction Design from Syracuse University and is Adjunct Faculty at IIT's Institute of Design, where she teaches courses on advanced research methods.

  • Gina Reynolds

    Gina Reynolds

    Communications Design

    Gina is a communication designer who helps clients teams translate research and strategy into compelling brands. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia College Chicago, she worked on print, environmental design and rebranding projects. A few of Gina’s clients were; AT&T, ForSaleByOwner, Hannah’s Bretzel, Humana Healthcare and Pfizer Healthcare. Gina has taught Advanced Logo design at The Portfolio School.

  • Diana Conley

    Diana Conley

    Operations

    Diana started at gravitytank in the summer of 2010 as an Operations Associate. She has worked as an administrative assistant and bookkeeper in the non-profit sector and for emerging artists with other stints as lost-wax bronze caster, jewelry maker, and undergraduate guidance counselor. She assists with accounting tasks and arranges all travel logistics for the jet-setting gravitytank teams. With Diana’s sharp eye for detail and natural organizational coordination she keeps things running smoothly for her colleagues. She is also gravitytank’s resident ikebana practitioner. Diana holds a BA from Naropa University in Traditional Eastern Arts.

  • Defne Civelekoglu

    Defne Civelekoglu

    Product Design

    Defne was born and raised in Istanbul before coming to the United States to study design at Carnegie Mellon University. Coming from halfway across the world, her outsider perspective and curiosity led her to engage in projects that were broad in scope, from cultural differences to the way people document their lives. On the other hand, she honed a meticulous attention to form and functionality through her internships, designing furniture for clients like Herman Miller and HBF. After receiving her BFA in industrial design, her interest in finding new problems to solve as well as experimenting with new ways of solving them brought her to gravitytank. She has been helping client teams define new product opportunities ever since.

  • David O'Donnell

    David O'Donnell

    Research

    David has developed innovation strategies in multiple industries and has deep experience in the automotive, software and consumer package good industries. David began his career at E-Lab, a Chicago-based innovation firm largely credited with popularizing the use of ethnographic research to spark innovation. He was also a strategy consultant during the heady late 90s before studying urban planning and working as a Deputy Commissioner for the City of Chicago where he developed public private sustainability partnerships for Chicago and its business community. David’s work at gravitytank includes a focus on delivering business value via client sustainability initiatives.

  • Dave VandenBranden

    Dave VandenBranden

    Product Design

    Dave developed his design expertise through over 20 years of award-winning work with the engineering and development teams of The Knoll Group, Vecta, Brayton, Health Design and Steelcase. He also played a key role in the design and development of computer monitors and peripheral products for NEC Technologies of Japan, conceptual consumer electronics products for Philips Corporation of the Netherlands and a line of award-winning desk accessories for Details, a division of Steelcase.  In addition to awards received through company based work, Dave has been recognized several times for non-funded design explorations in the areas of packaging and electronics products. He holds a B.S. In Industrial Design from IIT Institute of Design. 

  • Dave Sonders

    Dave Sonders

    Strategy

    Dave helps organizations turn ideas into breakthrough products and services. He leads high-profile innovation efforts across diverse industries including consumer electronics, digital services, hospitality, retail and packaged goods. As senior leader of gravitytank’s Startup Domain, Dave has been spearheading our effort to blend startup methods with corporate innovation efforts. He holds a Master of Design Methods degree from IIT’s Institute of Design and a BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Michigan. He is also an adjunct professor at the Institute of Design, where he teaches a capstone course on New Product Definition.

  • Chad Magiera

    Chad Magiera

    Operations

    Chad is a designer who helps teams find solutions by making interactive objects and immersive environments that tell a story. With an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a B.A. in Metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, he has spent the past eight years offering an unconventional perspective to both functional and experiential prototypes.

  • Chris Conley

    Chris Conley

    Core

    Chris is a founding partner of gravitytank and former tenured professor at IIT Institute of Design (ID). He works with gravitytank and leading firms like Samsung, Autodesk, Coinstar/RedBox, Plantronics and Unilever, to cultivate an innovative culture within their organizations. He guided a number of seminal programs between Unilever and their retail partners that culminated in the creation of their Customer Collaboration Centers in six global cities. He is working with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation to bring design & innovation to philanthropy and create sustainable growth for some of their most effective programs. Conley was the 2006 chair of the IDEA/Business Week Awards and is a regular speaker at business conferences and leadership summits that focus on innovation and organizational culture. Chris holds a Master of Science degree in innovation and an engineering degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

  • Ann Hintzman

    Ann Hintzman

    Strategy

    Ann joined gravitytank's strategy team in 2010. With a background in securities analysis, cognitive science and design she helps clients identify new, compelling opportunities for growth based on business conditions and consumer needs. Outside of gravitytank, Ann works as an adjunct faculty member at IIT's Institute of Design helping graduate students explore the intersection of behavioral economics and design. She holds a BA from Wellesley College, and an MDes from IIT's Institute of Design.

  • Cira Conley

    Cira Conley

    Operations

    Cira is a partner and one of the founders of gravitytank. She manages corporate operations, supporting client teams with accounting, legal and logistical matters.  An engineer by training, Cira has a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois and a Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.  She has past corporate experience in designing, organizing and completing complex user research and engineering development programs and holds numerous patents for product development. 

  • Ben Singer

    Ben Singer

    Strategy

    Ben Singer has been a curious strategist, researcher and prototyper at gravitytank since 2006. He has worked on projects in consumer electronics, healthcare, electronic medical records, CPG and office products, using understanding of the peoples’ behavior and needs to create new products and services. Prior to joining gravitytank he was a principal engineer at Pitney Bowes in the advanced concepts and technology lab and a design engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Northeastern University and a Masters of Design from IIT Institute of Design.

  • Michelle Curry

    Michelle Curry

    Research

    Michelle collaborates with client teams to discover unmet needs and translate those insights into tangible, real-world opportunities for organic growth. For more than twelve years, she has been helped companies with qualitative and quantitative research programs. Michelle taught high school mathematics in Kenya for two years as a member of the Peace Corps, holds a BA in Economics and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences from Northwestern University and serves as adjunct faculty at the IIT Institute of Design.

  • Amy Seng

    Amy Seng

    Strategy

    Amy uses her logical problem solving skills and passion for understanding people to bring strategic value to client projects. She is experienced in redefining user experience and product offerings and has worked with clients ranging from SC Johnson to Microsoft and Skype. Before joining gravitytank, she worked at the Center for Innovation at the Mayo Clinic, was a user experience designer at Google, and taught mobile interface and board game design in Singapore. She holds a Bachelors of Computer Science from Princeton University and a Masters of Design from IIT Institute of Design.

  • Antonio Garcia

    Antonio Garcia

    Interaction Design

    Antonio leads gravitytank’s interaction design team—defining meaningful and engaging user experiences across technologies, experiences and UI. As an Associate Partner, Antonio collaborates with clients to develop their digital strategies and help them design the future. He holds a BFA in Advertising Design from the Atlanta College of Art (now SCAD) and attended the Harvard Business School AIGA Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders Executive Education Program in 2007. Antonio mentors students in the Engineering Design and Innovation (EDI) program at Northwestern University's Segal Design Institute and teaches New Product Definition at the Institute of Design at IIT.

  • Amaris Bermudez

    Amaris Bermudez

    Operations

    Amaris manages gravitytank’s physical and digital assets. She prepares equipment for teams before they head into the field, A/V equipment before and after presentations, and office equipment as needed. She is also responsible for archiving the gravitytank library and the collateral generated during projects. As one of gravitytank’s first employees, Amaris holds years of stories that she regularly brings to life connecting new generations of employees to times before.