• Ana Reinoso

    Ana Reinoso


    Ana immigrated to the United States from Ecuador in 2000 to continue her studies in Accounting and Finance, she was introduced to bookkeeping and accounting at very early age and immediately fell in love with it. At the age of sixteen she was able to internship at The Banco del Fomento working with her father who was an Internal Auditor. Ana obtained a BA in Accounting from Robert Morris University (RMU) in Chicago, Illinois. Ana is always looking for ways to give back to the community. She is an active member at RMU where she holds the position of Chapter Treasurer for Tau Sigma Honor Society. Ana loves activities that involve being outside and enjoys trying authentic foods from other countries.

  • DeYandre Thaxton

    DeYandre Thaxton


    DeYandre is the ultimate people person and event planner. With 6 years of professional event planning experience spanning entertainment, fashion, public relations and hospitality, she finds events both as a creative outlet and an opportunity to build a sense of community. As the event coordinator & receptionist at gravitytank, DeYandre's dynamic background serves as inspiration to design the perfect event when hosting clients or appreciating coworkers. DeYandre is actively on the pulse of Chicago's dining scene and the event design industry, accounting for a pleasing aesthetic from decor to space format. She holds a BA in Arts & Entertainment Management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

  • Emerson Sigman

    Emerson Sigman


    Emerson is a fully-rounded media maker, exhibiting a holistic knowledge regarding imaging and technology. He has created photo and video documentation for international performance artists and also maintains his own artistic practice which integrates his moving image savvy. Emerson supports gravitytank by managing all things audiovisual, including equipment management, presentation and teleconferencing support, and documentation of the happenings around gravitytank’s ever-busy space. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Arts & Science from Columbia College Chicago.

  • Kyle Newton

    Kyle Newton

    Communications Design

    Kyle is a communication designer who embraces design as a link between critical thinking and creativity. He seeks to create meaningful ways to experience and perceive the information in our world, and is interested in how design can influence public health and social innovation. Previous to joining gravitytank, Kyle worked as an editorial designer and participated in Camp Firebelly, an intensive apprenticeship focused on positive social change. Kyle holds a BFA in Communication Design from Washington University in St. Louis, and currently serves on the CreativeMornings Chicago team.

  • Katie Schtevie

    Katie Schtevie


    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.

  • Maggee Bond

    Maggee Bond


    Maggee is passionate about understanding users, sharing their stories, and uncovering insights that drive compelling design solutions. She believes that empathy is the foundation for change, and that clear communication and storytelling is key to making that change stick. Before gravitytank, Maggee worked in the non-profit world, collaborating with diverse groups of stakeholders to tackle complex social issues and advocate for underserved communities. She holds a BA in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College and a Master of Design degree from the IIT 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).

  • Patrick Buggy

    Patrick Buggy


    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.

  • Kate Krc

    Kate Krc


    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Margaret McGill

    Margaret McGill


    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, building and reimagining brands within the consumer-packaging world. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor in Industrial and Interaction Design.

  • Adia Benson

    Adia Benson

    Culinary Design

    Adia received her Culinary Arts degree from Auguste Escoffier in Avignon, France and spent several years working with food and management for Daniel Boulud's The Dinex Group and Thomas Keller’s Restaurant Group. In 2011 she joined Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia working with the editorial team, Marketing and Sales. With a bachelors degree in Organizational Behavior from NYU, Adia combines her passion for culinary art and food products with her understanding of human behavior and brand development. Adia is active in the Chicago culinary scene—serving on the board of directors for Blue Sky Bakery and as a lead instructor for the Purple Asparagus Group. She had her debut on The Food Network in October where she competed and won on Alton Brown's Cutthroat Kitchen.

  • 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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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.

  • Eleanor Sandford

    Eleanor Sandford

    Industrial 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


    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.

  • Jordan Fischer

    Jordan Fischer


    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


    Katie brings a collaborative approach to research by creating interesting and approachable research methods. Drawing on her experience in design and market research, she is able to pull inspiration from qualitative and quantitative approaches to best fit each project and client. Katie very much enjoys facilitating team analysis to uncover rich opportunities for the team to take action. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor in Industrial and Interaction Design.

  • Clay Stelzer

    Clay Stelzer


    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.

  • Nick Maschinski

    Nick Maschinski

    Interaction Design

    Nick is an interaction design at gravitytank and believes powerful design solutions are only achieved by putting the end-user at the center of the story. He brings his expertise in UX and UI design to projects ranging from consumer electronics to healthcare to his personal passion for social innovation. Nick and a small team from gravitytank recently participated in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Records for Life competition. Their redesign of the child health immunization record for developing countries won the grand prize. Nick holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois in Champaign where he received a strong foundation in print and typography. When he isn’t at the office he spends most of his time enjoying great local food and craft beers from all across the world which he documents extensively on Instagram.

  • Ashley Behm

    Ashley Behm


    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.

  • Alex Killough

    Alex Killough

    Interaction Design

    Coming from a past life as an academic, artist, and software engineer, Alex is an interaction designer who has worked with clients in healthcare, education, consumer products, and government to create analog and digital solutions to complex problems. As a member of gravitytank’s education and learning domain, Alex has worked with local schools and non-profit organizations to help educators and students create meaningful innovation in their classrooms and schools. 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


    Kate manages human resources at gravitytank. Her love of humanity, technology, and culture allows her to approach people development in new and exciting ways. Since joining the company in 2012, she has helped curate and design interactive tools that support onboarding, knowledge sharing, and employee goal setting. Before gravitytank, she worked on the corporate HR team at Northwestern Memorial Healthcare. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • 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


    Nina is a design strategist who helps clients identify new opportunities and implement change by integrating her interest in understanding individuals’ motivations with her experience working in large organizations. Prior to gravitytank, Nina worked in the retail industry where she consulted on business partnerships and was directly responsible for P&Ls. Building on this experience, she has structured a team and offering for gravitytank that focuses on helping clients adopt design thinking and collaborative practices within their own organizations. Nina holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Pooja Merai

    Pooja Merai


    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

    Industrial Design

    Nadeem strives to create meaningful, human interactions between people and things. Joining gravitytank in 2011, Nadeem has experience in consumer electronics, housewares, healthcare and hospitality, translating insights into tangible, creative solutions. Outside of gravitytank, Nadeem crafts unconventional objects and explores novel ways of visualizing information. His work has been covered by Fast Company, the New York Times and the Atlantic, and published in "Data Flow 2" and "Drawing Ideas". Teaching what he practices, Nadeem lectures on prototyping and storyboarding at the Stanford’s d.school and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He has a degree in industrial design from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Jason Grochowski

    Jason Grochowski

    Industrial 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.

  • Bruce Jang

    Bruce Jang


    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.

  • Susan Dell'Osso

    Susan Dell'Osso


    As a partner at gravitytank, Susan leads project development for the firm. Together with our teams, she collaborates with new and existing clients to clarify challenges and structure programs that identify business opportunities and bring products and services to market. Susan began her gravitytank career in 2008 as a member of the strategy team and previously worked as a brand manager at Frito-Lay/PepsiCo. Susan holds an MBA from The University of Texas and a BA in Communication Studies from Vanderbilt University. She also teaches at the MMM program at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and McCormick School of Engineering.

  • Martha Cotton

    Martha Cotton


    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


    Shailesh is a partner at gravitytank responsible for our operations and former lead of the strategy group. As a partner on programs he has helped clients in CPG, consumer electronics, retail and services connect the dots from meaningful research insights to differentiated market positions that create new business value. Prior to gravitytank, Shailesh 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


    As a founding partner of gravitytank, Scott brings over 20 years’ experience in design development and strategy to the business. His unique ability to move effortlessly between tangible ideas and strategic perspectives makes him a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 clients across consumer packaged goods, retail and consumer electronics. He has helped realize marquee products like Medela’s FreeStyle pump, Goodyear’s ResponsEdge tire, and OfficeMax’sprivate label TUL line, which includes the award-winning TUL dry erase marker. Scott is a member of the adjunct faculty supporting IIT’s IPRO innovation program, where he also serves on the Alumni Board. Additionally, he sits on the Innovation Council for Northwestern University’s MMM Program at the Segal Design Institute, and those of two additional start-up ventures.

  • Seth Mabbott

    Seth Mabbott

    Interaction Design

    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


    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.

  • Michael Winnick

    Michael Winnick


    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


    Lucas is a Partner at gravitytank. With over 10 years of consulting experience, Lucas has a passion for problem solving and involving others in the innovation process. In 2011, he saw a need for holistic or systems-level thinking in food innovation and built a team and practice focused on Food Experience Design. 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.

  • 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


    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.

  • Jenn Schiffman

    Jenn Schiffman


    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


    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

    Industrial Design

    As a lead designer at gravitytank, Defne strives to turn insights into elegant solutions for how people experience products and services. In close collaboration with client teams, she enjoys tackling ambiguous design problems as much as experimenting with new and more effective ways of tackling them. She holds a BFA in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University. Leveraging her background, she co-teaches prototyping classes at the Stanford d.school that focus on bringing ideas to life in a fast and light manner without compromising believability and impact. Defne is from Istanbul and often channels her outsider perspective in her work.


  • David O'Donnell

    David O'Donnell


    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

    Industrial 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


    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.

  • Chris Conley

    Chris Conley


    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


    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


    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. 

  • Michelle Curry

    Michelle Curry


    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 helping 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


    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.

  • Amaris Bermudez

    Amaris Bermudez


    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.