When people ask me what I do, I typically tell them I connect–the–dots. I collect seemingly disparate pieces of information, store them away, and then find ways of putting the pieces together in new ways. If I’m not adding value in some way or another then I’m not doing my job. I’m a T-shaped creative leader who works through influence rather than authority. And I straddle the line between left and right-brained activities. I’m looking for a position that will capitalize on these strengths, challenge us both to grow in new ways, and have fun in the face of adversity: it's the Detroit way.
I'm open to new possibilities; either adding value to a fully design-centric company, creative direction at an agency, or continuing to enable the growth of User Experience and a customer-centric mindset. As long as it's challenging with good people then it's bound to be fun and rewarding.
Tweddle was a very interesting ride. I started in 2007 and at the time we had about five full time employees in Creative, which would grow tenfold by the time I left.
I started to augment my hard design skills early on with management soft skills and problem solving opportunities. I dove headfirst into the Kaizen methodology and I started to network and ask questions. How could I help other departments? How could I help Biz Dev, Operations, Manufacturing, Product Development? I got my hands dirty and broadened my network and my impact.
My career went from Art Director to Snr. Art Director to Manager of Design and to Creative Director (of Design, CGI, Project Strategy). My ascent was directly correlated to the growth and success of Creative. We turned Creative into an award-winning team that became the benchmark for operational excellence.
I took the CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) team under my wing and learned a lot from them. What they do is still full of arcane wizardry. It was an exciting team as we delved more into VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality), and MR (Mixed Reality), the mind boggles more every day.
Soon enough I was winging my way to California, Seattle, and Las Vegas (do not recommend flying there and back in one day), and over to China. I would either assist with or create pitches from scratch, and I'd be there to deliver in person. Or I'd be flying out to help clients with process maps or internal resources with strategic initiatives.
Before I knew it I was teaching a class on dreaded Powerpoint to designers and non-designers alike. How could the high-brow designer lower himself to the shackles of Microsoft products? Because Design is communication, and PPT is the standard in the corporate world. It had to be mastered, it had to be done. So there I was conceiving, documenting and visualizing process flows in PPT. Using the power of design to impact internal and client understanding.
Designing for vehicle infortainment systems, phones (I started during the Blackberry days!), print, mobile, and web, has given my design breadth and depth. Where as KPI's, PFMEA's, ISO audits and other such acronyms have been the yin to my yang.
After a dozen years, it was time to move on and challenge myself to grow in new ways. So I made the leap from the world of post-sale automotive work to market research and customer-centricity. I was brought in to Gongos to lead a talented team of designers and storytellers, and further embed Design into the organization. Gongos was looking for someone who had faced similar challenges, lead and transformed teams, and had the passion and experience in Design to make an impact. I was up for the challenge and reveled in the high-engagement and high-expectations of the company.
Fast-forward two years and I landed my dream job at Bosch in 2021. I am currently building, leading, operationalizing, strategizing, and budgeting an all new iteration of the UX team in North America. Our goal is to enable the growth of UX maturity in the region and help Bosch fall in love with problems, not solutions. The company is amazing and the people are incredible. I am very proud and excited to lead UX Research, Service Design, Interaction Design, and Inclusive Design for Bosch in North America.
BEFORE ALL THAT
Before Tweddle I spent a few years cutting my teeth at smaller agencies. I learned and failed and discovered who I was as a designer. That laid the foundations for who I would become as a business leader. I had some great mentors and some excellent examples about what-not-to-do. I knew who the practices I wanted to emulate and which ones to avoid. The early years were spent toiling over x-acto blades, spray adhesive, Pantone swatches and books of stock art. Ah, the days of looking through binders for photos and then pulling out the corresponding DVD to download the image from. No search bars. Just eyeballs and paper. Good times.
AND EVEN FARTHER BACK
I really covet my time at Wayne State University. The theory I learned was timeless and foundational to my design DNA. The instructors were often fantastic and I got my first job through a personal recommendation from a faculty member. He sent me on a unique trajectory that may have been very different had he not hooked me up with Grigg all those many moons ago. For that I am thankful and indebted.