My mission is to create an emotional connection between your brand and your audience.
Bio: Thomas Pesavento
Born in Chicago, IL, my family moved around the country a bit before settling in Colorado Springs, CO, where I grew up. After earning a degree in Applied Communications from the University of Colorado in 2001, I immediately began producing creative work for area clients and colleagues as a freelancer, which I did until 2005, when I teamed up with a marketing firm who started using me as their exclusive creative content provider.
In 2007, I moved to Florida to join Spark* Creative Group as a Senior Designer, where my design leadership and aesthetic sensibilities allowed me to quickly be promoted to Senior Art Director, and finally Design Director. In this role, I led creative and content on packaging, corporate branding and marketing initiatives, helping our clients gain unprecedented share (^1,000%) and profit growth ($3.8 billion to $7.5 billion in 5 years), coupled with dozens of successful product launches.
In 2014, I moved to the Bay Area, to join the EdTech startup Edmodo in a unique double-role: One, as Senior Brand Designer, shaping the visual identity of the company and building our collateral cabinet, creating trade show graphics, ads, websites, and assisting with product design. In the other half of my position, as Senior Brand Strategist, I worked cross-functionally with our sales, marketing, creative, support, and product teams to unify our positioning, value proposition, messaging, and overall communications strategies, and helped grow the user base from less than 30,000,000 users to over 55,000,000 in 18 months.
My next stop was as Brand Director for GoGuardian, an EdTech startup in Los Angeles that provides web filtering, data analytics, and classroom collaboration tools for schools of all shapes and sizes. Since joining the team with less than twenty employees, they now employ over 100 full-time staffers around the country, with products impacting more than 6,000,000 students worldwide. Recently, GoGuardian ranked #38 on the Top 200 Most Influential EdTech Brands in the world—an impressive feat after only two years in business. They partner with Google Apps for Education to provide a seamless experience for schools using Google Classroom and Chromebooks as learning tools, but our products are compatible with nearly any device running the Chrome operating system and any Learning Management System, as well as Microsoft Windows. GoGuardian was named the #1 fastest-growing education company by Inc. magazine in 2018, and was listed at #66 overall on the Inc. 5000.
In my free time, I also assist other entrepreneurs and startups around the country by providing brand strategy and consulting services. My private clients range from Harvard, Stanford, or UCLA MBAs just launching their idea, to independent artists, musicians, chefs, and other business owners looking to build, refresh, or strengthen their own brands. As of 2016, I've been appointed to the Board of Directors for the AIGA, Los Angeles chapter, where I assist the Executive Director, Membership Director, and other committee chairs with special projects in an Advisory Board Member position.
Since December 2017, I’ve been serving as Creative Director for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a new type of philanthropy combining grantmaking, technology, advocacy, and creative support for our partners working to build a future for everyone,
I currently live and work out of the Bay Area in California with my wife, the artist Jen Meyer.
Driving brainstorming sessions and filtering ideas into a solid strategy
Helping clients uncover and articulate their needs and convert to team strategy
Design and direction (UX, UI, print, packaging, web, mobile, ads, video)
Highly-persuasive internal and client-facing presentation skills
Developing and managing brands; creating and executing brand guidelines
Copywriting/editing (short and long form) across multiple brand voices and platforms
Social media direction, planning, growth, engagement, and strategy
Comfortable building, strengthening and maintaining client & vendor relationships
Technically-adept with expertise in dozens of business software tools and apps
Proven experience building out and scaling creative and marketing teams
Positive, optimistic, and challenging management style
December 2017 - Present | Chan Zuckerberg Initiative | Creative Director
• Building and mentoring our in-house creative team to support cross-functional goals
• Continued expansion and refreshment of CZI brand look and feel, tone, and voice
• Sourcing and management of external agency partners on larger-scale 360º campaigns
• Develop storylines and narratives that activate and engage audiences across all initiatives
• Create memorable, measurable branded experiences and activations for all audiences
• Codify audience personas for targeted, efficient content creation and nurture programs
• Work with Brand, Social Media, and Communications to position CZI as a leader in the space
• Work closely with UX/UI design and product teams to ensure a holistic, brand experience
June 2016-Present | AIGA, Los Angeles | Advisory Board Member
Advisory Board members assist the Executive Director and various committee chairs with annual projects, such as fundraising events and membership drives, and lead special initiatives on their own as well.
June 2015-December 2017 | GoGuardian | Brand Director
Building and defining the GoGuardian brand through design, marketing, thought leadership, social media, and recruiting strategies. Recently, we were ranked #38 on Onalytico's list of the top 200 most influential brands in EdTech worldwide and the fastest growing education company on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list.
March 2015-June 2015 | Edmodo | Senior Designer / Brand Strategist
Provide naming, positioning, creative strategy and design support for our growth, engagement and monetization efforts. My team helped define the vision and tone for our brand as it grew from scrappy startup to education game-changer with over 55,000,000 users worldwide.
2007-2014 | Spark* Creative Group | Design Director / Senior Copywriter
After joining the team as Senior Designer, I quickly moved up to DD and oversaw all aspects of design and communications for client work, sculpting a creative vision for new conceptual projects and adding a fresh perspective to works-in-progress. Expert at persuasive presenting and building/maintaining client relationships, I reported directly to the President of the company and worked equally as part of a team as well as on solo projects. Prepared marketing strategies for short, medium and long-term timeframes. Led teams of up to 5 designers across multiple projects. Also acted as Brand Manager and Social Media Director for new accounts.
2005-2007 | Insight Marketing | Senior Art Director / Copywriter
Provided design, marketing and copywriting support along with creative consulting for a media buying and marketing firm whose clients ranged from local fashion boutiques to the U.S. Army.
2001-Present | Pesavento & Co. | Founder / Creative Director
Right out of college, I founded an independent creative agency that grew from one client to more than two dozen within the first year. We quickly became the go-to agency for a number of discriminating local businesses. In this role, I worked independently with my clients one-on-one, hiring out photographers, illustrators, printers, production artists and other vendors when needed to accomplish our goals. My clients ranged from locally-owned shops, pubs and restaurants to independent artists, musicians and large-scale nonprofit organizations. Although no longer a full-time independent contractor, I do still take on consulting opportunities from time to time.
Bachelor of Arts | Communication | University of Colorado (2001)
The Communication degree from CU provides a strong foundation in theoretical and practical aspects of numerous media fields, including design and graphics, television and radio broadcasting, journalism, multimedia, corporate communications, photography, advertising, event management and many others. This degree provides a wide range of conceptual, production and technical skills to apply within a constantly evolving industry. (For this reason, many of Tommy's clients and colleagues have endearingly referred to him as their creative "swiss army knife"—a title which he is quite proud of, having been a long-time collector of the ubiquitous multipurpose tools.)
Multiple ADDY® Awards for design and copywriting
International Design Award - 2016