It’s important to get to know who you are working with, whether it’s fellow employees, a partner, or an agency. You want to make sure that you have a team that’s on your side and whose goals are in line with yours. Most of all, you want to make sure they will do everything to help your company succeed.

We decided to do a monthly Featured Employee so our readers can get to know our family a little better. You’ll get a sense of our experience, design styles, and personalities so that you can feel a little closer to the team that wants to help your company flourish.

Our first featured employee is our newest team member and creative director, Jesse. Since he’s new to the office, we thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to get to get to know him better too.

1. What was your very first job?

A tour guide at a commercial cave in rural Pennsylvania at 15 (See Woodward Cave—the big one!)

2. What degree(s) do you have, and from which institutes and fields of study?

BS in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (I attended before it was part of the for-profit Art Institutes system. Last manually-operated elevator in Pittsburgh). I’ve also taken tons of UCSD extension programs since the late ‘90s for everything from front-end development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) to Adobe InDesign.

3. What do you think is one of the most significant changes that you’ve seen since you started working in your industry?

I think awareness of design as a whole has been massively elevated with the advent of mobile (everyone carries an operating system in their pocket, so usability expectations have been raised across the board).

I’m also fascinated by the way corporate identity reveals happen now. Logo updates and rebrands used to be the domain of logo nerds, but social media has magnified the whole process. Even minor brand extensions are now dissected in open forums, where designers and the companies they serve are exposed directly to the praise and hostility of designers and laypeople alike. It’s a great educational opportunity.

4. What excites you most about the digital marketing world?

The internet continues to evolve. Increasingly niche subcultures (with unique needs and aspirations) are finding their voices. I’m excited to see the manifestation of the (sometimes great, sometimes creepy) ability to target users based on their implicit interests, and how expectations around online privacy evolve.

5. What do you do when you are not at work?

I indulge in TV, both high- and low-brow, and try to keep my wife and son entertained.

6. Do you have any hobbies?

I read every day (I alternate between fiction and nonfiction), run (training for my fourteenth and fifteenth marathons, in May and October, respectively).

7. What thing(s) are you obsessed with?

I’m a huge logo nerd. I love clinically modern architecture. I’m fascinated with design trends all around—it’s interesting to see old trends revived and combined in novel ways (just like clockwork, we’re somehow now romanticizing the ‘00s).

8. What’s one thing about yourself that would surprise people?

I own over seventy pairs of shoes. I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop since version 2.0 (Shipped on multiple floppy disks. Pre-dated layers. One undo.). As a child, I had numerous polydactyl cats as pets.

9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Strive to be original.