the "a ha" recipe

My meticulous approach to design and direction first involves hearing client's challenges and objectives. Follow-up questions help me to excavate deeper insights and evolve purposeful solution concepts. Design is the outcome — the process is far more complex. It involves research for knowledge, competitive intelligence and inspiration. Unfolding key elements to achieve defined goals, and keeping these top of mind, are essential throughout the process of brainstorming, analysis and execution. Content is king and can only be successfully leveraged by ensuring that copywriters and the design team closely align to understand project positioning and hierarchy. Connecting all variables is prerequisite to creating a stellar end product and winning results for all stakeholders. It's what leads to the "a ha moments" — and it's what excites me about my career.

from print to web & beyond

I went to work for Nutrisystem in 2007, where I became the Associate Creative Director, managing the offline team designing instructional kits, packaging, print advertising, direct mail, and art directing their food photography shoots. In collaboration with a strong creative team of writers and designers, I executed direct response design and created warm, inviting collaterals for exciting, high profile projects. Having honed my management skills as both a team and project manager, sustaining career momentum while helping to grow the skills of others is my current primary objective.

I have passed midpoint in my MFA program for Web Design / New Media at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco (online), and am working on my thesis project which will be a responsive web, collaborative family cookbook application. The concept will utilize events, photos, comments, tips and stories to exemplify the multi-generational importance of advancing the culinary / emotional legacy within families. This project has enabled and enhanced my working knowledge of HTML, CSS, frameworks, jQuery and javascript implementation, user experience and user testing strategies, Flash, After Effects and I am now learning HTML5 and CSS3.

  • Freelancing for a small ad agency and assisting the creative director with print design, where I also learned about the printing industry in real time.
  • Full-time position as the sole graphic designer, print buyer & marketing coordinator for a national horticultural brokerage — Including full responsibility for designing & executing a full line annual plant catalog, sales collateral, brochures and trade shows
  • Marketing coordinator/graphic designer for a prestigious loss restoration company. In direct collaboration with the vice president, designed trade show booths, brochures, email blasts, flyers and other collateral — and even wrote copy on occasion.

See resume for further detail

why design?

I feel immensely fortunate to have discovered and pursued the discipline of graphic design. My eyes, ears and mind absorb the world through the filter of my projects. As a committed team player, I relish the creative debate that strengthens and grows each member of a team and results in the best outcomes. Every day I learn new technologies, new techniques and find new inspirations. I have an intense work ethic and always deliver on time and as promised.

My immediate family is highly creative. I am the daughter of a chef / painter, and a knitter / paper industry specialist. My step-father ran a design agency and I married an illustrator and horticulturist. Art has always brought me joy and my career in graphic design is a perpetual source of creative fulfillment.

community-minded, compassionate cooperator

Born and raised in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia, I've been steeped in the values of family, community, high work ethic, determination and the belief that these ingredients enable personal growth and career success. Upon graduating from college I returned to Roxborough because nowhere else feels as much like "home" as here. As a chef's daughter, my passion, aside from design, is food. It is inherently important to my family and offers a springboard of congregation and fuel for a healthy life style. This is why I've been a dedicated volunteer and board member for the neighborhood food co-op initiative for the past 2 years, having served as head of marketing and on numerous committees. It's vital to me to give back to this community by supporting local business and provide sources for fresh and local foods. Much like a family dinner, my dream is for the cooperative to serve as a uniting factor in the community, bringing together the old and the new into one entity... a strong, thriving neighborhood.

My fellowship with the co-op allows me to contribute my career skills, knowledge and creativity from over 13 years of experience in marketing, art direction and graphic design. In process, I have met many extraordinary neighbors with similar and diverse talents and interests. My participation is a true marriage at the core of who I am, and I couldn't be more thrilled to give back in this manner.

words from my colleagues

"I truly enjoyed both managing Sarah and working collaboratively with her on a wide variety of marketing projects. Sarah is an artistic, creative thinker, but also a conscientious observer and listener, which has enabled her to ascend in the field of marketing and advertising and become the strong, decisive and solution-oriented leader she is today. Sarah would be an asset to any marketing team and a good choice to direct any creative team looking to strategically position and sell product, because she understands not only how to achieve an objective, but also all that it takes to get there. She's a quick study, respectful of those with whom she works, and has the experience and smarts to see all sides of the marketing equation while still coming up with creative solutions that engage the consumer. Sarah understands both form and function when it comes to content, design and sales, and is an ideal creative talent for the corporate world...and beyond."

—Beth Vander Vennet, Marketing Consultant and Writer | Sarah reported directly to Beth who was Creative Director at Nutrisystem

"During my time working with Sarah at Nutrisystem, she was an excellent lead for our offline team. As Associate Creative Director, Sarah can manage projects and give creative feedback in a very clear and direct way which was a major asset to our efficiency. Sarah has a tremendous ability to gather information from business unit owners and filter their needs down to copywriters and designers in a simple, concise way. Sarah is very creative and has the ability to maintain a brand when the guidelines are not cut and dry."

—Chris MacDonald, Graphic Designer at Nutrisystem | Reported directly to Sarah

"Having worked closely with Sarah over the past several years, I've found her to be an extremely hard worker who is very passionate about the work she does. She's an excellent project manager who is dedicated to getting projects done right and done on time, and is able to do so because she's a decisive thinker and a skilled multi-tasker. Just as important, she has a keen eye for design concept and is able to meld her creativity with a client's business needs extremely well - all for the purpose of getting optimal results and profits for the company."

—Matt Brady, Editorial Manager at Nutrisystem | Worked directly with Sarah

"Sarah is a highly detail oriented marketing manager. In her work for our community co-op she brings a high level, sophisticated understanding of marketing concepts and focused, all encompassing, vision to each project. Her contributions are invaluable and her guidance of our efforts is spot on!"

—David Schiman, Chair of the Board for the Manayunk/Roxborough Food Co-op | Worked directly with Sarah