Design is an answer to a question and the teams that I lead have been answering those questions for businesses in the entertainment, travel, advertising, and cloud computing verticals for years. From designing the first-ever event website to promote the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park to launching IBM’s commerce platform, I have led teams that deliver value to the business goals while advocating for our users to ensure the intent of the business aligns with the impact to the end-user.
As John Watson, Jr. stated, many years ago when he took over IBM, that “good design is good business” and Apple’s rise as one of the most valuable companies in the world affirms, design-driven businesses enables customer empowerment, shareholder value, and opportunistic growth for those willing to answer the real questions that challenge businesses today.
At present, I am the Director of Digital Product Design for Travel + Leisure. In my role I am privileged to grow and shepherd a world-class design team focused on innovative ideas that solve our company’s business challenges while delighting our owners, customers, and users.
Director Digital Product Design
Travel + Leisure – Orlando, FL
February 2021 – Present | Travel + Leisure Co.
August 2018 – February 2021 | Director Digital Product Design, Wyndham Destinations
January 2016 – August 2018 | Manager Digital Products, Wyndham Worldwide
As Wyndham Destinations evolves its focus beyond timeshare, moving to become the authority for the vacation vertical, we have changed our name to Travel + Leisure Co. The reinvention as Travel + Leisure Co. is an evolution that brings together our collection of remarkable brands, driving synergy and affinity throughout our worldwide business.
I remain the Director, Digital Product Design. I drive the creative strategy and vision with multiple teams that enable the customers of our five banner brands to seamlessly and easily reserve, enjoy, and return to our properties, from product discovery through delivery. I ensure our design team solutions align to the mission of Wyndham and is dedicated to four strategic pillars: Customer Obsession, Best-in-Class Sales and Marketing, Leading Brands & Offerings, and Operating Excellence.
Travel + Leisure is the world’s leading travel company with a variety of membership opportunities and a portfolio of ~20 resort, travel club, and lifestyle brands which have defined the industry. I lead a multi-disciplinary team that drives the creative strategy and tactical product delivery for our five banner brands in alignment with our strategic pillars: Customer Obsession, Best-in-Class Sales and Marketing, Leading Brands & Offerings, and Operating Excellence.
I have a deep understanding of branding, mobile, integrated campaigns, marketing, and social media across all channels and how they impact our software products. I provide key leadership when working with brand, product, marketing, technology and sales to shape new opportunities for Travel + Leisure while keeping a customer-first mentality grounded in design thinking as a way to change our business.
I am also active in the strategic leadership of my design team focused on the creative development of all of the company’s digital products. Possessing an in-depth understanding of the complete software development lifecycle (SDLC) I am responsible for the teams’ understanding of the strategic imperative of design as a pillar for our company’s success as well as the tactical requirements needed to achieve success.
My focus is establishing, scaling , and solidifying design as a discipline within Travel + Leisure while integrating it into the software development lifecycle as we seek to build a mature enterprise design team grounded in design thinking with a focus on our customers’ needs.
- Led multiple digital transformations of the corporate entity with management of 100+ digital products in the portfolio including the recent change to Travel + Leisure.
- Established design as a discipline within the enterprise and scaling team to meet the demands of multiple corporate redesigns which delivered four new websites within the first year.
- Worked alongside senior leadership, product, engineering, sales, and operations to determine the design strategy and user experiences expected by our customers, owners, and peers.
- Working with multi-million dollar budgets to build and scale a new design team, standup an enterprise CMS, and launch multiple applications during a world-wide pandemic.
- Advocate for the user at all levels of the company and be able to appropriately challenge senior leadership with insights for prioritization of goals and needs versus subjective desires.
- Institute user testing practices as a standard process for all design deliverables to ensure design’s intent is validated by market’s perception.
- Monitor analytics and user behavior data on our products to inform decision’s priorities and help drive design decisions on backlog items to evolve customer experiences.
- Established a design system framework that can be leveraged across Club Wyndham, WorldMark by Wyndham, and all of our product offerings to aid delivery velocity.
Founder and Creative Director
designoMatt – Winter Garden, FL
January 2008 – Present
Designomatt is focused on the intersection of design and user behavior. Act as subject matter expert adept at working within companies which need to augment their internal teams with a robust set of product design skills
I am the principal of the company which develops destinations (applications, websites, micro-sites, event sites, email marketing, etc.) for companies that are looking to leverage intelligent design with social media in today’s competitive marketplace.
designoMatt utilizes traditional design, interactive programming, and social media as well as other leading edge opportunities to deliver our clients’ messages to their designated market(s). We act as subject matter experts adept at working with companies who need to augment their internal teams with a robust set of design, interface, user-experience and interactive skills.
designoMatt also creates and manages a line of our own intellectual property through publishing native applications for the iOS App Store as well as authoring on the iBooks store. This in turn leads us to provide counsel to our clients looking to break into these similar spaces and expand their businesses platforms.
- Independently designed, developed, and delivered the first-ever augmented reality mobile application for any theme park using iOS and 3Dar.
- Subject matter expert for Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group on mobile application development across numerous new products and existing worldwide theme park experiences.
- Designed user journeys and complete eLearning modules to promote user education to increase bookings for Disney Vacation Club.
- Led product lifecycle from ideation and requirements gathering through development, user-acceptance testing and release while measuring KPIs to ensure success.
Member Design Leadership Forum
InVision – Winter Garden, FL
July 2018 – Present
The mission of the forum is to advance the practice of design leadership by fostering a community where the world’s best can learn from one another. We strive to make the Forum inclusive and relevant to those confronting the challenges of leading design teams.
Senior Design Manager
IBM – Austin, Texas
May 2014 – January 2016
Big Blue, IBM, is one of the oldest and most respected companies in the world developing hardware, software, and cloud-based business solutions. As a senior creative executive within IBM Design, I was responsible for a cross-disciplinary team of designers (UI, UX, front-end, motion, UX writing, and research) within the Cloud Marketplace, Security, and MobileFirst SaaS offerings. I had regular access to C-level executives within the company to prioritize objectives in order to define product strategy and team output.
My projects involved these multi-functional, global teams in a collaborative manner that focused on the consumer experience as essential to the product’s success. Also worked to target new market opportunities and connection points to other IBM product and services while actively collaborating with the marketing, product and development teams.
My teams focused on the consumer experience (B2B, B2C) as essential to our products’ successes while also targeting new market opportunities and connection points for other IBM product and services. I was responsible for a cross-disciplinary team of designers (visual, UI, UX, front-end, motion and research) that were both co-located at the Austin design studio as well as remote; with my reporting teams in both Ireland and Israel while our development and business partners are located across our global studio locations.
- Delivered the IBM Cloud Marketplace, its first e-commerce platform allowing self-service purchasing within 6 months using IBM WebSphere Commerce.
- Led a team in the creation of the first app exchange for X-Force Exchange, the threat intelligence application from IBM Security targeted to the INFOSEC professional community.
- Set high-level design goals for the team to ensure a consistent and engaging experience while delegating the team to simplify workflows and identify the right problems to solve.
- Facilitated Enterprise Design Thinking in everyday work, internal workshops and client meetings to advocate for human-centered design.
- Led multiple teams co-located in Austin, as well as remote across North America, Europe, the Mid-East, and Asia.
Vice President, Interactive Creative Director
Ypartnership – Orlando, Florida
June 2007 – August 2008 | Vice President, Interactive Creative Director, Ypartnership
February 2005 – June 2007 | Intractive Creative Director, YPB&R
Ypartnership was Florida’s largest independent advertising agency which specialized in the travel and destination tourism markets. I was the key executive for all interactive development and new media projects and was responsible for business partnerships, vendor relationships and internal teams to design, while my team developed and deployed digital solutions.
Integrated standards and best practices of the industry to increase the efficiency of the team and deliver agile solutions within budgets and timelines. I developed a custom workflow related to Ypartnership’s existing creative process that integrated new interactive processes into their traffic cycle while also evangelized the best practices of interactive development to change company’s internal governance.
Created and grew the interactive department during my tenure with a focus on design as a means to tangible business outcomes. Transitioned the agency’s focus from digital as a trailing edge addition to campaigns to the “tip of the spear” as I developed interactive strategies dedicated to increasing the scale and scope of business proposals win business and awards.
- Established and grew a new in-house interactive design and development team for the agency.
- Transitioned Ypartnership’s pitch focus to interactive as a key value proposition dedicated to increasing the scale and scope of business proposals
- Increased digital project budgets over 100X in the first year while increasing the return on investment over 60%.
- Manage project prioritization, resource allocation, and project risks while also maintaining project scope and budgets.
- Developed custom workflows that integrated our new interactive processes into the existing Ypartnership traffic cycle.
Maka’s Surf Shop, Inc. – Orlando, FL
March 2002 – December 2005
Partner in a boutique design studio offering designs for global companies and independent business in the consumer product market and destination tourism industries. My focus was in new business development for the studio with a responsibility on bringing in clients as well as maintaining those relationships over the lifetime of the contract.
I led the project scope and prioritization of all deliverables matched to the client’s business case while also planning risks and contingencies to proactively maintain the production schedules for our clients.
Acted as subject matter expert for clients looking to expand their creative solutions into the interactive space. Ensured the brand integrity of our clients would be maintained as they began experimenting with new technologies and services being leveraged for new interactive opportunities to achieve their business goals.
Associate Art Director, Hallmark.com
Hallmark – Kansas City, MO
June 2000 – March 2002
Creative leader providing daily creative direction for all digital collateral produced for the global personal expressions leader. Analyze industry trends and shepherd consensus among executive management for the creative vision of Hallmark.com.
Integral part of the steering team that developed the Hallmark.com brand which led to the corporate-wide rebranding of the company and transitioned the 100+ year old iconic brand into an interactive agency model. Grew, trained and mentored a creative team responsible for all marketing collateral of Hallmark.com and its sub-properties.
Interacted with the owners of the company as well as peers across the enterprise to determine production schedules, for multiple projects, while maintaining accountability for adherence to: deadlines, production deliverables and costs. We were dedicated to accelerating company’s business initiatives online while ensuring brand integrity across all touchpoints for Hallmark’s portfolio of marks and products.
Multimedia Producer, Graphic Designer
The Walt Disney Co. – Lake Buena Vista, FL
September 1997 – June 2000
I was a design leader within a creative production unit responsible for developing original content for our media outlets as well as supporting enterprise-wide initiatives of the world’s largest entertainment company.
I was responsible for management of the internal creative production team for delivery of multiple projects to a variety of clients utilizing numerous internal and external sources. Defined and integrated new creative technologies into existing traditional workflow while working with C-Level executives on their initiatives across the enterprise which included: live events productions, presentations, and communications across The Walt Disney Company.
Partnered with development, IT and marketing teams to promote business initiatives dedicated to reducing external vendor costs while also identifying new technology that would allow our business unit to speed production and conserve costs while expanding the creative services provided to our partners across the company.
Remote and Co-located Team Leadership
People leader (managers and individual contributors), enterprise application design, e-commerce design, process implementation, service design, design thinking, creative direction, business strategy, brand management, content strategy, new business development, iOS application development, responsive web design, web app design, user interface design, user experience design, user modeling, information architecture, illustration, photography, graphic design, storytelling, release management, video production, new business development, project management, user-testing, advertising, marketing, public speaking, and training.
Awards, Accolades, and Associations
InVision Design Leadership Forum
The work I, and my teams, have created have been recognized by: Addy, Adrians, HSMAI, TIA Odyssey, IAC, and Web Marketing Associations Awards, as well as the Webby Awards
I have work as a judge for numerous competitions over the years and have participated as a judge for the Adobe Creative Jams, Internet Advertising Awards (IAC), and Mobile Web Awards
John Carpenter’s Halloween
Officially licensed art work by Compass International Pictures, Inc. for illustration to be included in the art book being published in the Summer of 2021 by Printed in Blood.
Officially licensed art work by 20th Century Studios, now owned by The Walt Disney Studios, for inclusion in the new art book to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the release of the classic film, Aliens, to be published in the Fall of 2021 by Printed in Blood and Titan Books.
Elements of Magic | The Interactive Guidebook for Disney’s Magic Kingdom
An interactive travel guide book built for Apple Books and offering a unique overview of the development of the Magic Kingdom Theme park, at the Walt Disney World Resort, its attractions, restaurants and shops. Starting with a brief history of Disneyland, we explore the development of Walt’s Florida Project through his untimely death and Roy O. Disney’s commitment to see his brother’s vision to completion with the opening of Walt Disney World.
Ongoing Online Monthly Exhibitions
January 26, 2019 – February 3, 2019
Opening August 12, 2017 at 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT
The University of the Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration
Classically-trained painter with concentration in traditional tools and processes including: photography, printmaking, bookbinding, and jewelry.