Problem Solvers, First and Foremost
When you partner with a design firm, one of the greatest contributors to success are the people you work with. When you work with MSDS, here are a few of the folks with whom you'll collaborate, and hopefully share more than a few laughs.
Matthew Schwartz, Founder, Director of Strategy
Ryan Reynolds, Design Director
Since 2002, Ryan has specialized in design strategy, user experience design and content strategy, and creating integrated design systems for clients in nonprofit, academic, energy, healthcare, and finance sectors. As the head of MSDS's design team, Ryan is responsible for aligning brand strategy and design execution, collaborating with MSDS’s clients to develop and execute organization-wide design and content strategies. He's an expert in working with complex, data-driven, technical and policy content to create simplified design strategies and data visualization that communicate with impact.
Ryan's work has been widely recognized for excellence with numerous interactive and print design awards. Prior to joining MSDS, Ryan served as a Senior Designer at Korn Design in Boston. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin College, and a Certificate in Graphic Design from MassArt.
Niki Hammond, Technical Strategist
With over 16 years of experience developing enterprise-level web applications and websites, Niki partners with MSDS's clients, and our creative and technical teams to develop interactive strategies, business process optimization, and change management plans. She is the primary liaison between clients and MSDS development team, working closely with each to translate complex technical details into easy-to-understand concepts, while writing detailed specifications that help realize business goals and requirements.
A certified PMP (Project Management Professional), Niki is an expert at increasing efficiency, managing complex schedules and resources to work within budget constraints. Over the course of her career, Niki worked as a Web Developer and Technical Director at Online Retail Partners, UBS and Girl Scouts of the USA. She holds a BS in Information Systems from Pace University.
Paul Chamberlain, Senior Producer
Emily Degruchy, Senior UX Designer
Emily offers over 10 years of experience designing interactive experiences and applications, combining expertise in product design, information architecture, process design, user interface design, and product management. She is an expert at interpreting client needs and goals, and applying research and analysis to develop goal-oriented UX strategies.Emily works across MSDS’s strategy, design and technology teams, uniting brand goals and user goals into effective online experiences.
Prior to working with MSDS, Emily worked as a User Interface Designer with The Wonderfactory and as UX lead with Canopy Commerce, Ruckus Media Group, and as Product Manager for Appinions. Emily earned a BA with a double major in Design and Psychology from Clark University.
Beth Jacobson, Senior Web Developer
Beth brings 17 years of back-end development expertise, designing and building website and web application infrastructure. She takes pride in designing interactive systems that are robust and maintainable, with flexible, scalable data architectures and structured, user-friendly content entry systems. Beth has particular technical expertise in database design, and is an expert in Drupal development, leveraging more than a decade of working in PHP and MySQL to create customized systems that meet the most demanding technical and functional requirements. Before coming to MSDS, Beth had a long and varied career as a contract programmer/developer, designing systems for commercial, industrial, and nonprofit sectors, spanning tools and languages from C++ and Oracle to CSS3 and HTML5.
Ashton Gilliard, Account Manager
Ashton is MSDS's lead Account Manager and is essential to managing MSDS's client relationsips and coordinating project workflow. She brings a passion for helping our clients positively impact people's lives and the world. Ashton works closely with client and MSDS project teams to cultivate a creative, collaborative environment that is organized and productive. Ashton applies her expertise in public relations, communications, copy writing, social media marketing and branding, to help clients efficiently and effectively achieve their brand goals.
Ashton worked previously with clean-technology company, Produced Water Solutions and Integrated Marketing and PR agency, Weise Communications. Ashtonholds a B.A. in International Law as well as a B.A. in Spanish Communications from the University of Denver, Colorado.
Maria Johnston, Senior Designer
Maria is a designer with over 10 years of experience creating brand identities, websites and printed materials for nonprofits and businesses of all sizes and service orientations, including health and human services, advocacy, arts, education. Passionate about the power of design to affect meaningful change in the world, Maria's approach to design helps clients highlight their missions and engage audiences with clarity and emotional impact. In her role as Senior Designer at MSDS, Maria participates in concept development, content strategy, user experience and visual design for pint and interactive projects.
Maria holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Texas Christian University, and an M.F.A. in Design from the School of Visual Arts.
Ross Berenson, Designer/Developer
Laurel Ames, Designer
Laurel brings experience working as both a design instructor and designer, with a focus on working with nonprofit organizations, reflecting her belief in utilizing design to educate and inspire change in an environment where values and needs are constantly shifting. She brings strong editorial skills to her work with MSDS’s clients, unite content and design to create mission-driven creative. Prior to MSDS, Laurel worked as a designer with Designing Hope Studio working with socially-conscious organizations. She holds a BFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.
Catherine Neckes, Copywriter
For the last 5 years, Catherine has worked as an editor and writer for a wide range of publications and organizations, focusing on culture, travel and nonprofit organizations. She is an expert in both long-form editorial and short-form content development. Catherine helps MSDS's clients develop a strongly-branded voice across interactive and print mediums, offering specialized expertise in content development for social media platforms.
Catherine's prior experience include workng with Paper Magazine, Brooklyn Exposed, and Umbrage Editions. She earned her BA in English from Williams College in Massachussets.