We’re a
brand
and innovation consultancy.

We help organizations build enduring brands that excel in the emergent culture.

It happens through innovation, branding and experiences—all housed in one place.

Our People

The individuals who lead our vision.

Sarah Tomes

Sarah Tomes

Chief Executive Officer

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Sarah Tomes

Sarah Tomes

Chief Executive Officer

In her role as chief executive officer, Sarah Tomes is responsible for the overall operations and performance of the company—from organizational design to business processes to establishing the strategic vision for its future.

Overseeing a staff of highly diverse teams across five international offices, she brings an objective and integrative strategy to global leadership, identifying and embracing opportunities to improve communication, collaboration, culture and efficiency within the organization.

Sarah began her career with LPK as a finance co-op in 1996 and rose through the ranks, building global brands across industries and categories. She is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati Class 39 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Thomas More College.

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Nathan Hendricks

Nathan Hendricks

Chief Creative Officer

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Nathan Hendricks

Nathan Hendricks

Chief Creative Officer

Nathan Hendricks believes there is no excuse for a lousy brand. As chief creative officer at LPK, he brings nearly three decades of experience across virtually every category, merging diverse disciplines to approach brands with innovative methodologies, such as desires thinking.

He has developed winning creative for a long and varied roster of clients, including Gillette, Titleist, Pringles, Beam Suntory, AB InBev, Herbal Essences, Olay and Coleman. In every effort, Nathan challenges his teams to uphold LPK’s philosophy: that every brand should make a powerful and positive difference for the people it serves.

A candid cultural commentator, he’s never afraid to tell it like it is. His industry insights and design methodologies have been quoted in publications like Fast Company, Quartz, AdAge, DMI, HOW Magazine and UX Magazine, among others.

Nathan holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from The Ohio State University, where he majored in visual communications and cultivated an affection for industrial beer.

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Valerie Jacobs

Valerie Jacobs

Chief Insight & Innovation Officer

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Valerie Jacobs

Valerie Jacobs

Chief Insight & Innovation Officer

Driving a constant state of evolution within LPK and the industry, Valerie Jacobs founded both our trends and foresight practices, providing clients a deeper consumer understanding and establishing a clear point of difference for LPK. She also oversees the development and expansion of practices that are dedicated to uncovering and building out innovative new offerings for clients.

Valerie works with an intuition and quick wit that senses and articulates change in consumer behaviors, values, lifestyles and attitudes. Her trend forecasting interweaves research, analysis and translation of trend data—informing the actionable strategies she develops for brands with the nerve to keep up.

Valerie has presented at leading design conferences, spoken on entrepreneurial disruptive innovation and future thinking, and authored a sizable body of publications on innovation for brands across the spectrum.

Valerie is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, she holds a master’s degree in design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). She has taught at DAAP for more than a decade and joined the faculty of Philadelphia University’s Strategic Design MBA program in 2013.

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Brent McCoy

Brent McCoy

Chief Financial Officer

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Brent McCoy

Brent McCoy

Chief Financial Officer

Brent McCoy directs all aspects of the consultancy’s financial services operations, including establishing and measuring against short- and long-term financial objectives.

As chief financial officer, Brent has been a key driver in the formation of LPK’s global presence, developing business partnerships in Switzerland, United Kingdom, Singapore and China. He also continues to oversee LPK’s foreign operations, including establishing and managing budget policies and procedures.

In addition, Brent is responsible for compliance with applicable federal, state and foreign government regulations for the organization—providing legal direction in a broad range of corporate areas, such as corporate structure, leases and client contracts.

Brent is a graduate of Thomas More College, where he earned degrees in business administration and accounting. He is also a member of the Institute of Management Accountants.

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Amy Steinmetz

Amy Steinmetz

Managing Director, LPK Europe

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Amy Steinmetz

Amy Steinmetz

Managing Director, LPK Europe

As the vice president and managing director, Amy Steinmetz oversees the many dimensions of the LPK Europe experience, optimizing business and nurturing client relationships.

Amy manages key brand initiatives at LPK’s global offices across the US and Asia, in addition to overseeing LPK operations in continental Europe.

With a unique history that crosses varied markets, Amy applies focused expertise to a spectrum of capabilities and categories—from brand renovation to breakthrough innovation, spirits to shampoo. Known for her delivery of impactful, often award-winning strategies, Amy brings passion and rigor to every project, every phase. Her long roster of clients includes global brands such as Herbal Essences, Pringles, Emmi, Maggi and Beam Suntory.

Amy is a graduate of the Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS program from the University of Cincinnati.

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Josh Bokelman

Josh Bokelman

Business Development Director

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Josh Bokelman

Josh Bokelman

Business Development Director

As the business development director at LPK, Josh Bokelman works with some of the world’s biggest brands and businesses by providing them with talent and solutions to effectively drive top-line growth. Consulting on each step of the innovation process, Josh guides a project from front-end testing through its activation and commercialization.

Josh is always seeking to improve the current state by pushing current levels of thinking and challenging both company and cultural norms. Keeping the end user in mind, he prioritizes the clients’ diverse needs at the center of the growth strategy.

Fluent in design thinking, trends, insights, strategy, and creative, Josh’s ultimate goal is to be a trusted and effective resource that ambitious clients can utilize to help grow their businesses.

Throughout his career, Josh has amassed a long and varied list of clients, spearheading initiatives for Nike, Bank of America, Hershey’s, Heinz, Walmart, Apple, Sony, P&G, and many others. Josh is a graduate of Miami University and received his master’s degree from the University of Colorado. He is also a competitive distance runner on both road and trail.

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Matt Fearn

Matt Fearn

Group Director

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Matt Fearn

Matt Fearn

Group Director

From Fortune 500 companies to local startups, Matt Fearn has spent two decades consulting at the highest levels of business engagement to set the decisive direction for his clients. As group director at LPK, Matt’s strategic experience, coupled with his background in design, provides clients with the ideal balance necessary for leveraging design thinking in solving the most complex of business challenges.

Focusing his efforts on branding across a multitude of categories, he has consulted with clients such as U.S. Bank, UC Health, ADM, SUNY, Becton Dickinson and many others. Matt works with senior management, executive committees, extended external task forces and internal LPK teams to guide brands through all steps from initial strategy to activation and results.

He embodies LPK’s philosophy of collective responsibility by pitching in and working on social impact brands such as Strive Together, Interact for Health and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Matt is currently President of the Board of Directors for Melanoma Know More and is an active member of several national and regional organizations including ArtsWave, Design Management Institute and Greater Cincinnati Green Business Council.

Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Miami University and is an avid IRONMAN triathlete.

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Cathy Lowe

Cathy Lowe

Client Development Director, LPK Europe

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Cathy Lowe

Cathy Lowe

Client Development Director, LPK Europe

As client development director, Cathy Lowe is responsible for new business growth in Europe. In her 12 years at LPK—first in Geneva, and now in London—Cathy has identified, developed, managed and grown new client relationships across a variety of brands in the fast-moving consumer goods category.

Coupled with her background in design, Cathy’s deep and broad branding knowledge provides the optimal balance to deliver on client needs through strategic design initiatives. Her experience in brand building, event planning and client experience has produced skills valuable in client understanding and communication.

During her 10 years working in LPK’s Geneva office, she spent her free time cultivating a love for the outdoors by snowboarding, hiking and biking.

She attended university in Newcastle (UK) and holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

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Dominic Hale

Dominic Hale

Creative Director, LPK Europe

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Dominic Hale

Dominic Hale

Creative Director, LPK Europe

As the creative director in Europe, Dominic Hale is responsible for overseeing and coordinating design teams in the London office. Dominic, originally trained in product design, has transformed his passion for branding into a 20-year career of expressing brand values through design. His deep expertise in all aspects of the design process, from research through manufacturing, has proven invaluable in managing projects and cultivating brand experiences.

Prior to joining LPK, Dominic held senior creative positions at FutureBrand, Blue Marlin and Stag&Hare where he delivered ideas to market for consumer and usage experience.

During the course of his career, he has gained extensive experience in driving local and global multi-disciplinary projects for clients such as Coca-Cola, Carlsberg, Mars, IHG, Britvic and Virgin Atlantic. Working with these clients, he constructed relevant experiences and positive connections between the audience and the brands themselves.

Dominic holds a bachelor’s degree in product design from Bournemouth University (UK). He also attended Bournemouth & Poole College of Art & Design where he studied BTEC HND Industrial Design.

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Emily St. Clair-Johnson

Emily St. Clair-Johnson

Strategy Director, LPK Europe

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Emily St. Clair-Johnson

Emily St. Clair-Johnson

Strategy Director, LPK Europe

As the strategy director for LPK Europe, Emily St. Clair-Johnson works as a hands-on leader for the strategy team, coordinating key clients’ programs from the London office.

With over 12 years of experience in building future-proofed brands, Emily specializes in all aspects of the strategy and innovation practice. She is particularly passionate about making rigorous insight synonymous with powerful brand experiences.

She enjoys fusing logic with creative fertility and inspiring real-world solutions for brands across the fast-moving consumer goods category. She especially focuses her innovation efforts in the charitable and healthcare industries. Working across several categories, she has consulted with clients ranging from The Royal National Lifeboat Institution to Unilever, and GSK to Pernod Ricard.

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in History from University of York (UK).

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Michael Wintrob

Michael Wintrob

VP, Strategy

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Michael Wintrob

Michael Wintrob

VP, Strategy

Michael Wintrob is always looking at both sides of the coin: reconciling human truth with business rigor to create brands that resonate deeply and outrun the competition. As VP of strategy at LPK, Michael has developed methodologies and best-in-class practices that prime brands to perform today and tomorrow: disrupting industries, stealing share and leading the conversations in their categories.

With more than 15 years of experience, his work has run the gamut—from Fortune 50s to small startups; consumer-facing brands to B2Bs; higher education to personal care. He has an intimate understanding of the challenges clients face in adopting and deploying branding fundamentals and has presented management and strategy training programs to audiences around the globe.

Michael also has served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati’s Lindner College of Business and co-authored a chapter in the textbook Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services, Experiences and Beyond.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati.

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Nick Partridge

Nick Partridge

Senior Innovation Director

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Nick Partridge

Nick Partridge

Senior Innovation Director

Nick Partridge is obsessed with creating “the new,” be it product, service, brand or experience. As senior innovation director at LPK, he is a veteran innovator, having partnered with the world’s most powerful brands and scrappy upstarts on their hairiest innovation challenges.

Nick’s philosophy is one of actionable innovation. He thrives in the space where strategy and execution meet, translating compelling ideas into go-to-market strategies that drive real growth.

For over 10 years, Nick has had the privilege of leading large-scale innovation and design engagements for clients including Samsung, Campbell’s, Philips, Citi, Nestlé, Puma, AARP, Toys ‘R’ Us, Diageo, Taco Bell and iRobot. Prior to joining LPK in 2016, he served as co-head of Idea Couture’s New York office, as innovation director at Fahrenheit 212 (NYC) and industrial designer at Essential (Boston).

Nick holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati.

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Maura Schilling

Maura Schilling

VP, Managing Director of HR

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Maura Schilling

Maura Schilling

VP, Managing Director of HR

As the managing director of human resources, Maura Schilling coordinates human resources activities for the global offices of LPK Holdings, currently comprised of LPK and Spicefire. Over the years, she has earned the trust and confidence of employees worldwide by maintaining a culture of respect and integrity where individuals feel safe to push themselves to new limits.

Maura consistently works to provide rich and affordable benefits, competitive compensation, progressive learning and development programs, and personal coaching and counseling to navigate complex internal and external relationships. She has enhanced the company’s human resources information system, improving the accuracy and timeliness of critical business data and she continues to aid in the development of LPK’s global offices.

Maura is a Certified Professional in Human Resources and a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association. She exemplifies LPK’s philosophy to pitch in by serving on the board of Check Your Genes and as an Advisor to the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati Human Resources committee. Maura graduated from WE Lead Class 10, a women’s professional growth and leadership program of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Northern Kentucky University.

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Billy Thomas

Billy Thomas

VP, Director of Creative Excellence

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Billy Thomas

Billy Thomas

VP, Director of Creative Excellence

As VP, director of creative excellence at LPK, Billy Thomas brings over 21 years of industry experience in building leadership brands through his strategic direction and acute design sensibility. Billy drives innovative merit as the head of expression and pilots new ways of working, ensuring LPK delivers world-class brand experiences that increase value and amplify market impact.

Billy has served as the creative lead on diverse projects for clients like National General, Kraft Heinz, Tyson, Chamberlain, Kroger, 3M, Organic Valley, Mr. Clean, Swiffer and the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation, among others.

Billy is the recipient of five Telly awards for interactive design, three Global Ace awards for brand identity design, a B2B award for brand identity and an AIGA award for graphic design.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in design from The Ohio State University.

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Steve Bowling

Steve Bowling

HR Business Partner

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Steve Bowling

Steve Bowling

HR Business Partner

In his 12 years with LPK, Steve Bowling has been responsible for recruiting, placing and nurturing the talents of both student interns and career candidates alike.

Steve knows the merit of immediate and long-term relationship building in the professional and personal fields, and he understands the value of connecting the right talent to the right team.

In 2011, Steve received LPK’s annual Libby Award, the company’s most prestigious internal honor. Each year, this distinction is given to the employee who best expresses the values and principles of LPK founder Mort Libby.

Steve is also involved in business organizations as a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and its regional affiliate, the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Campbellsville University.

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Jerry Kathman

Jerry Kathman

Founder, Chairman of the Board

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Jerry Kathman

Jerry Kathman

Founder, Chairman of the Board

As founder, chairman of the board of LPK, Jerry Kathman is recognized within the industry as a leading authority on the role of design in brand building. His global experience has provided Fortune 50 companies with insights into both the opportunities and pitfalls of building a global brand in today’s rapidly changing world.

Jerry is the chairman emeritus of the board of the Design Management Institute. He has appeared on CNN and CNBC and has been quoted or published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Brandweek, Design Management Review, Die Welt and Hong Kong Economic Times. Jerry has authored numerous white papers in academic and professional journals on topical issues in brand design development and management.

He has lectured to business and academic audiences in Europe, Asia and North America, including Columbia University, University of California at Berkeley, New York University, the Hong Kong Design Centre, Singapore Design Festival and the Design Management Institute.

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Our Spirit

We’ve always been powerfully independent—something that shows up in our pursuits, our culture and each of our people.

Deep Roots

Celebrating a 35-year legacy
Quirky photographs of our founders line our walls. For over three decades, we’ve sustained a culture of fierce creativity. And the slight insanity that fueled our passion back then? It still guides us now.
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Strong Values

Five principles that guide us all
We live and work on two continents—but worldwide, our diverse employees are united by five core values.
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Collective Responsibility

Claiming a stake in our future
From on-the-ground community partnerships to our zero-footprint creative process, we’re proud to play our part in the bigger picture.
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Our
Awards

Our philosophy: results first, everything else second. We’ve never done what we do for the awards—but they’re certainly nice to receive:

ADDY—AIGA—Edison—American Graphic Design & Advertising—AmeriStar—BrandSpark—B2—CASE Circle of Excellence—Communicator—Creativity International—Design of the Times—Global ACE—Graphic Design USA—HBA Global—IDSA International Design Excellence—London International—Nielsen Design Impact—PC Magazine Editor's Choice—Pentawards—POPAI—Rebrand—Red Dot—Transform—WorldStar