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 customer experience—all housed in one place.

Ongoing Commitment

We know that design and creativity can make a powerful and positive difference in people’s lives. We also know that beyond the work, our actions must support and drive positive change—socially, environmentally and economically. It’s why we’ve committed to giving our time, talent and treasure to organizations supporting the arts, environment and people in need, specifically focusing on initiatives that work for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

But our focus isn’t just external. We’re devoted to understanding and addressing bias within our own organization, culture and work. Our workplace model supports multi-faceted lives, emerging needs and evolving work styles. And united by five Guiding Values, our culture celebrates our diversity in all its forms—diversity of races, ethnicities, ages, families, geographies, personality types and more.

Our biggest commitment of all? To never be finished. We know we aren’t perfect, but we continuously strive for progress and to create safe spaces for our employees, our clients and their consumers.

Fiercely Independent since 1983.

For almost four decades, we’ve sustained a culture of fierce creativity. And the slight insanity that fueled our passion back then? It still guides us now.

Born in the branding mecca.

LPK was founded in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio, down the street from Procter & Gamble where household brands were born. Under the leadership of the Founding Five—Mort Libby, Ray Perszyk, Jerry Kathman, Howard McIlvain and Jim Gabel—the design agency began its legacy of building extraordinary, enduring brands for businesses around the world.

The future-forward era.

Today, under the leadership of Sarah Tomes, Nathan Hendricks, Valerie Jacobs, Michael Wintrob and Brent McCoy, we begin the next chapter: taking a future-primed approach to brand and innovation to continue building businesses with cultural resonance and serious staying power.

Our Leaders

Meet the faces who lead our mission.

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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Michael Wintrob

Michael Wintrob

Chief Strategy Officer

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Michael Wintrob

Michael Wintrob

Chief Strategy Officer

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 Chief Strategy Officer at LPK, Michael oversees the consultancy’s strategy, insights, innovation and trends practices, developing methodologies and best-in-class practices that prime brands to perform today and tomorrow.

With more than 20 years of leadership experience at LPK, Michael’s 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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Valerie Jacobs

Valerie Jacobs

Chief Growth Officer

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Valerie Jacobs

Valerie Jacobs

Chief Growth Officer

Driving a constant state of evolution within LPK and the industry, Valerie Jacobs serves as Chief Growth Officer, overseeing business development, external relations and ongoing development and expansion of capabilities that give way to innovative new offerings for clients. In her 15 years of leadership at LPK, formerly as Chief Insight & Innovation Officer, Valerie founded our trends and foresight practices, providing clients a deeper, future-forward consumer understanding while establishing a clear point of difference for LPK.

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), where she has also served as an adjunct professor. From 2013 to 2018, Valerie was a visiting lecturer at Philadelphia University in their Strategic Design MBA program.

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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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Liz Grubow

Liz Grubow

VP, Managing Creative Director

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Liz Grubow

Liz Grubow

VP, Managing Creative Director

Liz’s passion for decoding global beauty standards is a driving force in her expertise and career in the branding business. In her over 20 years at LPK, Liz has led brand-identity programs for some of the world’s leading beauty brands. As vice president and managing creative director, she makes it her priority to observe and understand beauty regimens around the world. Often meeting with consumers and studying their lifestyles in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, her personal devotion and interaction have positioned her to see how beauty standards develop and evolve from one culture to another. They’ve also given her the insight to contrast cross-cultural influencers over time and their potential to impact additional cultures in the future. Her unique insights on the beauty category have been published in the fundamental cosmetic handbook Sustainable Cosmetic Product Development. She is a regular contributor to the Paris-based BW Confidential, as well as Global Cosmetics Industry and Design Management Journal. Liz frequently speaks on global branding issues and at forums in New York and Hong Kong.

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Josh Bokelman

Josh Bokelman

VP, Growth

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Josh Bokelman

Josh Bokelman

VP, Growth

As Vice President of Growth 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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Nick Partridge

Nick Partridge

VP, Innovation

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Nick Partridge

Nick Partridge

VP, Innovation

Nick Partridge is obsessed with creating “the new”—be it product, service, brand or experience. As VP, Innovation at LPK, he is a veteran innovator, leading the consultancy’s practice to partner 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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Bhavik Joshi

Bhavik Joshi

VP, Strategy

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Bhavik Joshi

Bhavik Joshi

VP, Strategy

With deep and vast experience in human understanding and creativity, Bhavik Joshi builds resonant brands by helping them understand and respond to the human experience through empathic insights and strategic storytelling.

As VP, Strategy, and Head of Insights at LPK, Bhavik has over 15 years experience leading visionary brand teams through foundational strategy, positioning, architecture, creative expression, and culture change to create new brand, product, communication ideas. He has developed best-in-class methodologies for research, ideation, brand definition, positioning, architecture, and expression for clients in a wide variety of categories, including food & beverage, personal care, health & wellness, and higher education.

Bhavik’s keen sense for uncovering subconscious desires that drive people’s beliefs and behaviors has resulted in human-centered brand strategies that aren’t just relevant, but deeply resonant. His passion for branding and mentoring the next generation of brand-builders also led him to serve as an adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati’s Lindner College of Business for two years.

Bhavik has a Master of Science in Marketing from University of Cincinnati, and an MBA in Marketing from University of Mumbai in India. Outside of work, his passions include hiking, camping, reading fiction, learning about indigenous cultures and their mythology, traveling, and cooking.

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Amie Bracken

Amie Bracken

VP, Client Engagement

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Amie Bracken

Amie Bracken

VP, Client Engagement

With over 20 years of experience, Amie has a proven record of forging powerful and long-lasting client relationships—ones built on collaboration, trust and a deep understanding of their businesses. Orchestrating resilient partnerships to solve complex business problems is where she thrives.

Amie’s fundamental purpose is to create a culture of connection and co-creation. An advocate at her core, she is a champion of the work, measuring success through the growth and development of her teams as well as her client’s business.

Over the years, Amie has spent much of her time in healthcare and CPG categories. Her clients include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Allergan, Smucker’s, Procter & Gamble and Bayer. She earned her degree in Marketing and Communications from Georgetown College and is a three-time Boston Marathon qualifier.

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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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Steve Bowling

Steve Bowling

Senior HR Business Partner

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Steve Bowling

Steve Bowling

Senior 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
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

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The Life Beyond 2020 Digital Roundtables

 

FIND YOURSELF HERE.

We are a coveted brand and innovation consultancy. A collective of curious minds and creative souls. But this is not simply a place. It’s a direction; a movement pointed ever forward. Here, each of us leads by doing. We inspire our fellow specialists, but also our clients and industry colleagues. The work we create means something and makes something: makes minds change. Makes needles move. Makes watershed moments.

You are different here, and you’ll keep on changing. You will grow here. You will be smart, brave, closer to the truth.

And your transformation will also be ours—a progression paved by following your deepest passions and wildest ideas.

Because here, you own a piece of what happens next. Here, we’re united in the belief that LPK is never finished. We are ravenous for the new, the emerging, the uncharted. We know what we hold sacred. And clinging to that, we charge ahead.

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Digital Round Table: New Brands for Emerging Categories

 

Digital Round Table: Harnessing Desires to Build Better Brands

 

Online & In-Store Proto-Selling

 

Experiment Canvas

 

Roadblocks to Innovation

 

CPG Brand Workshops

 

Digital Insights

 

Foresight

 

Desires Workshop

 

Desires Canvas

 

Innovation Platforms

 

Have a challenge? We’re all ears.
Let’s talk about how we can partner.

 

Have a challenge? We’re all ears.
Let’s talk about how we can partner.

 

Have a challenge? We’re all ears.
Let’s talk about how we can partner.

 

Have a challenge? We’re all ears.
Let’s talk about how we can partner.

 

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