q & A:
Bottle-feeding kittens at a cat sanctuary and watching the show “Broad City” on repeat.
“Bandwidth” and unfortunately, I must use it all day long.
I know it’s superficial, but I love my commute. I live right across the street from Hothouse so I can walk to work. And it feels good to play a teeny, tiny role helping to combat global warming.
Rihanna. She’s an award winning and incredibly talented performer with highly successful lines of cosmetics, fragrances, lingerie and high-end clothing. With an estimated worth of $600 million, she’s the world’s richest female musician. Her music is my life’s soundtrack. And there may or may not be a Rihanna mural hanging on my bedroom wall.
q & A:
Singapore! It’s where I was born, and I’ve always wanted to go back and visit.
Unless you’re dressing up as a Florida Gators fan, NOPE
Once you get helped up the ladder, turn around and help the person up behind you.
Instagram… I’m always on the gram, either looking at pictures or pursuing targeted ads.
Dale is a born strategist. In elementary school, he advertised his first Communion with a hand-made flyer—and he hasn’t stopped marketing since. Working for agencies like JWT and Brighthouse, he honed his vision on campaigns for global brands including Coca-Cola, Georgia Pacific, and Microsoft, before eventually opening his own design agency. Dale ultimately joined forces with Hothouse, where his strategic insights and creative planning inspire solutions that energize brands and drive growth.
q & A:
Tough call. Earlier in life, I wanted to be an architect but aspirationally, I would be a Master Sommelier.
The Wonder Years—I still have a crush on Winnie. Shhh.
“Pativerance”—the perfect combination of patience and perseverance
Design Thinking by Tim Brown. It fundamentally changed the way we think about design experience and puts a human-centered approach into solving business problems.
q & A:
"Beautiful Struggle" – Talib Kweli
Transformers has to be my favorite. Driver-less cars that are my friends and can fly—what more would a kid want?
The right question in the correct context can be the difference in business relationships and strategy.
"The only problems are the ones with no solutions."
q & A:
There are 197 countries in the world and I’ve only been to 51, so you’ll probably find me jetting off to one of the 146 remaining on the list. I love to travel and when I’m “home” I’m actually kind of boring because I am trying to save up the money to fund my next adventure. 😊
“This is too much madness to explain in one text!” It’s from a 2011 British movie, Attack the Block, about a South London teen gang trying to defend their apartment building against savage alien invaders. While I haven’t had to fight off aliens, I still use this quote often as I think it’s applicable in a more relatable variety of situations. (PS: It’s a great movie. You should watch it.)
All of the above! Whiteboard to plan ahead or for long-term reminders. Notebook for day-to-day notes and to do lists, and then add post-its for those last-minute additions or to flag things so they’re easier to find later. Oh and I can’t forget Evernote, too! (I might have a problem.)
I’m a huge fan of Ava DuVernay. She has a successful career in publicity/PR and then completely pivoted into directing and storytelling, and has been a total boss the entire way. I love that she uses her voice and influence as an advocate for women and people of color and to speak truth to power both in her industry and in the world at large.
q & A:
Anything on Bravo that has The Real Housewives in the title and Orange is the New Black on Netflix.
Not ever OK unless we are using them for a Halloween prank.
Working with Bravo-lebrities like the talent from Real Housewives and Top Chef.
Don’t go for the bait. You’re better than whatever is being dished out. Kill them all with kindness.
What’s the objective? Where does this fit on a customer journey? Is this on-brand? Asking and answering these questions is a skill Jay has honed over more than 20 years of working with world-class agencies and world-class brands – serving in senior leadership roles at JWT and OgilvyOne on accounts like The United States Marine Corps, The Holiday Inn Brand Family, Transamerica, IHG Rewards Club and many others. Jay has led account teams that focused on all kinds of integrated work, from Brand Strategy to Digital Activation, and everything in-between. Jay is the proud father of two awesome kids here in Atlanta — a client service experience that comes with its own unique set of questions…Is your homework done? Have you cleaned your room?
q & A:
Sailing around the Virgin Islands or in Mediterranean – One of those boats that people live on, not a plush yacht. After college, I sailed boats back from Florida to the Northeast before settling down to a real job. It is stuck as an idyllic vision of life in a simpler time.
Splitting my time between soccer, football fields and basketball courts. Sometimes all three in one day… Or in a car driving a flock of kids to one of those places. My kids are all about sports – school, club, tournaments – all of the sports consume an inordinate amount of time.
Find a way to understand the client’s business, their business objectives, expectations, the stakeholders they have, etc. Lots of people get into communications or advertising for the perceived glory of creating. For account people it is the hard work of understanding a client’s business, their customers and the category dynamics. This is key to being a true partner.
If you are going through Hell… Keep Going… Many people lay claim to this quote but I always look to Winston Churchill – He willed a nation to keep going and believe despite the dark days of war. In my personal and professional life, I have found that sometimes the first step is the hardest but once you do it, everything else starts flowing.
q & A:
A tattoo artist. I’d love to still be creative and see my work (permanently) out in the world. I’d have to draw the line at certain ink requests though and ask that there be no lower back tribal butterflies in my portfolio.
Fusion. I dislike it when referring to food and combining different cuisines. I get it, but to me it sounds like some type of chemistry project is happening on my plate and things get overcomplicated. Keep the fusing in science, not the kitchen.
Post-its and sharpies (the universal combo), creative briefs, Cintiq, Aveda Stress Fix oil, tomatoes
“Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something.” -Nicholas Burroughs
q & A:
I’m more of a fist bump kinda gal—but the Friends Ross/Monica version of the fist bump. I think it speaks for itself.
I want to pretend it's something epic, like a unicorn or a liger. But having rescued a Chihuahua recently, I know I'm just a high-maintenance little lady dog, who’s always cold, with a penchant for sparkly accessories.
I’m actually Joan; same job, same lipstick, same philosophy. I’m still waiting for my pen-necklace, though.
Instagram: there are too many people on Facebook I’m trying to ignore and I’m not interesting enough for Twitter.
With a resume that included positions at powerhouses like NIKE, American Express and Turner Network Television, Jon was well positioned to start his own agency. Determined to fill the gaps in service and strategy he saw while working client-side, he opened Hothouse in 1998 and has since activated countless campaigns for the country’s leading sports, entertainment and consumer brands. His insider’s perspective has provided a solid foundation for continued growth, though he’s committed to remaining strongly independent. Sorry, holding companies. Nothing to see here.
q & A:
Out on a lake on my standup paddleboard.
Watching my agency colleagues celebrate a hard earned, team win. There’s nothing better.
Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia—he’s managed to fuse his business with his passions and done so in a socially responsible way.
q & A:
Dolphin. They're smart, they love people and they live in the ocean. What more could you ask for?
Easy. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. It provides great insight into how to balance your work, personal life, goals & aspirations. It touches on all aspects of being a woman in Corporate America. It also helps that Sheryl is the ultimate #GirlBoss.
“Try to be a rainbow on someone’s cloudy day,” Maya Angelou. It sounds cheesy but if you put this into practice, you’d be surprised at how good you make yourself and others feel.
A cup with pens in it that says “#iwokeuplikethis”, a stack of sticky notes with my “ideas”, my desk plant from Trader Joe’s that’s going on two years (if that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.), a cup of coffee because it’s not yet 3p.m. and an old school calendar, that I cross out the days on.
q & A:
I follow a lot of visual artists and filmmakers. While I hear a lot of people say Instagram bums them out, for me it's a place to retreat and get inspired by other people's work!
"Ah!! Bananas! Bananas everywhere!" - A quote from Hausu (1977), one of the most wonderfully weird and beautiful films of all time.
The work/life balance. I can come in and plug away at Hothouse projects, then head home and work on my passion projects.
Frank Zappa. That guy built a whole audiovisual empire around his own distinct style and passions, and made a huge culture imprint. And his music is wild!!
q & A:
I would either be a personal shopper/stylist for celebrities OR a detective (featured on The First 48) because I love true crime and solving mysteries.
Anything on TGIF! Full House, Family Matters, Boy Meets World, you know all the classics!
Personal and Professional Cat Herder
She annoys me sometimes, but I have to give mad props to Taylor Swift. She was the highest paid woman in music for 2019 (more than doubling Beyonce (don’t @ me Beyhive, because I am a HUGE B fan too!)) She is so calculating and gets her fans hyped about anything she does.
q & A:
BOSTON - The entire album
It's all good!
You don't have to know it all! Leverage your resources and team experts. Your clients will value you and your agency more, thus building trust and a true client relationship.
"Trust In The Work" - if you've done the work, the results will be there to win!
q & A:
Performing at Dad’s Garage Theater where I have been an ensemble member since 2007
Moose. Based on an experience I had when I lived in Glacier National Park for a summer. Moose are laid back, but, if you mess with a moose too much, they are terrifying. I should point out that I didn’t mess with the moose in Glacier…anyway…Moose…my spirit animal.
Don’t write a paper about an author that the professor has written a book about.
Never leave a meeting if you still have questions.
q & A:
Showrunner for a brilliant, but soon to be cancelled cult TV show.
Anything with Web or Cyber shoved in it—“Webinar," “cewebrity," “cyberpoet," etc.
Empathy. The ability to see the needs of all stakeholders and make sure they are being prioritized and met with the user experience.
“Art is never finished, it’s abandoned.”—Albert Giacommetti
Molly shatters all stereotypes of the “stuffy” CPA. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to digging into company financials—or when tending her garden. Before joining Hothouse, this financial guru held senior-level accounting positions at organizations like Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Zyman Group, and Lennar Partners. An Emory grad with over 20 years experience in both internal and external reporting, Molly keeps Hothouse’s fiscal affairs in tip-top shape. And our (oft-neglected) office plants are hoping she’ll do the same for them.
q & A:
I’d be a rock star with a voice like Lauryn Hill OR I’d be an animal trainer OR I’d be a Saturday Night Live cast member.
Gwen Stefani, when I was younger. She doesn’t age. Or Kristen Wiig? I just love her, so I like to pretend that we’re similar. Is that weird?
Tumblr, although more on reddit the last year or so. I love subs like Today I Learned and Whoa Dude.
I love commercials!!! I like the Allstate campaign of being protected against “mayhem like me.” I also like the Geico “Words can really hurt you” spot.
Blessed with a great voice and desire for the spotlight, Nick Schittone was never destined to be a wallflower. He parlayed his passion for music into a full-fledged marketing career, providing management support for musicians before landing a spot as Program Director at MTV-U, where he supervised a multitude of shows including MTV’s (in)famous spring break events. Nick joined Hothouse in 2004 and has since fostered client relations with brands like NBC Universal, FOX Cable Networks, Disney, and ESPN Media Networks. As for his love of music? Nick still gladly takes requests, and he’s here all week.
q & A:
I would definitely be in politics—maybe a U.S. Senator or Mayor of Atlanta (move over Kasim!)
My former boss told me, “Excuses only satisfy those who make them.” This really resonated with me because at the end of the day, you need to own it!
Definitely a notebook—I write in it everyday, making lists of what I want to accomplish. I put stars next to the priorities and when I complete a task, I can check it off (no crossing it out).
I’m really inspired by Richard Branson, whose spirit and passion are reflected in all he undertakes. What's amazing is he clearly has no barriers to entry, regardless of the industry and his lack of experience in it.
q & A:
My cat, memes, updates on my hair color.
A Jonas Brothers lyric once said, “next time I see you I’m giving you a high five, hugs are overrated just FYI” and I don’t think I’ve gotten over it. Hugs are emotional protein shakes (and that does not include side hugs).
“It took all I had to not put a fun photo here”
Stick around. There will probably be left-overs.
q & A:
Kalokairi, the made-up Greek island where the 2008 film “Mamma Mia!” takes place. Fun fact: The island where is movie was filmed is called Skopelos.
Boy Meets World, hands down. All seven seasons. "Wandering down this road that we call lifeeeee”
Flexibility, patience and love of spreadsheets.
According to my phone's battery usage stats, I spend most of my time in my YouTube app - which feels accurate.
q & A:
At the cinema—an experience that’s being discouraged in today’s digitally dominated world. I love it because you’re connected not only to the film, but also with the other people in the same room. You’re immersed in different worlds with amazing characters and stories. It’s magical, like a dream.
“I drink your milkshake, I drink it up!” – Daniel in There Will Be Blood
Instinct—video editing is as close as you can get to pure storytelling. The way you reveal, withhold and embellish information elicits an emotional response from the viewer. There’s no formula to do this right. It’s based on feeling, which you derive from instinct.
Does a film trailer count as a commercial? The teaser trailer for Inception is amazing. I love the way it gives nothing away, but still manages to hook you in with compelling images, edited so perfectly. I’ve probably watched it a thousand times.
q & A:
Introverted extrovert searching for karaoke night.
I have been told I look like Annette Benning, but I got it more when I had short hair. The other option is Chelsea Clinton. Neither answer is appealing to me.
If you misuse they’re, their or there, I will cut you.
My dad—he taught himself computer programming and eventually worked his way up to owning his own business. He taught me everything I know. (But I still won’t wear suits to the office, Dad. Let it go.)
q & A:
“Eyes of the World” by Grateful Dead. Well, any song by the Grateful Dead, really. But this one stands out because “sometimes we live no particular way but our own,” which is a great reminder to always stay true to oneself.
Without a doubt my dog, Winston. He’s an extrovert. Hates the rain. Mornings definitely aren’t his thing. And at a party, you’ll probably find him by the hors d’oeuvres.
Empathy – for the client, your team, for the consumer. Great marketing is about developing an emotional connection, and having a deep understanding to engage with people in an authentic way.
“If it’s worth playing, it’s worth playing loud.” – Mickey Hart
Shawn leads the strategy and day-to-day operations of Hothouse’s multi-faceted video department. His expertise in production management stems from nearly 20 years spent as a partner and creative director at The Benson Company, an entertainment and production boutique. He started his career as an associate producer at Turner Home Entertainment. In 2016, Shawn launched Hothouse’s production facility, building a video team from the ground up, and he continues to expand the department’s capabilities while growing a desirable client base. His favorite part of the job is helping brands solve problems with stellar content, and working with great people.
q & A:
I’d be a teacher and high school coach, because I love mentoring kids. On any given weekend, you can find me out on the lacrosse field with my boys.
Two of them: Release by Pearl Jam and Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.
Don’t be afraid to take chances.
Legacy by James Kerr. He delves into the story of New Zealand’s All Blacks to illustrate 15 vital business lessons, and I think any leader should read this book.
q & A:
No question, I’d be the general manager of the Buffalo Bills. I’m a huge football nut and growing up in western New York, the Bills have been my team (unfortunately) since I was a little kid. I think I’d make a damn good GM. I can’t be any worse than what they’ve got in there now! But since that is pretty much out of the question, I’ll have to get my thrills playing fantasy football.
Anything written or performed by Jake Paul. I mean seriously, how does this guy have a following of 10-year old girls?
One of my first bosses always told me to “show, don’t tell.” It is much more powerful when you find a way to connect with someone through action, thoughts, senses or feelings.
q & A:
Flea markets, airshows, car shows, museums, working on my house, Whole Foods and chasing my daughter across the entire city.
“NO”—and the worst part is, I have to say it all the time because I’m a Dad.
You must be flexible. Not the physical kind. I can’t even touch my toes.
Be interesting and interested.
q & A:
It's gonna be a wild ride.
"Literally"—mostly because of the wide spread improper use.
"Cowboys Herding Cats"—I loved the juxtaposition of gritty cowboys with cat scratches from kitty cats. Plus, I can relate to the parallel of herding cats as a professional skill.
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." — Albert Einstein. It’s my belief that success is the ability to make a difference and add value in all the things in your life.
Erin started creating videos at 10 years old and hasn’t slowed down. As a writer and producer, she knows what it takes to make great video content. From being out in the field on production sets to sitting behind the computer editing, she has had the opportunity to create on-air videos for networks like Food Network, HGTV, Animal Planet and USA. With a heavy emphasis on storytelling, she is able to take a concept from ideation to execution creatively and efficiently. She is excited to be collaborating with the Hothouse team.
With over 20 years of experience as an award-winning writer, producer and editor, Kara brings a keen eye for video to the Hothouse team. With a career that began in sports at CNN and ESPN, Kara successfully helped launch several Turner Networks franchises, edited TCM’s long-running Now Playing: The Show and has contributed creatively to several network Upfront presentations. Today Kara manages a creative team that specializes in creating integrated content for networks, movie studios and major brands.
Kara has been honored with several Promax, Telly and Mark awards for her work with clients such as Discovery, TLC, Lifetime, TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies. Kara and her team pride themselves on their client relationships and their ability to get the project completed quickly, without sacrificing creative quality.
Michael rocks the interactive world like nobody’s business. His proven track record includes developing highly effective campaigns for clients like InterContinental Hotels Group, DS Waters, Taco Mac, Scoutmob and M&M Products. With an emphasis on planning, reporting and analytics, Michael adeptly guides Vert’s new business strategy and digital media team, partnering with Hothouse on countless projects, including the TV Everywhere initiative for ABC and Disney and socially driven campaigns for The Weather Channel. When he’s not immersed in the field of new media, he can be found on an actual field: Michael loves playing soccer.
Nick is a 20+ year veteran motion designer and media artist. His career began in The Coca-Cola Company’s New Media Group, where he utilized the very first versions of digital video production tools to create national spots for the company. Since then, Nick has designed and directed for a host of leading brands, including Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, CNN, MTV Networks, Verizon Wireless and Warner Bros. Also an accomplished fine artist, Nick’s media art and installations have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally.
Hothouse is a tight-knit group—and we're always looking for talented people to join our family. We won't make you send an email into the abyss of email@example.com. Just pick the right person below and say hello.