We can solve your business problems because our people are the most talented at and passionate about what they do. They know how to innovate and adapt. It’s key to thriving in an industry that reinvents itself daily.

Our People

Join Our Team » See Our Leaders »

Our people are the leaders others look to in the design and development communities. They’re sought-after speakers, widely-read and often-quoted publishers, and the first to provide actionable insight into creating the most effective enterprise applications across any industry.

David Tucker

David Tucker

Vice President of Technology Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

David Tucker serves as the Vice President of Technology at Universal Mind. He is a software architect with more than 14 years of experience in web and mobile development, working closely with Universal Mind's clients to develop an effective technical strategies in the enterprise.

Francisco Inchauste

Francisco Inchauste

Creative Director Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

As Creative Director, Francisco Inchauste works to deliver solutions that balance beauty with function. He has spent the past decade working with large and small companies on websites and rich Internet applications (RIAs) to create memorable brand-driven experiences.

Joe Johnston

Joe Johnston

Director of UX / Director of R&D Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

As Director of UX and Director of R&D for Universal Mind, Joe Johnston describes his role as "not a designer, not a developer, but in-between". With 13 years of experience in design, he's been creating great User Experiences well before the term "UX" was created.

Pete Kinser

Pete Kinser

Director of Solutions Strategy Full Bio »

As Director of Solutions Strategy, Pete is a passionate user advocate who takes a human-centered approach toward researching, building, and maintaining scalable solutions. Pete's focus is on empathy and simplicity: building empathy for the human experience and achieving simplicity in design.

Chad Felton

Chad Felton

Vice President of Client Services Full Bio »

As Vice President of Client Services at Universal Mind, Chad partners with stakeholders across all levels of the world's largest companies to identify their business objectives and the digital experience connected to them. Through close collaboration with the talented strategy, design & development folks here, he works to ensure that both the tactical and strategic success of a client engagement is realized.

Douglas Knudsen

Douglas Knudsen

Senior Technical Architect Full Bio »

Douglas Knudsen, Senior Technical Architect, has developed web-based technology for more than fifteen years. He specializes in working with Adobe products such as Flex, Flash Platform, AIR for Mobile, and ColdFusion as well as surrounding database and server technologies such as Oracle and Java. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies as well as startups including Nasdaq, Pearson Education, Nomee, Principal Financial, and T-Mobile, to name a few.

Holly Kozminski

Holly Kozminski

Delivery Manager Full Bio »

Holly is a collaborator and a constant learner. Truly understanding her clients is what's most important to her as she aspires to be a trusted advisor. She is a certified Project Management I (PMI), and a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), who brings more than 15 years of project management experience in the Furniture and Packaging Industries to her role as Delivery Manager for Universal Mind.

Matt Kollmorgen

Matt Kollmorgen

Senior Vice President, Global Sales Full Bio »

Matt Kollmorgen brings a wealth of industry experience in creating and fostering progressive client relationships. As a SVP Global Sales, Matt heads the team which forges the vital link between Universal Mind and our clients. A highly creative and conceptual leader, Matt is committed to exceeding expectations for successful client engagements and championing Universal Mind’s multidisciplinary service approach.

Christian Saylor

Christian Saylor

Creative Director Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

Christian Saylor specializes in bridging the gap between functionality and aesthetics, delivering beautiful, effective digital experiences to his work for clients. With 15 years of experience in the interactive design community, he sees the user experience as the touchstone of interaction—the connection point through which a message is heard, a purchase is made, or a thought inspired.

Poppy Kimball

Poppy Kimball

Delivery Manager Full Bio »

You couldn’t be in better care when you work with Poppy Kimball. Poppy is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), who brings more than 10 years of experience in designing, developing, managing, deploying and supporting highly scalable e-commerce and enterprise mission critical systems to her role as Delivery Manager for Universal Mind.

Tommy Rochette

Tommy Rochette

Technical Architect Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

Tommy Rochette is a Technical Architect for Universal Mind specializing in HTML5 and Javascript development. He is an expert at building rich Internet applications, using technologies like, Bootstrap, Foundation, jQuery, and Angular.js bridging the gap with enterprise application back-ends.

Brad Ruiter

Brad Ruiter

Director of UX Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

Brad comes to Universal Mind with more than 10 years experience in Web Development, Mobile Platform Development, and R&D in mobile and embedded spaces. Using his experience as a Global Business Analyst and R&D Analyst at companies like Merrell, Novell, and Amway, Brad is adept at connecting the dots between business processes and a useful and memorable user experience.

Chris Scott

Chris Scott

Director of Software Development Full Bio »

Chris Scott is a Director of Software Development with over 15 years of experience designing and implementing a host of enterprise systems. He has extensive experience with both consulting and product development firms, working in domains spanning enterprise publishing, education, loss prevention data mining and telecom management.

Bonnie Van Volkinburg

Bonnie Van Volkinburg

UX Specialist Full Bio »

Drawing from her experience in Big-4 consultancy and a Graduate Program in Design Thinking and Business Innovation, Bonnie has over 9 years of cross industry experience leading teams from conceptualizing an idea to delivering valuable customer experiences.

Shelley Staten

Shelley Staten

Senior Delivery Manager Full Bio »

Shelley Staten brings more than 13 years of experience in IT consultancy & leadership to her role at Universal Mind. She is a high-performing hands-on leader with proven results re-energizing organizations and developing top performers.

Richard Gunther

Richard Gunther

Senior Delivery Manager Full Bio »

Richard Gunther has more than 20 years of Information Engineering and Technology experience encompassing the complete hardware and software lifecycle. He has extensive project, product and program management experience for desktop, online and embedded software products and devices.

Joe Force

Joe Force

Lead UX Specialist Full Bio »

Joe Force, Lead UX Specialist for Universal Mind, has been working on the cutting-edge of web technology for more than 15 years. Excelling in positions ranging from web developer to CTO, Joe has proven himself to be a leader in implementing web-based systems across a variety of platforms.

Jay Mays

Jay Mays

VP of Client Services Full Bio »

Jay Mays comes to Universal Mind with 18 years of business development and account management experience in the digital space. As Universal Mind's VP of Client Services, Jay is a driven leader who consistently focuses on client success. He currently manages Universal Mind's strategic accounts including AT&T Mobility, FedEx, Meijer, Spectrum Health and Herman Miller.

David Fik

David Fik

Sr. Strategist Full Bio »

David Fik is a Sr. Strategist with UM's Customer Experience practice. He's spent the better part of 30 years working to understand and leverage the delicate balance between business interests, business processes, and the human condition.

Nate Lokers

Nate Lokers

UX Technologist Full Bio »

Nate Lokers brings over 15 years of experience in development to his role at Universal Mind. He holds a keen interest in exploratory programming, rapid prototyping, domain exploration, and user experience definition. In addition to solving problems in the early stages of concepting and design, he also has a passion for exploring solutions for challenging development problems: creating tools, domain specific languages, interpreters and compilers that allow him to be more expressive and effective in the developing of solutions.

RJ Owen

RJ Owen

Director of User Experience Design Full Bio »

RJ brings a hybrid developer/designer perspective to his role as Director of User Experience. Having started his career as a developer, RJ's love for people won him over through user research and he's been a designer ever since.

Kevin Kazmierczak

Kevin Kazmierczak

Solutions Architect Full Bio »

Kevin Kazmierczak is a Solutions Architect that has many years of software development experience. He has worked on a wide variety of technologies that touch every aspect of web applications and led successful project teams for clients such as Complete Genomics, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Ben and Jerry's, and many others.

Lori Kirkland

Lori Kirkland

VP Strategic Client Services Full Bio »

Lori Kirkland serves, as the VP Strategic Client Services. In her role, Lori evangelizes strategy and customer research to clients and educates them on the best options available from the Solutions Strategy team. As a business leader, she promotes CX & UX to accelerate business goals while creating happy interactions for the customer by bringing the human perspective to the forefront of business.

Darron Schall

Darron Schall

Director of Software Engineering Full Bio »

Darron Schall, Director of Software Engineering, stands proudly on his ten-year track record of developing visually compelling and beautifully functioning applications. He is well versed in a myriad of client-side technologies and employs the strategy of "right tool, right job." In every situation he seeks the appropriate technology that aligns with strategy instead of forcing a favorite technology stack as an omnihammer.

Rebecca McElrath

Rebecca McElrath

Senior Consultant Full Bio »

Rebecca McElrath brings over fifteen years of web development experience to her role as a Senior Consultant with Universal Mind. Rebecca is a professional web developer who enjoys the challenge of solving puzzles that occur while writing code. However, she also has a fondness for the artist and creative nature of web design.

Andrew Powell

Andrew Powell

Solutions Architect Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

As a desktop and web-based applications developer, Andrew Powell helps clients maximize the value of Adobe's tool suite. Initially a ColdFusion developer, Andy branched out to specialize in AJAX, Flex, and Java, and is a globally recognized authority on Adobe's AJAX framework, Spry. He is currently exploring how tools like Hibernate and Spring can enhance ColdFusion and Flex powered RIAs.

Angela Satterlee

Angela Satterlee

UX Designer Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

Angela brings an engaged, holistic perspective to her dual role as a designer and specialist for Universal Mind. She enjoys working in an environment that challenges her talents as a designer, thinker, storyteller and problem solver. Her imaginative nature and creative approach makes her a much-valued member of our multidisciplinary team, helping to hatch inventive, original ideas for client projects.

Cliff Meyers

Cliff Meyers

Solutions Architect Full Bio »

Cliff brings more than thirteen years experience in application development to his role as Solutions Architect at Universal Mind. Since 2005 he has focused on enterprise Java development using technologies such as Spring and Hibernate, and front-end application development with HTML5, JavaScript and Adobe Flex.

Nate De Jager

Nate De Jager

Solutions Architect Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

Nate is an architect who builds some of the iOS apps people use each day. He has over ten years experience making award winning apps for companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Oracle. In addition to iOS and Android development, he also has several years of experience developing large-scale enterprise web applications. While primarily a developer, Nate also has a passion for user experience design. Previously he taught a number of courses on interaction design and user experience at Vancouver Island University as a Media Studies instructor. He enjoys sharing and speaking about emerging technology at local user groups.

Matt Kortering

Matt Kortering

UX Specialist Full Bio »

Matt brings a unique perspective to Universal Mind, having an impressive background in customer procurement. Problem solving and collaboration with coworkers & customers are Matt's trademarks, making him an invaluable resource as he partners with clients to create excellent customer experiences.

Anna Geurink

Anna Geurink

UX Designer Full Bio »

Anna came to Universal Mind as an award winning graphic designer with a BA from Kendall College of Art and Design. Having worked as a graphic designer for both International Steward and Milk Creative Studios, Anna has experience in brand development, campaign development, packaging and is exceptionally talented at typography.

Ryan Canulla

Ryan Canulla

Technical Architect Full Bio »

As Technical Architect at Universal Mind, Ryan builds client-side enterprise applications in HTML5 as well as Apache Flex technologies. Prior to joining Universal Mind, Ryan worked for Digitas, delivering award-winning experiences to clients including P&G, Aflac, American Express, and Goodyear.

Peter Traeg

Peter Traeg

Solutions Architect Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

Peter brings 25+ years of experience in the application development field to Universal Mind, having worked on a wide range of applications from data warehousing to online photo sharing sites. Since 1995, he has been working with web development technologies.

John McRee

John McRee

Director of UX Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

John McRee has been designing experiences for users since 1999. Acquiring and mastering user-centered design (UCD) methodologies along the way, he has designed Web sites, CD-ROM-based experiences, shrink-wrapped desktop software and mobile applications.

Brian Connatser

Brian Connatser

Senior Consultant Full Bio »

As a Senior Consultant for Universal Mind, Brian brings over 15 years of experience in web, application, and game design and development, systems architecture, and project management to his role. He specializes in a solutions agnostic approach to each project, quickly determining the best stack for the task at hand. Recently working with ObjC, HTML5, JavaScript, Sass, Haml, Ruby, Python, and NodeJS, he likes to stay on the cutting edge of new technology practices.

Tom Cornilliac

Tom Cornilliac

Technical Architect Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

Tom brings more than 15 years of consulting and software engineering experience to his role as Technical Architect at Universal Mind. He has extensive experience in both consulting and product development, working across private enterprise and government sectors.

Evan Ames

Evan Ames

UX Designer Full Bio »

As an award winning graphic designer, Evan comes to Universal Mind with a BFA in Graphic Design from Kendall College of Art and Design.  Creating clean and well thought out experiences are Evan's trademarks, which he attributes partly to his love for architecture and partly to his past focus on advertising.

Rebecca Slatkin

Rebecca Slatkin

Technical Architect Full Bio »

Rebecca is an iOS technical architect with extensive experience developing numerous high-performance mobile applications in industries including medical devices, education and social networking.

Peter Bradley

Peter Bradley

Senior Delivery Manager Full Bio »

Peter brings over 15 years of technology experience as an engineer, product manager, and IT consultant to his role as Senior Delivery Manager at Universal Mind. Peter began his career in the Seattle area as a software development engineer in Microsoft's Internet Services Business Unit.

Pierre-Luc Babin

Pierre-Luc Babin

Senior Consultant Full Bio »

Pierre-Luc Babin is a Senior Consultant for Universal Mind specializing in Web application development, using technologies like HTML5, CSS3 (Sass), and JavaScript/jQuery. He is also a back-end developer using PHP and Ruby.

Tonja Husak

Tonja Husak

Director of Client Services Full Bio »

Tonja Husak comes to Universal Mind with more than 20 years of success in technical sales. Prior to joining Universal Mind, she served as a senior sales executive at ViaWest and Aspenware, working with Raytheon, JPL, Envision, and Newmont Mining among others.

Casey Baldus

Casey Baldus

UX Designer Full Bio »

Casey joins Universal Mind with an impressive portfolio of UX work in web design, branding and typography. She enjoys problem-solving and builds her designs to create optimal solutions.

James Andersen

James Andersen

Senior Technical Architect Full Bio »

For over 10 years James Andersen has enjoyed building software solutions for his clients on a variety of platforms from desktop to web to mobile. Always keen to learn new technologies, he also likes to stay focused on the underlying needs, processes and users of the software he's helping develop.

Scott Owen

Scott Owen

Senior Consultant Full Bio »

In his hybrid role - part Senior Consultant, part UX Technologist - Scott bridges the gap between the Tech and UX practices at Universal Mind. He builds web applications for clients, taking app designs and turning them into functioning components.

Eric Sterling

Eric Starling

Lead UX Specialist Full Bio »

Eric created his first website in 1993 and was hooked. Since then, he's been involved in nearly all aspects of web development. With 15 years of experience in digital storytelling, he's been a developer, designer, information architect, and technology strategist. His wide background of skills contribute to his role as Lead UX Specialist at Universal Mind.

Andrew Fullerton

Andrew Fullerton

UX Designer Full Bio »

Andrew is a UX Designer with UM specializing in crafting compelling interfaces for anything with a screen. In addition to his design skills he has robust front-end experience, bringing his designs to working prototypes and functional web experiences.

Cindy Vanover

Cindy Vanover

Senior Delivery Manager Full Bio »

In her role as Senior Delivery Manager at Universal Mind, Cindy's primary objective is to facilitate success for client and project teams alike. Cindy's job is to navigate all the potential impacts to projects and proactively mitigate risks that may threaten a timely and quality execution. Both a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Cindy brings close to 20 years of program and project management experience to Universal Mind.

Tyler Merry

Tyler Merry

UX Technologist Full Bio »

Tyler is a UX Technologist for Universal Mind, his focus is bridging the gap between idea, and implementation. Tyler approaches all problems though the filter of experimentation. He believes the fastest and most accurate solution is working provocatively through multiple experiments and informal testing.

Greg Balmer

Greg Balmer

Director of UX Design Full Bio »

As a Director of User Experience Design at Universal Mind, Greg's role is to provide guidance for brands while navigating the digital space. In addition to architecting experiences, Greg ensures that a client's brand not only stays intact, but is elevated above the competition. He is responsible for defining the identity, tone, and voice of each experience.

Rick Perkins

Rick Perkins

Senior Strategist Full Bio »

As Senior Strategist, Rick's role is to help clients connect the dots, particularly between the digital and physical worlds. In the case of Rick's first client, Meijer who's business since inception has been rooted deeply in the physical, he's been working to figure out what online, mobile client tools, they need that can help to enhance the in-store experience.

Matt Ashwood

Matt Ashwood

UX Technologist Full Bio »

In Matt's role as UX Technologist for Universal Mind, Matt focuses on front end development, utilizing technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JS. With a background in Graphic Design, Matt previously spent his time doing print and web designs for local and national clients before moving into development full-time.

David Tucker

Director of Research & Development Full Bio »

Speaker Request »

David Tucker serves as Director of Research & Development with Universal Mind. He works closely with Universal Mind's clients to develop an effective technical strategy as well as end-to-end experiences that span devices and technologies. David is a software engineer with more than 12 years of experience in web and mobile design.

Our Story

Universal Mind was born from our reputation of delivering where others had failed.

Universal Mind started out of necessity, the result of our commitment to clients facing the broken promises of others. We met those clients face-to-face and got their jobs done before we’d even picked a name.

When we finally did select a company name, we were inspired by the song Universal Mind by The Doors. Quite simply, it resonates, because when you work with Universal Mind you don’t just work with one individual, or even with just the team that’s on your project. You get an entire company of people who pride themselves on sharing knowledge and making everyone better.

Many of our people were once employed by top companies, such as Adobe, IBM Global Services, Accenture, Cambridge Technology Partners, and Publicis Dialog. They come to Universal Mind and stay with us because we provide a work environment that most of our competitors don’t. We present our people with the best opportunities, treat them with respect, and keep the organization transparent at all levels. It’s just how we do business.

Since 2003, Universal Mind, Inc. has been building custom digital solutions for clients. With this experience as our foundation, we are experts at creating truly innovative applications with engaging user experiences for people …on any device they use. Solutions that leverage your business systems and combine them with the latest technologies and platforms around.

It’s all our way of building an organization where people love to work, with clients who love to work with us, and that’s respected in the industry.

Overheard on Twitter

@briankellyphoto: Editing videos for @universalmind... blown away at what goes into development and design of the best apps and digital solutions!

Overheard on Twitter

Congrats to UMs @WhatImpressesMe for winning @microsoft's Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP for 2013!

Overheard on Twitter

The people at @universalmind are maybe some of my favorite people on the planet. I love this company.

Overheard on Twitter

@universalmind contributed some of our best practices around #userresearch and #personas with our friends @forrester

Our Values

We are a strategic partner

We are a strategic partner

Whether they’re established players or fast-moving upstarts, our clients seek us out for the leading-edge innovation they need to inspire customer loyalty, boost revenues, and maximize business efficiencies. We form deep relationships based on mutual respect and a passion for excellence.

We’re obsessed with exceeding clients’ expectations so they see us as must-have partners for the long term. We make in-person interactions a priority, and we strive to delight our clients at every step, from investigation to concepts, iteration to final deployment, strategic planning to follow-up.

While we bring best practices to every engagement, we aren’t prima donnas. We’re pragmatic about playing by our clients’ rules and getting the job done according to their specifications.

We live and breathe technology and design

We live and breathe technology and design

Passion for the great experience that comes from the perfect combination of technology and design is in our DNA. We insist on great design and innovative execution in both our tools for work and our toys for play. (And really, is there a difference?)

We thrive on the continual change of NOW. We’re always testing, exploring, and tweaking the newest stuff, asking what-ifs and why-nots. We know that the best technology and user experience can help us discover breakthrough ways to help our clients get ahead.

We also know that today’s hot technology can quickly become tomorrow’s Betamax. And while we like to push technical boundaries to take our clients to the next level, we also ensure the solutions we deploy create real business value.

We are a team of true craftsmen

We are a team of true craftsmen

We hire the best, learn from the best, and do the best work. We love being surrounded by crazy-smart people at the top of their craft—true masters who constantly raise the bar for each other.

We love to share our expertise with the technology community. Our thought leaders speak at the conferences and write the books and blogs that help shape the future of digital experiences.

Despite our knowledge of technology and design, we aren’t know-it-alls. We’re team players and articulate communicators who connect beautifully with business people. We may be bold and outspoken, but arrogance is not our thing.

We thrive on responsible freedom

We thrive on responsible freedom

Eccentricities? No problem. Office politics? No thanks. We’ve created an environment in which each of us is evaluated based on the quality of our contributions—the code we write, the designs we create, and the client relationships we build—and not how we dress or how many meetings we attend.

Our workforce was virtual before virtual was cool. We believe in individuality and autonomy—not set hours or corporate face time. But we understand that with great freedom comes great responsibility to our clients and our company. We operate with few layers of management because our people are common-sense self-starters.

Integrity means everything. Our staff may have diverse workplaces, but each one of us cares deeply about satisfying our clients and doing the right thing.

We are lavish yet lean

We are lavish yet lean

We splurge on the latest and greatest tech: software, hardware, devices, and education that helps us work better, faster, and cheaper.

Our love of technology means we’re often the first to discover and implement innovative solutions that boost productivity and reduce costs. (Hello SaaS, goodbye servers and file cabinets.)

We’re vigilant about minimizing bureaucracy and freeing our people from unnecessary process, and find there is no real substitute for good common sense.

We are here to have fun

We are here to have fun

We take what we do seriously, but we know that life’s too short to take ourselves too seriously. We have fun every day.

Stiffs beware. From terrifically clever to terribly lowbrow, humor is a key part of our culture. But whether our jokes are in good taste or bad, we’re always respectful of others.

We’re all passionate, but when discussions heat up we use jokes and sarcasm to cut the tension. No grudges allowed.

Management Team

  • Brett Cortese

    Brett Cortese

    President and CEO

    Brett Cortese is the President and CEO of Universal Mind. He is responsible for the company’s strategic business priorities and technical investments to ensure Universal Mind meets the needs of its clients in the competitive digital landscape. Brett oversees all the core areas of the company including technology development, user experience, and solutions delivery. As the solutions strategy expert at Universal Mind, he provides strategic insights for customers across all vertical markets as they undertake new mobile initiatives.

    Brett co-founded Universal Mind in 2003 as a systems integrator for large companies. As enterprises began exploring ways to offer mobile and digital experiences at the onset of the mobile revolution, Brett saw a new opportunity for the company. He hired the industry’s most creative talent to form a new breed of agency, offering the stellar design services of a leading interactive agency combined with the deep technical expertise the firm has provided since inception. It is Brett’s vision to help clients extend their brands through consistent digital experiences that span multiple touch points by leveraging their existing technical investments on the back end.

    Previously, Brett was a senior level consultant at Macromedia where he helped Fortune 500 companies overcome legacy system and implementation issues to realize the benefits of new innovative technologies. His success in this role laid the groundwork for creating Universal Mind.

    Today, Universal Mind’s customers include FedEx, Amway, Adobe, EnerNOC, and Oracle. Under Brett’s leadership, Universal Mind realized extraordinary growth and twice earned the distinction of being included in Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies.

  • Tom Link
  • Brian O'Connor

    Brian O'Connor

    Executive Vice President, Technology

    As EVP of Technology, Brian O’Connor sets technology direction and strategy for our client initiatives, with an emphasis on multiple device strategy and technology integration. Brian’s experience across multiple platforms and development technologies in web and mobile/tablet arenas make him uniquely qualified to manage Universal Mind’s technology team of more than 75 developers worldwide.

    With 16+ years of consulting experience across multiple disciplines and technologies, Brian possesses a significant background in Insurance & Financial Services solutions that demand high availability and real-time messaging performance. He has driven business innovation with Flex, AIR, LCDS, and BlazeDS solutions as well as in the Voice XML space.

    Before joining Universal Mind, Brian worked with Adobe/Macromedia Consulting, focused on delivering large-scale enterprise applications. He served as the Wireless Technology Officer at Breakaway Solutions. And he was Enterprise Architect at Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, where he concentrated on J2EE development for all core web-based solutions.

    Brian spends most of his day sitting in front of his MacBook Pro and five tablets ensuring that our clients are prepared for this mobile evolution.

  • Erik Loehfelm

    Erik Loehfelm

    Executive Vice President, User Experience

    Erik Loehfelm is the Executive VP of User Experience at Universal Mind. In this role, Erik oversees design teams and UX studios across the country which develop cutting edge immersive user experiences for clients across various verticals.

    With a deep knowledge of the ways humans interact with technologies, Erik ensures user experience is about elegant design, usability, performant development and physical context and how these elements come together to create a holistic experience for people. Erik oversees interaction design, user testing, UI design, and vision prototyping at Universal Mind and determines where the company should make investments to deliver highly immersive experiences for its customers.

    Erik has more than 18 years of experience in design. He began his career in New York and became an award-winning editorial designer and studio owner, transitioning his focus from print to web design in the mid 90’s. Erik is also an adjunct professor at the Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    Erik earned his B.S. in Aviation at The Ohio State University in the early 90’s. Taking his inspiration from nature, he enjoys the outdoors with his wife and four daughters. He credits his teamwork and leadership skills to over 25 years as a volleyball player and coach.

  • Ryan Easton

    Ryan Easton

    Vice President of Delivery

    As VP of Delivery, Ryan Easton is responsible for making sure that Universal Mind’s solution framework is the best possible solution for delivering todays best in class software products. Ryan manages a group of senior delivery managers helping to make sure we maintain consistency across all phases of the software lifecycle. Consistently making sure we are always improving on every aspect of delivering the best possible experience for our customers.

    Ryan has devoted 15+ years of leadership and problem solving skills to the practice of software development. As a Solutions Architect for many years Ryan has had the unique opportunity to see product development from many angles. It is that perspective that helps him understand all the challenges that the client, strategy, architect, creative director will have when trying to work together to produce a final deliverable.

    Ryan has a real passion for process and Agile Development. The transition from architect to delivery was a natural one. Ryan has been directly responsible for million’s of dollars of enterprise projects throughout his diverse career path. The challenges of managing a disparate team to enable them to work in harmony when you have a mountain of scope a tight timeline and an established budget is something Ryan and the entire Delivery Team at Universal Mind take very seriously. We have embraced agile methodologies and Ryan ensures we have taken the best of them to craft an elegant solution that has one goal in mind and that is to deliver a quality product on time and on budget.

  • Dan Bentz

    Dan Bentz

    Executive Vice President, Solutions Strategy

    Dan Bentz heads up our Solutions Strategy practice, helping clients convert complex ideas into strategic customer experiences. Dan is an indomitable strategist, with the ability to analyze and advance solutions—the more complicated and involved, the better—particularly in regard to organizational design and structure. He also works with our clients on solutions strategy considerations such as innovation pipeline design and implementation, process analysis/creation/improvement, physical experience exploration, critical thinking methodologies, and much more to help clients define their hardware and applications strategies.

    Dan brings more than 17 years of experience in program management, experience mapping, and process analysis from companies including Haworth, Honeywell, and International Paper as well as managing global collaboration projects for the US Navy. He also has a Masters in Organization Leadership and a BS in Organizational Management, both focused on organizational strategy, design, functionality, change, and alignment.

    Besides being wicked-smart, Dan has never met a bad joke he didn’t immediately foist upon unsuspecting coworkers. And, while not an actual Elvis impersonator, he has played one on TV. In his spare time, Dan exercises his strategic expertise in the off-season by attempting to design the perfect fantasy football team to dominate his league.

  • Tammie Helm

    Tammie Helm

    Executive Vice President, Client Engagement

    As EVP of Client Engagement, Tammie is responsible for the face of Universal Mind, overseeing the experience of our clients across all touch points, including marketing and communications both externally and internally to our consulting teams.

    Tammie grew up in the technology industry with more than 18 years experience marketing products and services for world-class companies such as Netscape, HP, The Wall Street Journal, and Adobe. She has a unique blend of management, creative, and analytical skills, combined with a passionate advocacy for the customer experience in everything she has done. With a breadth of expertise in integrated marketing program strategy and execution across diverse communications vehicles, she believes customer experience is what truly defines the brand.

  • Blaine Cheshire

    Blaine Cheshire

    Chief Financial Officer

    As CFO, Blaine Cheshire directs all financial activities for Universal Mind. With more than 12 years of financial operations and management experience in the technology sector, Blaine is responsible for the development and implementation of long-term financial initiatives for the company, including monitoring and coordinating all functional activities and policies related to finance, accounting, and analysis.

    Prior to Universal Mind, Blaine was the General Manager USA for Zed Worldwide, a global leader in mobile entertainment applications and mobile content distribution. Blaine has also held corporate finance positions at Promotech Research and Level 3 Communications in addition to public accounting experience with KPMG.

    In his free time, Blaine enjoys counting beans. All kinds of beans – red, black, pinto, kidney, even lima beans. He especially loves the challenge of counting refried beans.

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