who we arePlay

who we are

We are a team of strategists, designers, creators, and storytellers with a passion for building brands with purpose. Members of our team represent a diverse range of experience and expertise. Our shared belief – that we can create the change we want to see in the world – unifies us and enables us to produce work that is strategic, engaging, and beautiful.

our team

whoweare-JH Jonathan Hanwit Co-Founder and CEO

Jonathan Hanwit

Co-Founder and CEO

Jonathan’s passion is people. If he wasn’t leading the charge at thinkPARALLAX he’d be traveling the world, learning about other cultures and talking with his hands – and feet if necessary. Jonathan’s prior business and marketing experience, in combination with his knack for storytelling, makes managing client relationships an ideal role for him. His strength is truly understanding clients’ needs, brainstorming ideas on the spot and honing in on the best solutions to achieve their goals. Though he’s one of the most creative brainstormers at thinkPARALLAX, he also oversees all aspects of business operations. Prior to thinkPARALLAX, Jonathan worked as a Business Development Manager for a San Diego based non-profit, Partnerships With Industry and as a Marketing Manager for Unicorp Marketing after graduating from Radford University in 1997. In the late 90s, Jonathan spent a year and a half trekking throughout Asia and Europe. Needless to say, he has some epic travel stories! An active sports enthusiast, Jonathan takes his oldest son surfing every week before school.

whoWeare_Guusje2-4 Guusje Bendeler Co-Founder and Chief Strategy & Creative

Guusje Bendeler

Co-Founder and Chief Strategy & Creative

That’s pronounced Who-sha. She’s originally from The Netherlands. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and she’s always up for a teaching moment. That’s why she’s such a strong creative director and educator for her designers, students and clients. Her European-inspired design and communication philosophy is ‘less is more’ and she always strives for visually appealing solutions that are communicated effectively. Guusje oversees that each project reaches the high level of quality thinkPARALLAX is known for – no cutting corners here! 😉 Guusje graduated in 1996 from the Royal Academy of Art in The Netherlands where she earned her degree in graphic and typographic design. She worked for more than ten years at renowned design firms in The Netherlands and US, where she designed award-winning books, catalogs, exhibits, posters, brochures, ads and annual reports. Because she likes sharing her knowledge and loves seeing young designers grow into their talent, she also worked for six years as an adjunct faculty member teaching graphic design at San Diego State University. When she’s not in the studio, you might find her volunteering as an art teacher for a local elementary school or teaching her sons Dutch while driving them to their sports activities.

tPX_Tyler Tyler Wagner Director of Client Strategy

Tyler Wagner

Director of Client Strategy

A natural leader with a passion for giving back, Tyler brings enthusiasm and creativity to every endeavor. With a wealth of experience in client services, creative strategy, copywriting and design, Tyler enjoys transforming big ideas into tangible results, and sharpening fuzzy concepts into focused messages. Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, he earned his BA from the University of Missouri, professional certificates in graphic design and web design from the Digital Arts Center at UCSD and completed the GRI Certified G4 Sustainability Reporting Course (adminstered by ISOS Group) in 2014. Outside the office, Tyler has chronicled his trials and tribulations as a cancer-survivor on his blog (GoTeamTyler.com) and enjoys spending his free time on his bike, in the great outdoors, or in the kitchen with his wife Natasha and their dog Bernell.

tPX_Alden1 Alden Domini Account manager

Alden Domini

Account manager

Alden is a Northern California native but has called all corners of the country home, living in Chicago, New Jersey and San Francisco before earning Bachelors degrees in Business and French from North Carolina State University. She eventually headed back west, landing in Southern California where she began her career at Mattel Toys in project management. With impeccable attention to detail and a passion for building meaningful relationships, Alden went on to refine her account management, marketing, and PR skills at various branding and design agencies along the coast. Before joining thinkPARALLAX, she assisted in the development of Bank of America’s corporate social responsibility strategy, community engagement, and philanthropic efforts in San Diego, which ignited her passion for purpose-driven business. When she’s not strategizing with clients, Alden is spending time with her two crazy sons and husband, hanging at the beach and playing Uber driver to all their various activities.

tPX_Kate1 Kate Hansen Account Manager

Kate Hansen

Account Manager

After building her career in some of the country’s biggest advertising cities, Kate has returned to San Diego with her husband and toddler to reunite with her family, the surf, and the good life. An advertising agency veteran, she joins the team with over 15 years of experience leading successful campaigns for some of the world’s top global brands, as well as non-profits that are close to her heart. Her true passion lies in purpose, problem-solving, and positively impacting the way people think, which is what led her to thinkPARALLAX. When she’s not leading the accounts team and client strategy, Kate is an avid traveler who’s always up for an adventure. Although she moved to San Diego from Perth, Australia when she was 10 years old, she stays true to her Aussie roots with her love for Vegemite and Australian slang.

tPX_Lizzie1 Lizzie Wurm Account Manager

Lizzie Wurm

Account Manager

The epitome of “team player”, Lizzie joins the thinkPARALLAX team with contagious enthusiasm and a genuine passion for people. Born and raised in Virginia, Lizzie earned her B.A. in Strategic Marketing & Communications from the University of Richmond and has passionately immersed herself in these two domains ever since. Outgoing in nature with a knack for careful listening, Lizzie’s niche is building relationships and making clients happy. Her most recent endeavor as the Director of Sales & Marketing for a software startup inspired her cross-country move to the West Coast, a fitting environment for her sunny and laid-back personality. Outside of work, Lizzie loves spending as much time as possible in the sunshine, playing in the ocean, practicing yoga, and traveling the world.

Will 3 Will Rodbell Marketing and Business Development Manager

Will Rodbell

Marketing and Business Development Manager

Will was born in New York City and raised in Palm Beach, FL, but after spending time with family on the West Coast throughout his childhood he quickly fell in love with Southern California. He packed up his bags for San Diego where he went on to graduate from the University of San Diego with a Bachelors in Business Administration. After showcasing his skills as a creative and strategic thinker as an intern at thinkPARALLAX, Will officially joined the team a year later. Will enjoys utilizing design thinking methods to address a client’s unique communication challenges, and his love for the outdoors fuels his passion for sustainability. Outside the office, Will is a bit of a travel addict having visited 40 countries (and counting). He especially loves unique adventures, like his time spent as a crew member on a 112ft. schooner that sailed from Australia to Thailand.

whoweare-img14 Mallory Murphy Studio Manager

Mallory Murphy

Studio Manager

Born and raised in Kansas, Mallory has progressively made her way west: first attending high school in Arizona, before going to college in Oregon, and then moving to San Diego in 2007. Mallory graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Sports Marketing, which extended her passion for sports to the business world. She began her career working for several years at a golf course management company, where she coordinated print and web initiatives—and where she realized her passion for digital marketing. From there she went on to work as an Email Marketing Specialist at a digital agency, eventually transitioning to the role of project manager…and she hasn’t looked back since. She’s honed her skills managing complex web and print projects, and brings her experience and passion for web to our team at thinkPARALLAX. Outside of the office, Mallory enjoys cooking (if you’ll eat it, she’ll cook it), anything outdoors (camping/hiking/kayaking), cheering on the Ducks, and generally just spoiling her pup, #RooneyMurphy.

Janna Irons Content Strategist and Copywriter

Janna Irons

Content Strategist and Copywriter

The daughter of two artists, Janna has always had a passion for creativity and an eye for aesthetics. She brings to thinkPARALLAX six years of experience as a magazine editor, which has provided her a strong foundation in writing, a keen eye for detail, the ability to think outside the box, and expertise in social media and content marketing. Janna has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from San Diego State University, where she specialized in marketing and advertising. When she’s not writing great copy or managing projects, you’ll find her surfing, hiking, camping, or taking spontaneous weekend trips to just about anywhere with a mountain, ocean, or great brewery.

Megan Megan Fleming Hytjan Communications & Social Media Strategist

Megan Fleming Hytjan

Communications & Social Media Strategist

While she specializes in social media strategy, Megan is a big believer in integrated communications that spans everything from branding and messaging to PR outreach, employee engagement and executive thought leadership. Previously, Megan worked in the Social Innovation sector of Waggener Edstrom (now WE Communications) where she supported a variety of private, public and social sector clients including Amgen Foundation, PATH, McKinsey Social Initiative, L’Oreal Paris, The Jane Goodall Institute and CARE, among others. Earlier in her career, she worked with a social media marketing agency based out of Seattle (now part of Deloitte Digital), where she managed the influencer relations program and led community management for brands such as: The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, The National Civil Rights Museum, DRY Soda and Windstar Cruises.

EHM_NEW_JeffMears_2015 Jeff Mears UX & Tech Strategist

Jeff Mears

UX & Tech Strategist

Jeff has been working with clients on digital strategy, user experience and creative direction since 2001. He has led design and development for dozens of projects including Microsoft’s Worldwide Watercooler project, Waggener Edstrom’s award winning WeCitzenship.com and Safeway’s “Heart of Safeway” site.

Geoff Ledford staff photo Geoff Ledford Lead Communication Strategist

Geoff Ledford

Lead Communication Strategist

Born in Visalia, California to a family of olive farmers, Geoff – pronounced “Jawf” thanks to his hippy parents – brings a unique blend of right-brain creativity and left-brain analytical ability to the team at thinkPARALLAX. From a young age, Geoff loved reading and writing – devouring magazines and books at a frightening pace and (several years later) spending way too much time meticulously crafting unnecessary emails to friends. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English literature from UC Davis and went on to write copy and editorial content for a host of clients and publications (Fast Company, TransWorld Media, and Core77 – to name a few). However, somewhere along the way Geoff also fell in love with design. From well-executed typography to the character lines on a classic muscle car, as long as it’s design, it holds Geoff’s attention. He graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with a Bachelor of Science in Product Design. He has designed medical devices, sporting goods, electronics, toys, soft goods, and a host of other products across a wide array of industries. Most recently Geoff has been using his combination of writing and design to help brands build enduring relationships with their audiences. When he’s not working, you can find Geoff surfing on one of his beloved longboards, eating food made by his wife (a chef!), or hanging out with Tiny, his 150-pound Saint Bernard.

whoweare-img12x Ann Tartre Sustainability Strategist

Ann Tartre

Sustainability Strategist

Ann has dedicated her career to helping organizations advance their sustainability and philanthropic objectives.  For over 15 years, in programmatic, executive and consulting roles, she created and implemented innovative solutions that boost performance, while also providing community benefit.  Most recently as Executive Director of the Equinox Center, a regional sustainability think tank in San Diego, Ann oversaw the organization’s research and policy agenda, produced the annual San Diego Regional Quality of Life Dashboard, and created a new network, Leaders 2020, to engage the region’s Millennials in advancing sustainability and quality of life in San Diego County.  Prior to joining Equinox Center, Ann worked on international climate change policy and was a legislative aide on Capitol Hill.

Ann holds a BA from Tufts University, and a Masters degree from Yale University. A native of Maine and citizen of the world, when not traveling, Ann and her husband reside in San Diego, CA where they enjoy surfing, camping and hiking.

tPX_Shannon1 Shannon Valdes communication strategist

Shannon Valdes

communication strategist

Shannon is a wordsmith, storyteller, and PR / social media pro driven by the desire to make a positive impact on the planet. Originally from Colorado, she earned a Bachelors in Marketing from the University of Denver before she traded in snowboarding for the beaches of San Diego. Shannon’s love for writing is what led to her career in PR and communications, mastering that art of strategic storytelling while working for various companies committed to the greater good. In early 2016, the travel bug got the best of her and she took off for a year and a half “jobbatical” in Southeast Asia where she directed PR for a Singapore-based luxury travel company while writing for a digital travel magazine. When she’s not working, she can typically be found at the beach, in the dance studio, or planning her next adventure abroad.

tPX_Sam1 Sam Halper Project Manager

Sam Halper

Project Manager

Raised in the presence of driven individuals, Sam has an intrinsic passion and excitement for seeing businesses transform into productive and thriving companies. A former New Yorker, Sam moved to San Diego at age 14 and continued her education at San Diego State University where she graduated with a degree in Communication. With a genuine love for writing and thinking outside the box, Sam discovered her forte for leading teams effectively while working as a Creative Product Manager at a local branding agency and a Media Relations Manager within a full-service communications firm. She believes that by using marketing and efficient management as a creative tool, the possibilities are endless. In Sam’s free time you’ll find her at the nearest Corepower Yoga, eating chocolate or playing with her dog, Riesling.

whoweare-img08 Edison Miclat Brand & Production Manager and Senior Designer

Edison Miclat

Brand & Production Manager and Senior Designer

Edison’s great sense of color and design details, make him an aesthetical pro. Not only is he a strong designer, he’s the best at asking the right questions, making sure all bits and pieces come together the way they should and seeing a project through to the end. Before Edison graduated from San Diego State University, he lived in Japan where he cultivated his aesthetical eye and love for photography.

tPX_Sean1 Sean Serrano Graphic Designer

Sean Serrano

Graphic Designer

Sean brings 10 years of diverse experience, which has contributed towards helping to build meaningful advertising campaigns and successful brand launches.

Throughout his career he has been fortunate to work with forward-thinking startups to globally recognized lifestyle brands, in both in-house and creative agency settings. The benefit of understanding big vs. small brands and the discrete processes involved within different creative environments has allowed him to deliver successful experiences for clients, that lead to invaluable connections with the people that matter most to them.

Sean is a strategic problem-solver with a passion for solving complex business problems, delivered through fresh text and visual design solutions that help shape the way consumers experience a brand.

whoweare-img11 Deborah Kim Graphic Designer

Deborah Kim

Graphic Designer

Deborah was born in Chicago and educated in South Korea. She returned to Chicago to attend the Visual Communication Design MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). After graduation, she built upon her skills as a designer at Landor Associates, where she worked on campaigns for renowned brands including Nestle, Kraft, and P&G. Deborah believes in the power of visuals, thinks visually, and speaks visual language. She likes to learn new art/design skills and technologies so she can continue to represent her ideas across all media. When she is not speaking visually, she enjoys snorkeling and cooking Korean cuisine.

Kelly Hambright Kelly Hambright Finance Consultant

Kelly Hambright

Finance Consultant

Kelly is a dynamic business professional with accounting and finance experience in a variety of industries from biotech to publishing. After graduating from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in Business Administration and a concentration in Finance, she lived in NYC and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, but found her true calling and home in San Diego. She loves helping businesses with strategic analysis by creating meaningful financial reports and management tools. When not crunching numbers, Kelly can be found with her husband and two daughters at the beach, or going on adventures around San Diego, doing pilates, styling kids clothes and dreaming of Paris.

tPX_Pat1 Pat VandenHeuvel Office Manager

Pat VandenHeuvel

Office Manager

Pat is responsible for keeping the thinkPARALLAX office running like a well-oiled machine. After graduating from Notre Dame with a B.A. in American Studies, Pat worked in advertising and marketing in New York and DC, ran a small paper/gift business in Northern Virginia, and managed C-Suite healthcare executives in Charleston, SC, all while pursuing her real passion — travel writing. In 2015, Pat returned to her middle school roots in Southern California and effortlessly succumbed to the San Diego lifestyle. When she’s not multi-tasking at thinkPARALLAX, she can be found losing all track of time in Target, searching for the best old-fashioned in San Diego, or planning her next travel adventure with her husband and lovely boomerang children.