Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. It’s filled with friends, family, and lots of wonderful food. But more importantly it’s a time for us to reflect upon the blessings in our life and show a bit of gratitude for the world around us.
Looking around the DT office I couldn’t help but notice just how good we’ve got it. We have awesome clients, a kick-ass workforce, and values-driven leadership that challenges us to grow our skills every day. Over the past year DT has over a dozen new employees and we’ve become an even more eclectic and diverse group of digital diehards.
We thought Thanksgiving would be a good time for our readers to get meet each and every one of us. So, here’s a bit about us and one thing we’re each thankful for in design/technology/San Diego this season.
Born in New York, grew up in Wisconsin. Left my career at 30 to find a life more fulfilling. Came to DT, and have never looked back. Engineer and designer at heart. Lover of the simple things in life and wonderful people. Burner. I’m thankful for the ever-increasing awareness that design matters in every aspect of our lives.
Dana Larson – UX Designer
I love Yoga, Mexican food, and sleeping. Most commonly found day dreaming about living off the grid, sitting on the beach, or laughing with my love. I am thankful for my car and how it let’s me talk on the phone hands free to my fiancee Rachel!
Brad Soroka – UX Designer
I’m an East Coast transplant who roamed the country with his family in search of an endless summer. We found it here in San Diego. I’m thankful for minimal design, less clutter, the modularity of Ikea, and the way Google does everything.
Jessica Moon – Art Director
Art Director by day, vigilante writer by night. Gamer and lover of all things furry. I’m thankful for Google apps and how they’ve managed to create a system for my life that allows me to obtain access to the things I need or might need automagically.
Rocky Roark – UX Designer
I’m a nerdy movie buff who spends his nights doodling away. I’m thankful to be in San Diego as opposed to Savannah, GA. Sooo much more to do out here and its so beautiful out everyday (almost).
Jamie Hamel-Smith – Developer
I’m a nerd in any way you could imagine. I’ve got a passion for 3D design, and the wealth of information & empowerment that the web brings. I’m thankful that in modern UX, there’s no one right way to design things. Diversity brings discovery and enlightenment. There’s a lot of designers and developers trying new things every day. I know we’ll never find the ‘right’ solution but we’re constantly finding better ways to accomplish our UX goals on the web.
Dave Shephard – Director of Development
I’m a lover of what the future holds – everything is new each day and you never know what you’re going to see next. I’m thankful for the wonderful support from all my friends and family, my beautiful wife, my soon to be born daughter and how God has guided my every step, plotting my life’s course.
Jason Amunwa – Director of Products
I’m obsessed with ninjas, improv comedy, the web, the singularity and human relationships. My world revolves around meaningful work, hilarious friends and the incredible love of my girlfriends. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
Brian Bimschleger – Digital Strategist
I’m a beach-loving Midwesterner who spends his time obsessing over the Patriots, building stuff, and trying to not get injured while learning to surf. I’m thankful for whiteboards. I’m not really a good enough artist or doodler to make stuff look good, but whiteboards make everything temporary, and are super good for getting the entire team up and moving at once.
Brent Summers – Digital Strategist
I’m an out and proud NASCAR fan whose been California Dreamin’ ever since he first bought a Beach Boys cassette tape in 1986. I’m thankful for my Tervis Tumbler that keep my coffee hot and my lemonade ice cold. Plus they’re never hot to the touch or require a coaster.
Cody Iddings – UX Designer
I spend my free time frothing for waves, nerding over Nintendo, and cruising with my ever-increasing family. Shoots! I am thankful that God consistently provides in all things, empowering me to love others and live in a spirit of joy. And for the awesome experience that Nintendo has been offering lately and the attention to detail they excel at.
Annie Sexton – Developer
I’m a bilingual Texan with a passion for food, languages and art. I’m thankful for single-cup pour overs. Because real coffee machines take up too much damn space, and my apartment is tiny.
Dan Birman – UX Designer
I love to solve complex business problems through purposeful and deliberate design across a variety of environments. In my free time, I like to have fun outdoors, mostly surfing and biking. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, I enjoy good food, weightlifting, and painting. I’m thankful for noise-canceling headphones – they give me the amazing ability to focus no matter what kind of craziness is going on around me.
Melanie Chandruang – Accountant
I’m on a quest to live a rich life filled with my family, friends, dog, yoga, running, live music and good food. I’m thankful for the newly redesigned QuickBooks Online because doing finances back in the day must’ve been HORRIBLE.
Dani Dufrene – Digital Strategist
Account Strategist, Crossfitter, fitness enthusiast, foodie, Oregon Ducks fan and adventure seeker. My Mizuno running shoes. The perfect balance between support and light-weight flexibility.
Bethany Brown – Developer
Ditched the snowy winters of Salt Lake City for the sunny beaches of SoCal recently and I’m not looking back. I love music, hiking, traveling to new places and hanging with my two cats. Living by the ocean is amazing. Can we talk about the lack of mosquitos??
Allison Drake – Digital Strategist
A left-handed, San Diego native who loves traveling, digital marketing, live theatre, tapas, & entrepreneurship. I’m thankful for having the best weather, burritos, sunsets, and people all in the same city.
Dustin LaMont, UX Designer
I’ve been a fan of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers since I was a little boy, played drums for 20 years, and have an addiction to corn dogs. I’m thankful for old and new album artwork design. It’s something that continues to inspire me every day.
MK Cook – UX Designer
Texas-born girl who channels her boundless energy and curiosity toward designing killer interactions and interfaces. I’m also a bicycle commuter, gourmet pizza baker and wannabe bee-keeper. I am grateful to have authentic friends who are comfortable to be around. I am grateful that we can sit around my outdoor table year round and share a relaxed meal. I am grateful for a husband who loves me and makes me laugh.
Ben Thiefels – Digital Strategist
Born and raised on the east coast and a proud Vermonter at heart. Moved to California on a whim in 2011 to escape the cold and broaden my personal and professional horizons. I spend my free time hiking and camping SoCal with my wife Jess. I’m thankful that DT recognized my potential. I didn’t have any UX or Web Design experience coming into this position and they allowed me to learn, make mistakes, and better myself in many ways.
Eric Thomas – Digital Strategist
Tech, gaming, & design enthusiast + sci-fi/fantasy & anime geek + indie & electronic music lover + sports & food fanatic. I’m thankful that I have a world of information and communication possibilities in my pocket (iPhone).
Susie Pollasky – Talent Ambassador
Fascinated by people and their stories. Crazy animal lover, have a dance party every morning in my living room, aspire to see the beauty in all things great and small. Love the small town vibe in San Diego, and I can get anywhere I want in 20 min or less. Also, LOVE Ocean Beach so much, it’s perfect for my personality and activity level.
Jimmy Ebeling – UX Designer
I grew up in the middle west and enjoy traveling the world and trying weird things like Chicken Feet. I’m thankful for that I can create my own destiny at DT and live the real Cali dream.
Lauren Ventura – Copywriter
Word smith. Scribe. Grammar geek. Book club aficionado. Honestly, writing is more than my bread and butter. It’s the plate I eat off of, too. I truly love what I do. One thing I’m thankful for is my daughter. Each day she amazes me by blossoming into this totally awesome person. It’s just so cool.
Bradley Kenyon – Developer
An artist and designer who tripped and became a developer. I am thankful for temperature controlled gooseneck kettles.
Chuck Longanecker – Founder and CEO
Founder and CODSP (Chief Officer of Distracting Side Projects). I’m thankful that I can request a taxi at the push of a button. Gotta love Lyft drivers with snacks!
Orville Esoy – UX Designer
I’m a proud San Diego native with a wanderlust heart. I’m thankful for emoticons 🙂 I believe they add a touch of emotion that could otherwise make a simple text much more emotional. Or in my specific case let the recipient know that I’m being sarcastic 😀
Maurice Rosemond – UX Designer
I’m a Georgia-bread, enigmatic tinkerer who loves to learn new things. I’m thankful for the unparalleled level of vulnerability everyone at DT is willing to show. No one person has everything figured out, but we can figure it out together.
Dan Trenkner – Art Director
I like to surf, snowboard and drink stouts. I’m thankful for having an awesome camera and Surf Report in my pocket.
Brian Stieler – UX Designer
I’m an adventurist and outdoor enthusiast with a focus on ultra-minimalism. Streaming music has allowed me to enjoy a pleasant soundtrack throughout my entire day.
Shannon Longanecker – Director of Vitality
I love farmers market, cooking, spending time with friends, and crafting really fun experiences. I’m thankful for my insulated Klean Kanteen that keeps water ice cold for 24 hours.This fall, I’m also super thankful for everyone who’s helping me while I have a broken right foot, especially my husband Chuck! What a trooper. 😉
Shawn Leslie – Product Designer
I’m a husband and father that cooks websites and designs & develops breakfast burritos. I’m thankful for my trusty Oakley Holbrook shades that can be sat on and stepped on an never bend or break. Also thankful for their affordable replacement lenses.
John Botica – Developer
I’m a nerd with a love of gaming, brewing beer and using my hands to make awesome things. I’m thankful for yeast. Cause without it you don’t get much in the way of yummy baked goods, beer, mead etc. Such wonderful little microorganisms.
Aron Schuhmann – Digital Strategist
I’m just a man (who shreds the gnar) helping talented people make websites that do awesome shit. I am thankful for Moleskine notepads and my bobino slim pens for allowing me to effortlessly take notes about awesome ideas from other people and actually pay attention in meetings…instead of gchatting…but it looks like I’m working =]
Nate Sonnenberg – Digital Strategist
Analog guy in a digital world…. oh boy. I am thankful for services like FaceTime and Skype that make video calls so easy even my parents can figure it out!
Laurence Montgomery – General Manager
Father of two. Devoted husband. Diehard Phillies and Widespread Panic fan sporting a six sigma blackbelt and a child’s seat on my mountain bike. I am thankful I get to work with an awesome group of creative people that I get to call my friends.
Sam Anderson – Content Strategist
I’m a public relations pro turned content marketing strategist, surviving on coffee, Netflix, and rolled tacos. Enjoys traveling the world, and crocheting scarves I will never get to wear in San Diego. I’m thankful for Keurig coffee makers, which have saved me from countless awful days of making too weak or too strong coffee. Now suddenly the world makes sense.
David Nguyen – Director of Services
I’d like to think I’m simple, but I fear that I’m a complicated individual. I’m thankful that technology is a medium that makes our lives better while simultaneously complicating it.
Brian Burkett – Developer
I’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit, and an unquenchable thirst for adventure. I’m formally educated in design, and learned to write code in the streets. I’m thankful for dot grid notebooks, and fountain pens. In today’s digital age, you can’t underestimate the value of putting pen to paper.
Sara, Paisely, Kibah, Luna – Office Pets
Chocolate Lab, Terrier mix, and two Shiba Inus that frequent our office looking for friendly folks, belly rubs, and the occasional “dropped” piece of beef jerky. We are thankful for loving owners who bring us to the office so we get to make new friends!
So, that’s us. We are 40 mission-driven, design-inspired individuals who come to work every day ready to improve the design of the web.
Now, tell us about yourself. What are you thankful for this year?