iF is a tight-knit team of curious, creative, analytical people committed to revealing insightful truths, bringing clarity to the complex and developing novel ways to tackle tough problems.
Michael enjoys finding the beauty in a problem and addressing it in simple ways. When he and Greg Amrofell founded iF in 2010, Michael built on his experience establishing an Internet venture in China, running a new practice at Siegel & Gale and solving product and marketing challenges at Microsoft. Michael is particularly devoted to music, wine, tennis, two nonprofit boards and, most of all, to his partner Denise and their magical little sons Nathaniel and Julian.
Michael has played in the World Series of Poker main event – twice.
Despite her background in technology and strategy, Shelley will happily talk with you at length about all forms of experiential design, from immersive theater to scent logos. She incorporates those principles into her project work and into creative themes for the iF Salon and Wine Night events. Shelley is a member of the executive leadership team at iF and handles marketing for the studio. She loves solving particularly thorny strategic problems, messing with fabric, and equality for all.
“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep.” - Rumi
Chris brings a torrent of tech experience to iF. Prior to joining the studio, he spent more than a decade at both Apple and Microsoft inhabiting a wide variety of roles, including finance manager, buyer, and product manager for Microsoft’s Windows and Robotics businesses. He leads a team of iFsters whose love for baseball, and frustration with the Seattle Mariners, rival his own. Bonus: Chris is a superhero when it comes to Excel skills.
When his daughter was chosen “Citizen of the Year” by her fellow kindergarteners.
Seth was attracted to iF’s high stakes / high impact projects, in alignment with his experience as a professional poker player. He’s honed strong storytelling and production management skills thanks to past lives as a freelance journalist and location manager. Seth’s recent work has focused on the transformative power of data in global health in even the most remote locales. Out of the office, Seth loves traveling to faraway destinations and has mastered the art of sleeping on red-eye flights.
“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.” - W. Somerset Maugham
Whether it’s the year and a half he spent studying shampoo lather at Procter & Gamble, or his time uncovering consumer insights for Microsoft Windows, Michael is driven to rinse away assumptions and let the core truth shine. Michael joined iF to take research down a new path, closely merging research with key decision-making in business and product strategy by providing timely, useful (or should we say manageable?) insights.
Rowing is addictive to Michael, as it requires pinpointing a detail that’s not quite right, fixing it, and starting again.
In his 13 years at Ziba Design, frog, and Teague, Eric led a range of projects including branded retail spaces, international design research, and digital product design. He also created user experience design concepts for enterprise, automotive and aerospace industries. Here at iF, Eric explores how strategy and design processes can intersect, inform each other, and drive creative engagements. He is always on the lookout for great comic books and delicious food.
Eric has 17 black button-down shirts
Jeremy honed his data analysis, engineering, and product management skills at Apple, Google, and Bing Mobile before making a grand entrance at iF. He loves taking on prototyping problems and always keeps users’ needs front and center. Around the iF office, Jeremy is known to retreat into his “focus cave” to stare intensely at his screen, emerging hours later with the solution to a complicated UX strategy conundrum.
“Quantified self-tracking.” Jeremy collects data on almost everything he does, hoping to detect patterns.
Janie is well-suited to the finance and operations team at iF. In her previous role at Blue Oak Energy she did everything from placing $2M purchase orders for solar panels to assembling dozens of IKEA desks. Today, she employs her skills in problem-solving, investigating, negotiating, and organizing to improving how iF functions. When not asking poignant and head-scratching questions, you can find Janie skiing, climbing, and botanizing in the Cascades.
Backcountry ski huts in British Columbia
As our ever-busy office assistant, Andy combines skateboarding dexterity, video game reflexes, and an extensive background in theater production to keep iF running smoothly. A Seattle native, he has experience wrangling engineers and designing spaces for maximum efficiency. Andy keeps his inspiration levels high by surrounding himself with talented artists of all kinds.
“Be like water, my friend.” - Bruce Lee
No stranger to a sticky-note, Ilona is a master of turning giant amounts of information into understandable frameworks and strategies. The tools she wields include diagramming, brainstorming, and asking a lot of questions. Here at iF she leads complex projects within the education team. Beyond iF, Ilona brings the same level of focus to music recording, travel, and tea.
Knows more about Korean TV dramas than you do.
Rich has a penchant for Post-it notes, keeping them on hand for whenever an idea might appear or re-surface a new way. A maestro at facilitating workshops that generate new ideas, he’s been a lecturer at Stanford’s d.school for the last eight years. Among Rich’s proudest professional achievements is his work in the Learning Mindsets and Skills field, helping leaders embrace a more human-centered and prototype-driven approach – and make it stick.
Rich is a fan of treasure hunts and books that feature them, like Masquerade and The Clock without a Face.
Marilyn is an accomplished artist who has explored many mediums and exhibited on both sides of the country. Her work – according to one critic – “leaps to unexpected life in another dimension,” which is a skill she also brings to iF’s event planning. Marilyn is inspired by the natural environment of Seattle, and we’re inspired by her ability to create a beautiful meal with the barest of palettes (whatever’s in the fridge).
Created sandcast mirrors and sold them at craft shows in the 1960's.
Between designing board games, performing spoken word poetry, and consuming vast amounts of Manga, Eric has somehow also found time to be an adept manager of technical products. He honed his craft at Skype and Xevo, and comes to iF to make full use of his creativity and communication skills. Eric loves mentoring at risk youth, serving as a high school leader at his church and he believes he has the map to finding great music.
Being a camp counselor at a foster youth camp and seeing some of those kids graduate from high school.
Talk at length with Jessica about cities, behavioral economics, how people learn, how organizations work (and could work better), and feminism. She’s worked on all of those topics at places like the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, higher ed, and the federal government. A native Washingtonian, Jessica loves solving tough problems and writing a lot on whiteboards.
“You make progress by implementing ideas.” - Shirley Chisholm
Talk about a well-built career. Aaron started out as an architect before spending several years as an art director and designer for sustainable architecture magazines in Chicago. This makes him an ideal fit for our office within the most sustainable commercial property on Earth – the Bullitt Center. Aaron brings to iF award-winning design chops, towering social media skills, and a solid foundation in brunching.
Is an instagram star!
As an accomplished pianist, occasional hiker, and aspiring accountant, Luke is a force to be reckoned with. He makes an impact every day as a finance assistant at iF, applying his keen eye to the tiniest details that make financial systems hum. That work, combined with his recent studies at the University of Washington will set him up for his next goal: to become a CPA within 5 years. We suspect he'll get it done faster.
Korean music (or math)
While working as an elementary school teacher and assistant principal, David started wondering why classroom note-taking was such a challenge. So naturally, he built an app. That led him to a year-long startup venture. Now on the education team at iF, he works on big vision projects and enjoys analyzing and unpacking problems, collaborative thought work, presenting, and relationship building. When not hanging out with his kids or playing Ultimate Frisbee, David goes deep into the vast and nerdy world of board games.
Would like to talk with you about formative data and assessment systems in education
Catherine came to iF to apply her skills to real-word problems to improve health around the world and to be surrounded by curious (nerdy) problem-solvers. Her background is in metabolism research, policy analysis, and global health, and she did a stint at PATH studying how international interventions could better integrate nutrition and agriculture knowledge. Research, analysis, and collaboration are her jam; soccer, boxing, backpacking are her peanut butter.
"Sucking at somethin' is the first step to being sorta good at somethin'." - Jake the Dog
Don’t let Tyler’s love of technology, pattern matching, and marketing strategy fool you - he’s a nature lover at heart. Skiing, biking, and hiking give him the inspiration he needs to lead strategy and product work here at iF. Tyler grew his love of brands at New balance, topped it off with an MBA from the University of Washington, and sharpened his skills at Starbucks. Now he enjoys creating simplicity from complex problems and geeking out about gadgets with willing participants.
Leaving the corporate real estate rat race in Boston and moving west to pursue a new career.
After a career in the print industry doing everything from letterpress to bindery, Victor went back to school to get even more knowledgeable about graphic design. Now he puts his experience to great use to create inventive designs for clients. Victor is a stealth Crossfitter, has proofread more flyers than anyone you know, and once pulled an all-nighter with his wife to make a pigeon costume for their daughter. When not at iF, you’ll find Victor outside.
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
What motivates Sarah? Telling complex stories in intuitive ways, helping people figure out what inspires them, and all forms of dance. Sarah loves blue sky ideation that leads to thoughtful designs and prototypes. Before iF, she worked as a media experience designer for live performances at the Juilliard School, and as Digital Media Manager at the Guggenheim Museum. Ask Sarah about off-road travel stories and the history of media formats
“Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.” - Susan Sontag
Steven comes to iF by way of Tiffany, Starbucks, and Apple. He swims around in spreadsheets, manages payroll and benefits, and helps iFsters and clients focus on producing great work. Drawn to iF by the learning opportunities and breadth of projects.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
- Albert Einstein
Drawn to iF's culture of curiosity and optimism, Emma joins us from St. Louis via New York, where she worked with creative agencies, production companies, and nonprofits for clients like De La Soul, Sperry, the US military, and YouTube. Her abilities in storytelling and data visualization will be put to great use on the iF design team. In her spare time, Emma is into swing dancing, slacklining, and writing actual letters using a pen and paper.
Faced her fears by singing in a New York subway station. She earned 17 bucks!
Have you ever wondered how attorneys convince judges and juries about their arguments? Paul knows. He spent years helping to create winning trial presentations on subjects ranging from integrated circuit design to the FDA's drug approval process. He uses his storytelling and human-centered design chops at iF to solve big, real-world problems. And if you have a minute, ask him about the eating habits of Ochre sea stars. He knows a little about that, too.
“Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” - Douglas Adams
Scott's favorite projects combine some form of design, illustration, and motion. He uses all of those skills and more at iF, where he explores how visuals can support and enhance content. A tireless learner, Scott likes to brush up on new programs and ways of working and he listens to more podcasts than most of us. Before joining iF, he worked as Senior Designer at Superunion, a brand agency in New York. If you want to talk about Seinfeld or Disney World, Scott's your man.
At the Invention Convention in 2nd grade, he won second place with his "Solar Fan-a-Rama."
Zoë is driven to improve people's lives and make communities more resilient through creative solutions. She did just that by leading a campaign office for President Obama’s 2008 election, and by creating health education conferences in Morocco. At PATH, Zoë coordinated vaccine development programs with partners on three continents, and now serves on the City of Seattle Women’s Commission informing city policy. Her eclectic experience and two master’s degrees makes Zoë adept at helping communities thrive.
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity." - Amelia Earhart
A wine aficionado fascinated by the elements of terrior, Chris has professional roots in environmental engineering. He’s uncorked multiple degrees at the University of Washington, including two Masters and a PhD. At iF, you’ll find him at the intersection of people, science, and technology, as he writes, unearths market trends, and savors his role as strategy consultant as if it were an exceptionally good Bordeaux.
Chris enjoys trimming and edging his lawn – the cleaner and more precise, the better.
Skills that Beth gets to use every day at iF? Research, facilitation, active listening, and a sense of humor. As part of the social impact team, Beth goes deep on non-traditional approaches to social impact, uncovering new strategies beyond donating money. When not working to improve all of philanthropy, you can find Beth writing, recording, and performing music, traveling, dancing, and drinking a lot of coffee to make all of that possible.
"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." - Archimedes
Megan came to iF to apply her technical skillset to solutions for a variety of problems across industries. Which is good, since that’s what we do. An avid learner, Megan is also working on a master’s degree in human-centered design at the UW. She came to iF from Microsoft, where she worked as a software engineer on the Outlook web app. Ask her about her personal transformation from running-hater to marathon-finisher.
"Confidence is 10% hard work and 90% delusion" - Tina Fey