Harry Chittenden X Close
"Public Relations is a lot like building a stalagmite. Most of it is drip, drip, drip; the steady appearance of the message, from a source considered more reliable than advertising, is what works,” says Harry Chittenden, our resident PR expert. He works under the premise that public relations functions best in the service of a core message or brand. With respect to theater, he worked on Broadway for five years as a stage manager, company manager, and press assistant. Recently he had the privilege of being executive director of the LiveArts Peninsula Foundation, which produced two original musicals about Florida history, Crossing the Bay and Webb’s City: The Musical. He just finished a fun stint doing public relations for the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg. Harry earned a degree in art history at Yale University. He thinks that the brand-focused approach is the best thing that has ever happened to public relations.
Kindra Singer X Close
Web Designer / Flash Specialist
Kindra has more than twelve years of experience as a multimedia project leader and interface designer with a strong focus on engaging a user’s senses through voice, music, digital video, simulations, games, and role-play. She is adept in illustration, typography, animation, sound and digital video editing and fluent in a wide variety of software applications for both Macintosh and PC platforms.
Nicole Kelly X Close
It was a quirk of historical timing that Nicole headed to Music City and started at Vanderbilt University in 1992 when there was hardly an Internet to speak of. There she took her left brain tendencies and molded them into a degree in Mechanical Engineering - “for the sake of a challenge.” After four years on the dean’s list, she graduated in 1996. The world had completely changed. The dot com boom was roaring and Nicole didn’t think twice about abandoning thermodynamics and vibrations for the new and exciting online interactive world of databases and design. Website development satisfies Nicole in two ways: she loves to create something that’s both functional and eye catching and she loves working with people. Since her introduction to the Web, she has participated in site development in virtually every industry and scope, working with the likes of FOX, WebMD and Columbia/HCA as well as several successful startups. In her latest endeavors, she is happy to see that design is merging with technology and her technical background can finally find its creative purpose. In her downtime, Nicole enjoys playing “assistant recording engineer” for her musician husband in their recording studio - The Hideaway - and watching their little boys pick up that creative talent.
Nora Minor X Close
Nora Minor has worked in the Tampa Bay area as a copywriter for over 20 years, and with the Robinsons for most of those years as a writer and creative director. She likes the way the company focuses on brand. “With a brand blueprint, your rules are defined,” she says. “It frees you to focus on messages that you know are right. You know you are on message. You know who you are and what you’re trying to say. That knowledge gives me an opportunity to do what I love in writing. I like to surprise people. Hit them with the unexpected within the brand. Get them to sit up and take notice. When the brand is true and someone is looking for what you are selling, the message will resonate.” Nora is a former member and avid patron of The Tampa Theater, and has been very active in the Tampa Arts scene, serving on the board of directors and contributing to the marketing of several arts organizations. When Nora is not working hard putting effective words to brands, she likes to travel, to play piano, and mentor her 13-year old daughter, who is a poet! She also loves to read, a habit she acquired as an English major at Kent State.
Oscar X Close
Oscar Robinson recently took an advanced puppy certificate from the St. Pete Dog Club Obedience Training. It was a grind and he spends much of his time recuperating by catching lots of zzzs. When he’s awake, he has a special way of keeping the office energized. He might be the world’s friendliest Doberman Pinscher.
Jerry Robinson X Close
Principal, Creative Director
Jerry has always had two passions: fine art and creative direction. Armed with a degree in fine arts and Advertising from Florida State, he was recruited by Nissen Advertising where he worked as a Art Director for five years before his third passion – entrepreneurship -- proved irresistible. In 1987, Jerry was a founding partner of Black Bear Design Group, a breakthrough company that served agencies and direct clients for 10 years. While at Black Bear Design Group he was hired by Lebhar Friedman Publications in New York City as creative director responsible for national and international brands, including Haines, Coke, Microsoft, Revlon and OBI of Germany, to name a few. Jerry was also one of the founding partners of Full House Publications, serving regional and national brands including Equifax, Busch Gardens, TECO, CitiCorp Global Payments, MOSI and The Moorings International. Robinson BrandBuilders is the culmination of Jerry’s career experience in branding and business building. “In branding,” says Jerry, “the advertising is in the service of strengthening the message by consistent brand management. Marketing without branding gets gimmicky and, sometimes, overly creative and can become detached from the product it’s promoting. Our clients expect to be shown a brand process that’s functional as opposed to fragmented.” Jerry works very closely with the client’s marketing team and RBB’s creative team to build long lasting brands. He is completely interfaced with our clients.
MJ Robinson X Close
Principal, Managing Director
After more than 15 years experience in major account sales and operations management,
MJ has drawn some useful conclusions about branding. “Unless you know who you are and can express it, your visual materials and your messages are going to look and sound like everyone else’s. Good branding specifically represents who you are. We can’t walk in and give clients these specifics, but we can seek them out and build powerful marketing assets from them.” She marshals the company’s brand studies, marketing programs, and public relations in the service of one goal: building brands. “Without a solid brand position, creating marketing materials is pretty much a guess,” she says. “You find yourself starting over year after year because you inevitably come to realize that you didn’t quite guess right. But with your marketing grounded in brand, you are building your marketing position each year.” MJ credits Robinson BrandBuilders’ focus on brand as the reason clients stay with the company year after year. MJ is a Florida native and a graduate of Florida Southern College.
Greg Stuck X Close
Designer, digital photo retoucher/illustrator, photographer and production/prepress pro. When Greg studied advertising and graphic design at The National Education Center in Tampa, he learned to do design, layout, and production by hand. There were no computers in 1982.“I liked doing it by hand,” he says. “I got into the business so that I could make money doing art.” Along came computers and Greg made some changes. Joking that he is a “right-brained person in a left-brained world,” he took up the challenge of mastering computer programs like Adobe Photoshop. Now he delights in conveying brand messages with morphed images. He once put a foursome on the green in the middle of an iron skillet to illustrate the danger of skin cancer. “Whatever the brand requires,” he says. “Brand is very important and guides the concept of any campaign. Focusing on brand assures that campaigns mirror how people want their companies to be perceived.”
Kelly Young X Close
Kelly has a BA in Art, in Design, from the University of Florida and has spent nearly 30 years working in the field. She thinks of every design challenge as solving a problem and likes knowing that she’s solving the right problem. “Before we evolved our branding approach,” she says, “Pinning down clients’ wants and needs could be difficult. How could you be confident in the solution if you weren’t sure that you were solving the right problem? With branding you feel confident that you are.” She thinks we all brand everything unconsciously. “Our job as brand builders is to consciously create and present images and messages that express our clients’ brand.” Kelly delights in working with design problems even when she is relaxing. She’s a potter and turns out beautiful ornamental and functional pieces on the wheel as well as sculptural animals.
Kathleen Shepherd X Close
Brand Asset and Web Manager
Kathleen’s experience in designing and managing office processes makes her well suited to help clients manage their brands by supporting all their digital asset management needs. As a business analyst, she oversaw the design, development and installation of numerous software projects for Palm Beach County government. Afterwards she ran the IT department at Barnett Brokerage. She is a graduate of Florida State University. Today, she focuses on managing brand assets. “Our clients have invested a lot of hard work and money into building their brands. I feel responsible for providing them a means to have total control over their brand assets. MyBrandVault, a digital asset management service, gives our clients a centralized location to build, secure and share their intellectual property. It provides peace of mind knowing the brand they’ve worked so hard on is safe and secure.” Kathleen is gourmet chef, an avid reader and an all-around athlete.