With innate artistic ability and ambition, Rich's direction towards commercial art was cultivated at an early age. The son of a professional photographer, his eye for graphic composition and simplicity was greatly drawn from experience assisting photo shoots while attending the School of Visual Arts Advertising program. His broad experience working in Minneapolis, Toronto and New York further provides the skill to help build and transform brands. We caught up with Rich after a spirited polo match.

WHAT MAKES YOU GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO?
My right and left brain are semi-equally formed (there is no medical proof of this - Ed.) So while I strive and enjoy the pursuit of creative excellence, I parallel that with solid management that drives the process in as smooth a manner as possible. I'm quite proud of that ability, it isn't a trait found in the average Creative Director.

WHAT MAKES YOU ENJOY GOING TO WORK?
Helping clients fulfill the true promise of their brand is thrilling. The industry is evolving and transforming in so many ways, the increase in options for a brands voice makes stagnation unlikely. It's very stimulating to be part of that process, and help architect such success.

Working with like-minded individuals that do what they do professionally because it is a necessity for them, not something that won by default, is gratifying too.

WHAT DO YOU THINK CONTRIBUTES TO GREATER CREATIVE OUTPUT?
Diverse interests. Passion about advertising is critical, but knowing how to balance that with other interests is also key. The mind needs fuel. That fuel comes in many, many forms that aren't available within the walls of an agency. It's all about stimulation, and that will most likely occur in an unexpected way. Cultivating 'a life' that is varied and rounded will more likely provide exposure to the content of the next Communication Arts annual.

DO YOU THINK ADVERTISING SHOWS ARE IMPORTANT?
Yes and no. I think setting the bar very high certainly creates motivation and purpose. But falling into the rut of creating based on the current award trends is where the industry goes wrong. Creating an idea regardless of whether it fits a known winning format, but rather because it is original and therefore a more likely way to gain the attention of the target is how the combination of creativity and advertising should exist.

BOXERS OR BRIEFS?
N/C.

DO YOU LIKE PRESENTING WORK?
Very much. It's where the two sides of my brain come together best. Just like a nice PB&J sandwich.

IF YOU COULD CHOOSE WHAT TO COME BACK AS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A rock 'n' roll star. No question.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR OTHER PASSIONS?
I play in a band, that is a great thrill. Playing guitar fulfills my love of music, technology and craftsmanship. Just holding an exquisite example of a Les Paul is a defining moment. I love to run as well. It's the yin to my yang of enjoying a good craft beer. Traveling with my wife Lynne is something we always cherish. Oh, and pizza.