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We are a brand-focused strategy and design agency.

Our work encompasses brand identity, graphics, websites, branded environments, and communications for purpose-driven organizations.

We are strategists, writers, designers, fabricators, producers, and developers.

Talie Smith

Talie Smith

Partner, Creative Director (she/her)

Talie helps organizations own their true voice through communications and brand in a methodology she calls “Design Therapy.” Her empathetic facilitation style guides people through sometimes uncomfortable change. Talie has been positioning organizations for growth through values-driven communications for more than 20 years. She draws upon her background in visual design, literature, and years working at the Soros Foundations to infuse the work at Smith + Connors with deeper meaning and impact. Her vision is to strengthen others who are working toward positive social change. Her boundless enthusiasm for design (and life!) make her a valuable partner. Read Talie's articles: Design Therapy for the Purpose-Driven Organization and To Be Fair: On Equity in Design.

Becca Connors

Becca Connors

Partner, Technology Director (she/her)

Becca brings a wide spectrum of experience and standards to Smith + Connors from her 9 years as software engineer at Sun Microsystems, where she architected, managed, and implemented complex projects. Her meticulous approach to technology sets the bar high for our projects. Becca’s deep experience in software engineering, website development, and project management—coupled with her resourcefulness and creativity—is integral to making great things happen at Smith + Connors. Her logical mind keeps us rooted in reality, while her creativity challenges us to push for new solutions.

Scott Smith

Scott Smith

Partner, Strategy Director (he/him)

Scott is a writer, strategist, and facilitator who mobilizes teams to examine the “why” behind their work and move toward important change. He is a master at translating complex information into simple, insightful systems, themes, and creative concepts. Scott has been crafting compelling content, strategies, experience design, and user experiences for well-known brands, universities, and cultural institutions for 15 years. He aligns and synthesizes content and messaging with visual and technical concepts to communicate with multiple audiences across media channels. His early career was focused on creative writing and copy editing for various magazines in New York City and working as an adjunct writing instructor at the City University of New York (CUNY). Scott always encourages people to move beyond the expected into big, bold, and different spaces. His strategy guides every project at Smith + Connors.

Robyn Baker

Robyn Baker

Associate Creative Director (she/her)

Robyn is a visual problem solver with over a decade of experience creating and stewarding brands across the commercial and cultural sectors. Having worked with high-profile organizations including Google, Alaska Airlines, GOOD Magazine, The LA Philharmonic, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Robyn has a deep understanding of how to communicate to large and diverse audiences in ways that resonate. Craftily developing and weaving unique visual language with focused messaging, she is an expert in creating consistent and engaging brand experiences at every touchpoint.

Diana Goldman

Diana Goldman

Art Director + Designer (she/her)

Diana is a versatile Designer and Art Director who brings a thoughtful, strategic, big-picture-meets- fine-details approach to every stage of every project. Her passion is collaborating with cause-driven brands and organizations that put people first. Over the course of her career, she’s had the opportunity to partner with clients in industries ranging from education to philanthropy to technology to publishing and more.

Selena Trager

Selena Trager

Creative Project Manager (she/her)

Selena is a word nerd with a strong background in branding and strategy. With years of creative project management experience, she believes in challenging perspective and building thoughtful and meaningful brand expression that is strongly rooted to core mission and values.


Previously the Publisher of the Los Angeles Review and Associate Publisher of Red Hen Press, Selena brings her unique combination of editorial and creative problem-solving skills to every project (and team) she is a part of.

Madison Whitmarsh

Madison Whitmarsh

Designer (she/her)

Madison is a strategic designer who uses narrative and brand voice to drive her designs. She has a background that ranges from user interface design for SaaS Products to serving as a strategic thinker within a Marketing department. She is a versatile designer who loves to instill delight and function into her work. She thrives in creative teams that enjoy working together to meet strategic goals.


When she’s not in the office, you can find her searching for the perfect cup of coffee, fixing up her 1950s time capsule home, or planning her next creative project.

Our Extended Team

We work with expert and talented folks on a regular and ongoing basis. We consider them more than contractors – they make it possible for us to do great work.

Andrew Houle

Web Developer

Andrew is a web developer living in Upstate New York, fueled by curiosity, and driven by problem solving since 2003. He loves the process of creating a website, focusing on user experience and responsive design. His patience and attention to the details are boundless. When he's not geeking out on tooling and refactoring code, he enjoys spending his time with his family, watching the Red Sox, and partaking of unhealthy foods. And coffee… lots of coffee.

Carlos Maya

Art Director

Carlos is an experienced Art Director with a demonstrated history of working in the design industry. He's skilled in art direction, design, video direction, editing, motion graphic design and 2d/3d animation. He has a strong background in animation, art and design.

Cassandra Thompson


Cassandra is a designer, printmaker, strategic thinker and problem solver. Over the past decade she has worked with a wide variety of clients with wildly different needs and goals. Above all, she loves to help people who are passionate about their cause connect with their audience through design. Creating work that clients love is a great feeling, so she spends a lot of her time doing that. She also got into gardening during the pandemic, and not having to pay for lettuce has been thrilling. Cassandra lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, son, and twin cats. She graduated with a BFA in Communication Design from Pacific Northwest College of Art, and started Ocelot Creative in 2011.

Charlene Martinez

Coaching. Consulting. Training & Development.

Charlene Martinez is an equity and inclusion specialist and coach who guides individuals, leaders, and organizations toward bold change and greater purpose. She has twenty years of experience leading EDI (equity, diversity, inclusion) initiatives in multiple sectors, with the focus of her work in higher education. She is the author and contributor of multiple chapters in various higher education books, highlighting the importance of storytelling, relational leadership, and immersive learning as strategies for social change. She is affiliated with the Teachers Advisory Council for the Portland Art Museum, the University Innovation Alliance, and the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture.

Dave Hulse


A native Californian and current Oregonian, Dave has been making websites since first learning PhotoShop and HTML in 1999. His long-time interest in design and typography has always fueled his interest in a web that has highly-evolved since those Web 1.0 days. Fast-forward 20 years later and he is still excited to start a new project using a multitude of gained skills and many tools and technologies which have emerged. Keeping the user-experience at the forefront of his work has always been his M.O.. Life offline is spent enjoying the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son. When time allows, he might be catching up on horror movies and his wife’s reality TV shows.

David McLaughlin

Art Director & Graphic Designer

Dave is an Art Director and Designer specializing in brand creation for a range of clients, spanning arts organizations to technology start-ups. He believes visual branding requires a holistic approach but always with the understanding that the best design is ‘in the details.’ This perspective has led to a strong reputation for both quality and consistency in his work. An enthusiastic collaborator, Dave is always looking forward to the next exchange of ideas that gets to the strongest design solution.

Eleazar Ruiz

Senior Designer / Art Director

Eleazar has been designing brands for over a decade. He's helped countless brands reach their customers effectively through measurable design solutions and user experiences. His mission is simple. To help brands create goodwill design experiences for people. In the process, he creates work that matters. Originally from the Dominican Republic, he lives in Vancouver, WA, with his wonderful wife Bekah and incredibly fluffy labradoodle, Lola.

Mathew Barnes

Senior Art Director

Mathew is an artist and design professional with 20+ years of agency, entrepreneurial, and in-house B2B experience. He thrive in fast-paced, ever-changing SaaS environments, and possess the ability to manage multiple business needs, constrained timelines, budgets, and stakeholders. He is people-driven and believes in leading from behind and enabling a team to do their best work.

Mette Hornung Rankin

Creative Director. Designer. Illustrator.

The Bureau of Betterment is the design studio of Mette Hornung Rankin. With over a decade of experience spanning agency employment, solo entrepreneurship and working abroad, there isn’t much that hasn’t been tried and done. That said, the Bureau focuses on branding, packaging, lettering and illustration. Mette’s approach to design and planning is a hybrid of minimalistic Scandinavian influence and roughly optimistic pioneer spirit, combining functionality and efficiency with personality and verve. Off the clock she spends time reading chapter books, learning new ways to look at life from her five-year-old daughter, and traveling to the motherland – Denmark.

Nils Hellberg

Senior Developer

Nils is a web and games developer with a background in anthropology, giving him a unique perspective on user experience and usability. He is passionate about interactive technologies with a fierce attention to detail and extensive set of skills, spanning both front- and back- end aspects of a project. He is also currently serving as Director at the Bristol Games Hub and was previously CTO at VODO, working with independent media distribution. Outside of work, Nils holds an Anthropology and Political Science degree from Stockholm University and was a member of the now-disbanded think tank Piratbyrån (The Bureau of Piracy).

Sean Davies

Web Developer & UI/UX Designer

Sean is a Boston-based front-end developer and UI/UX designer. After graduating from Boston University in the late 00’s, Sean began his career as a full-time contributor to several local start-ups. Soon after, Sean began his career as a consultant, having been fortunate to work for a variety of major universities, agencies, artists, and entrepreneurs. Since 2016, Sean has worked alongside Smith + Connors on a variety of high-profile, highly customized projects.

Sean Fitzgerald

Creative Developer / Consultant

Sean has over 20 years of experience in web and environmental interactive spaces. There isn’t much he hasn’t done in his career at this point, but he's always looking to stretch out his brain on technically challenging projects. Beyond this, he mainly likes working on projects where he is part of a creative, interdisciplinary, and humane team.

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