The team at Driven is made up of a small cadre of professional renegades and rebels from the world of “big” advertising. Our team of account directors and creative thinkers bring with them the experience of working some of the largest accounts in the world, from global automotive accounts, to home furnishing retailers, to pizza companies, and everything in between. Our years of experience and relationships within the industry allow us to draw from the best of the best in ideation. Our creative stable not only includes award-winning writers and art directors, but artists, musicians, strategic thinkers, media planners, and dreamers, all of whom are Driven to deliver cutting edge solutions for our clients.
Kevin Woods – Principal/Chief Operating Officer
Kevin S. brings over 20 years of big agency experience with him to Driven. Known for his scrappy business acumen and ability to assess and handle client situations in lickety-split fashion, Kevin rose through the ranks at J. Walter Thompson to Senior Partner/Management Director where he managed 17 Ford dealer associations in the Midwest Region. At Driven Kevin is a constant reminder of every budget, deadline, and job. He is a take-charge, make things happen, let’s think this out, type A personality – which proves to be valuable to Driven’s clients. A hack golfer who thinks he’s better than he really is, he is a graduate of Northwood University.
Brian Cusac – Principal/Chief Creative Officer
After 15 years as a creative person at a slew of big ad agencies including JWT, Campbell-Ewald, Leo Burnett and BBDO, creating campaigns for some of the biggest and most enduring brands in the world, Brian says he can sum up how he feels about his life in ideation to most folks in a simple but brutally honest thought: “I still can’t believe i get paid to do this stuff.” Brian has developed Super Bowl creative in the automotive category and has garnered national and international awards as a copywriter. He is a firm believer in “not over-thinking” things and approaches each project as an opportunity to make a clients brand famous. A self-admitted hack guitarist, he is easily coaxed into discussions about which version of Van Halen is better. He is a graduate of Eastern Michigan university.
John Cymbal – Principal/Chief Creative Officer
With over 18 years in the business working on some of the largest brands on the planet, John has built a reputation on smart thinking and an eye for detail. He has been around the big agency block with positions at The Scott Miller Group, SMZ, Bozell, JWT, Leo Burnett and BBDO. he is famous at Driven for the quote: “I come up with more ideas in the shower every morning than most people come up with in a week.” And if he ever wrote them down, he might be able to prove it. John has developed award winning and Super Bowl creative in the automotive category, and is an internationally awarded art director. He is a firm believer in giving clients solutions they would never expect and subscribes to the “keep it simple” school of art direction. When not in creative mode he can be found in a stream or the woods. John was educated at the center for creative studies.
Aylin (eye-lean) Samoray – Media Director
When it comes to balancing the art and science called media, Aylin is a Media Ninja. Referred to around here as “the whip,” her 17 years plus in the national media trenches gives her an experience list that reads like the who’s who of advertising: Lincoln Mercury, Taco Bell/KFC, Movie Biz, Petsmart, TJ Maxx, Campbell’s Soups and Clorox, just to name a few. Always the one in the office with the best stories from the weekend, if you ask her about her job she quickly shifts to all business. “My job really is to analyze the client’s goals, choose the correct mediums to deliver them to the right audience and do it all within budget.” which she does, in spades. Aylin is a graduate of The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, but don’t hold that against her.
Laura McCann – Art Director
Even though Art Director Laura McCann has tiny “carnival worker” hands she has overcome what some would call this life obstacle with big ideas and tasty design. Laura came to DRIVEN as a seasoned veteran with client experience including: Campbell’s, Pepperidge Farm, Clorox, Colgate Palmolive, Abbott Laboratories, Wal-Mart, Allegra and more. Check out the big brain on Laura – She graduated from the University of Michigan, Magna Cum Laude, is left handed, and was once treated for rabies after being attacked by a wild kitten she was trying to save.
Lisa Wallace – Graphic Designer
Lisa Wallace has been around the Graphic Design block once or twice in just a few short years. A Graphic Design graduate of CCS (Center for Creative Studies), she has spent stints at shops big and small, including Team Detroit and boutique agency DRIVEN in Ferndale, MI. She has earned impressive awards and kudos from many industry associations including: American Graphic Design Awards, the AIGA, and is a Horatio Alger National Scholar. She also has an award for selling the most chocolate in the 5th grade, where she grew up in Indian River, Michigan. Lisa is a Libra and does not have peanut allergies.
Lindsey Naylor – Graphic Designer
Lindsey Naylor has an attitude – a can do attitude. As a DRIVEN designer, Naylor attacks each project with fervor and a passion to deliver out of the box solutions. Lindsey holds a BFA in graphic design from Western Michigan University where she was AIGA Vice President. She was the reigning school and city spelling bee champion for 4 years in elementary school and is an accomplished gymnast and coach. She makes a point to see live music on a weekly basis, plays the bass guitar, loves things that are sparkly, drawing and painting and cannot resist a good spaghetti dinner.
Lisa Markaj – Finance Director
Anything that requires more than basic math skills, or an acute understanding of accounting procedure, falls into the numerical atmosphere of Driven Finance Director, Lisa Markaj. When it comes to the digits, Lisa is a pro. With a BS in Finance and a Master of Accountancy Degree, as well as considerable experience in the banking, advertising and beverage industry, Lisa provides a “strength in numbers” that serves DRIVEN and their clients extremely well. Not a fan of chocolate chips in her chocolate chip cookies, or ice in her iced coffee, Lisa was voted “Most likely to become President” in fifth grade and won “Best Hair” in eighth AND tenth grade. Impressive.
Lauren Gregory – Account Supervisor
The first thing you need to know about Lauren, affectionately referred to around World Headquarters as LG, is that she will cut you if you talk smack in any way, shape, form, or implied manner about Michigan State University. Fortunately that type of Psycho fanaticism, or passion as we like to call it, translates well into her dedication as an Account Supervisor on many DRIVEN Clients. LG’s knowledge from working on world leading brands like McDonald’s gives her an edge on clients of all shapes and sizes. A “natural” fast-talker (you’ll see) LG is a list junkie, who knows how to mix fun with business. Lauren has enough pairs of sunglasses to rock two pairs a day for a whole week, loves to spend time with her husband, and once blacked out because her level of enjoying a hamburger was SO intense.