Cincinnati, Ohio, April 30, 2021: Deskey has announced that Doug Sovonick is stepping down as Vice President and Chief Creative Officer (CCO) at the branding agency to concentrate on his passion for creating personal works of art. Lianna McKenzie has been named Deskey’s new Chief Creative Officer. She is the first woman and woman of color to hold this position in Deskey’s 91-year history and joins an exclusive group of only 29% of women who lead creative at US agencies.
Now in her twelfth year with the company, Lianna combines a deep understanding of business with brand strategy to lead the creation of distinctive designs that elevate brands across touchpoints for clients such as Cradle Cincinnati and Whirlpool. She joined Deskey in 2010 as Designer and most recently was Creative Director.
“Lianna is brilliant, exceptionally talented and most deserving of this promotion,” said Becky Hyde-Nordloh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the woman-owned agency. “On the creative side, she’s a strong designer, mentor and leader. On the business side, she’s an inspiration with a clear voice on empathy, authenticity and inclusivity in the workplace. I’m excited to see where her creative vision takes Deskey in the next months and years.”
Doug Sovonick joined Deskey in 1996 as Senior Creative Director and had been Deskey’s CCO since 2010. His thoughtful mastery as a visual artist filled Deskey’s trophy case with awards and transformed brand identities and packaging for clients ranging from Luvs and Grillmaster to Starbucks and Cincinnati Public Radio. While his primary focus will be his art, Doug will continue to work with Deskey and other firms as an independent designer and consultant.
“Working with Doug meant being privy to all his genius with no drama or ego,” said Lianna. “He has an innate sensibility when it comes to design. He always knows exactly what’s not right and how to make it better. I’ve learned so much watching him sketch, blend colors and draw his ideas to life. As a mentor, he gave you the right amount of guidance to find your design voice while still challenging you. I respect Doug immensely for the pathway he paved at Deskey. Our legacy of branding is all the more rich and impressive because of him.”
Yet Doug is most proud of his relationships with colleagues and clients. “It has always been less about the work and more about the people,” he said. “I loved working with people where I knew our talents and opinions were valued and appreciated. And with clients who called us a partner rather than a vendor.”
Becky Hyde-Nordloh echoed those sentiments, saying, “Together with Doug Studer [recently retired CEO], Sovonick and I made a great team. There was so much joy and laughter, and there were times he would challenge my answer to a problem and then come up with a thoughtful proposal that turned into an amazing solution. I have memories I will carry forever and support I can lean into as we move Deskey into our next chapter.”
Carolyn Fields, Director of Client Development
Deskey is an independent, woman-owned branding agency specializing in strategy and design to create empathetic brands. We are an inclusive agency that does our best work when employees bring their authentic selves to the job. We seek clients and organizations who share our belief that our creative team’s different backgrounds and experiences make your brand more relatable to more people in more places.