"An innovator,
visionary and evangelist that any team would want on the front lines"
- OMMA MAGAZINE
"There is a transformation afoot in the world of design, and Stephen is at the forefront of it." - “Stephen has some unorthodox sources for creative inspiration that are paying off big” - Number 17 on 100 most talented and influential creatives working today. - HOW DESIGN

CREATIVE LEADERSHIP

I started learning design at 2 years old on my father’s letterpress (not kidding, I have photos) and haven’t stopped since.

I have over 20 years of experience creating the strategy, concepting, and design for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands, and innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years of experience creating multiple agency and client-side purpose-driven, idea led, world-class teams with cultures that foster innovation and leadership.

NY Times

CURRENT ROLE

Head Design Evangelist, InVision.

I work hand-in-hand with InVision’s Enterprise clients to weave together the best methodologies, processes, information, and tools into a comprehensive strategy that elevates the business impact of design, creates cultural change and builds stronger leadership at companies including Google, Amazon, The Home Depot, Bank of America, Facebook, Rolls Royce, American Express, Frog Design, EY Partners, and many more.

Before leading design evangelism, I founded and led the Design Transformation team that works hand-in-hand with InVision’s Enterprise clients to weave together the best methodologies, processes, information, and tools that are available to design teams into a comprehensive strategy that elevates the business impact of design within every company.

In addition, I was the lead author of InVision’s Quarterly Design Trend reports, which looks at the latest global trends in creativity, leadership, culture, and design. I was a contributing author of the InVision groundbreaking Design Maturity Model, New Design Frontier report, and created InVision’s Thought Leader in Residence program, which is a think tank that focused on new design through leadership through 6-month residencies with the world’s best design leaders.

SELECT PRESS:

– Building Brands That People Love to Hate (Communication Arts)
– The New Design Frontier design maturity report
A delightful insight on Intuit design team workflow, InVision Design Genome Project (Abduzeedo.com)


SEPT 2015 – APRIL 2018

SVP, Global Head of Design, Citi.

Led and helped to create Citi Design which is a team made up of multiple in-house design studios and external agencies creating global experiences in digital, branding, and advertising for Citi FinTech, the Citi Innovation Labs, and the Citi Global Consumer Bank. A few of the team’s projects have included the on-going re-design of Citi.com, re-designing the Citi mobile app, updating the Citi brand, creating a new digital design language used across all Citi digital experiences, and working with IDEO to create a unique version of Design Thinking with agile methods just for Citi.

I was one of the 40 founding members of Citi FinTech which is a small start-up inside of the Global Consumer Bank dedicated to creating mobile-first solutions to a variety of problems and working as the tip of the spear to change the way the company thinks and operates. The Citi innovation labs work to design and prototype new ideas and emerging technologies from a variety of external partners. The team also works on all aspects of the global consumer bank to create a unified design and creative vision across the entire consumer bank.

SELECT PRESS:

– ‘Design is a competitive advantage’: How three banks are integrating design into the customer experience (Digiday)
Here’s How Citigroup Is Embracing the ‘Fintech’ Revolution (Fortune)
World’s best digital bank 2017: Citi (Euromoney)


SEPT 2006 – JUNE 2015

VP, Global Brand Design and Innovation, Starwood Hotels, and Resorts.

I led the digital design, content, and film & video teams for Starwood Global Brand Design for their 12 brands as well as leading all design for the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program. Over the course of my time at Starwood, I transformed these teams from production-focused service organizations into world-class creative teams who were responsible for some of the biggest recent digital innovations in the hospitality industry. I did it by establishing all new standards and culture that drove innovation and built the trust with our clients and the C suite that allowed those innovations to launch to consumers.

Notable innovation included Aloft in SecondLife, the state aware design of the SPG smartphone and iPad apps, SPG Mobile Check-in, and SPG Keyless Entry for iPhone and Apple Watch. Apple featured this work in 8 keynotes, 4 TV commercials, on Apple.com, in Apple Store, in the Human Interface Guidelines, and more.

SELECT PRESS:

Starwood dominates L2’s hotel digital index (Luxury Daily)
A look inside Starwood’s StarLab Brand Innovation Studio (YouTube)
– Smartphones replace room keys at select Starwood hotels (USA Today)


PAST ROLES

I’ve also worked as a Creative Director for McCann Erickson, 3D animator, junior letterpress operator, and more.

Before Starwood, I worked as the Digital Creative Director at Temerlin McClain (part of McCann Worldgroup ) where I led work rebuilding the American Airlines brand after the attacks of September 11th as well as creating integrated global advertising for Subaru, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Cathay Pacific, ExxonMobil and more. I was literally born into design and advertising with a father who was a creative director and a mother who was an artist. I learned typography on a cast-iron letterpress in the basement of our house and I’ve been working as a designer since I was 13. I cut rubylith, studied Computer Graphics at Syracuse, worked as a 3D animator, and then blended all of those skills into my digital work.

ideo

I’m an IDEO trained Design Thinking instructor.

I have used, taught, and led teams using Design Thinking to produce world-class creative and help change companies. I’m a trained IDEO Design Thinking instructor who has worked with senior members of IDEO to build a custom curriculum and content which I’ve taught a variety of intensive workshops alongside their team and on my own to thousands of people all over the world.

AWARDS AND HONORS

My work starts with customer-centered processes and has finished with 150+ major awards.

Including Cannes Cyber Lions, Webby Awards, Web Awards, and others. My work has also been recognized with other honors including Apple featuring my work in 8 keynotes, 4 commercials, in Apple Stores, on Apple.com the iTunes Store, and in the Human Interface Guidelines.

SEE ALL AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Featured in Greg Larkin's bestseller "This Might Get Me Fired" Quoted in Apple iPad Pro keynote

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

I’ve been able to partner with, design for, and learn from some of the world’s most innovative companies.

I work to find real sociological insights, understand consumer needs, and create concepts that use technology to influence consumers, drive revenue, and meet business goals. It is the heart of all of my work which is why it can blend world-class design with experiences that get results. As a result of this work, I have been asked to work as a partner with brands like Apple, Google, IBM, 53, Adobe, and others to create some of the first experiences on their platforms and products. In my role as Head of Design Transformation with InVision, I bring my experience and insights into the world’s best companies to help them elevate the impact of design and empower their design teams.

READ THE ARTICLE My interview with the New York Times about the iPad Pro I sat down with The New York Times to talk about my thoughts about using an iPad Pro with my creative teams and multiple studios at Citi.

IN THE PRESS

My work has helped change industries and resulted in coverage from 300+ international press outlets.

Projects my teams have produced have been featured across top-tier national, tech, travel, and broadcast press. Notable coverage has included The New York Times (print and online), CNN, WIRED, Fast Company, USA Today, CNBC, China Daily, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, MacWorld, TODAY show, Re/Code, Financial Times and many others.

Recent professional press highlights

• TIME – Tim Cook Just Revealed More Apple Watch Secrets – read the article
• Engadget – Apple Watch will unlock your hotel room door – read the article
• Fast Company – Starwood’s App Driven vision for the hotel of the future – read the article
• Engadget – Starwood’s app for Google Glass will let you search and book hotels – read the article
• Wall Street Journal – The new hotel key: Your smartphone – read the article
• USA Today – Smartphones to replace room keys at select Starwood Hotels – read the article
• Luxury Daily –Starwood dominates L2′s hotel digital index – read the article 

Recent personal press highlights

• HOW Magazine – HOW 100 – read the article
• New York Times
 – 
For Some, iPad Pro Can’t Match PC Strengths – read the article
• Fast Company – Your Next Innovative Idea Could Be A Restaurant Visit Away – read the article
• Mashable.com – The Workspaces Of Men Who Are On Their Game – read the article
• MacWorld – How developers are making apps for an Apple Watch they haven’t seen yet – read the article
• Resource Magazine – Starwood VP Stephen Gates Reveals His Secrets – read the article
• The Next Big Design – The Bad Boys of Design – read the article
• Adobe success story – Engaging travelers near and far – read the article  |  watch the video

I’ve spoken at events ranging from small sessions for companies like IDEO, Apple, and Google to large international keynotes at SXSW, HOW Design Live, Adobe MAX, Fifteen Seconds Festival, Tech Open Air and more. Watch some of my keynotes on YouTube WATCH SOME OF MY KEYNOTES ON YOUTUBE

TEACHING AND PUBLIC SPEAKING

It’s been a long and interesting journey from serious stage freight to a sought after international keynote speaker.

I’ve spoken at events ranging from sessions for companies like IDEO, Apple, Google, and GE; to large international keynotes at SXSW, HOW Design Live, and the Fifteen Seconds Festival alongside speakers like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Nest founder Tony Faddel, Martha Stewart, Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, John Maeda and more. My talks are consistently scored by attendees as one of the best at every event because they give honest and actionable takeaways the audience can immediately implement.

I’m the only speaker named an Adobe MAX Master speaker as one of the top 20 speakers at the conference for 4 consecutive years with those sessions receiving an average score of 4.9 out of 5 from over 8,000 attendees. I’ve been a guest lecturer at Yale, Princeton, MIT International Design Center, School of Visual Arts, and Parsons. As well as an IDEO trained Design Thinking teacher and Lynda.com instructor.

This is a sampling of some of the international keynotes I have given at major conferences and events over the past few years. You can see more of my talks and interviews on The Crazy One YouTube channel.

Apple Keynote FOLLOW ME ON THESE NETWORKS