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The Cinco Leadership Collective

A creative evolution.

Cinco Design has focused on creative innovation from the beginning. It started in 1998, when five visionary creatives founded Cinco under the idea that combining the disciplines of product and brand design would create more integrated and powerful brands.

Today, we’re taking this vision a step further. Kirk James, our founding creative leader, is stepping away from his role at Cinco to focus on new challenges in deeper ways. In his place, we are elevating Cinco’s next Leadership Collective of five, to further drive our vision into the future.

For the past 20 years, under Kirk’s direction, Cinco has proven time and time again that integrated product and brand stories win in the market. Cinco has helped build and support a diverse range of amazing brands through this philosophy, including Nixon, Microsoft, The James Brand, Gogoro, EA Sports and many others.

Starting in the spring of 2019, Kirk is taking a new leadership position at Gogoro, a long-time Cinco partner. In this role, Kirk will have the ability to affect greater change in their business and drive their brand strategy in unprecedented new ways, while still advising the Cinco team. We are so excited for Kirk’s new adventure, and the opportunity it presents for him and the studio.

Following Kirk’s transition, Cinco is elevating a team of its veteran leaders to guide the studio into an even stronger future. This new team of 5 leaders will manage Cinco’s design, account, program, and business operations as a flat and cohesive team of experts driven by creative innovation across the entire studio.


Matt Capozzi will elevate to Executive Director.

  • For the past 10 years Matt has had continued success as the Product Experience lead. He has lead integrated teams to deliver breakthrough product and brand innovations across the sport, technology, and lifestyle markets. His decade-long tenure as a client of Cinco’s before moving in-house has equipped him with both the agency and client-side expertise necessary to lead Cinco into the future.

Susan Hawkins will maintain her position as Managing Director.

  • Susan has been Cinco’s Managing Director for nearly 2 years. In her time in this role, she’s transformed Cinco’s business and operations, increasing efficiency and smoothing process. She comes from a strong background of leadership roles across multiple creative service agencies, and has a deep roster of experience that spans a range of disciplines.

Jared Milam will elevate to Executive Creative Director.

  • Jared has been a lead creative at Cinco for over 10 years. His commitment to systems thinking and design excellence is unmatched. He’s led integrated teams and managed design challenges across every client and category in the studio. His creative leadership will continue to push the studio’s quality of work and innovative thinking.

Kate Callahan will elevate to Director of Client Services.

  • Kate has been an Account lead at Cinco for over 5 years, and has developed some of our most valuable client partnerships. Her dedication to our clients’ needs and her ability to identify brand opportunities is second to none. Her new leadership will focus on the future of our account management practice and client relationships.

Nic Ramirez will elevate to Director of Creative Operations.

  • Nic has been a Program lead at Cinco for over 7 years working closely with clients and optimizing our internal creative process. Nic’s background as a trained mechanical engineer and business lead, combined with a passion for design, art, and music, make Nic a strong addition to the Cinco Leadership Collective.

This new flat organization will allow for Cinco to have even greater agility. We will pivot faster to meet the ever-evolving needs of the market, our clients, and their audiences. Kirk will remain a key advisor to both the leadership team and the studio. With so many exciting projects in the works today and an invigorated team, you can be sure to expect great things!