Shad

Two fields that have always stimulated my mind are advertising and architecture. Founding Glass Box Research has given me the opportunity to meld both interests together.

Leo Burnett was my first employer after college and the wisdom from one of advertising’s greatest legends have set the compass heading for my life. Leo’s insistence of finding the big idea, not settling, and ensuring that brand solutions “fit” are principles that I strive for every day in the work that we do here at Glass Box Research.

Although Daniel Burnham’s famous encouragement to ‘make big plans’ referred to architecture, it opened my eyes to the fact that quantitative research can and should be huge and significant. We should remember that “a noble and logical diagram once recorded will never die.” We feel a great sense of pride when we create a piece of intellectual property so illuminating that it seems almost tangible and real to the touch. We believe that we have succeeded when our own ‘noble diagrams’ live on in our clients’ businesses — unlocking fertile areas for innovation and informing authentic, meaningful communications with the right audiences.

Never settling and always pursuing knowledge are important to ensure that we are constantly honing our craft. For that reason, we keep close ties with universities — staying abreast of the latest thinking from faculty and sharing experiences with today’s students. I am a James Webb Young Board member at the University of Illinois with the mission of providing effective leadership in fund-raising, advocacy, and stewardship for the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising. I also participate in the College of Media Advisory Committee to help the university develop curriculum to educate tomorrow’s graduates in meeting the industry’s ever changing needs.