The real deal. Pivot is a strategic partner that takes on each client challenge as our own. We thrive on ideas that solve real problems and drive real results.

Leading the way. Our interdisciplinary senior team deftly leads client relationships, mentors our staff of 50+, and gets in the trenches.

Liz

Liz Kanter

President & Executive Creative Director

As president, executive creative director, and owner, Liz has grown Pivot Design into one of the most respected independent branding agencies in the industry. For nearly 25 years, she has helped brands redefine what good looks like, challenge conventional thinking, and lead with purpose, meaning, and authenticity. Day to day, Liz works closely with client C-suite and leadership teams to help them identify opportunities for disruptive strategy and unexpected activation. Guiding it all is her belief that the most successful and enduring brands are deeply rooted in human connection.

Deanna

Deanna Stallsmith

SVP Creative

Deanna leads Pivot’s brand strategy and writing practices, helping clients successfully frame and navigate the many dimensions of brand building. As a strategist, creative director, and writer, Deanna brings a unique ability to help organizations articulate their purpose, define their market position, and communicate it in provocative new ways. She designs processes that engage the many perspectives needed in brand development, from C-suite and customers to frontline staff. Deanna leads work across Pivot’s portfolio, and brings two decades of expertise in health and wellness.

Kate

Kate Karas

SVP Client Experience

Kate leads Pivot’s client engagement practice. Her work begins in the earliest conversations with prospective clients and continues throughout the formative stages of onboarding and foundational strategy. At every step, Kate helps the client and Pivot team crystallize key goals and opportunities, and design collaborative and efficient approaches to solving them together. Having begun her career as a designer, Kate brings a unique ability to help clients understand and engage in the journey of branding and creative activation.

Becky

Becky Gilligan

SVP Client Service

Becky leads Pivot’s account service practice for healthcare. She has focused her entire career on the unique challenges of growing healthcare brands and brings more than 15 years of experience in pharma, life sciences, biotech, and device. Becky plays an instrumental role in developing strategy and tactical plans for everything from franchise branding and product introductions to omnichannel campaigns. Postlaunch, Becky oversees Pivot performance measurement efforts to ensure our work delivers the intended results.

Brett

Brett Tabolt

SVP Creative Innovation

Brett leads the design practice at Pivot. He plays a central role in defining creative strategy for major client initiatives and works side by side with Pivot design teams to translate it into compelling visual systems. Brett has led programs across every industry Pivot serves, from healthcare and commercial real estate to hospitality and the arts, leveraging design as a catalyst for both problem-solving and aesthetic expression. His work has been recognized by every major publication across the design industry.

Ali

Ali Griffith

Senior Account Director

Ali is a senior account director focused on healthcare. She is a passionate women’s health advocate who has devoted her career to helping healthcare brands connect with physicians, caregivers, and patients in ways that inspire engagement and drive growth. Ali leads some of Pivot’s largest pharma accounts. Partnering with senior creative leads, she guides the development of omnichannel campaigns that resonate with audiences and differentiate from competitors.

Tony

Tony Zinni

Senior Design Director

Tony leads the digital and UX design practice at Pivot. As a senior design director, Tony plays a central role in framing brand and digital strategy from the earliest stages of client engagements, enabling Pivot teams to effectively embed digital into the foundation of every client program. With a career focused on crafting outstanding brand experiences across traditional and digital platforms, Tony brings expertise in everything from identity and visual systems to integrated campaigns.

Kristen

Kristen Lacy

Senior Strategy Director

As Pivot’s senior strategy director, Kristen is a hybrid brand strategist, creative director, and writer. From Fortune 500s to startups, she leads Pivot clients through the process of identifying the unique value at the heart of their brand and the creation of bold new ways to express it. Kristen began her career nearly 20 years ago as a copywriter in healthcare and has spent more than half of that time in the space, having developed an affinity for creating meaningful brands that make a difference.

Jay

Jay Byrnes

Senior Design Director

Jay is an experienced designer and artist with more than 15 years of experience. As a senior design director, he leads Pivot teams through the many phases of branding activation—from visual identity systems to omnichannel campaigns. Jay’s experience spans a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, real estate, and fashion. His art and design work has been featured in books and publications internationally.

Krista

Krista Grein

Senior Account Director

As a senior account director, Krista leads client engagements across a variety of industries, including healthcare, commercial real estate, and consumer packaged goods. Krista thrives on complexity and brings a genuine passion and curiosity to solving brand and marketing problems. After many years in Chicago, Krista now lives in Virginia, giving her convenient access to Pivot clients and new business opportunities on the East Coast.

We love what we do. We approach every aspect of strategy, planning, and creative development with exceptional care and craft.

Strategy

Market research, brand positioning, strategic narrative

Planning

Communications planning, tactical implementation, measurement

Branding

Naming, messaging, identity, environments, packaging

Activation

Omnichannel advertising, video, trade shows, events, direct marketing, sales tools

Digital

Digital strategy, UX, information architecture, development, websites, social media, apps, CMS platform builds

Culture

Employer brand, employee engagement, internal communications

Partners in purpose. From healthcare and higher education to commercial real estate and the arts, we work with clients that make a positive impact.

  • Abbott 
  • AbbVie 
  • Acadia
  • Accenture
  • Activcore
  • AIS Healthcare
  • Amgen
  • American Library Association
  • Amerigo
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • AveXis
  • Baxalta
  • Baxter
  • Beacon Capital Partners
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • BioLife Plasma Services
  • Brennan Investments
  • Brookfield
  • Brooks Brothers
  • CBRE
  • Chevron
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Clark Street Real Estate
  • Clayco
  • CSL Behring
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • Diversey
  • Domtar
  • Erikson Institute
  • Escoffier School of Culinary Arts 
  • First Republic Bank
  • FIRT
  • Glenstar
  • Google
  • Gresham Partners
  • Healthcare Businesswomen Association 
  • Hikma
  • ICB
  • Ichnos Sciences
  • Janet Mandell Studio
  • KBS
  • Kelley Drye
  • Lundbeck
  • M. Holland
  • Mannkind
  • Mars
  • Medtronic
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Microsoft
  • Northwest Community Healthcare
  • Northwestern University
  • Novo Nordisk
  • Oracle
  • Prescient Medicine
  • Red Bull
  • Remedy Real Estate (formerly MBRE)
  • Revision Skincare
  • San Mateo County Libraries
  • Sanofi Genzyme
  • Saudi Aramco
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Skender
  • Smith and Nephew
  • Sobi
  • Sterling Bay
  • Takeda
  • Terumo BCT
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Uber
  • University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Vequity
  • Versiti
  • Vocon
  • Wexford Science & Technology
  • Wipfli

Recognized for excellence. Great design solves problems and stirs emotion. We’re humbled that our work is consistently recognized among the industry’s best.

  • 2019 Graphis Branding 7–Silver
  • 2019 Graphis Poster Annual–Silver
  • 2019 Graphis Design Annual–Silver
  • 2018 Hermes Creative Award–Platinum
  • 2017 WebAwards
  • 2016 Graphis Design Annual
  • 2016 Communication Arts Typography Annual 7
  • 2016 Graphis Design Annual–Advertising
  • 2016 Society of Typographic Arts Awards 6
  • 2015 Communication Arts Typography Annual 6
  • 2014 AAMC GIA Award for Excellence
  • 2013 Healthcare Advertising Awards–Gold
  • 2013 Healthcare Advertising Awards–Merit
  • 2012 Global Award
  • 2012 PRSA Bronze Anvil Awards
  • 2011 Business Marketing Association Awards
  • 2011 Pinnacle Print Awards
  • 2011 Go Green Advertising Awards–Gold
  • 2010 Art Director’s Club 89th Annual Awards
  • 2010 Annual Healthcare Marketing Awards
  • 2010 Graphis Design Annual–Platinum
  • 2009 International Arc Awards–Gold
  • 2009 Print Magazine Regional Design Annual
  • 2009 Aster Awards–Gold
  • 2009 Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards
  • 2008 STA–Permanent Collection
  • 2008 The One Show–Merit Award
  • 2008 Global Awards
  • 2008 International ARC Awards–Gold
  • 2008 Black Book AR100 Show
  • 2008 Print Magazine Business Graphics
  • 2007 The Davey Awards–Silver
  • 2007 Globals Finalist
  • 2007 How Magazine’s Design Annual–Merit
  • 2007 Healthcare Marketing Awards–Gold
  • 2007 Black Book AR100 Show
  • 2007 Aster Awards–Gold & Bronze