Other Voices: March 2, 2018

Blue Flame Thinking's Other Voices March 22nd 2018 image

Written by

Liz Le Sbertoli

Vice President, Client Experience

With an unbridled passion for a holistic approach to marketing, Liz’s specialties include digital marketing, traditional and nontraditional media, brand growth, data-driven research, analytics and omnichannel marketing campaigns. For nearly 15 years, Liz has occupied seats on both sides of the client-agency table, having previously worked for BMO Harris Bank, CMK Companies, Carmichael Lynch and Leo Burnett where she managed brands like Subaru, BMW, St. Regis, and Hyatt Hotels to name a few. Her diverse experience working across industries such as hospitality, CPG, automotive, real estate development and financial has allowed her to bring a fresh perspective to her clients and their business needs.

Experience has taught her that the best account folks possess the heart of a creative and the mind of an analyst.

It’s what enables them to balance strategy, data, consumer insights, business objectives and budgets, all while managing projects and serving as the voice of the brand and creative advocates.

Fast Facts:

  • Three-time Chicago marathoner.
  • Kitchen scientist.
  • For a US$100 you can be a Balinese millionaire!


Davey Silver Award, W3 Silver Award (2), Davey Gold Award, Web Marketing Association, Webby People’s Voice Nominee

Adam Rice

Design Director

For Adam, it starts with branding: creating the visual identity and standards that will provide a client with a recognizable look and set the tone that makes everything that follows uniquely theirs. Adam’s personal appreciation for how art and words work together helps him bring insightful, intelligent and visually impactful design solutions to each project he touches—from product brochures to trade show booth design experiences. Prior to joining BFT 5+ years ago, Adam spent 10 years working for well-known brands across the contract furniture industry (Steelcase, Herman Miller, izzy+ and The HON Company). He’s also helped rebrand and create visual identities for various museums including the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) and Grand Rapid’s ArtPrize. His passion for design developed early; by age 15, he knew he wanted to be a graphic designer.

Good work begets more work.

Fast Facts:

  • Youth sports coach.
  • Known to stalk stray typography in the wild.
  • Loves the crack of the bat, the smell of the grass and hot dogs. Baseball is just the best.

Susan Bray

Director of Strategy

It starts with strategy…and Susan. She oversees the research, discovery and analysis that informs our brand-building and marketing campaign strategies. For Susan, it’s not just about the thinking at the onset of a project. It’s also about connecting the dots throughout, being ready to spot opportunities and helping guide client initiatives to smooth launches.

While Susan has made BFT her work home for more than a decade, she leverages her previous client-side experiences as Director of Marketing at Morningstar Investment Services and Director, Marketing Communications at Business Logic to develop strategies and tactics that will deliver against their campaign objectives. Having spent much of her career working with financial companies, Susan is among the SMEs we rely on when creating solutions for our financial clients.

Strategy is the glue that holds everything together.

Fast Facts:

  • An urban-minded suburbanite.
  • Admits to being a little bit competitive.
  • Never stop asking questions.

In an industry that is heavily influenced by newsworthy and timely events, there’s always a lot to catch up on at the end of the week. Introducing BFT’s Other Voices, a feature that shares what you need to know now. Read below for more.

Billionaire CEO Sara Blakely Says These 7 Words Are the Best Career Advice She Ever Got

Sara Blakely, the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world, recently said that this simple, seven-word phrase constituted the best career advice she ever received: “What have I failed at this week?”

It may seem contrary to celebrate our failures in life and careers. However, when we embrace them, learn from them, use them as motivation and then take risks by doing something different—well, then, that turns them into the fuel for the success that follow. It also means we stop feeling like victims of circumstances, and start feeling like the empowered individuals we seek to be. It does feel very liberating and has put me further down the path to finding my better.

— Liz Le Sbertoli, Vice President, Client Services

10 New Principles Of Good Design

Design—specifically user experience design—is constantly evolving to better serve users’ ever-changing needs. With this constant evolution, best practices are learned, refined and deployed again. As technology expands its capabilities, extends its reach and wields its influence in every aspect of our lives, I feel it’s more important than ever to uphold the principles of good design set forth by legendary Braun designer Dieter Rams. Though many of his insights remain as intrinsic as ever, updating them based on two decades of design experience reinforces our need to remain grounded in our approach to delivering honest, authentic design solutions.

— Adam Rice, Design Team Lead

How to win travelers in the age of assistance

As the family trip planner, I dread the inevitable question, “Where are we going, Mom?” I’ll devote hours of aggravation to nailing down flights, booking hotels, and planning activities. Those are hours I will never get back! So, with all the data available on me today, why can’t the specifics of my trips just fall into place automatically? “Big data” knows which days and times we fly, which airport we use, what we like to do, how much we pack, and what we eat. In a world of personalized experiences, is receiving an individualized digital travel experience at minimum cost too much to ask? Maybe not.

— Susan Bray, Director of Strategy

Thanks for reading BFT’s Other Voices, look for more in the near future.