This Is Us
“DEREK” AND “TESSA” FLANK THE AMPERSAND in and out of the office. But frankly, the office is what matters to you. Taking on distinct and complimentary roles allows us to bring more to our clients and do more for our clients. The idea behind Sussner Design Company is that we are partners. First and foremost, we actively partner with our clients. And to make that first and foremost partnership the best it can be, we partner with a heroic collection of very talented people. No matter how a project is configured, we are the people responsible, accountable and always available. C’mon people, let’s do something great.
Derek SussnerCreating goodwill & great work since 1999
The good and great actually started years before the official unveiling of Sussner Design Company. Derek has spent a career creating thoughtful, effective and standout solutions for his clients. Integrity, talent and an unforced manner of caring and “we’ve got this” makes the Sussner behind the Design an industry favorite. Derek’s’ role ranges from positioning to planning to creative direction to strategically walking clients down the most fruitful, bump-free path. Derek believes that the best moments and smartest results happen when people work with passion and purpose aimed at mutual goodness.
- Works side-by-side with wife Tessa and they remain very happily married.
- Takes “Dad” job very seriously and it shows.
- Has a peculiar fascination with golf.
- Is a frequent speaker and presenter at design events (cleans up well).
Tessa SussnerWoman of the Year—15 years running
Tessa’s refreshing account management style is informed by a strong background in design. From her domain at SDCo HQ, Tessa manages materials, muscles the clock and most importantly, makes every client feel that they are Sussner Design Company’s one and only client. T. Sussner brings a highly machined order and inordinate amount of good nature (and yes, some sarcasm) to the SDCo operation. On a daily basis, Tessa engineers amazing bridges between client and firm and vendor and resource and the next what-the-heck moment. The lucky few have actually witnessed her move objects with her mind.
- Works extremely well with others, including the other Sussner.
- An indispensable (they know because they tried without her for the first couple years) part of the SDCo success.
- Possesses many “World’s Greatest Mom” coffee mugs & finger paintings to prove her prowess in that realm.
- Clients frequently respond to meeting requests with, “Tessa will be there, right!?”.
Courtney JonesÇa sonne mieux en français*
The manner in which Ms. Jones Project Manages the heck out of SDCo can best be described as a velvet hammer—with persistent grace and pleasant professionalism. Courtney speaks perfect French, and her barely audible radio sing-alongs let us know that everything is all right. Courtney owns a long and celebrated history as an organizational maven in the design and agency universes. As Project Manager supreme, Courtney not only keeps SDCo HQ on task, but she enhances and streamlines the task. We are stronger, faster and smarter thanks to the C. Jones mojo. *Translation: “It sounds better in French”
- In addition to sharing her get-it-right attitude with us, Courtney also brings coffee creamer and sometimes doughnuts.
- Will happily sit in the exit row of an airplane and safely egress all passengers.
- In her alternate world, Courtney is a renowned jazz singer working four nights a week at the Carlyle in NYC.
- With her husband, Court’s long-term project is raising two fabulous daughters.
Ben AlpertThe visual voice of a generation
Been Jamin’ Alpert was designed to be a designer (or anything wildly creative and mildly dangerous). Ben is a Tao vs. Dada, fiber vs. cyber, creamy vs. chunky contradiction and juxtaposition of artistic styles. Good for us. Ben Alpert is a guy who loves design for its mash-up of art and reason, who loves being on a team (or in a band) for its camaraderie and loves cheese for its, cheese. He digs manipulating reality (and his voice) for all to see (and hear). From alt mags to hearing aids, from pulp creations to cyber sensations, Ben is a hybrid of artistry, humility and absurdity. Just how we like him.
- Designer at SDCo since spring 2011. Has a DNA that plays well with others, attends successfully to the miniscule-ness of this biz and frequently blows our minds with stellar work.
- Has driven across the country (USofA) for no apparent reason.
- Seeking a really good night’s sleep.
- Enjoys the Metal genre of music (which is NOT the only reason Derek hired him).
Tanya NaylorThis is what she said
Some bios write themselves (which is crazy weird). Tanya, or Ton, as her verbally lazy friends call her, has a long history in the arts. One of her first jobs was that of a prominent west coast Sandwich Artiste. Amazingly, she has managed to excel far beyond Bread & Cheese Master to highly regarded graphic designer on Team Sussner. Tanya arrived from Portland after school, various design positions and freelance work at the PSU Graphic Design Center. Ms. Naylor is a thoroughly modern design pro with bonus, old school pen-&-paper skills. We are extremely thrilled that she has locked herself to one of our desks. And that’s what we said.
- Tanya Naylor has been delivering the graphic goodness and good humor day-in-and-day-out since the winter of 2011.
- Possesses a get-er-done work ethic that started at a faux Dairy Queen at the age of 11.
- Cheese curds? Yes, please. State Fair Cheese Curds? Get the hell out of my way!
- Post SDCo plans: Ocean-based Treasure Hunter (Hey Ton, isn’t that a pirate?)
Emily BrownsonMaking the greater good greater
When asked what five inanimate objects she would grab if her place were on fire, Emily cleverly listed nine items (and convinced us it was cool). This is what Emily Louise does; she gets more out of everything and everyone around her. Her design skills are spot-on. Her aesthetic ranges from the silly to the sublime and she’s not above a high-minded concept wrapped in a dim-witted joke. Sporting a major in graphic design and a minor in Spanish from UW-Stout, Emily has worked in both academia and ad agency mania. Design offers her the opportunity to do great things and positively affect people… it’s worked on us.
- Ms. Brownson has been making the SussnerWorld a better place since the fall of 2012.
- Holds the title of Only Vegetarian To Remain Vegetarian Since Working At SDCo (The OVTRVSWAS Award). It’s a meaty environment.
- Insisted on more plants in the office (quiet, but forceful) and got ‘em. Thx ELB.
- Recurring life theme: Chocolate.