CREATIVE BY DESIGN
The journey is the reward.
– Steve Jobs
Ashley Furniture Industries // December 2021 – May 2023
Creative Director, Ashley Global Retail/Ashley Outlet
Leveraged passion for captivating storytelling and great design to craft visual identity of home furnishings retailer. Served in dual role as designer and creative director evolving all broadcast (TV, streaming, and radio), digital advertising, in-store signage/displays, external signage collateral, and out-of-home (OOH) advertising to achieve quality and consistency for brand at scale. Guided lean teams in creative strategy and productive brainstorming. Gained accountability for creative account team, supported business development initiatives, and coordinated with external agencies to execute multi-channel campaigns within budget, timelines, and brand standards.
- Developed systems and processes following Ashley Outlet rebrand, laying foundation for growth and scalability. Achieved stellar results while instilling accountability in team and tapped by leadership to produce similar outcomes for Ashley Global Retail.
- Recognized need to repair relationships between marketing and creative teams. Rolled out weekly meetings with directors to create transparency and positioned creative team as approachable, responsive, and highly collaborative in addressing business needs. Rebuilt trust between disparate teams and earned buy-in to implement change.
- Applied problem-solver mindset to work with minimal direction; utilized existing resources and assumed additional responsibilities, such as copywriting, to conserve budget. Enabled team to grow and expand brand internationally while achieving cost savings.
- Built consensus among leadership to drive large-scale modernization initiative. Coordinated with internal Smartsheet expert to build out project management system, and worked independently to define metrics and implement processes to track thousands of creative requests across global enterprise. Created visibility for first time and established performance management for designers and creative team.
- Championed continuous improvement and innovation. Researched and vetted artificial intelligence (AI) apps to expedite creative production through automation.
Rakuten Advertising // Aug 2007 – Apr 2021
Sr. Creative Director, Global Marketing, Events, and Creative Operations
While developing creative for high-level company initiatives and providing overall design direction, built and led a high-performing global creative organization to support multiple functions and business units emphasizing breaking down legacy silos to work across channels, time zones, and continents.
Brand Standards and Identity Creative Development:
- Market and
- Positioning &
- Standardization &
- Oversaw the creative evolution of a complex global ecosystem merging multiple companies (and logos) through alignments and rebrands into a single identity.
- Built standardization practices to facilitate brand alignment, growth, and evangelism. Establishing these standards allowed global teams to seamlessly adopt while improving efficiency and services in a fast-paced organization that required quick turnarounds.
- Incorporated and managed governance protocols to drive implementation and adherence to global brand standards while providing additional oversight of directives, practices, and initiatives with parent company in Japan. Additionally, building corporate relationships through thoughtful and responsive communication accelerated campaign execution and performance.
- Recognized as an Innovation Finalist spearheading and creating a comprehensive in-house digital asset management portal. This saved over $30,000 annually (avoiding the expense of using an external platform), scaled accessibility to assets, and drove brand adoption globally.
Marketing and Advertising Creative:
- Sales Enablement
- Delivered world-class creative devices focused on articulating each stage of the sales funnel and providing presentation tools to dynamically tell the story of each product’s influence throughout the consumer journey. This increased prospect engagement, drove sales, and a holistic brand experience.
- Developed creative for regional, global, and brand campaigns across all mediums to build brand consistency, awareness and drove year-over-year engagement.
- Incorporated various business initiatives from marketing leads and stakeholders across individual regions to conceive and build lead-generating projects that grew sales opportunities and improved brand equity.
- Designed regional creative to respect cultural subtleties and nuances while maintaining the brand standard for both print and demand-focused digital ad and marketing campaigns.
- Partnered with regional marketing leaders to build targeted account-based marketing initiatives and campaigns.
Global Event Creative:
- Digital & Display
- Signage & Print
- Mobile & Messaging
- Keynotes & Other Presentations
- Developed annual creative strategies focused on a consistent brand experience yet highlighted unique regional iconography and nuances.
- Created differentiated identities annually that built excitement, drove engagement, and increased attendance greater than 18% each year for the last five years (pre-pandemic).
- Worked directly with C-level executives to develop opening remarks, keynotes, and strategic presentations at globally hosted and industry events.
Global Creative Organization:
- Organizational Development
- Mentoring & Leadership
- Inclusive & Growth Culture
- High Focus on Retention
- Created a single organizational culture of designers across various disciplines and global regions that increased functional capacity, improved efficiencies, and delivered greater performance.
- Drove efficiencies through a unified project management operation model allowing teams to improve team workflows, communication, and deliverables.
- Adapted team objectives to meet global creative needs (external and internal), aligned available resources and capabilities, and developed strategies that would meet corporate goals and objectives.
- Developed comprehensive team hierarchies through multi-functional career paths while mentoring and fostering individual career growth to nurture an organic creative culture.
- Established workflows and collaborated with regional marketing directors to build account-based marketing initiatives and campaigns.
- Built brand integrated templates to extend the brand experience, empower sales and client services teams to incorporate account information that drove growth and retention.
Oct 2015 – Apr 2018
Creative Director, Global Marketing and Events
May 2014 – Oct 2015
Director of Marketing,
May 2011 – May 2014
Sr. Creative Developer, Global Marketing and Events
Aug 2007 – May 2011
Sr. Creative Developer, Lead Generation
RoomSaver/Traveler Discount Guide // Gainesville, FL
Developed a national marketing and creative rebranding strategy.
Zimmerman Advertising // Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Sr. Account Executive / Sr. Designer
In a dual role, managed single most lucrative client for the agency.
KCI Design // Florida
Freelance creative development helping underserved charitable organizations and businesses.
McAlear Advertising // West Palm Beach, FL
Sr. Art Director
Led creative team, developed storyboards and scripts for television and radio.
Denight Advertising // Hagåtña, Guam
Heavy emphasis on newspaper advertising (clients include Miller, Philip Morris, Citibank, Hilton and Hyatt Regency Hotels, IT&E (AT&T Guam), CBS, NBC and WB TV Networks.
PBT Design // Palm Beach, FL
Graphic Designer / Illustrator
Brand development and creative design. Client brand focus: Marriott, Hilton, Florida Tan, Wiamea Gold, AmCorp
Relationships build teams
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM PEERS
Trust needs to be earned – fostered through inclusion, collaboration, and transparency.
Ken is a problem solver, a collaborative thinker and a great creative partner. He is a master at taking words and stories and illustrating them through design, and has worked closely with executive leadership to bring their speeches to life through imagery and animation.
Early in my career, Ken was one of the first people I collaborated with and he was incredibly patient and helpful in sharing information and best practices with me as I was learning processes and systems. As I have grown in my role Ken has continued to be supportive, responsive and has added value to everything we have worked on together.
Ken has reformed the way I look at and understand brand standards, helped me to evangelize the benefits of working cross-functionally and with a global perspective. One of Ken’s greatest strengths is his ability in nurturing a truly creative culture, injected with humor, with his team and with others outside of his organization.
I had the great pleasure of working with Ken in his capacity as Creative Director at Ashley Global Retail. He brought an entirely new skillset with him and was fearless in his willingness to jump in and engage on the big projects. He is a consummate communicator and a true master of brand and creative development. Plus, he’s just a pleasure to be around. I will miss his sense of humor and our team meetings will never be the same.
Ken is an excellent mentor and leader. He is supportive of his team and fosters a collaborative and open work environment. Most importantly to me though, Ken is a leader that I respect. I respect him because he is talented and knowledgeable creatively. He’s transparent, honest and approachable. He is by far one of the most genuine and amazing leaders I have had the privilege to work with.
Ken Drab is a leader, a forward thinker and a great designer. As a manager, his support and backing of those under him was exceptional finding ways to support and push you to do better and be better. Working with Ken has been a great experience.
Ken Drab is an elite creative and brilliant executive. But what impresses me most is that he dives into his projects with heart! His passion is contagious, his teams adore him and his projects bark emotion! His stakeholders, clients and audience don't just experience his creativity. They internalize it. I can only count on one hand the number of advertising professionals that can pull that off.