Design for the Greater Good

In HOW’s November 2010 Design Business Annual, author and noted business consultant David C. Baker profiled 5 design firm principals who are making a significant difference for their staff, their community and the world. We wanted to showcase some of the people behind those good works, and share images of their ventures around the globe.

Doing Good: Your Team

ParamoreRedd, Nashville, TN

As principal of the interactive/online marketing agency ParamoreRedd in Nashville, TN, Hannah Paramore is
committed to an open, impactful culture. “I think the ‘good’ that our company does in regards to the open
culture is that it creates deep buy-in into making good decisions for both the clients and the company,” she
says. “Everyone knows how profi tability is measured and what they can do to positively and negatively
impact that. They know what it costs to run this business, so there’s a better understanding when I say, ‘We
can’t afford that’ or ‘We can resign that client but there will be a cost.’ The openness encourages dialog that
keeps us all aligned. It gives us a way to make decisions about clients and projects that aren’t based on
the way we feel at that particular moment. Rather, our decisions are based on real information.”

Doing Good: Your Work

Biro Creative, Vancouver, BC

The folks at Biro Creative in Vancouver, British Columbia, advise movement-leading organizations from around the world working for sustainability and social change. Biro’s work helps grow movements online, whether it’s Greenpeace mobilizing people around climate change, Global Zero educating a new generation on the threat of nuclear weapons, or Points Of Light promoting volunteerism and community service across America. “We find it meaningful and fun to spend our days working on things we care about with others who share our passions,” says Biro’s managing partner, Brant Cheetham. “Owning a company takes a lot of hours, no matter how you slice it. Choosing to spend our hours on something we don’t have real passion for—and then just writing a check to support what we do—just doesn’t seem like a great alternative.”

Doing Good: Your Time & Money

closerlook, Chicago

David Ormesher runs closerlook, a 50-person Chicago agency. He’s worked hard at creating a sustainable business that affords him the time and money to support the causes he’s drawn to. One of those is Global Relief and Development Partners, an entity he co-founded to focus on inspiring and strengthening high-potential entrepreneurs in emerging economies through coaching, access to business networks and investment. His personal involvement includes leading quarterly workshops and mentoring in Rwanda. See Ormesher’s efforts in action:

Studio North, Chicago

For Mark Mohr, the principal of StudioNorth in North Chicago, his success in running the business has allowed him to initiate 25 microenterprise ventures in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that are designed to help families earn suffi cient income to provide foster care to homeless children. He and his wife also created a program that supports 125 high school students in Nairobi, Kenya, keeping them in school when they otherwise couldn’t afford to be. Mark shared images of his efforts:

Luminescent Images, Sisters, OR

For David Uttley, managing his creative firm successfully meant he could retire and contribute his time and talents to help organizations working in poor communities in Africa and Haiti. Uttley is the former principal of what’s now known as FaceOut Studio in Bend, OR. He worked hard to build a middle level of leaders to whom the business was sold, and that freed him up to pursue his interest in photography. He now helps organizations abroad, including Lifewater International and Samaritan’s Purse, communicate visually with their supporters and audiences. Uttley’s photos from Haiti are courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse:

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