Founding Partner // Creative Director
Thriving by Design
James is a multi-discipline designer, brand strategist, facilitator, illustrator, and photographer. As a Founding Partner & the creative director of Native Communications, a branding and design agency, his work spans industries and helps businesses and organizations large and small communicate and design positive changes for people and communities.
Officially, his professional design career began in 1994. Unofficially, he was drawn to design as a kid – long before he understood what it was. Always driven by a challenge, he has managed and owned several successful design firms including WorkHorse Creative, Rocketfuel Design, & EQUILIBRIUM.
To further the understanding and impact of design, he served with AIGA | the professional association for design’s national staff on the National Design for Good movement. He is also past president of the AIGA Blue Ridge Chapter.
He has participated in many social impact design projects and workshops around the country. Some of these experiences include projects rebuilding local economies in Rural Alabama, building community around the arts in Phoenix, and creating opportunities for a challenged neighborhood in Savannah GA. He is the creator of Design For Good Resources – a website with tools to help designers engage with projects in their own communities.
Locally, James is deeply involved and serves with many community organizations. He is a graduate of Leadership Berkeley, organizer of the Martinsburg Farmers Market and What’s Next West Virginia Berkeley County, and serves on the boards of Healthy Berkeley County and The Burke Street Promise Neighborhood.
When not designing, he is usually out on a mountain bike, in the garden or hiking a trail. He loves to travel and experience new communities. Before, during and after an adventure, he can be found exploring the local food and drink options. He has a wonderful partner, 2 amazing sons and 2 crazy dogs.