The people of Doner
Doner is a unique place. With an energy all its own. A diverse, talented, energetic collection of brains, skill sets and hearts. Once people become part of the culture here, they tend to like it. And we’re all about that.
Originally from New Jersey (huge Springsteen fan!), I migrated to the Rust Belt and have lived happily in places like Buffalo, Cleveland and now Detroit. (All the glamour spots.) As a teenager, I worked in a grocery store and became fascinated with how and why people buy things.
I enjoy learning about and dissecting different businesses and the creative problem solving that advertising demands. I also love the extreme competitive aspect of the agency business and the thrill of helping our clients win. I’m a hands-on, walk-around leader who believes creativity and accountability can coexist in harmony, details and speed matter, and bureaucracy sucks.
An avid tennis player, parent and coach, I can still hold my own (most days) on the court with my kids and the D1 players I help coach at the University of Detroit Mercy. I’m active in the community as a governor at Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, MI, a board member at MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit), and a life trustee at University School in Hunting Valley, OH. What Moves Me? Classic rock, contemporary art, the one-handed backhand, interior design and, of course, my wife Kristen and four kids (between the ages of 5 and 22).
I'm a born-again midwesterner. After 20 years in NYC, I've returned to my roots, just 250 miles from my hometown of Cleveland to be a part of the amazing global transformation going on at Doner.
I love telling stories. But, I'm equally passionate about technology, mobile, media, culture, and design. I'm humbled to have lead teams to win every major global advertising award, but even prouder to have been a part of work that filed patents, lowered the stigma of mental illness and was spoofed by Stephen Colbert.
My creative philosophy? It's pretty simple: make everything you touch better than the day before and try hard not to be a jerk doing it.
WHAT MOVES ME?
Technology, a disruptive idea, a properly brewed cup of tea and a smooth road ready to be attacked by two wheels and a carbon fiber frame.
I’ve been an avid sports enthusiast all my life. Whether it’s scoring goals, making blocks or turning a double play, healthy competition and being a good teammate are things that get my heart pumping.
Working in advertising has the same effect. It started on my first day as an intern at P&G and continues today as I help our clients compete in categories like automotive, retail, healthcare and packaged goods. Being part of a team, flawlessly executing common goals and helping our clients win are some of the reasons I believe I have the best job in the world. The thrill of competition extends to my home life, as well. My wife and I are active sports parents to our two multiple-sport (and very competitive) children. What Moves Me? My family, sports and fitness, craft cocktails, trying to find consistency in my golf game, coaching, traveling to new places, books about WWII, and a perfectly mowed lawn.
Being part of the Doner family for so long has made me both unofficial historian and “Go-to Sue.” I’ve literally worked in almost every department in the agency. Learning from the past, growing into the future and problem-solving along the way is the tempo that drives me every day. And because I like to get things done, interacting with amazing people and helping build great creative becomes my energy source. And thanks to Doner, I take that energy home, where Go-to Sue becomes Go-to Mom. What Moves Me? Great food – cooking it, eating it and checking out all kinds of restaurants – reading, traveling, crazy new workout classes, Michigan football and my family.
I am a culturally curious thinker with an academic insight into the cognitive drivers that impact consumer behavior. My strategies and creative contributions have led to the success of Potbelly’s “Feed Your Smile” campaign, Budweiser’s “Made In America” music festival, the launch of Bud Light Platinum, the launch of the Brooklyn Nets (Hello Brooklyn!), and State Farm’s “Cliff Paul” campaign – to name a few. Previously, I led iTunes + Nike sport music initiatives at Apple (iTunes Partner Marketing) and ran digital strategy for Beyoncé. Beyond my advertising endeavors, I am also among the roster of instructors at Hyper Island and a faculty member at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, as a lecturer of marketing and co-director of the Yaffe Digital Media Initiative. I am a proud Detroit native, a devoted husband, and loving father. WHAT MOVES ME? I believe that we’re all here in this world for two reasons: Serve God and serve each other. As such, what moves me is to help people fully realize their potential, while they help me realize my own. Kanye West said it best, “All I want is dopeness.” Seriously, that's all I want. And I am in relentless pursuit of it ... in everything I do.
Growing up, I always wanted to be Ralph Lauren. I’d see him and his family living large in American castles, driving exotic rare sports cars and outfitting supermodels around the world. I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC to pursue this dream… it was there that I realized, I hate fashion and that my real passion was advertising.
I still remember the feeling I had when I discovered that this could be my job. It felt like I took too much Dayquil… what a rush. I was shaking yet tired but very awake. To me, advertising is the most fun job in the world. I still love being creative and working with such smart, talented, crazy and insane people every day. I am addicted to that combination of passion and pressure. No matter the client or the medium or no matter how long I have been doing this, I still feel the rush in my head, in my stomach, when I see really great advertising. What Moves Me? I love going to the movies (93 times a week), reading magazines, visiting museums, going to the theatre, binging on lots of television, design, architecture, you name it. I love to immerse myself in all forms of culture. I also love the New England Patriots and Boston sports radio.
Ensembles are my thing, especially if they are a quirky bunch. Creating diverse, collaborative teams and driving toward a common goal keeps me humming. I love the idiosyncrasies that make us all human and working with passionate people who bring different perspectives and skill sets is how we create and sell our most innovative and effective ideas.
A native Detroiter, this city is my passion. I fan the renaissance flames by helping the Detroit Public Theatre and MOCAD. I’m also literally invested in a new downtown restaurant, The Peterboro. (If you go, order mom’s ribs. Yum!) My passion for Detroit is only topped by my passion for college football. My blood runs green in a football house divided. My daughter and I root for the right team, which is of course the Spartans, while the guys cheer for U of M. What Moves Me? The healing powers of Reiki, studying people (also known as eavesdropping and people watching), my amazing husband and two fabulous kids, and doing impressions of my silly dog Oliver when prodded after a glass of my favorite wine.
So let’s start with the obvious – I’m an identical twin. Yes, this is me typing, honest. A born and bred Londoner, with a Greek Cypriot heritage, I’m a highly passionate individual obsessed with doing everything properly. I recently spent a year as a client (ah, now I get it) after spending the majority of my career helping build the world’s leading interactive agency in both Europe and the U.S. before escaping the clutches of WPP (sorry, Mr. Sorrell).
From when Sir Berners-Lee found this Internet thing (well, the HTTP protocol) back in 1989, the impact of technology on society continues to excite me. I believe we are two laps into a 20-lap race. The opportunities for brands to earn a relevant place in people’s lives are only limited by our imagination.
I love working with talent to craft simple, beautiful and genuinely useful work that people deserve. My motto is simple: let’s not make people want stuff, but make stuff people want. What Moves Me? The smell of a naturally aspirated petrol combustion engine on a Sunday morning. Creating intelligent world-class ideas. Expanding my mind through interesting people and experiences. My crazy boy, wonderful daughter and magnificent American wife.
I was born and educated in Ireland, before doing what so many have done before me, and leaving in pursuit of fame and fortune.
Sadly I’m not a Hollywood star or a technology billionaire, but I have run some wonderful creative companies on both sides of the Atlantic.
From large multinational advertising agencies to creative start-ups, and from strategic consultancies to digital production companies.
I am fascinated by the changes happening in our industry and the amazing creative opportunities they present. There have never been so many ways to touch people, to move them, and to move a client's business forward. These are exciting times. What Moves Me? Smart business-changing ideas. An ice-cold pint of Guinness with close friends. Early morning flights to faraway places. But more than anything else, my girls.
I’ve lived all over the world and while my home is currently an old antique in Connecticut, I could happily live just about anywhere as long as I have my family with me. Family to me isn’t just my kids; it’s the friends and colleagues I’ve built up over the years working in this crazy, wonderful industry. It never ceases to amaze me how talented and diverse the people around me are – they are musicians, dancers, athletes, coders, artists, bloggers, photographers, authors and all-around trailblazers. They make the work we do better by bringing their full range of talents to the table every day. And I, for one, am grateful. WHAT MOVES ME? Flowers, the ocean breeze, a kind smile, a bottle of Les Forts de Latour and the singing voice I wish I had. (Often thought possible after said bottle.)
Global Chief Creative Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
EVP, Director of Operations
EVP, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
Chief Consumer Connections Officer
EVP, Chief Creative Officer | Doner LA
Chief Integration Officer
EVP, Managing Director | Doner UK
EVP, Executive Creative Officer | Doner UK
Kersten Mitton Rivas
CEO | Doner CX
I grew up in a small farming town in Romeo, Michigan, which, incidentally, is the home of Kid Rock (btw: Kid Rock still owes me $300 for an RC car he drove into a stream). After high school I moved to NYC to attend the School of Visual Arts where I fell in love with advertising. After 22 years in New York and to my mom’s delight, I decided to move back to Michigan. Don’t tell my mom but I actually moved back to be part of the rebirth of Detroit and the creative excellence at Doner.
I love this business. The process of staring at a blank canvas and coming up with ideas that find their way into culture is intoxicating. I’ve been fortunate enough to be acknowledged for my work by every major advertising award and I’ve even been inducted into the International Clio Hall of Fame.
WHAT MOVES ME?
Lake living, and since Michigan is the home of 5 great lakes and 4,000 pretty good ones, I think I’m in the right state.
EVP, Executive Creative Director
Senior Account Executive
Associate Strategic Planner
Creative Services Assistant
SVP Director of Business Affairs
New Business Coordinator
SVP, Director of Creative Services
SVP, Operations Director, The Underground
SVP, Director of Business Development