Hi. We're Jack and Seth.
We're two normal guys with one big idea.
Jack C. Newell is an award winning filmmaker, commercial director, and public art enthusiast. He is the writer, producer, and director of films that have screened across the United States and abroad, including the Montreal World Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, and Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.
Close Quarters, his first feature length film, can be seen on iTunes and Amazon VOD. His second feature length film, Open Tables, was shot in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants as well as in Paris, France, is now available on iTunes. His feature length documentary, How to Build a School in Haiti, is currently in post-production. Courses, a feature length documentary about Chicago Chef Jake Bickelhaupt is set to come out in 2017.
He is the Program Director of the Harold Ramis Film School at The Second City Training Center.
Jack uses his background in film to inform his public art projects. His ability to use light and color to tell stories and illicit emotion from the audience is at the heart of his work in both film and in the public space.
Seth Unger is a design and creative strategist, new media expert, and brand consultant. He currently works for Herman Miller's global marketing team as the audience lead for Architecture and Design. He previously worked at Gensler as a Design Strategist. While at Gensler, Seth worked with numerous clients including, Motorola, Discover, Caterpillar, co-created the placemaking intervention Neon City, and helped develop the iPhone app PoppySeed.
His fine arts training and experience as a non-profit theater founder, director and producer give him a unique take on the performative aspects of human interaction, space, and creativity. He guides teams - internal and client - toward rich, interactive and memorable experiences that accelerate learning and enable deep and productive communication.
Seth's collaborations have helped facilitate, design, and implement innovative brand, workplace, and creative strategy across diverse areas of focus.
He is a graduate of DePaul University.
It takes a village.
Meet the squad.
Justin Wardell (TWL Technical Director) is a 10-year veteran of the lighting industry who holds a degree in Theatrical Lighting from Washington University in St. Louis. Justin’s career began designing for theater and dance, which evolved into larger and more divergent projects. For the past 8 years, Justin has been working as an Account Executive for lighting firms that specialize in the entertainment and architainment markets. Justin was recently hired as Sr. Account Director for Axxis Inc. in Louisville, where he collaborates with his clients to produce large scale public and private events across the country. He uses his experience as a lighting designer, along with design teams to develop unique solutions utilizing the latest in lighting, video, and audio technology. Past projects Justin has been involved in include lighting for casinos, museums, building facades, theaters, houses of worship, and public spaces.
Anna Romano (PR Director) is an Account Executive on the consumer relations team at Weber Shandwick, Los Angeles. Anna has worked across multiple categories including technology, healthcare, automotive and quick service restaurant.
Anna’s media relations work focuses on leveraging her strong relationships with national and regional media to tell client stories that drive a call to action and structuring social media support to strengthen those efforts.
While part of the Weber Shandwick team, Anna completed her Masters in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Southern California and previously received her undergraduate degree from Miami University, in Ohio.
Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC) is an industry leader in lighting for permanent installations, concerts, events, and rental equipment. ILC’s team is comprised of experienced and highly skilled experts in the lighting industry that come from a variety of backgrounds. ILC’s lighting integration team works with designers to find innovative solutions for a wide range of projects, and our close relationship with over 100 manufacturers in the lighting industry gives our customers access to resources that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them. Our experience with a broad range of installations means that our team has an extensive history to pull from, and our commitment to projects ensures exceptional outcomes for our customers.
Recent projects include Science Storms at The Museum of Science & Industry, Fantasea and Jellies at the Shedd Aquarium, Pacific Science Center in Seattle, the Great Hall at Chicago’s Union Station, Roosevelt Collection in Chicago, and as of November 2013, Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL.
Our Amazing Advisory Board
Charles Adler is a Kickstarter co-founder, founder of the online arts journal Subsystence and Source-ID, an independent interaction design studio. Kickstarter has seen tens of thousands of projects raise over $1B since launching on April 28th, 2009. His work as a designer and entrepreneur is driven by a simple desire – to produce work that connects people to their ambitions and passions in life.
In 2013 Charles was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 12 Most Disruptive Figures in Business and was invited to judge the 2013 National Design Awards, and Architizer’s A+ Awards for Architecture. Charles is an Executive Board member of the Chicago Design Museum.
Nick Brown is the founder of Glappitnova, a publication and festival mixing entrepreneurship, culture, and entertainment highlighting millennials around the world.
Nick believes in smashing diverse perspectives to a central point to spark something unimaginable, and has taken over the Apple store, involved in production management at the Nike World Basketball festival, judged at Techweek, mentored for CODE2040, and is heavily involved in Chicago.
Nick earned a BS Arch and MS Arch while being a 2-Time All American Track and Field Athlete, and Big Ten runner up from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Go ILLINI!
Hailing from Cincinnati, Jenni Button is a curator, project manager, marketing specialist and all-around conduit of creativity. After Graduating from Ohio University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, Jenni has worked in design and creative agencies, galleries and public arts programs throughout the midwest. She currently resides in Chicago, where she works as Gallery Director at Matthew Rachman Gallery, and as Creative Director for Chicago-based audial and visual artists’ collective, Thēarē Group.
Eric Gannon is an architect and has worked with Gensler for the last 10 years as a Project Manager and Studio Director. A New York transplant, he has quickly become immersed within the Chicago design scene and leads a studio in Gensler's Chicago office focusing on corporate interiors and campus work. Eric's career has taken him globally around the world with project work in North America, China and Brazil to name a few.
Eric supports and enables and participated in design at all scales from large commercial projects to fledgling side collaborations with friends. He fuels his creative passions through music, maintaining an extensive vinyl collection housed within his own custom furniture and playing in as many bands as time affords.
Eric holds a masters degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a BS Arch from The Catholic University of America. He is a registered architect in NY and NJ.
Tristan Hummel is a Chicago based creative whose experience covers the fields of placemaking, public art, alternative space, and downtown management. Hummel received his BFA from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2008. Currently employed by the business improvement district - Chicago Loop Alliance, Hummel serves as Creative Director for public art and destination marketing in Chicago's Loop district. His projects and artworks have been featured in a variety of news venues from the New York Times to the Chicago Tribune and attracted clients including Coca-cola, Fiji water, GE, and Shake Shack.
Jordan Ho is a product focused entrepreneur who has founded and led multiple startups. With a broad set of abilities ranging from team management to product vision & delivery, Jordan has spent his career starting companies so that he could avoid ever actually having a real job. He is currently VP of Product at Label Insight, a data company focused on the transparency of information in the food industry, where he is responsible for vision, product design, and customer experience.
His perspective on the intersection of technology & art is influenced by his art background and time spent as an apprentice to renowned artist Ed Paschke. He has now spent the majority of his life in Chicago, but cannot shake his loyalty to those unfortunate Minnesota sports teams.
Professor Bruce Sheridan has been Chair of Cinema Art + Science since 2001, and is currently Chair of the North American region of CILECT, the world organization of film schools, and Industry Relations Vice President for UFVF/UFVA. He is a musician, writer and filmmaker with 30 years experience directing and producing documentary and drama for the screen.
In 1999 Professor Sheridan won the New Zealand Best Drama Award for the tele-feature Lawless, and in 2012 produced the highly acclaimed documentary on sports concussion, Head Games. He is currently directing Children First, a project on children of divorce that includes dramatic and documentary elements, producing a feature documentary on the renaissance of winemaking in the Republic of Georgia, and writing The Infinity of Ghosts, a multi-media meditation on fathers and sons.
Angel Ysaguirre has been the Executive Director of Illinois Humanities since 2014. From 1999 to 2005, he was also the Director of Programs, creating programs and series that include The Odyssey Project, Einstein's Revolutions, and Brown v Board 50 Years Later: Conversations on Race, Integration, and the Law. He was Deputy Commissioner at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events from 2012 to 2014. From 2005 to 2012, he was Director of Global Community Investing at The Boeing Company, overseeing the company's grantmaking program in 60 offices throughout the globe. He began his career in Chicago as a program officer at the McCormick Tribune Foundation.