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The Creative Hustle: Taco Bell Design Team

Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2020 from 12:00 – 1:00pm PT 
Panelists: 
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Hear from Taco Bell Design, our in-house creative agency, as they share their career journeys, lessons and insights on pursuing a creative career path, tips and tricks to build a portfolio, how to find a mentor, ways to promote yourself, and ideas to monetize your creativity and skill set.

About Ashley

Ashley has spent the last 17 years in advertising on both the agency and client side.  Prior to Taco Bell, she contributed to award winning work on brands such as Volkswagen, Lexus and Land Rover.  Seven years after joining the Taco Bell Brand Experience Team, she now leads all advertising and social initiatives, partnering with various agencies and internal teams to bring integrated thinking and breakthrough campaigns to life.

About Brian

Brian Darney joined Taco Bell five years ago after leading account services for the brand’s agency of record, Draft FCB. During his time with Taco Bell he has held roles within advertising, brand marketing and creative operations. Brian lead creative development efforts for the brand’s most successful product launches to date, the Naked Chicken Chalupa and Nacho Fries. During his tenure on the brand marketing team, he defined and developed products on the Group Occasions and Beverage pillars. And in his current role, he leads creative operations for the brand’s award-winning in-house agency, Taco Bell Design.

Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from California State University, Long Beach and a master’s degree in Tacos, Crunchwraps and Cheesy G’s (his favorite products) from the University of Taco Bell.

About Jess

Jess Kirkman is an award winning designer and Executive Creative Director from NYC, having worked for top names across the branding, publishing and advertising industries before making her way in-house to help lead the team at Taco Bell Design. She has spoken on various panels for The One Club, AIGA, Connecting Things OC and a ‘Women in Design’ panel in NYC along with other female leaders from Instagram, Yahoo and Spotify. Her passion for art and design keeps her on the pulse of creative trends within the industry and her authentic leadership style (a healthy mix of teacher, mentor and therapist) empowers her teams to be more inspired, creative, and confident in their approach to solving design problems.

Aside from her professional life as a Creative Director, Jess is also a visual artist, mainly using alcohol inks, resin and encaustic to create abstract universes. Her Instagram, @manifest.jess continues to inspire other artists and help them get over their creative fears also they can pursue their passions.

About Lenna

Lenna Yamamichi has been with Taco Bell for over 18 years. Within that time, she has taken the opportunity to work with KFC in Louisville, KY. In New York City she collaborated with the United Nations while continuing to freelance. From San Francisco, she was involved with the rebranding of Taco Bell as they pivoted from “Think Outside the Bun”. Today, she lives 3 miles from headquarters, but the experiences outside of Irvine have been her source of creativity and inspiration.

Lenna holds a degree in Motion Graphics from Art Center College of Design, in addition to a BA in Art History from UCI. She has known that she wanted to be a graphic designer since the age of three.