J. Dontrese Brown is a motivational creative design professional who has brought passion, inspiration and dedication to each opportunity in his professional journey. He has led various teams from a creative and development perspective, building strong relationships and pushing processes and design to the maximum. His thirst for brand design, creative strategy and teamwork is the driving force that inspires all those around him.
Dontrese’s creative journey began in 1991 as an abstract painter at Georgetown College, where he was president of the Kappa Pi Honorary Art Fraternity, and contributed to the football team as a championship athlete and led the team to many honors during his four years. In 1993, he switched his focus from painting to graphic design and in 1995 became the first student from Georgetown to graduate with a BFA in Graphic Design, all while writing the design curriculum in the process.
Giving back to what he started, he returned to Georgetown in 1998 after receiving his MA degree, making his foray into teaching as the Professor of Graphic Design within the Art Department for six years. He also contributed to the athletic program as Assistant Football Coach, and was Art Director for Public Relations – leaving his mark of passion, commitment and loyalty on everything possible.
In 2007, Dontrese accepted the position as Creative Director for Schawk, Inc. a Creative and Digital Marketing Agency based in Chicago. The Creative Director position was for a top tier client of Schawk, Victorinox Swiss Army (VSA) at their North American Headquarters in Connecticut. The position was as an on-site partner for VSA, but he quickly built an “agency like” creative team, developed brand standards and guidelines, implemented creative processes, and established his team as a critical part of the organization. As a result of this, in 2009, VSA decided to dissolve their partnership with Schawk and acquired Dontrese and his Creative Team as direct employees of the organization, elevating Dontrese to the position of Creative Director, North America.
Dontrese is a leader among leaders who is relentless in his pursuit to challenge those around him in order to stimulate growth and elevate performance. “D” always has a smile on his face and idea in his back pocket. He is a creative workhorse who is true to his craft with a focus on encouraging individuals to simply be great. His passion and drive have resulted in garnering the highest respect and praise from all who know him, personally and professionally – which, in 2015 guided him to Capital One as Director, Brand Creative, where he manages a large group of creative talent across the US providing creative partnership, strategy and thought leadership for all the banking lines of businesses.
An active tri-athlete, Dontrese also enjoys relaxing with his family and friends and reading anything and everything that feeds his hunger for motivation, leadership and inspiring others to simply be great.