Welcome Danna Kress

I am an unshakable optimist. I approach life with a “yes, and…” mentality, believing (fundamentally) that everyone has a piece of the puzzle to offer.

I’ve dedicated my career to understanding the nuanced intersection of behavior, identity, technology, and brand. I started my career as a cultural and cyborg anthropologist, specializing in voice-of-the-people. Over the past 15+ years, I’ve led strategic initiatives across categories, countries, and cultures for brands like Southwest Airlines, Meta, Google, Change.org, Disney, Frito Lay, PlayStation, Roche, and PayPal.

I see brands operating under a spotlight like never before seen. With customer loyalty, behavior, and decision-making all being redefined in a post-pandemic-AI-escalating world, I see an increasing need for a strategy that blends specialist knowledge, behavioral understanding, and change management. Over the course of my career, I’ve seen so many quality research and strategy findings be shelved – dead on arrival – because they fail to translate into actional decision-making within an organization. Innovation can’t happen in an echo chamber. I believe in doing work that helps to simplify, provides continuity, and allows for authenticity to shine. Because of this, I have a particular passion for collaborating with video and design teams to tell parts of the story that can often get lost in the words and numbers on the page.

A few of my beliefs for doing good work and building effective teams:

  • Lead with curiosity
  • Regard every interaction as an opportunity to learn – lean in
  • Build a practice of giving and receiving intentional feedback – frequently and generously
  • Context is the key
  • Story is everything

Before joining TVE, I worked as Managing Director at Storied, a narrative strategy agency where I built out the Insights practice; and prior to that at the global consultancy, Maru/Matchbox, where I was the VP of Qualitative Insight.

The daughter of an acoustician and a film teacher, the importance of active listening and creative storytelling was instilled in me from a young age. I seek out any opportunity to see live music. I will travel for scuba diving or amazing culinary experiences. I’m a long-time organizer at Burning Man and absolutely love building large-scale, ephemeral art pieces and communities in the desert and my adopted city of San Francisco. As a native Texan, I have a deep love of cowboy boots, star gazing, and hot salsa. I currently live with my microbiologist-gamer partner, Tyler, as well as my 19-year-old cat, Aloysha. As a member of the Potawatomi Nation, my second given name is Debwedi, which translates to “she who speaks the truth” – a responsibility I take to heart.

I feel incredibly honored to be joining the TVE team at what feels like such an amazing inflection point. I look forward to helping create a healthy container for colleagues, clients, and consumers to co-create. And, hope to inspire others to lead with curiosity and hold what’s possible.

By: Danna Kress

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