This month we want to spotlight a vital member of our design team, Jessica Kilts. Hardworking, passionate, and as type A as creatives come, Jess brings so much more to the table than just graphic design services. Originally from upstate New York, Jess is a Chattanooga transplant by way of Raleigh, and then Knoxville. She graduated in 2011 with a BFA in Graphic Design from SUNY Fredonia, starting her career at a small newspaper and creative agency in Dunkirk, NY. Her next role was as part of an in-house creative team for a budding eCommerce company, followed by a position with the Knoxville News Sentinel where she created award-winning animated html5 and all manner of media-rich ads, email blasts, and landing pages. Jess’s work history is varied, and her wealth of experience makes her a great asset to Riverworks.
After more than a decade in the marketing/advertising realm, Jess is much more than her job title suggests. “I am more than just a graphic designer,” she said. “I find that description so limiting because I believe to some that means that I am Photoshop, or Illustrator, or Indesign.” Jess provides our clients and staff with innovative solutions and big picture ideas that extend far beyond her impressive design abilities.
Problem Solver with a Big-Picture Brain
“I focus on making my work visually appealing but more than that, I make it functional. That’s Design though, the balance of form and function.”
Jess is not just an agent for creative content but at her core, a problem solver. A solution finder. She consistently puts her big-picture brain to use for the greater good of our team and our clients. From multimedia digital design to logo and print design, Jess excels across the board. But creative talents aside, she is a huge proponent for the implementation processes and an advocate for efficiency. Jess has an affinity for developing procedures and systems that increase productivity while bolstering workflow, helping to cradle smooth operations for our small but mighty creative team. She’s full of ideas, but also grit, and she’s always ready to roll up her sleeves, putting in the time to ensure each project that crosses her desk is approached with due care.
“How I go about ensuring what is best for me, is by doing my best, working harder but also smarter,” Jess said. “—and by being as skilled, helpful and knowledgeable as I can be so my clients and team members benefit. Everything is connected, man. There may be a ‘me’ in ‘team,’ but there is also an ‘a’ and a ‘t’!”
Riverworks’ Resident Goofball
On top of being a huge talent, Jess is also absolutely hilarious. She keeps things lighthearted at the office with her silly antics, always doing funny impressions, cracking jokes, and regularly bursting out into song. But beyond her playful spirit is a tough-as-nails lady who always takes her work seriously. She dishes out her best, project after project, skipping lunches and staying late probably more often than any of the rest of us combined. We appreciate her tenacity, and we’re incredibly lucky to have a designer of her caliber batting for us.
In her spare time, Jess enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her husband, Jeff, and their two dogs, Mr. Bart and Seamus. They like collecting weird art and binging on “The Office” or the Harry Potter series for the umpteenth time. Jess is a self-proclaimed corn dog enthusiast, Bollywood movie buff, and hoarder of craft supplies she swears she’ll use one day. Ultimately, we’re so glad to have her around. Riverworks wouldn’t be the same without her!