Meet Our Team

Practitioners of Problem-solving

Cobalt is a collection of science geeks, design wonks and creative strategists. We’re a diverse group of individuals, but we have a common cause — to help our clients connect with their audiences. And then win their hearts and minds. Like many modern organizations, we extend the work of our full-time and part-time employees with a network of freelancers, partner agencies and service bureaus, with the goal, always, of bringing together the right minds and talent to solve your communications challenges.
Leslie

It’s easy to describe Leslie as a creative problem-solver, but it’s harder to explain how she does it. She absorbs multiple points of data and then, “click,” her brain synthesizes it, identifies a matrix of connections and sees a clear path to solutions. You might think this makes her overly analytical, but it is her ability to see things from different points of view, to understand the psychology of how people receive, process and respond to information, that makes it all come together. This skillset has served her well in almost 25 years’ working in change management and communications within large, complex organizations in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, technology, manufacturing and packaged goods industries. Her ability to process the small details and plan for the big picture has been at the heart of decade-long relationships with clients.

Bill Harris

Bill Harris founded Cobalt Communications in 2005 after an early career that included seven years of teaching science at the middle-school level, seven years developing concepts and copy at creative agencies, and two years managing channel communications at one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. As the sole proprietor of Cobalt, he offered a full suite of editorial services, gaining recognition for the ability to transform technical information into clear, useful, readable stories. This led him to explore the visual aspects of storytelling — and to include graphic design as a key Cobalt offering. Today, he leads a talented team of designers and content specialists on behalf of clients that include HowStuffWorks/Discovery, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, ILC Dover, W.L. Gore and Ashland Water Technologies (now known as Solenis).

Mark Miller

Mark Miller is an amazingly versatile and gifted designer who has worked on national and international image and branding campaigns, interactive design, packaging, retail merchandising and trade show exhibits. At Cobalt, Mark spearheads our creative efforts, shapes our marketing and social media channels and serves on the leadership team. Mark’s creative capabilities have evolved in lockstep with an ever-evolving industry, allowing him to work equally effectively in digital environments and on the drafting table, where ideas come to life as interactions between pencil and paper. Mark has worked in agency environments for more than 20 years and has led his own design firm, MillerMark Studios, which contributed innovative and effective marketing solutions for such clients as Ashland Chemicals, Evolution Marketing Research, St. Francis Hospital, Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, EnergizeDelaware.org and W. L. Gore & Associates, among others.

Jess Huddy

Even as a kid, Jess Huddy was in hot pursuit of creative pursuits of every stripe and color. As she grew up, those interests pushed her to the field of graphic design. Today, she calls herself a designer and appreciates how the design process perfectly blends problem-solving and art.

Before joining Cobalt’s design team, Jess worked as a design consultant for a variety of independent schools, colleges and universities, and nonprofits. Prior to that, she worked at Studio-e Design, where she collaborated with a number of education and nonprofit clients, including Westover School, Princeton University, the Nantucket Atheneum, and Harvard Business School. Her work has been recognized with a Grand Gold award from CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Jess’s other experiences include serving on the board of a nonprofit farm (where all of their organic produce is donated to local food pantries and meal programs) and regularly participating in a 24-hour birdwatching/fundraising event for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. She is also interested in photography, knitting, metalsmithing and a variety of outdoor activities.

Lisa

Lisa, a lifelong designer and creative spirit, began her career as an interior designer for a major mid-Atlantic firm. In that role, she realized that she enjoyed building relationships with people as much as choosing colors and specifying paint, fixtures, and furniture. That led her to explore account management positions in creative agencies until she joined the leadership team of Orbit Integrated in 1997. As president of the B2B brand development firm, she managed all sales and marketing activities, growing the business to more than two million dollars in revenue. Today, in addition to spearheading Cobalt’s business development efforts, Lisa leads Boyer New York, a costume jewelry company that has been synonymous with style and high quality for decades. She is a true people person and an optimist at heart. But her skills as a creative are always on display, which makes her an invaluable asset to Cobalt’s creative team and customers alike.

Steve DeLuca

Steve’s 30-plus years in printing and production management means he’s seen a lot of change, but as anyone in the industry knows, understanding the science of ink, paper and printing presses is invaluable to a print and digital creative team. Before Cobalt, Steve was the production manager at UVA’s printing center, where he managed all of the University’s printing needs. Prior to that, he was the production manager in the creative services department at Rosetta Stone. It may surprise some to learn that his career in production management and printing started during his 20-years of service as a member of the United States Marine Corps. In the Marines, Steve performed a variety of roles in the lithography field in addition to being a marksmanship instructor and a recruiter. At Cobalt, he manages all daily operations, including projects and tasks, with military precision, never losing sight of deadlines and how to allocate resources to meet those deadlines. When he’s not ensuring the Cobalt team toes the line, he is a sportsman, fisherman, and a lifelong Penn State fan. In the finer weather, you can find Steve riding his Harley on the country roads of Augusta County and beyond.

Tara Witter

All the world’s a stage in Tara’s life, and when she’s not directing the activity, she’s working behind the scenes so the audience is only aware of the flawless performance (and not aware of what could easily spiral into chaos without her watchful eye). This seems only natural for Tara, who started acting in plays and singing in the community choir at the age of six and has always had a close relationship with the arts. Her ability to see details and how they all work together is in an incredible asset at Cobalt — because she has a knack for noticing if anything is missing or overlooked in the fray. Tara earned a degree in preschool education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and her early career as assistant director for a childcare facility sharpened her ability to turn a mess into something with order and structure. At Cobalt, Tara is the maven of managing details and processes for various projects with our pharmaceutical clients. With more than five years working on Cobalt’s accounts, she’s become a trove of knowledge that our clients rely on as much as we do.

Tanya Bickerstaff

Like many of the Cobalteers, Tanya’s diverse education and professional background have culminated in a unique perspective and unusual collection of skills. While it’s her recent degree in business management that makes her an excellent office manager and business development researcher, her first degree in psychology is surely what prepared her to support the cast of characters at Cobalt. Tanya’s love of books and learning has yielded an expansive knowledge base that we are still trying to inventory. Her professional résumé reflects her love of science and nature and includes being a trail and fly-fishing guide for the Shenandoah National Park, a carpenter, and a project manager for residential contractors. It was through these experiences that she learned that life rarely goes according to plan, and you have to be ready to change course to reach your destination.

Leslie
Info Cruncher, President and Director of Corporate Client Strategy

It’s easy to describe Leslie as a creative problem-solver, but it’s harder to explain how she does it. She absorbs multiple points of data and then, “click,” her brain synthesizes it, identifies a matrix of connections and sees a clear path to solutions. You might think this makes her overly analytical, but it is her ability to see things from different points of view, to understand the psychology of how people receive, process and respond to information, that makes it all come together. This skillset has served her well in almost 25 years’ working in change management and communications within large, complex organizations in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, technology, manufacturing and packaged goods industries. Her ability to process the small details and plan for the big picture has been at the heart of decade-long relationships with clients.

Bill
Blue-Sky Thinker, Vice President and Creative Director

Bill Harris founded Cobalt Communications in 2005 after an early career that included seven years of teaching science at the middle-school level, seven years developing concepts and copy at creative agencies, and two years managing channel communications at one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. As the sole proprietor of Cobalt, he offered a full suite of editorial services, gaining recognition for the ability to transform technical information into clear, useful, readable stories. This led him to explore the visual aspects of storytelling — and to include graphic design as a key Cobalt offering. Today, he leads a talented team of designers and content specialists on behalf of clients that include HowStuffWorks/Discovery, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, ILC Dover, W.L. Gore and Ashland Water Technologies (now known as Solenis).

Mark
Magic Maker, Art Director

Mark Miller is an amazingly versatile and gifted designer who has worked on national and international image and branding campaigns, interactive design, packaging, retail merchandising and trade show exhibits. At Cobalt, Mark spearheads our creative efforts, shapes our marketing and social media channels and serves on the leadership team. Mark’s creative capabilities have evolved in lockstep with an ever-evolving industry, allowing him to work equally effectively in digital environments and on the drafting table, where ideas come to life as interactions between pencil and paper. Mark has worked in agency environments for more than 20 years and has led his own design firm, MillerMark Studios, which contributed innovative and effective marketing solutions for such clients as Ashland Chemicals, Evolution Marketing Research, St. Francis Hospital, Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, EnergizeDelaware.org and W. L. Gore & Associates, among others.

Jess
Pixel Perfectionist, Senior Graphic Designer

Even as a kid, Jess Huddy was in hot pursuit of creative pursuits of every stripe and color. As she grew up, those interests pushed her to the field of graphic design. Today, she calls herself a designer and appreciates how the design process perfectly blends problem-solving and art.

Before joining Cobalt’s design team, Jess worked as a design consultant for a variety of independent schools, colleges and universities, and nonprofits. Prior to that, she worked at Studio-e Design, where she collaborated with a number of education and nonprofit clients, including Westover School, Princeton University, the Nantucket Atheneum, and Harvard Business School. Her work has been recognized with a Grand Gold award from CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Jess’s other experiences include serving on the board of a nonprofit farm (where all of their organic produce is donated to local food pantries and meal programs) and regularly participating in a 24-hour birdwatching/fundraising event for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. She is also interested in photography, knitting, metalsmithing and a variety of outdoor activities.

Lisa
Relationship Builder, Business Development

Lisa, a lifelong designer and creative spirit, began her career as an interior designer for a major mid-Atlantic firm. In that role, she realized that she enjoyed building relationships with people as much as choosing colors and specifying paint, fixtures, and furniture. That led her to explore account management positions in creative agencies until she joined the leadership team of Orbit Integrated in 1997. As president of the B2B brand development firm, she managed all sales and marketing activities, growing the business to more than two million dollars in revenue. Today, in addition to spearheading Cobalt’s business development efforts, Lisa leads Boyer New York, a costume jewelry company that has been synonymous with style and high quality for decades. She is a true people person and an optimist at heart. But her skills as a creative are always on display, which makes her an invaluable asset to Cobalt’s creative team and customers alike.

Steve
Chaos Coordinator, Director of Operations

Steve’s 30-plus years in printing and production management means he’s seen a lot of change, but as anyone in the industry knows, understanding the science of ink, paper and printing presses is invaluable to a print and digital creative team. Before Cobalt, Steve was the production manager at UVA’s printing center, where he managed all of the University’s printing needs. Prior to that, he was the production manager in the creative services department at Rosetta Stone. It may surprise some to learn that his career in production management and printing started during his 20-years of service as a member of the United States Marine Corps. In the Marines, Steve performed a variety of roles in the lithography field in addition to being a marksmanship instructor and a recruiter. At Cobalt, he manages all daily operations, including projects and tasks, with military precision, never losing sight of deadlines and how to allocate resources to meet those deadlines. When he’s not ensuring the Cobalt team toes the line, he is a sportsman, fisherman, and a lifelong Penn State fan. In the finer weather, you can find Steve riding his Harley on the country roads of Augusta County and beyond.

Tara
Stage Director and Account Manager

All the world’s a stage in Tara’s life, and when she’s not directing the activity, she’s working behind the scenes so the audience is only aware of the flawless performance (and not aware of what could easily spiral into chaos without her watchful eye). This seems only natural for Tara, who started acting in plays and singing in the community choir at the age of six and has always had a close relationship with the arts. Her ability to see details and how they all work together is in an incredible asset at Cobalt — because she has a knack for noticing if anything is missing or overlooked in the fray. Tara earned a degree in preschool education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and her early career as assistant director for a childcare facility sharpened her ability to turn a mess into something with order and structure. At Cobalt, Tara is the maven of managing details and processes for various projects with our pharmaceutical clients. With more than five years working on Cobalt’s accounts, she’s become a trove of knowledge that our clients rely on as much as we do.

Tanya
Chief Quartermaster and Office Manager

Like many of the Cobalteers, Tanya’s diverse education and professional background have culminated in a unique perspective and unusual collection of skills. While it’s her recent degree in business management that makes her an excellent office manager and business development researcher, her first degree in psychology is surely what prepared her to support the cast of characters at Cobalt. Tanya’s love of books and learning has yielded an expansive knowledge base that we are still trying to inventory. Her professional résumé reflects her love of science and nature and includes being a trail and fly-fishing guide for the Shenandoah National Park, a carpenter, and a project manager for residential contractors. It was through these experiences that she learned that life rarely goes according to plan, and you have to be ready to change course to reach your destination.

Cobalt-60 is the name of our blog, an online digest dedicated to the art and science of communications. (It’s also an isotope of the element cobalt.)

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