...he is a rarity- a calm and encouraging presence, a creative rock to lean on. A creative rock that holds the creative team together and motivates its work into late nights and past the obvious solutions. A creative rock that comforts the client and seamlessly invites new business. A creative rock that can change a work environment from the humorless and ordinary to the truly engaging and stellar workplace that every agency, no every company, strives to be.”

-Des Alexander, Freelance Creative Director
I’ve never worked to a smarter, creative and driven creative director in my time in the industry. I’ve spent the last year under Hutson’s wing and am grateful for for the knowledge and experience he has bestowed upon me. He is a thinker, a creator and most importantly a motivator. He came into our shop and gave us the breath of fresh air that was needed to move forward. He has created an integrated environment that has made the work and the overall operation of the agency better. I’d go to battle any day of the week without question for Hut.

-Jay Delutis, Sr. Art Director at Pavone & Quench
“Hutson is not only an outstanding creative in his own right, but he’s an inspiring manager and leader of creatives. The work that he stewards is not only original and on strategy, but it also delivers excellent results. The Neiman Group has produced numerous award-winning campaigns for our business that have directly driven demand. In fact, one particular campaign that ran in 2010 was so effective that our hospitality business ended up not being able to meet the demand—resulting in building additional accommodation capacity for our resort.”

-Larry Lipson, Managing Director at The Resort at Paws Up
Hutson is one of the best conceptual leaders I have ever worked for at any shop. Leading an entire agency to be more creative is no easy feat and changing the way an organization acts to become more integrated is something I will always be thankful for. Hutson leads by example, period.

-Greg Carney, Activation Director at Quench Agency
Hutson is exactly the kind of guy you want at the helm of your creative team.  He’s got a great eye for good ideas versus cliches, and once you’ve convinced him of a concept and proven you’ve thought it through, he’s in your corner. That means standing up for the work, defending his team, and making sure that the ultimate goal of making a great ad isn’t bogged down in clutter, worry or second-guessing. He’s a mover and a shaker like the best of them, and knows what it takes to produce great work. He’s a great ally, a great mentor, and an all-around good guy.

-Will Wilson, ACD at Jacobson Rost
Hutson is the exact kind of Creative Director we would all hope to work with. I’ve done some of my best work working under Hutson and he has become an extremely influential mentor in my career. He is sharp, direct, honest and delivers top-notch creative. Hutson is always looking for innovative ways to come at an idea and challenges the status quo. He is a leader by nature and his high standards are ever present, refreshing and inspiring. He has a passion for well designed work and brought a higher aesthetic to the agency than when he was brought on. Only the best will do and thats the kind of leader I would go to bat for any day. 

- Steve Salgado, Associate Creative Director at Upshot
“Hutson Kovanda doesn’t just build brands. He builds agencies that brands want to work with. Once Hutson has the lay of the land, he sets a course for beyond better. I have watched him build from the ground floor at two separate agencies. The results have been fantastically similar. Better people, better work, better culture, better clients and bigger budgets.

To make consistently great work that connects with people on a level beyond impulse you have to be willing to listen. I would pay-per-view to watch Hutson with clients. I’ve never seen his demeanor in anyone else. In a business littered with fevered egos it’s rare to find someone who can listen intently instead of just thinking of what they are going to say next. Not surprisingly, people respond to that. Why? Because at the end of the day that’s really what a client wants. To be heard, considered and guided in the direction that would be best for their brand. Hutson is assertive but not aggressive and always concise and considered. A rare bird indeed.

Further, Hutson possess a knowledge of the field that you can only attain through constant study. He has a great aesthetic sense and a never-say-quit attitude and could easily have been a writer. He could have been anything. Fortunately for you, he chose advertising. And we’re all better for it.”

-Seth Conley, Art Director at Mutt Industries
“I had the pleasure of working with Hutson on several accounts while at MARC USA. One highlight was delivering a unique integrated campaign for the Pittsburgh Zoo that broke attendance records and created so much buzz that it became the benchmark for campaigns moving forward. Hutson comes to the table with sleeves rolled up and poised to uncover great solutions that are on target. What he doesn’t bring is ego, arrogance, “that’s not my job” attitude. What he does bring...infectious excitement, true collaboration, out-of-the-box thinking, relevant integration and a can-do attitude. 

-Gino Tomaro, Director of Business Development at Rhea & Kaiser Advertising
“Hutson’s collaborative style of leadership is refreshing and energizing. His mantra of “good ideas can come from anywhere” has encouraged employees in other departments to contribute to campaign and new business planning whereas they never would have previously. This has fostered an environment that has truly made the work better-everyone has a sense of ownership and pride in what we do. 

Some leaders use coercive power, reward power and legitimate power to motivate. But Hutson has referential power which, in my opinion, is the best type of power. Those around him respect and admire him. As a result, the team will go above and beyond to earn his approval.”

-Darby Hughes, Brand Strategist at Quench and Pavone
Hut’s equanimity and special brand of zen fosters a great environment for creativity. He’s great at protecting idea-generation from the hostile slings and arrows of agency politics.

-Paul Murray, Director of Digital Experiences at Quench Agency
“Of course Hutson is an excellent art director, of course he does excellent work. He is a big-picture strategist by nature, but can juggle high-level thinking and little-tiny-type-nits, all at once. The guy is extremely smart and encourages great ideas, even while he understands the needs of conservative clients. He is never a divo, and is one of the most button-up creatives I’ve ever known. He has a keen and active interest in social and digital media. Hutson pays attention to everything that’s going on in the business and the world, and it shows in his work. 

-Terese Zeccardi, Creative Director at Digitas
Hutson is a creative genius. No, I really mean it. He is a creative genius in all aspects of his job. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him for the past six or so months. He immediately came in and made a difference on how we think about things. Hutson is energetic, driven and wants to make everything look its best. The best part, he loves media too. He is always trying to figure out what vehicle will best deliver his great work to the target audience. He is open to suggestions and likes to have a healthy debate about what is best for the campaign. Talk about a “keeper of the brand”, I’d say that is impressive. And he doesn’t live in the stone age, he is constantly taking the work and making it fit in our digital world. Not to mention, the guy was a security guard at a concert venue back in the day and has seen just about every 80s metal band that ever played. Maybe that is his secret. I’m glad I get a chance to work with him.

-Vince Kooch, Account Director/Travel at Time Inc
Working for Hutson has made me a better producer. He has a unique method of guiding you down the right path with out telling you what to do. I had the privilege of producing some really great work with him. He has a real understanding of the production process. He has an innate ability to communicate his vision. And enjoys the process of collaborating with a director to ensure the best creative product. Producing his work was always an inspirational experience. In short, he made me want to do my job beyond the best of my ability every day.

-Aubrey Hayden, Lead Content Producer at MullenLowe U.S.
I worked with Hutson when he was a Sr. Creative Director at MARC USA. As a budding creative with hopes of growing into a creative director myself, it was quite an asset having Hutson around as a mentor.

He had come to MARC with so much experience under his belt already, and was able to bring a fresh perspective to a creative process that was becoming stale and stagnant.

Hutson was not afraid to challenge rules, or roles for that matter, and always found a way to raise the level of creative from start to finish. His dry sense of humor and quick wit gave his input and POV an extra edge that the agency needed at the time.

Hutson was very helpful in leading the younger group of creatives, always encouraging us to look at things in a new, fresh and unexpected light. His delivery of feedback was smart, insightful and to the point...which was appreciated so as not to be dragged through rounds of revisions that weren’t going to live anyway.

It was certainly a pleasure working with Hutson, and I truly hope our paths cross again one day. He’s a valuable addition to any agency for sure.

-Trish O’Dell, President/CEO at Marketspace Communications
“As a senior vice president at JWT, I had access to all the creative talent that the agency had to offer. There were many excellent writers and art directors there at the time. Very early on, when faced with a tough assignment that I knew needed an entirely fresh perspective, not just a nicer look, or a slightly more clever attitude, I included Hutson Kovanda on the team. I was impressed by the depth of his creative and strategic skills, especially his ability to listen, not to look like he was listening, but really listening. For a relatively young art director, he demonstrated an amazing range in his creative thinking, his executional abilities and his instinct for how things should be done, were all impressive. That concept, the concept of “how things should be done” applied to his creativity, his commitment to the work (Hutson actually made it fun for all of us to work very, very, very late on a major pitch or assignment because he was so driven, witty and just fun to be around), and how he treated others at the agency. In a short period of time, for me, it became very clear that he would become one of the brightest creative people I have ever worked with.” 

-Ernie Cox, Senior Creative Director at Krames StayWell