Pioneers, STORYTELLERS & Entrepreneurs

Traditionally, the world’s finest creative minds have been lone wolves, bastions of independent thought, folks who need to lock themselves up in a room to develop something astounding.

Hemingways we are not—we need team, we thrive off each other. We work in an open-source world, where transparency and the sharing of knowledge make things better for everyone. We work to create stuff that people are attracted to, stuff that inspires people.

Michael Parks

Creative Director

Mike oversees Skyrocket’s design and development team with the mission to create beautiful, intuitive digital experiences that unify and elevate all aspects of brand strategy.

Before founding Skyrocket, Michael was Art Director at Invoke where he worked with brands Viacom, LA.com and Food.ee. Prior to this he was based in London where he developed corporate identities for brands at a boutique agency. It was here that he mastered typography, branding and all manner of creative and technical print production. Also in London, Michael spent time at BBC’s White City designing across the spectrum for online, broadcast and interactive.

Born and raised in South Africa, Michael got his start at Ogilvy & Mather, Johannesburg working on advertising campaigns for Penguin Books and Mercedes Benz. A graduate of the prestigious Red & Yellow (Ogilvy & Mather) advertising school in Cape Town, he travelled across six continents before declaring Vancouver as home. He spends his leisure time on the beach with his family or in the mountains nabbing fresh lines.

Mo Dhaliwal

Director of Strategy

Mo began his journey at the University of the Fraser Valley studying business administration. Over the course of a decade, his long standing passion for technology, and his hunger for new experiences led him to Silicon Valley where he honed his talents in software development and Internet marketing. He returned to Canada with a newfound appreciation for the cultural diversity found in his home, and set out on a personal mission to shatter barriers and encourage cross-cultural understanding. In 2012, Mo was recognized for his contributions by Business for the Arts as the national recipient of the Arnold Edinborough Award, and in 2013 was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

An ability to connect cultures and disrupt the status quo is reflected in Mo’s aptitude for connecting clients to their audiences and bringing new ideas to fruition.

As Director of Strategy at Skyrocket, Mo collaborates with creative minds across the country and continues to create moving experiences for clients and community.

Jamie Spittal

Lead Developer

Jamie’s interest in computers began at a young age while watching his father program their family’s Commodore 64 in the 90s and making goofy games himself on his TI-83.

Besides being an exemplary geek, Jamie is also an audiophile, having attended The Art Institute for Audio Production and worked on numerous film sets, doing everything from location audio to composing music for short films. It was between these gigs that Jamie used to learn new programming languages, which turned into his day job when he started a small web design and development company with a friend, working with clients across North America.

Later on, looking to shift into a faster gear, Jamie joined Skyrocket, where we now make sure he gets to work on the most interesting and challenging problems.

Sometimes you can see Jamie biking around the city or enjoying a comedy show. But it’s surely difficult to get him away from his sweet three-monitor setup.

Rory Braatvedt

Director of Client Services

Rory, with a last name overly fond of the letter ‘a’, is a South African-born digital marketer. Raised in New Zealand, he obtained a Bachelor of Business Management with a double major in Marketing and Strategy from, what we think is, the University of Mordor.

He subsequently tamed and courted a Nazgul until it was able to provide a direct flight to Vancouver—a city which he now calls home. Rory comes from an extensive background in marketing and agency environments, leading teams and clients alike to digital success.

When not in the office, our Kiwi can be found eating lunch, planning his next lunch or discussing lunch with his unwilling peers.

Arman Keyvanskhou

UX/UI Designer

Born in Iran and raised in Turkey with a pencil in his hand, Arman’s teenage passion for illustration, animation and caricature eventually led to him to pursue a degree in graphic design at the Alberta’s College of Art and Design. After moving to Vancouver, he pursued fine arts at Kwantlen University before taking on the Interactive Design Program at Capilano University where he focused on web design, user experience design and web development.

After graduation, Arman was happy to join the team at Skyrocket, where he excels at delivering creative solutions for a wide range of web applications and mobile products.

Marie Lamouret

UX Designer

Imported directly from France to Skyrocket, Marie digs user testing and research; knowing how to ask the right questions and then creating the best possible solutions for clients. She also brings a unique skill set in augmented and virtual reality to the team.

What began as a pursuit of an engineering career, evolved into a deep interest in coding and digital arts. Her love for building experiences from scratch could be fulfilled via the elements of UX and UI design. After dabbling in 3D, Marie was hooked and honed her skills at agencies in New York, Colorado and France.

Marie graduated magna cum laude from Ecole de Design Nantes with a Master’s degree in UX Design and Virtual Reality.

When not creating at Skyrocket, you may spot Marie exploring museums or seeking out the city’s best tea store. She’s also an avid knitter. If you’re lucky, she’ll make you a snood.

Kei Ogasawara

Graphic Designer

Fuelled by Spotify, Ghibli films, and ice cream, Kei recently graduated from both the New Media Design and Web Development program and the Graphic Design program at BCIT. There, she fell head over heels for the vast world of design and the process of bringing her pen-on-paper ideas to life, whether it’s through Illustrator or strings of code.

Born in Tokyo and raised in Vancouver, Kei has two languages in her back pocket. She hopes to one day have the opportunity to work in Japan to further grow as a designer and an individual – and simply experience life in her motherland. At Skyrocket, everyday Kei is learning new things and working on a wide array of projects from creating beautiful graphics to doing user interface design.

When she’s not in front of the screen, you can find Kei at a live show, enjoying something delicious at Catch 122, or binge-watching whatever on Netflix. She is a firm believer of the Oxford comma.

Christine Brett

Opportunity Manager

Born in Montreal and raised in Whistler, Christine’s passion lies in digital strategy and brand communication. She moved from the mountains to Vancouver, pursuing her interests through an education in Communication, Media and Culture at Simon Fraser University. Completing her degree on exchange at the University of Cape Town, Christine studied journalism, photography, and the international media from an alternative perspective.

Since graduation, she has gained experience in public relations, community management and digital marketing. Here at Skyrocket, Christine’s mission is to raise the profile of our agency.

When not at the office, Christine can be found in a hot yoga class or set up at Prado.

 

Sanaz Afshar

Scrum Master and Project Manager

Sanaz is a chimera in the digital world. Earning her bachelor’s degree at Emily Carr University and the Glasgow School of Art and Design, she started professional life as an aspiring designer.

Over time, Sanaz’s strategy and management DNA started to assert itself and, a few years later, she fully metamorphosed into a certified Scrum Master. Trained in the disciplined ways of agile project management, Sanaz hands out more tickets than a traffic cop.

When not estimating work or developing roadmaps, Sanaz dreams of configuring Jira and refining our delivery process. We haven’t checked, but as far as we know she’s the only designer-turned-project manager in the world.

Disclaimer: Sanaz’s bio is virtually free of jokes, puns, mocks, satire or chiding. We just love life too much.

Misha Berveno

Content Strategist

Misha is a digital marketer with a passion for the written word and aesthetics. After travelling and living in Asia, Europe and North America, Misha has called Canada home since 2009 and worked for the government as well as a variety of tech and non-profit companies while contributing to the growth of two startups on the side.

At Skyrocket, Misha makes sure our digital presence and content are top-notch. He is not wordy describing himself. Maybe it’s a Russian thing.

Ethan Zhang

Front-End Developer

Ethan believes that the Web is not only a platform for information exchange but an incarnation of ideas, creativity and arts. And as a developer, he sees his role in making those ideas real.

Born in Northwestern China, Ethan’s fascination with computers began at age six, when he tried to open Minesweeper using DOS commands on his mom’s Windows 95 machine. Since then, Ethan’s curiosity about the digital world exploded and, eventually, overflowed into the analog reality, driving him to move from his hometown to Vancouver.

At Skyrocket, Ethan keeps himself busy creating outstanding digital experiences for our clients, whether it’s a digital campaign, a website or a multi-platform app. If you don’t see him next time you come to the office, he probably bolted to the nearest TV screen to watch an AC Milan game.

Nick McWilliams

Account Strategist

A born problem-solver, Nick enjoys working hand in hand with clients to devise strategies that propel their organizations. Besides, he acts as a connective tissue between them and Skyrocket production, resolving conflicts and advocating on behalf of our clients.

Nick joined the account managing team at Skyrocket after his 3-year stint at McCann, working with clients like GM and Cathay Pacific, where he started immediately after graduating the UBC Sauder School of Business.

An avid lover of all sports (literally), Nick doesn’t miss a game. Every waking moment off work, Nick is hunting new experiences, whether that’s some live event or a 9-month relocation to Hong Kong.

Kathy Lee

Account Strategist

Kathy’s kindness is startling. Talking to her, you feel how she actively listens, then ponders for a bit and suggests a solution that takes everyone’s point of view into consideration.

Having recently moved from Toronto in search of beautiful outdoors, West Coast lifestyle and Earnest Ice Cream, Kathy has over six years of experience working in advertising agencies and managing accounts like BMW, Audi and Volkswagen. Needless to say, they were quite sad to see Kathy go.

As an account manager at Skyrocket, Kathy is a collaborative and supportive partner to our clients, helping them alleviate their brand and bring their vision to life. And by the way, you know there is a game when Kathy has a Blue Jays jersey on. Some things just have to stay the East Coast way.

Kellen McGerrigle

Studio Manager

Kellen makes Skyrocket run. Sometimes we pause and wonder in amazement how we have all our bills paid, payments collected, accounts balanced, and resources to make things happen. That’s all due to Kellen’s stealthy ninja-like skills of doing the work behind the scenes.

Born in Saskatchewan, Kellen left to work and travel around Europe before settling in Vancouver to explore the local media industry and sports scene. For over five years, Kellen worked in digital media and entertainment operations, and joined Skyrocket with the desire to collaborate with creative and technical minds and turn their ideas into reality.

According to our observations, Kellen can’t physically pass by a cat or dog without petting it.

To work together with one purpose,
to embrace change and make it the wind to our sails
to invoke attraction and inspire action,
to innovate and make,
to gaze to the sky…

Our Motto—a little cheesy, but we like it.