Bates Creative, soon to be Beyond Definition, has filled several key roles this year as the agency continues to grow and create customized, impactful experiences for its clients. Joining the team are Stephanie Blank, Account Executive; Jonah Cohen, Front-End Developer; Fahn Darkor, Project Manager; Colin Hautman, Marketing Manager; Sarah Muse, Designer; Curt Seiss, Account Director; Annie Wise, Designer.

Stephanie Blank, Account Executive, joins the team with over 13 years of experience in managing strategic client initiatives and the implementation of all project types including: brand strategy, website design and development, integrated campaigns, and more. Previously at Hermann Advertising, Blank joins our agency in a key role to establish lasting relationships with clients, guiding and recommending solutions to achieve the best outcome. She is experienced in serving clients within the legal, healthcare, and transportation industries with member- and mission-based organizations.

Jonah Cohen, Front-End Developer, brings a decade of website design and development experience to the Bates Creative team. Cohen practices at an intersection of graphic design, UX design, and development to create a seamless website structure and elevated digital experiences. Over the last ten years, Cohen’s work has ranged across international brands to development think tanks and local businesses, including USA Football, Preservation Maryland, Biohabitats, Loyola University Maryland, and R. House. 

Fahn Darkor, Project Manager, specializes in managing client projects from start to finish, serving as a main point of communication between the agency’s creative and account teams. Prior to joining Bates Creative, Darkor was a UX project manager for a Fortune 500 company. Throughout his career, he’s worked with Hagerstown Community College, John Hopkins Archaeology Museum, and Washington County. 

Colin Hautman, Marketing Manager, oversees and manages inbound marketing efforts for the agency.  He brings with him his past experience in managing social, email, search, and marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness, drive membership acquisition efforts, engage audiences, boost event attendance, and improve lead generation for nonprofits and associations. Having worked at several associations, including the Association of Academic Psychiatrists (AAP), the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL), and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Hautman understands the intricacies of the association industry.

Sarah Muse, Designer, joins the Bates Creative design team to produce cross-channel creative solutions for clients. Prior to joining the team, Sarah worked in fundraising as a membership manager at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, overseeing the reopening of the Renwick and the WONDER exhibition. Surrounded by designers at the museums, Muse shifted her career to follow her passion for design. After developing a thriving  freelance career, she has joined Bates Creative with a unique perspective into the nonprofit sector. 

Curt Seiss, Account Director, joins Bates Creative in a key role overseeing client accounts. Having spent the past 10 years in the digital consumer brand experience realm, Curt’s insight into how websites, digital products, and platforms are developed and used by their respective audiences serves him well as he guides clients through all phases of projects. As a project and relationship advocate, Curt provides process and communications continuity while ensuring the collective vision of the client and agency team is delivered according to the highest possible standards. Prior to joining Bates Creative, Curt worked with clients including Verizon, Toyota, Marvel, the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as nonprofit and membership organizations such as the American Red Cross, American Diabetes Association and TheDream.US.   

Annie Wise, Designer, joins the Bates Creative design team full-time after first joining the agency as a design intern in summer 2018. Upon graduating from Susquehanna University, Annie has built her repertoire with the team in publication design and concept development for association and nonprofit clients. Wise has worked on a number of clients including Association Media & Publishing (AM&P), National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Land Trust Alliance (LTA), National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), and Water and Energy for Food (WE4F).

With these new additions to the team, Bates Creative continues to create the unexpected, pushing boundaries, uncovering deep insights, and creating the most impactful experiences for audiences.

Bates Creative is a strategy and creative agency serving mission- and member-driven organizations. For 16 years, Bates Creative has offered branding, design, digital, marketing, and print expertise to clients in the association, foundation, and nonprofit sectors. Bates Creative is based in Silver Spring, Maryland, and is a proud WBENC- and WOSB-certified woman-owned business.