Susan Kirshenbaum, Principal and creative director

Are you looking for a strong strategic thinker and conceptual leader who can hire, manage and mentor a talented team?

I can offer you a wealth of fresh ideas springing from a healthy balance of design and copy concepts rooted in a solid marketing foundation. As an established creative director and branding professional, I thrive in a stimulating environment and know how to help others do the same. My approach is big picture, making use of appropriate methods, vehicles and tools to reach and track specific target audiences. In a nutshell I am a:

• Multi-talented interdisciplinary manager
• Imaginative creative director
• Versatile brand strategist
• Expert team leader, energetic team member, and savvy team builder
• Proactive producer and implementer (I've been in the trenches)
• Skilled consensus builder
• Dynamic problem solver and trouble-shooter

Over the last seven years at the JCCSF I’ve built an extensive portfolio that demonstrates my understanding of what it takes to execute complex projects on behalf of a significant San Francisco cultural institution, leading a talented creative team to build brand awareness and produce inventive marketing campaigns. Collaborating with multiple in-house teams we continuously rejuvenated our website to keep it lively, all the while running a high volume of email campaigns and building a strong social media presence. 

As the foundation for my recent work, for over a dozen years, I was the president, creative director and account supervisor for my own creative agency, Kirshenbaum Communications. I built up a staff and a reputation, formed solid alliances with community and partner agencies, and cemented close connections to our clients and their customers. 

Before and after running my own business, I worked at other agencies and in-house within corporate and publishing environments. Working in an energetic, expressive environment is a natural for me. In fact, it’s in my DNA. I grew up in my family’s design school business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I was immersed in the ever-stimulating world of design, copy, media, education and grass roots ventures. 

This unique combination of professional and life experiences has helped me become an accomplished senior-level manager. Running my own business and consulting practice has sharpened my ability to plan and manage budgets, assess quickly and activate plans with achievable results. While living abroad for a couple of years (in one of the design centers of the world, Barcelona) I continuously honed my communications skills, learning to simplify and clarify, to listen intently, and to observe closely. 

Download my resume here.

What’s the story of our name?

My name, Kirshenbaum, means Cherry Tree (from the German “kirschenbaum”). What could be more appropriate than developing a brand name that is a tree? It’s sturdy and solid, always growing (up to 100’) and changing to adjust to the seasons, bearing beautiful flowers and delicious red fruit as well as hardy furniture-worthy wood. 

Susan R. Kirshenbaum
Cherry Tree Creative
Creative Clarity