Faculty & Staff
The faculty and staff of The Creative Circus are at the school for the same reasons our students are: the thrill of creating great advertising, design, copywriting, photography and interactive user experiences. Circus instructors are working professionals who make themselves available to teach in order to share their experience and professionalism with the next generation.
Circus students have the advantage of working with teachers who earn their living actually doing what they are teaching. Many staff members, like the instructors, have enjoyed successful careers in advertising, development, design, illustration and photography. Others have strong ties to education and school administration. Together, they bring an integrated team dedicated towards student success.
So without further ado...
Dave Haan is currently the Executive Director of the Creative Circus, one of the leading Portfolio Schools in the country. He has been in that role for six years. Before that he spent three decades in and around the advertising industry. He is a student of advertising history and has accumulated quite a few war stories of his own during long stints with FCB, McCann Erickson and Earle Palmer Brown and postings in Chicago, Toronto, New York, San Francisco and LA. Dave has had the pleasure of working with Coors, Molson, Mazda, General Mills, Nestle, S.C. Johnson, Sunkist, Visa, Dreyer’s, Clorox and Zicam. Dave has a Master’s in Advertising from Michigan State and has taught Advertising Strategy and Campaigns courses at Michigan State, and the University of Illinois. He and his wife Andrea have a son, two daughters, and two ragdoll cats. Dave is a huge sports fan who avidly follows Michigan State teams as well as the Detroit Lions. The former is far more gratifying.
Director of Education
Janie has grown up in the advertising world – working in film production, design and the agency side – both traditional and interactive. Janie understands the creative soul and how to find the balance in each to bring out their best. You could say that is what she enjoys most in her role as mom or the more formal title, Director of Education. Janie is married to a Sound Designer and Composer and is Mommy to an amazing son, who is now a thespian in training. She is also Mommy to 2 fuzzy kids – Stinger and Trixie – aka – the baussies (Border Collie/Australian Sheppard mix) They are father and daughter. Stinger holds the indoor world record for the longest indoor Frisbee catch. Janie loves to cook, garden, decorate, spend time with her family and shop – shoes have a special place in her heart and closet. She also holds the high distinction of being awarded the “All Around Camper” award at Camp Pinewood for the summers session back in – hmm – no reason to mention the year.
Director of Career Services
Kristin was born on an Air Force base in Cheyenne, Wyoming for seven dollars. She moved to Minneapolis where both sides of her family were born and raised. Minnesota will always be home to her. She actually enjoys the winters and the lakes come summer time. Then she moved to Atlanta in the 90s.While complaining in a Caribou Coffee shop that Atlanta had less than ample coffee shops, the guy behind the counter offered to buy her cup that morning if she sat down and spoke with the owners. She thought she was in trouble. But six months later, she was opening the Atlanta Caribou Coffee market as the Training Manager. Kristin worked as a Food Stylist, but blow torching turkeys and sculpting with Crisco left her wanting a tad bit more. The Fine Arts college she had attended
left her with artistic knowledge but no skills to help pay bills. So she started at The Creative Circus in its original location. She loved the people who started The Circus. It was Rob Lawton, Benita Van Winkle, Norm Grey and Carol Vick that got her excited to start, not the broken folding chairs and tables. She graduated as an Art Director in 2000.While attending The Circus, her first internship was at Match Inc. She made a few ads (and some sandwiches and cocktails). After graduating, she was hired on full time as an Art Director and Assistant to the Executive Creative Director and learned a lot more than she had ever expected. Then the economy crashed, and she learned to freelance. A lot. The Circus asked if she would come back to help them, and she has been working here as a teacher, the Director of Education, and now the Director of Career Services and has enjoyed it all. Outside of work, she has two lovely girls and two English Bulldogs with faces ‘only a mother could love’ named Beans and Marmite.
Director of Admissions
Descended of Irish stock and raised by American Gypsies, Kristin is a far-traveling nomadic woman that has spent much of her life interacting with the various locals she encounters, selling high-valued wares and baubles in markets of discriminate stature. Perhaps that is the reason she seems to know everyone you do. Kevin Bacon wishes he had the connections of our Miss Marshall. A subtle glance or twirl of her many flowing scarves followed by her contagious laugh is persuasion enough to most that she would never lead you astray. This, along with an eye and ear for capturing beauty in the world around her through love of photography and music, is likely what draws her to showing the way to those creative talents who also seek to share the wonder in their world.
Department Head, Advertising
Dan has been in the ad business since 1987. And he has been a copywriter since 1990, with a decade in New York agencies both big and small. In addition to his duties as a full-time instructor and department head at The Creative Circus, Dan is a freelance creative director, podcaster, strategist, father, husband and blogger who’s never short of opinions. Check out his blog DGMS: A podcast about advertising.
Department Head, Art Direction
Jen is one of those elusive and rare species – an Atlanta native, through and through. After graduating from The Creative Circus in 2001, she worked for over a decade as an Art Director at stints with BBDO, Arnold Worldwide and The Martin Agency, on brands such as Cingular Wireless (now AT&T), Volkswagen, Royal Caribbean, McDonalds, Geico, Burt’s Bees and Wal-Mart. Jen adores teaching and mentoring, and has been a part of the Circus family since 2001. In addition to her duties as Art Direction Department Head, she also runs her own design, branding and luxe paper goods business, Miss Pickles Press. She believes in mixing Target jeans with a Michael Kors handbag. She usually has iced coffee in hand. She knows you catch more flies with honey, and that one is never too technologically advanced for handwritten thank you notes.
Jen is married to an overgrown boy scout software engineer from Rhode Island, and you can often find them traveling the backroads in the Airstream they share with their 4-legged wunderpup, Gussie.
Please don’t call her Mrs. Magoo. Seriously.
Department Head, Image
Greg became Image Department Head at The Creative Circus in 1995.
He has produced images professionally for advertising, design and corporate and editorial clients. Greg enjoys excellent, intelligent, and memorable commercial photography.More amazing facts:
-Enjoys being surrounded by creative people
-Works hard to make “it” better
-Takes him his Image grads bowling, and he recently bowled a 201
-As a Valentine’s birthday gift, he’d been described by his friends using words like: generous, talented, sensei, patient, respected, caring, tall, Hawaiian-shirted with crazy hair. Yep. True dat.
-Lives with his wife, Karen, and four rescued cats in the Historic District of Madison, Georgia.
Department Head, Design
Ron Moore is: going to give it some color; in the same category here as a golden labrador retriever; going to say it another way; probably not planning on changing his name; curious; of the latter school having gone to the former years ago; moving these files to a new folder; thinking outside the orangutan; a full-time job; not with that agency any more, thankfully; on a roll; trying to make it bigger; fused with his antagonizing antithesis; inviting supporters to join in the celebration; very welcome; not keeping this very close to his chest; here.
Department Head, Interactive
Senior Copywriting Advisor
If you’ve ever been to Disney World and seen one of the characters running around and thought to yourself “I wonder if it’s hot in one of those things?” Paul can tell you first hand.Seriously, after passing out in the SpectroMagic parade one extra humid night, Paul decided it was time to seek a different career path.Admittedly, Paul changed his major seven times while in college. To his parent’s relief, he finally found his calling in Advertising and hasn’t looked back.Paul attended the Creative Circus in 2003. Soon after graduation, he jumped at an opportunity to work at Boone Oakley in Charlotte, NC. From there, he’s worked at 22Squared, JWT Atlanta, various interactive shops, and today is a successful freelance writer throughout the Southeast.Paul has been with the Circus since 2009 and unlike his Disney days, has every intention of sticking this job out.In addition, to helping students, Paul is a huge fan of his wife, his son, his dog, his turtle, his two fish, and his Big Green Egg.
Senior Design Advisor
We’ve all heard the saying, “If you want something done, ask the busiest person you know.” Well, Colleen is the busiest person anyone knows. In addition to serving as the school’s Design advisor, she is also a Creative Circus instructor and advisor. An alumni of the Circus, Colleen is also a graduate of Virginia Tech and a registered architect.Here are a few other things she does to fill her time:• Works as an Aquatic Rehab Therapist and Swimming instructor on weekends.
* She only works with adults, as children frighten and confuse her.• Is the Owner & Creative Director at Green Dog Studio, a design/advertising studio in Inman Park. She frequently hires the top students to work with her on a part-time basis, helping them gain real world experience throughout their time at the Circus. www.greendogstudio.com• Freelances as a dog portraiture artist. Her rescue dog Oliver serves as her muse.• Is currently embarking on her MFA in Illustration at SCAD, hoping to bring her newfound skill set to the student body here at the Circus, in the form of new and exciting classes. If you happen to catch sight of her in the halls or around town, take the time to try and catch her attention (Move slowly though, and do NOT try to take her picture. Like the ever elusive Loch Ness Monster or Big Foot, she spooks easily) and she will be more than happy to lift your spirits with a funny story…or listen to, and help with, any problems you may be having…at school, or in life.
Senior Admissions Rep, International Advisor
Meredith was raised in sunny south Florida where she grew up loving convertibles, open-toed shoes, and the smell of sunscreen. After high school, she traded the beaches of Boca for the quaint, brick-lined streets of Davidson, NC. During her time at Davidson College, Meredith earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Art History, gained a sincere appreciation for monograms, and met her husband, Matt.Following graduation, they packed up and moved to Atlanta, where Meredith spent three years crunching numbers as a Financial Aid Officer before joining The Circus. When she’s not at The Circus, Meredith can be found spoiling her dogs Holly and Zoey, baking extremely unhealthy goodies, or reading any book with a pink cover.And in case you were wondering, no – she’s never played basketball.
Born in the Philippines where they only televised Lakers/Celtics games in the early 80s, James by default is a Lakers guy, an L.A. guy. Living in L.A. for the first five years of U.S. living, he has grown a love for L.A. Sports. Don’t let him fool you; he loves Atlanta, and he roots for the Braves and Hawks. He just happens to be a huge Falcons fan, too. James got his introduction to technology at an early age. He came to The Circus from a private school where he was known as “the tech guy” and, more officially, the Middle School Instructional Technologist. Most “tech teachers” find themselves going through the basics of Microsoft Office, but James found himself teaching the middle-schoolers layout, shadow, overlay, copy and opacity which makes him a perfect fit for The Creative Circus.
After 15 years in childcare, and 15 years in retail sales and management, Melaney is delighted that she has finally found her niche at The Creative Circus. Raised in a creative family, surrounded by artists, musicians, and teachers, she feels right at home in her position as Registrar at the school. Her head hurts a little from all the new things she’s learned, but she’s excited by the challenge her position offers. In her free time, Melaney likes to read crime novels, paint, watch way too much television, and hang out with her creative husband, Tom. She also spends lots of time spoiling her twin tuxedo cats, Nicknack and Paddywhack.
Student Services Manager
Finny loves The Creative Circus so much that she came back for an encore. First time around she was the Director of Admissions, but found a better fit this time as Student Services Manager.Some Finny facts:
-You’d never know she was born in Germany by her southern accent.
-She has an education in holistic nutrition, loves being super healthy and only eats organic. She could very well be Whole Foods’ no.1 customer.
-She loves the beach and HATES when the temperature drops below 70 degrees.
-She’s married to the famous Ron Moore, mother to Tiffany and Wesley. And who can forget Ron & Finny’s furry son, Gus?
-She never meets a stranger and will always find a way to pet a dog.If you have questions about finding a roommate or would like more apartment information please contact Finny.
Kim was raised in a small NYC suburb in Northern New Jersey. During her time at Quinnipiac University, Kim earned a bachelor’s degree in Advertising with a concentration in Interactive Digital Design. Kim spent 4 years working in New York City before moving further north to Rochester, New York. Kim recently moved to the Atlanta metro area in search of warmer weather with her fiancé and their rescue dog, Evy. In her free time, Kim can be found with her head in a book - most likely historical fiction, exploring new hiking trails, biking one of Atlanta’s many bike paths, or discovering her next favorite restaurant.
As the Marketing Manager, Kim Bianco will drive traffic to the Creative Circus website, open houses, as well as other national events. If you are interested in collaborating with The Circus on any marketing initiatives, please contact Kim.