• Ed Ruff

    Director of Creative Development

    From early childhood, Ed was destined to be a violinist. These dreams were shattered when he broke his arm only two days before joining the elite 9th grade orchestra at Naples High School. Unable to play the violin with one arm, Ed was sent to Mr. Morrison’s art classroom where his life was forever changed. Aside from the everyday flannel shirts, blue jeans and killer gotee, Mr. Mo shared his incredible passion for art and inspired Ed to further pursue his natural creative talent.

    Ed made his first dollar as a designer in 1990 after designing the logo for Tom and the Cats, a very little-known and short-lived Tallahassee band — but a paid job is a paid job. He continued on with his education and graduated from Florida State University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s in Studio Arts.

    After being with ACS Creative for nearly 20 years, Ed has figured out the science behind the company’s success — relying on his key players. To continue reaching the next level, Ed makes certain that the company has the cream of the crop employees in place to constantly generate new and innovative ideas.

  • Russell Anderson - CEO - ACS Creative

    Russell Anderson

    President

    Looking back, there were some early indications that Russell had building businesses in his future. In 1975 he embarked on his entrepreneurial journey by launching his first business which he funded from the proceeds of a garage sale. Always the bootstrapper, Russell grew that first retail business into a 5 million dollar enterprise which he subsequently sold in 1980 and immediately went on to pour his energies and passion into his next venture.

    If you want to talk business, Russell Anderson is your man. He is a serial entrepreneur with enough vision for several lifetimes. Russell has launched and successfully built multiple businesses during his 25+ year career; from retail and consulting to publishing and marketing/design – and he promises there’s still more to come!

  • Chris Howell

    Creative Director – Germantown

    Chris unintentionally started his design career 14 years ago when he stumbled across QuarkXPress 3… it was love at first sight. As a marketing assistant he spent much of his free time dabbling in creative programs.

    Fascinated by the technical aspect and endless opportunities of designing with computers, he officially made the crossover from Marketing to pursue Graphic Design full-time. Chris has taught himself a lot since his marketing days, he is 100% self-taught! Chris has been bringing innovative ideas to ACS Creative for 6 years.  His determination to learn and succeed is evident in his work and ability to inspire ACS talent.

    As a designer Chris is drawn toward a techy-creative style. When it comes to his work, Chris is an expert at hand-coded HTML, CSS and Javascript. He is also a genius at concept design.

  • Rob Smelik

    Creative Director – Fairfax

    Rob graduated with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts and Design. Currently, Rob has over 20 years of experience in the visual communications industry, 11 of which he spent at a branding agency where he developed comprehensive brand systems. He is an extremely talented designer who’s experience includes web design & development, print design, exhibit design, corporate interiors and more.  With an understanding that a defined process helps establish clarity, Rob uses his experience to guide our clients through the creative process. When he’s not at work, Rob enjoys hanging out with his family, jamming out on his guitars or just spending time in his workshop building whatever might inspire him.

  • Tom O’Malley

    Creative Director – Charleston

    Tom was born and raised in Syracuse, NY, where he collected several honors for his artistic prowess from a young age. By his mid-teens, he shifted his creative focus from illustration to digital design. After studying Media Arts for two years in Western New York, he completed his BFA with honors from Syracuse University.

    Tom spent a majority of his career working in New York City as a Website Manager for a prominent performing arts theater in Manhattan. In 2007, alongside his college roommate, he founded one of the fastest-growing film festivals in the world, providing the perfect opportunity to hone his branding and guerrilla marketing chops.

    Tom also made his way through a handful of companies and agencies in the private sector before packing his bags and moving to Charleston, South Carolina with his wife, Susan, and little dog, Bean.

  • Dan Crowe

    Sr. Web Developer

    A product of the world, Dan was born in America and spent his childhood in Europe. Throughout his travels, he has seen some amazing sights. Among his favorite places are Alaska for the wildlife, Corsica because of its great weather and Switzerland, with its snowboarding . Dan has been to more than 20 countries! As a child, Dan started designing in elementary school with colored pencils and paper. This changed to a computer in high school, and eventually, a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts and design from Fullsail University. Design has been a big part of Dan’s life. Although it came easily to him, Dan feels fortunate that he is able to have a career doing what he loves.

  • Sydney Sherman

    Senior Web Designer

    A Connecticut native, Sydney was born and raised in a suburbs of New York City. Although she considers herself more city than country, Sydney made her way to West Virginia to attend college at West Virginia University. There, she came to appreciate the picturesque mountains and more laid back lifestyle. She used her keen eye and ability to see the beauty in all that surrounds her to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with an emphasis in graphic design. Since graduating, Sydney has focused her artistic skills on branding and marketing.

    Through her work, she aims to present a clear and organized message. She is inspired by ordinary objects that she encounters on a daily basis. Her eyes and ears work as a scanner, capturing everything in her presence. Everywhere Sydney goes, she finds herself intrigued by color, typography, patterns and photography. Her work is drawn from a unique perspective on life, personal experience and her general surroundings.

  • Matt Burke

    Graphic Designer

    Born in Fairfax, Matt honed in on the art industry at an early age, taking the chance to doodle and create whenever he could, his passion later translated into a love for graphic design, specifically branding. After starting his education with the Art Institute of Tampa he later made his way to Savannah College of Art and Design to attain a bachelors of Fine Arts with a specialty in graphic design. With over five years experience as a graphic designer in the print industry Matt came to ACS Creative to share his knowledge and experience and grow as a designer. When he’s not creating Matt is being productive, painting, woodworking, or being a motorcycle enthusiast and when he’s not cheering for Green Bay on Sunday he’s spending time with his dogs Charlie and Fred.
  • Ben Kauffman

    Graphic Designer

    When Ben was a child, his father taught him to draw — and he hasn’t stopped drawing ever since! His artistic curiosity didn’t stop there. In high school, he was so taken with the preciseness of architectural drawing, that he wound up taking classes for three years. The idea of blending the creativity of art and the preciseness of architecture is how Ben ended up in working in graphic design. He loves being able to be creative, while solving problems at the same time. Ben has been a graphic designer for seven years now, since graduating cum laude from McDaniel College with a bachelor’s degree in art, with a concentration in graphic design.

    To Ben, helping clients with branding and helping find the simplest solution is the fun part: reviewing the client’s needs, researching competitors, mind-mapping, sketching. (Sometimes it’s the first sketch, other times, it could take an entire sketchbook!) He also enjoys doing web and UI design as well.

  • Tommy Dingus

    Graphic Designer

    Born and raised in Fairfax County, Tommy has been creating his own brand of artwork since he was able to choose his classes in school. Terminally right-brained, he found ways to make math problems into visual communications pieces and those projects earned him his best grades in algebra.

    He would later make his way to Old Dominion University in Norfolk to attain his degree in graphic design and then immediately head back home to Northern Virginia to get to work. Quickly getting a chance to show what he could do, he spent 8.5 years keeping the print industry alive at a custom publishing firm in DC. Thousands of magazines later, Tommy found his way to ACS to use his knowledge of print and marketing in this new endeavor.

  • Katelin Ajamian

    Web Designer