INitiative Part II: SwimmIN’ with Sharks

Date: Monday. December 10th, 2012
Time: Doors/Drinks @ 6pm; Presentation @ 7pm
Place: Blanks Printing – 2343 North Beckley Avenue, Dallas, TX

Register Online:

Jim Woods is the Creative Director of United Pet Group, makers of pretty much everything related to fish and aquariums. If you’ve ever bought a Tetra, Marineland, Instant Ocean, Jungle Labs, or any of another half dozen other brands of fish stuff, you’ve bought the work of Jim and his team. However, leading an award-winning design group in creating nearly everything surrounding a multitude of ubiquitous aquarium brands isn’t the most impressive thing Jim Woods has accomplished, because he’s also done the impossible…

Seven years ago Jim Woods was a 6 Month contract employee, creating product spec sheets and doing menial production work while watching all the fun stuff get farmed out to big agencies. He got bossed around by mid-level marketing managers. Sales people were constantly asking for impossible turnaround on personal projects that weren’t budgeted for. Management was ignoring his work and advice while taking identical advice and subpar work from an array of expensive outside agencies. Sound familiar?

Now Jim serves as a valued and trusted partner within United. He and his department create the collateral surrounding all of United’s myriad industry-leading brands. They contribute to Research & Development, effect product design and consult on business decisions outside of the traditional role of graphic designers. If an outside agency is used, they are an extension of his team.

How did Jim Woods go from Contractor to Creative Director? How did he convince the suits that building an award-winning creative services department wasn’t a gamble, but imperative to the health of their business?  How did he grow through management and ownership changes, restructuring, and the leanest economy since the great depression?

Come and hear Jim tell you how he:

  • Learned to demonstrate the value of the department and the talent of the staff.
  • Used internal and external resources to strengthen his team.
  • Became and stayed relevant to the needs of the business.
  • Learned to “talk suit” to the suits.

Whether you work in-house now, or think you might at some point in the future, this INitiative event could be an invaluable lesson in proving the value of design.

Register Online:

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. TCG offers ongoing information and resources to help creative professionals and companies keep up with ongoing changes in the industry. Learn more at

Published November 26, 2012