Anna N. Roberts

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Email me here

Professional Experience

I help people solve hard problems – asking pointed questions and connect interesting ideas to real life constraints. Through varying combinations of design strategy, business acumen and people skills I’ve led product development, brought teams together and revitalized brands (to name a few). For the last four years I’ve worked in ed-tech, navigating a complex set of variables and stakeholders to support some of the most innovative people and ideas in education.

Product Manager for The Alice Project, Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Ctr.    (2015)
The Alice Project has a long legacy that began with Randy Pausch nearly 20 years ago. Currently funded by grants from Oracle, the program serves teachers and students across the globe, teaching computer programming through the creation of 3D animations and virtual worlds.

After years of success, the project has begun to lag behind the market. My charge during my six month contract was to engage Alice’s team, users and stakeholders in beginning to reinvigorate Alice; leading the team through much needed changes in how they communicate and approach work, as well as laying the groundwork for product and organizational strategies that could help the project reclaim its place as a leader in computer science education.

Director of Working Examples, Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Ctr.    (2012 – 2015)
At Working Examples, I led the strategy, design, development and growth of an online platform for collaboration and an exciting community of innovators who are changing education.

  • Turning a big, theoretical idea into an actionable vision and strategies.
  • Leading a highly collaborative design and development process, resulting in a site that our users consistently said is beautiful, intuitive and easy to use.
  • Growing the skills, creativity and confidence of a cross-disciplinary team.
  • Developing product and marketing strategies that led to consistent, grassroots site growth over three years.
  • Building a national network of partners, mentors and advocates in education technology and games.
  • Effectively managing $1.8 million in grants, working under budget all three years.
  • Recruiting, managing and engaging our organization’s board of respected advisors.
  • Speaking nationally about innovation, design strategy and collaboration.

Marketing and Management Consultant    (2007 to 2012)
In my consulting work, I collaborated with clients to solve problems and elevate their businesses through organizational, marketing, communications and design solutions.

  • Helping organizations understand and establish their place in the market through research, visioning, branding and implementation strategies.
  • Successfully managing deadline-driven, multidisciplinary project teams of up to 30 people.
  • Developing a firm’s internal writing and design style guide that was adopted nationally.
  • Departmental structure and policy design at the local, corporate and regional level.
  • Coaching managers on management best practices and how to get the best from their teams.
  • Developing new and existing branding elements: brand promise, brand strategy, visual and written.
  • Photography, design and copywriting for both print, digital and social media.
  • Excellent work and client service resulting in 90% of projects coming from repeat clients.

Some of my clients include: Parsons Brinckerhoff, THA Architecture, FFA Architecture, DCI Engineers, Culinary Equipment Company, Studio X Fitness, Taurus Capital Management

Marketing Manager, Waterleaf Architecture    (2005 to 2007)
At Waterleaf, I led marketing efforts across eight market segments, working with the firm’s leadership and design staff to guide our marketing and business development efforts, as well as our internal organizational and talent strategies.

  • Elevating our brand experience through strategy, design, voice and client experiences.
  • Creating a more client-focused approach to business development and marketing strategy that led to an 80% success rate on client proposals.
  • Connecting with clients and local stakeholders through creative approaches to strategy.
  • Successfully managing deadline-driven, multidisciplinary project teams of up to 15 people.

Marketing Manager, James D. Graham & Associates    (2004 to 2005)
I was this company’s first marketer, working closely with the firm’s leadership and engineers to build and implement more effective marketing communications and strategies.

  • Developed all of our new branch office’s marketing materials (design and copywriting).
  • Redesigned company’s website (design and copywriting).

Marketing Coordinator & Office Manager, DCI Engineers    (2000 to 2004)
I was DCI Engineers Portland’s office’s first marketer and office manager, collaborating with numerous corporate departments to support our office’s work.

  • Developed all of our new branch office’s marketing collateral (design and copywriting).
  • Redesigned DCI’s corporate website (design and copywriting).
  • Acted as liaison for corporate finance and local project accounting.
  • Acted as liaison for corporate HR, supporting employee engagement and onboarding.

Education

Carnegie Mellon University, Master of Public Management
May 2011, Highest Distinction
Concentration: Organizational Management and Creativity
Capstone Project: Future of Leadership in Creative Industries

Portland State University, B.S. Business Administration: Marketing
June 2009

Continuing Education
New York University, User Experience Design Certificate
July 2015 (estimated completion)

Luma Institute, Innovation Through Human-Centered Design
July 2013

 

Extra Curriculars

Speaking
Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Center, Guest Lecturer
     Introduction to Game Design – Approaches to Design Strategy (2014)
     Building Virtual Worlds – Approaches to Design Strategy (2014)
     Semester Student Projects – Design Strategy Workshops (2012 – 2014)
     Semester Student Projects – Design Strategy Consulting (2012 – 2014)
     Production Management – Managing Creative Teams (2012)
SXSWedu Conference
     Failure Is Our Friend: Embracing the Messy Bits (2014)
Games+Learning+Society Conference
     Building a Foundation for Impactful Work – A Design Jam (2014)
     Working Examples Track, Moderator (2014)
     Working Examples: Come play with us! (2013)
Digital Media and Learning Conference
     Connecting Practices – The Building Blocks for Connection, Moderator  (2014)
     Working Examples: New and Improved (2012)

Volunteerism & Professional Societies
“Now I Get It!” Transformational Game Jam, Event Designer (2015)
Games+Learning+Society Conference, Executive Committee (2014)
International Games Developers Association (2011-2013)
Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, Young Professionals Advisory Board (2011-2012)
Society for Marketing Professional Services (2002-2010)
     Roundtable Facilitator (2006 – 2009)
     Mentorship Program, Mentor (2005 – 2008)
     Oregon Chapter Board of Directors, Director of Education (2004 – 2005)
     Education Committee, Chair (2003 – 2004)
Artist Mentorship Program (2007-2009)

Publications
Games+Learning+Society Conference 10.0 Proceedings, Building a Foundation for Impactful Work – A Design Jam (2014)
Games+Learning+Society Conference 9.0 Proceedings,
Working Examples: Come play with us! (2013)
Education Technology Magazine, Working Examples: A Vehicle for Building Radical Innovation (2013)