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Chad Vavra

Strategic creative and technical Senior Leader with 20+ years of proven experience supporting design operations, products and clients with Cisco, Google, Facebook, NBC Universal, ESPN, Disney, and Pixar.

Leads design, strategy, research, analysis, and usability testing for multi-billion-dollar brands. Brings together cross-functional talent to ensure best practices result in data and customer-driven, business success.

Trusted advisor to executives and mentor for cross-functional teams. Provides design analysis, strategy and recommendations to solve customer needs, and business problems, crafting best-in-class products.

Drives end-to-end product execution with user-centered principles to create simple, intuitive experiences. Leverages research and analytics to improve decision-making behind strategy and delivery.

Brings continuous innovation with a entrepreneurial mentality and a bias for action. Deep creative, technical, and operations experience ensures well-fitted, systematic innovation.

CORE COMPETENCIES

  • User Experience Leadership
  • Generative AI
  • Optimization | A/B Testing
  • Product Design and Management
  • Cross-functional Collaboration
  • Storytelling
  • UX Research
  • Qual/Quant Research
  • User Interface Design (UI)
  • Design Operations
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Team Leadership and Development
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Wireframing
  • Product-led Growth
  • Customer Advocacy
  • Business Strategy
  • Product Management
  • Systems Thinking
  • Accessibility & Usability Testing

EXPERIENCE

Cisco Systems

HEAD of UX | Cisco.com

01/2020 - 04/2024

Transformed Cisco.com digital marketing platform from outdated, to a modern, personalized, and accessible experience. Cross-functional leadership between UX designers, strategy, technology, operations, brand, sales, finance, and product stakeholders in a fast-paced, agile environment.

Key achievements:

Isobar (Dentsu)

MANAGING DIRECTOR, INNOVATIVE SERVICES

01/2015 - 01/2020

Built a new organizational offering focusing on design thinking methods to unify capabilities in UX, engineering, and analytics to deliver cutting-edge services for Isobar’s award-winning global creative agency.

Early Career

Rosetta (Publicis)

DIRECTOR OF USER EXPERIENCE

2013 - 2014

United diverse stakeholders to form a shared vision and transform organizational mindsets. Supported key client, AT&T by driving flawless UX for an emerging product, Digital Life: Care.

TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR & DIGITAL CREATOR

2000 - 2013

Creative leader for some of the largest brands, studios, and enterprises in the world. Self-starter producing standout digital products and marketing for top-tier brands and studios. Pixar, Disney, NBC, ESPN, AT&T, Samsung, Lenovo, Saatchi & Saatchi

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

EXECUTIVE CERTIFICATION: GENERATIVE AI MINI-MBA
Section School of Business | New York, NY (2024)

ADVANCED CERTIFICATION: AI FOR BUSINESS
University of Pennsylvania | Online (2024)

BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS (B.F.A.), DIGITAL DESIGN & COMPUTER STUDIES
Iowa State University | Ames, IA (1999)

ACHIEVEMENTS

2023 CISCO WINNERS CIRCLE | Top 10% of Marketing and Sales

THE ONE SHOW PENCIL | Samsung Tweet-Wrap Holiday Campaign

EYEO FESTIVAL SPEAKER | Data-Visualization conference

TECHNICAL PROFICIENCIES

AI Tools

Hugging Face AI, Microsoft Autogen AI, LangChain, OpenAI/ChatGPT, Claude AI, Perplexity, Python, Implementing Code & Local Large Language Models

Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe XD

UX & SEO Tools

Miro, Figma, Sketch, Brightedge

General Tools

Google Suite (Docs, Sheets, Analytics), Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel)