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Good, Honest People.

Our teams in Chicago and Los Angeles create work that is on time, on budget and on strategy. UpShift is fueled as much by the hard-working, creative culture of the Midwest as it is with the inventive, can-do spirit of Southern California. Plus, we hear we're nice people to work with.

Richard Shanks

Managing Partner - Director of Strategy
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Mr. Shanks is Managing Partner of UpShift, leading overall strategy of teams in both Los Angeles and Chicago.

Before founding UpShift in 2000, he had extensive experience in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles working for design and advertising agencies of all sizes. Rich’s vision for UpShift is to provide premium design solutions backed by strategy and exceptional account services for medium-sized business clients. As a result, we combine the professionalism & intelligence of a large agency with the innovation & flexibility of a small one.

In addition to UpShift, Rich was an Adjunct Professor at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in Visual Communication Design, where he taught for 24 years. He was President of the Society of Typographic Arts (STA), Chicago’s oldest professional design organization. In 2017, STA awarded Rich as an Honorary Member for his significant contributions in stabilizing the organization and bringing back the STA 100 Award competition.

In the 1990s, ID Magazine named Rich in their “30 Under 30” article, featuring upcoming talent from CalArts’ Design Innovators Program. Rich received a Master degree from the California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Michigan. Go Blue!

Nicholas Staal, Managing Partner + Design Director

Nicholas Staal

Managing Partner - Director of Design
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Mr. Staal is Managing Partner at UpShift, where he leads day-to-day design direction of our print and digital teams in the Chicago office.

Nick has extensive experience in design and production of brand identities, marketing, print communication and websites for a variety of high-profile clients—Weber Grill Restaurant, Snaidero, the Commercial Office of Spain, Greystar, Plain & Fancy, Lennar, and Bloomfield Capital.

While at UpShift, his work has been awarded by many international design organizations, including the MarCom Awards, Hermes Creative Awards, Healthcare Advertising Awards, Service Industry Advertising Awards, LogoLounge, W3 Web Awards, and the Communicator Awards.

Nick served on the Board of the Society of Typographic Arts (STA), one of Chicago’s oldest professional design organizations. At STA, he was the Young Professional Program Director, developing events of interest to design students and young designers.

In 2012, Nick was honored by Maven’s “Divo Series”, which celebrates and honors Chicago’s most successful young business men across a wide spectrum of industries.

Mr. Staal received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a concentration in visual communications.

UpShift Staff

Nancy Mok

Project Manager

Professional rock skipper.

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Cedric Gliane

Web Developer

Cedric, mild-mannered coder by day, thrill-seeking cyber fighter by night. His kryptonite: allergic to cats!

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Erik Grosskopf

Designer

If picking the right house on House Hunters was a competitive sport, Erik would win sometimes. 

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Rebecca Manske

Senior Designer

Leading, kerning, and tracking. OH my!

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Daniel Moreno

Project Manager

The Sorting Hat is more accurate than the Myer-Briggs personality test.
-Change my mind-

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