Good, Honest People.

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

Richard Shanks

Managing Partner - Director of Strategy

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 backed by strategy and premium account services for medium-sized business clients. It’s the professionalism and intelligence of a large agency with the innovation and 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 is also a past-President of the Society of Typographic Arts (STA), Chicago’s oldest professional design organization, along with an Honorary Fellow.

In the 1990s, ID Magazine named Rich in their “30 Under 30” article, featuring upcoming talent from the CalArts Masters of Design program.

Rich received a Master of Fine Art degree from the California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Michigan.

Nicholas Staal

Managing Partner - Director of Design

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 graphic design.

Courtney Reilly Goodwin

Partner - Account Director

Courtney Reilly Goodwin is a Partner and Account Director at UpShift, heading up client engagement and new business development. In addition, Courtney helped us expand to the west coast when she moved to Santa Barbara in 2014.

With over 15 years experience in customer service and sales, Courtney delivers hands-on, personable service to our clients with a focus on building long-term relationships and defining value for our engagement.

Courtney is active in the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce and enjoys partaking in the dynamic lifestyle of the Central Coast, including boutique wineries, jewelry making, ceramics and ski trips to the Sierras.

Courtney has a Bachelors degree from Michigan State University.

UpShift Staff

Erik Grosskopf

Junior Designer

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


Rebecca Manske

Senior Designer

Leading, kerning, and tracking. OH my!


Nancy Mok

Project Manager

Professional rock skipper.


Beth Doshan

Senior Project Manager

Beth believes most problems can be solved with ice cream. Or travel.


Eric Castillo

Web Developer

Eric joined our team at the start of 2020 and brings extensive agency experience with him where he worked on multi-disciplined web design and development teams.


Cedric Gliane

Web Developer

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


Hannah Francis

Junior Designer

I enjoy volleyball, designing, and sipping on iced coffee all seasons of the year.