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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Schifino Lee - 9:20 am June 24, 2015

Dina Ghioto

Our summer interns have been hard at work at Schifino Lee. They’ve brought excitement, wit, youth, and vision to our office. We’ve grown quite comfortable to them being around to lend a hand or take a look at something with a fresh set of eyes, and now we want to show them off. Our first spotlight is on the organized, smiley, and vivacious Dina Ghioto. She’s an account services intern majoring in Advertising at the University of Georgia.

Q. What inspired you to get involved in advertising?

A. Ironically, bad advertising inspired me to get involved in the advertising world. I am a fixer, so I loved looking at billboards, listening to the radio, and watching television commercials as a kid and dreaming up ways to improve the ads and make them better.

Q. If you had a super power, what would it be?

A. If I had a super power, it  would be the ability to speak every language fluently. I love to travel and I think that superpower would be beneficial and fun to surprise people with.

Q. What’s your favorite commercial/campaign?

A. My favorite campaign has always been and will always be Chickfila’s “Eat Mor Chikin” Campaign. It was one of the first times I understood and appreciated the genius behind innovative, creative, and unique advertising. It doesn’t get much better than an illiterate cow, aka future hamburger, urging you to eat more chicken while hanging from a billboard or water tower to get your attention.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish during the internship?

A. During this internship, I hope to get a better understanding of the advertising world by working with real clients, creating real work, and being a part of a real advertising team. I know I will gain valuable experience and a deep knowledge that I could’ve never acquired  in the classroom. I want to walk out the doors knowing I really applied myself, learned, and grew both personally and professionally.

Q. What are you like outside of the office?

A. Outside the advertising world, I am an adrenaline junkie, world traveler, and lifelong dancer. See photo above (that’s me, bungy jumping in South Africa with my dance partner, Patrick Swayze).


Schifino Lee - 10:00 am June 23, 2015

“Little Free Library” Discovered on Schifino Lee’s Adopted Mile

As part of the Schifino Lee adopted mile of Bayshore Boulevard, we discovered a “Little Free Library” located between S. Dakota Ave and S. Oregon Ave. The library is the size of a bird house and is part of a lending program with the notion of “take a book, return a book”. Anyone may stop by the library and take a book — as long as one is left in its place. This initiative began in Wisconsin in 2009 and has since grown throughout the country; the mission of these libraries is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.

Each library is unique but they all share a common theme of exchanging books and bringing people together. These libraries help build a sense of community by sharing creativity, wisdom, and a little part of ourselves with our neighbors, strengthening the community and spreading knowledge through the exchange of books.

Any books may be left in the library, from your favorite Fodor’s travel guide, to your favorite childhood storybook, to even your old chemistry textbook. If it’s a book, you can leave it.  

There is something so special about getting lost in a book, you can immerse yourself in whichever world you so choose and be whoever you want to be. Celebrate summer and let yourself enjoy a good book, and if a book has changed your life, what is better than sharing that with others? That is what the little free library allows you to do.

Schifino Lee is excited to be a part of this community building program.

Schifino Lee - 9:51 am June 11, 2015

Schifino Lee Keeps Tampa Bay Beautiful

You might’ve noticed that a new sign has gone up on Bayshore just before the Bank of Tampa, near the Schifino Lee office. The sign is a reminder to our agency and Bayshore drivers to keep our watershed litter free. As part of the “Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful” program, we have adopted 1 mile of Bayshore Boulevard and pledged to keep it clean. From West Bay Street to South Dakota Avenue, we are responsible for picking up debris and trash from the roadside, Bayshore’s sidewalk, and the grassy area between to keep one of Tampa’s most beautiful areas pristine.

“Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful” strives to provide environmental education and volunteer opportunities to the citizens of Tampa Bay. The program creates environmental awareness, encourages and develops environmental responsibility and stewardship throughout the community, provides community service opportunities, and empowers individuals, corporations, and groups to take a proactive approach to environmental concerns.

Schifino Lee completed three clean-ups in 2014 and is excited to continue service in 2015. Last April, our friends at Westshore Pizza even joined us in the clean-up. Getting outside to give back to the community and spend some time in the sunshine is one of our favorite breaks from the everyday routine at the office.

We are so proud of the work we do at the agency, both in the office and out in the community. Schifino Lee looks forward to many more years of service in our beautiful Tampa Bay!


Roxie Clements - 3:01 pm June 10, 2015

Art Truly Imitates Life

As the aunt of a teenager with Asperger syndrome, I was astonished how closely “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, a beautiful Broadway play, depicted life through the perspective of a young boy named Christopher afflicted with Asperger syndrome, an autistic disorder.

The play was made all the more poignant to me with Taylor Trensch (in photo above) playing the part of Christopher. Taylor is my significant other of six year’s son, and shares the lead role of the play with Alex Sharp (winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Actor). His portrayal of this syndrome was deeply moving for me as I recognized in it the effect of the syndrome on my nephew, my brother, sister-in-law, and their family.Those who suffer from this disorder experience great discrepancy between their intellectual and social abilities. It is rare to find artwork that truly imitates the realities of life, and further even rarer to find artwork centered on such a particularly unique and specific perspective.

The purpose of art is to express. In the case of “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, the objective is to allow viewers to experience the story line of the play through Christopher’s perspective. Marianne Elliot’s leadership and direction of the play allow all who experience this performance to fully immerse themselves in Christopher’s world-view and understand his actions, thoughts, and words in a way that would be impossible to replicate in reality.  For that, she deservedly received the 2015 Tony for Best Director for the play.

“Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” won five of the six 2015 Tony Awards for which it was nominated, including Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role of a Play, Best Scenic Design of a Play, and Best Lighting Design of a Play.

I am immensely proud of my nephew for his bravery and continued success in facing Asperger syndrome, my brother and sister-in-law for their continued support and strength, and Taylor for his ability to accurately and sensitively share with the world the struggle experienced by those with this disorder and their families.

Dan Stevenson - 3:44 pm May 20, 2015

Schifino Lee Is Seeking to Help Entrepreneurs With Branding Their Startups

Since the advent of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder, showcasing your entrepreneurial ideas with persuasive clarity has become of paramount importance.

With 20+ years of experience, Schifino Lee has seen many startup companies with exactly half of what they need to succeed. When it comes to developing their firm and creating their product or service, they possess a phenomenal talent. But, they lack many of the fundamental skills to strategically market their idea.

Hey entrepreneurs, it’s okay — you can’t be great at everything.

That’s precisely where we come into the picture. We know a polished, well-thought-out capital-seeking effort can make all the difference between the almighty Go and a No-Go on a fund-seeking project. So, we’re offering up our agency’s professional, creative, and marketing services. We’d like to help bring your great idea to life, right from the beginning of its branded life.

Though agency services like naming, brand identity development, video production, writing, and designing are often beyond most entrepreneurs’ initial capital or resources, we’re looking to foster the pioneer spirit here in Tampa Bay as well as beyond. That’s who we are. That’s what we believe in. That’s why Schifino Lee is willing to create a unique kind of client-agency relationship with stakeholders who’re building the right kind of ideas.

We’ll help you stand out in the sea of countless others.

Schifino Lee - 4:53 pm May 4, 2015

Schifino Lee Wins Big at the 2015 ADDY District Competition

This past weekend, the Schifino Lee team took home a Gold + Charlie Award  for Best Overall Newspaper Ad for our Sweetwater Organic Newspaper campaign as well as several Silver awards at the American Advertising Federation’s 2015 District ADDY competition in Orlando, Florida. Next up, Nationals in Las Vegas!

Schifino Lee - 12:34 pm May 1, 2015

A Memorable Taste of Reality For Spring Interns

As we bid a fond farewell to April, so too do we say goodbye to our spring class of Account and Creative interns. And how better to capture the value they got from their real world experience then to hear directly from a few of them.

Alexis Kressu, Account Services Intern

“Interning with Schifino Lee has taught me how to think outside the box using an original, strategic mindset. As an Account Service intern, I had the opportunity to work closely with the Account, Media, and Creative departments as well as several clients in the Tampa Bay area. I enjoyed assisting with photo shoots, creating competitive analyses for new accounts, and gaining experience as to how an ad agency truly operates. Being a Marketing major had restricted my ability to see the artistic side of things. At Schifino Lee, I developed an appreciation for graphic design and branding. As I pursue future endeavors, I hope to find an agency where I can apply my extended knowledge in the advertising field.”

Carlos Agatep, Account Services Intern

“Schifino Lee gave me my first real-world taste of what their website calls “the secret strategic sauce”. Over the last three to four months, I’ve had the chance to try the “sauce” with just about everything: aiding the Account team in developing competitive analyses for clients of various industries; performing market and media research for media buying purposes; and seeing first-hand what creative minds can develop to help keep businesses relevant in their respective industries. The team at Schifino Lee has a perfect blend of incredible work ethic and the ability to have fun. It reminded me why I wanted to get into Advertising in the first place – it doesn’t feel like just a job, it’s something I love. As I leave Schifino Lee, I hope to find a team of my own to improve upon the recipes for success I’ve had while tasting their secret sauce. I’ll be looking for my shot to use my strategic mindset with creative expression in the Tampa Bay area. I leave with a greater understanding of what advertising is truly like in application, the myriad opportunities I can have within an agency, and a desire to be part of the industry more than ever before.”

Tom VanderVelde, Creative Intern

“When someone asks me what I learned, I always have trouble answering. In fourth grade Science, I could just say something like “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell,” and that would be good enough. But this is a little more abstract. I definitely learned things during my time at Schifino Lee, I’m sure of it. Just this morning, I learned that popping your knuckles isn’t bad for you, or so Dan claims. Beyond that, I got the quintessential “experience in an agency setting” that all advertising job postings ask for. Prior to interning, I attended portfolio school, which was supposed to emulate an agency setting. I have to say, nothing compares with the real thing. Schifino Lee is an excellent place to get the real thing: small enough that I know everyone by name, but big enough that there are some really cool projects to work on. As I move on to the next big thing in my career, I’ll fondly remember my time in the creative department, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to work with some great people.”

The Schifino Lee team wishes all of our Spring 2015 interns the best of luck in their future adventures as we now turn to plans for giving our upcoming summer interns a true taste of the real ad biz.

Schifino Lee - 10:42 am April 7, 2015

National Beer Day

National Beer Day

In honor of National Beer Day, let us toast the benefits of liquid inspiration!

Schifino Lee - 10:40 am April 3, 2015

Tom’s Thoughts: Grape-nuts

Tom's Thoughts: Grape-nuts

Always Deep.

Schifino Lee - 10:34 am March 19, 2015

Tampa Bay Beer Week: New Keg

The Patmeister

In celebration of Tampa Bay Beer Week, a new keg was tapped last week at Schifino Lee. The Patmeister presents our latest ‪#‎beer‬ offering: “Wheat Stroke”, from Ybor City brewers, Coppertail Brewing Co. “Wheat Stroke” is a smooth and refreshing American ale with a hint of citrus that quenches the thirst during this 86 degree ‪‎Florida‬ spring day. Come stop in and share a pint with us.

Schifino Lee - 10:07 am March 12, 2015

Schifino Lee Hires Train Robber and YouTube Star for Creative Team

There are a couple of talented new art and copy slingers at Schifino Lee with an arsenal of creative experience behind them. Beyond their award-winning work and experience with national advertising campaigns, they’re also pretty cool guys.

Mike Looper, Copywriter

Mike “Loop” Looper claims to be a former train robber and a one-time almost-extra in a George Clooney movie, though it’s his skills as a writer that make him an excellent addition to our creative team. He’s worked on projects for HondaJet, Lowes Foods, BASF, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Moffitt Cancer Center, Ekornes, Lennar Homes, S&N Communications, Polivka International, and Texas Children’s Hospital. Before getting into advertising, Loop studied Writing and Media Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Using the majority of what he acknowledges as an “empty head”, Loop brings an exciting new point of view, voice, and personality to a wide variety of Schifino Lee clients.

Jon Rodriguez, Senior Art Director

Jon “No Nickname” Rodriguez is an Art Director/Carl Sagan superfan with considerable talents as an illustrator and designer. He also writes and produces his own music and, just to round out the triple-threat, he hosts a show broadcast on YouTube called Zen with Ben. He’s worked on projects for Toyota, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts, Buffalo Wild Wings, Shoe Carnival, Publix, Sweetbay Supermarket, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Florida’s Natural, and Costa Rica Tourism. Prior to working in advertising, Jon exhibited his illustrations in galleries across the country with some of his work being featured in various books and art blogs. He earned his degree in Graphic and Interactive Communication at Ringling College of Art and Design.

If you see them, welcome them to the Schifino Lee family, and be sure to call them by the wrong name.

Schifino Lee - 2:32 pm March 3, 2015

Our Biggest Night Ever at the Tampa Bay American Advertising Awards

Last Thursday night the Schifino Lee team attended the American Advertising Awards Gala (they’ll always be the ADDYs to us) at Port Tampa Bay. We won big, coming home with 13 awards including 7 Golds and 2 “Best of the Bay” trophies. Here’s a list of everything we won:

  • Best of the Bay, Gold, and two Silver awards in Newspaper, Color category for Sweetwater Organic Farm, “Ourganic is Better Organic”
  • Best of the Bay and Gold award in Advertising Industry Self-Promo category for “Be the Santa Toy Drive”
  • Gold award for Gerdau Ameristeel “New NY Bridge” print ad
  • Gold awards in Digital Advertising and Elements of Advertising categories for Ameriflight website and photography
  • Gold award in Integrated Campaigns category for The Powers Company’s “The Power of Un” campaign
  • Gold award in Elements of Advertising category for P&S Transportation photography
  • Silver award in Radio, Campaign category for Lizard Juice
  • Silver award in Television category for Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo’s “London Frightmare” TV commercial

The American Advertising Awards, formerly the ADDYs, is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition for creative excellence. It attracts over 40,000 entries every year in local ADDY competitions. Thursday night’s local show was sponsored by AAF Tampa Bay. The winning work now moves on to the district level competition in Orlando on May 2 for a chance to compete at the national level in Las Vegas in June.

Thank you to all of our wonderful clients and production partners! We’re grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to produce excellent work this past year and we’re committed to raising the bar even higher next year.

Schifino Lee - 11:44 am February 26, 2015

Schifino Lee Named Agency of Record for Gasparilla Interactive Festival

Schifino Lee has partnered with the first-ever Gasparilla Interactive Festival (GIF) as Agency of Record and a festival Founder. The GIF festival, to be held on March 6, 2015, is anticipated as the Southeast region’s showcase event for cutting-edge technologies, digital innovation, and entrepreneurial inspiration as well as a long-awaited addition to Tampa Bay’s multi-faceted Gasparilla Arts Month.

Schifino Lee agreed to the pro bono agency partnership with GIF including the creation of branding, logo, print ad campaign, posters, a website, visual designs, broadcast radio, and festival banners. The concept for GIF’s branding evolved out of the festival’s focus on interactivity and connectivity: each part of the logo is autonomous yet, when banded together, creates something greater than each individual part.

“Our commitment to the Gasparilla Interactive Festival aligns with Schifino Lee’s goal to seek out new and innovative creative solutions in the digital world; the fact that it also supports Tampa’s business and creative communities makes our support even more important,” said Paola Schifino, Principal and Co-founder of Schifino Lee. “We are honored and excited to be involved with this inaugural festival and look forward to this event being an integral part of the Gasparilla season.”

In addition to becoming integrated into the Tampa Bay Area’s festival-packed Gasparilla season, March 6, 2015 has been named “Gasparilla Interactive Festival Day” in Hillsborough County by the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners and District 2 County Commissioner Victor Crist.

The festival features compelling presentations and forums from the brightest minds in emerging technology, interactive media, and disruptive entrepreneurialism. It includes exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, a keynote speaking series including Faris Yakob, Joanna Lord, and Peter Shankman, two speaker panels, and an expo open to the public.

The Gasparilla Interactive Festival is a community event organized by Gasparilla Interactive Festival Inc., a Florida non-profit organization which was founded by leadership members of the American Advertising Federation and Ad 2 Tampa Bay chapters. It is made possible through the collaboration of Tampa Bay’s public, private, non-profit, and academic institutions including Schifino Lee.

Mike Looper - 12:18 pm January 29, 2015

Strategy, Planning, & Bumper Cars

How freeing it is to slam the pedal all the way down, pushing so hard you almost crack through the floor. Smile. And navigate like a drunk baby. Not without a care- not like Louise letting it all go over the edge- just the opposite. In a bumper car, your cares are lifted and you are free to cruise in any direction.

I’ve been in four wrecks over the past 32 years. The first three turned me into a timid driver; the last one-  a terrifying head-on collision-  gave me confidence. I realized there’s no point living a life filled with fear. It’s too heavy a burden and we can accomplish so much more without it.

When we create, we have to be the same way, confident and free. Our best solutions hit when nothing is holding us back. So, we open our eyes to new possibilities. We say powerful things like “What if” and we take chances. A lot of chances. The greatest minds are not the greatest minds because they drove a 2007 Toyota Corolla like it was a 2007 Toyota Corolla; they drove it like it was a rocket-fueled Bumper Ferrari.

This year, plan for success. Build a strategy around research and big ideas. Define your goals and aspirations. And take every opportunity available to say “What if” and see where it leads.

Schifino Lee - 3:04 pm October 7, 2014

Schifino Lee’s Triple-Load of New Talent

To ensure our clients get the freshest thinking and highest quality work, we’ve added three outstanding young members to our account and creative teams: Junior Art Directors Heather Fitzpatrick and Heather Fako, along with Account Executive Kendra Mahon.

Kendra Mahon, Account Executive

Kendra brings extensive agency experience to Schifino Lee in tourism and hospitality having worked with brands such as VISIT FLORIDA, Visit Tampa Bay, The Epicurean Hotel, and The Dali Museum. Before Kendra began her agency tenure, she worked on global branding and original content development for the IRONMAN brand and the World Triathlon Corporation.

A Boston native, Kendra moved south to earn a double major in Creative Writing and Communications from the University of Tampa before gravitating to the account side of the business. She’s fond of Tina Fey’s approach to life and business challenges, “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.”

Heather Fitzpatrick, Junior Art Director

Originally an intern for our agency, we liked “Fitz” so much, we recently made her a full-time part of the creative team. Before joining Schifino Lee, Heather had valuable internships at Atlanta’s Finished Art Inc, and Philly shops Lunchbox Communications and the Foster & Redmond Creative Agency. Her diverse client experience includes Coca-Cola, Odwalla, PBS Sports, Zoo Miami, and Constitution Center.

Heather is a University of Tampa alum with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. She likes Andy Warhol’s belief that, “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

Heather Fako, Junior Art Director

Our other new Heather (Heather Fako), also a junior art director, comes to Schifino Lee from Chicago by way of Tempe, Arizona. She has impressively diverse agency experience with clients such as Heineken, Jim Beam, Xcel Energy, Boston Scientific, Fairmont Hotels, and Invetech. Heather’s not only a talented graphic designer and art director, she knows her stuff when it comes to animation and motion graphics too.

Born and raised in Chicago, she headed to Arizona State University for her BS in Visual Communication Design before venturing to Europe to study abroad for nine months.

Please join us in welcoming Kendra and the Heathers to the Schifino Lee team.