Yikes!Art Casey Gradischnig



Respected leader and award-winning creative director/designer/editor with more than 20 years of experience inspiring clients and staff with powerfully crafted words, images and ideas.


    Project management Social media, web analytics and SEO
    Integrated marketing and branding Television and video production
    Print and web design, direction and production Media coaching
    Scenic design/styling (theatrical, video, still photography) Event planning and environmental design
    Editorial management, copy writing and editing Staff training and management

      SENIOR ART DIRECTOR | MXM – Meredith Xcelerated Marketing
      Des Moines, IA, October 2012-January 2018

      As a senior leader of MXM’s Des Moines creative team, I was responsible for directing and executing all strategic visual phases for numerous clients including the American Civil Liberties Union, WebMD, State Farm Insurance, the Principal Financial Group, Bank of America, Salesforce and Volkswagen, and magazines including WebMD, Medscape, and STAND. Duties included:

      • Collaborating with account executives, content strategists and developers to ensure world-class deliverables;
      • Producing creative briefs – such as MXM’s first guide to infographic best practices– to inspire and guide agency partners ;
      • Hiring and directing staff designers and freelance photographers, videographers and illustrations to create inspiring original print, digital and video projects;
      • Planning and directing location and studio photoshoots including product, auto and celebrity feature shoots;
      • Creating strategies and designs for email campaigns, social posts and websites ensuring digital best practices and client ROI;
      • Developing strong business relationships with clients by pitching creative solutions with confidence and clarity;
      • Managing editorial calendars and budgets in coordination with content directors to ensure customer satisfaction and drive client goals;
      • Launching and art directing the award-winning ACLU STAND magazine, a recipient of more national design and editorial awards than any MXM magazine.

      WEB PRODUCER | Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
      Des Moines, IA, October 2010-June 2012

      Filling the newly-created web producer position, I oversaw all online content and brand continuity and served as the organization’s video producer and digital signage manager. Duties included:

      • Developing, launching and managing PP Heartland’s first intranet site, built on SharePoint, which now serves as the organization’s primary information hub, document library and home to all health center medical procedural documentation;
      • Designing, programming, and planning content updates for the organization’s public website while tracking user analytics and SEO results;
      • Developing and maintaining several public facing special-use micro-websites built on various CMS platforms;
      • Producing (writing, shooting, editing) broadcast commercials and radio spots, internal training videos, and informational pieces for our digital signage network, as well as partnering with outside vendors such as MTV, to secure additional programming;
      • Devising a strategy for offering our digital signage system and services to other affiliates in order to provide them a cost-effective branding and educational service while generating additional income for our affiliate.

      COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR | StageWest Theater Co.
      Des Moines, IA, June 2007- February 2012

      As the first Communication Director for the organization, I implemented a strategic marketing plan that drove audience interest, ticket sales, and artist participation by:

      • Developing and managing StageWest’s first brand identity system and standards;
      • Producing all marketing materials including season brochures, website, posters, photography, video, ads, newsletters and playbills;
      • Expanding online presence by designing a new resource-rich SEO optimized website; launching the organization’s first social media efforts including segmented HTML email blast campaigns, online advertising, a highly successful Facebook page, and tracking analytics, open rates and click through rates;
      • Leading the efforts to update an obsolete database in order to expand outreach efforts and targeted marketing  to various audience and artists segments;
      • Building partnerships to develop events, such as Red Carpet Opening Nights and the Sunday Talk-Back series, which added audience value while minimizing cost;
      • Providing critically recognized scenic, sound and video designs for numerous StageWest productions.

      Des Moines, IA, November 1999–April 2009

      Led the University’s internal marketing agency as the Creative Director who oversaw client relations along with the planning and implementation of Drake’s nearly 800 external materials printed each year, including:

      • Serving as the department’s client contact by providing strategic marketing advice and producing audience-appropriate materials to support the University mission and brand, drive client goals and meet budget requirements;
      • Streamlining work flow to ensure quality product and outstanding customer service through the creation of departmental best-practices incorporating a project management system, the University’s first editorial style guide and utilization of new client-branded design templates;
      • Leading the development, launch and management of the award-winning alumni magazine Drake Blue, as well as several successful fundraising, alumni communication and recruitment campaigns;
      • Researching and designing the University’s first website and social networking efforts for undergraduate recruitment;
      • Planning and designing comprehensive campaigns for student recruitment, annual giving and donor recognition.

      VIDEO & BROADCAST TV PRODUCER | Saks Incorporated
      Des Moines, IA, October 1996–November 1999

      Managed all aspects of company-wide corporate broadcasts viewed by 365,000 associates in 360 locations, including:

      • Overseeing program content by coordinating performances of show participants, including celebrity fashion designers, senior company executives and models, and writing scripts and promotional materials;
      • Directing talent, crew and staff at live productions, on-location tapings and during editing sessions;
      • Maintaining creative program visuals by designing sets, props, still and animated graphics; scouting external taping locations; and hiring models and on-camera talent;
      • Implementing a successful magazine-style show format to provide motivational, educational programming to a wide variety of corporate viewers;
      • Creating and managing department internship program;
      • Exceeding production and travel budget goals by creating departmental best practices for cutting costs while maintaining high production standards.

      EDITOR/DESIGNER | Iowa Department of Natural Resources
      Des Moines, IA, December 1995–October 1996

      Provided visual and content direction for publications including The Iowa Conservationist magazine as well as numerous IDNR brochures, posters and mailers. Duties included:

      • Generating story ideas; copy editing work of field reporters; designing audience-appropriate publications;
      • Creating original art, layouts and photographs as well as coordinating production of photographers and designers;
      • Soliciting bids and coordinating production with printers;
      • Implementation of a major redesign of two important statewide publications;
      • Managing the process of taking the department from art board to digital printing.



        • InDesign
        • Illustrator
        • PhotoShop
        • Microsoft Word
        • QuarkXpress
        • PowerPoint
        • Dreamweaver
        • SharePoint
        • WordPress
        • Premiere Pro
        • Final Cut Pro
        • SketchUp
        • ProofHQ
        • Workfront


          • Eddie Award, Best Consumer Magazine (health/fitness), WebMD Magazine, Folio Magazine, 2017
          • Gold Pearl Award, Best Use of Illustration, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2017
          • Pearl Award Finalist, Best Print Magazine (editorial), ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2017
          • T. Meredith Excellence Award winner, ACLU STAND Magazine, 2016
          • Gold Pearl Award, Best Use of Illustration, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2016
          • Bronze Pearl Award, Best Print Magazine, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2016
          • APEX Finalist, ACLU STAND, Best Design & Layout, Communications Concepts, Inc., 2016
          • Gold Pearl Award, Best Cover, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2015
          • APEX Award, Best Print Magazine, ACLU STAND, Communications Concepts, Inc., 2015
          • Gold Pearl Award, Best Cover, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2014
          • Gold Pearl Award, Best Use of Illustration, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2014
          • Bronze Pearl Award, Best Overall Editorial B2C, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2014
          • Pearl Award Honorable Mention, Best Feature Article, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2014
          • T. Meredith Excellence Award Finalist, ACLU STAND Magazine, 2014
          • Mixie Award, ACLU STAND, Magazine Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, 2013
          • Silver Pearl Award, Best Nonprofit Publication ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2013
          • Silver Pearl Award, Best New Publication, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2013
          • Gold Pearl Award, ACLU STAND Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2013
          • Silver Pearl Award, Best use of Illustration, Single Feature, State Farm, GoodNeighbor Magazine, Custom Content Council, 2013
          • Silver Excellence in Graphic Design—Special Publications/Projects: Heritage Gallery Design, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VI, 2007
          • Bronze Excellence in Communications—Periodicals, Law Recruitment Postcard Series, CASE District VI, 2007
          • Bronze Excellence in Graphic Design—Periodical Cover: Drake Blue magazine “Drake 125” CASE District VI, 2006
          • Bronze Quill Award of Merit in Promotional Writing, Drake Viewbook, International Association Of Business Communicators, Iowa Chapter, 2005
          • 2nd Place Editorial Writer of the Year, Associate Collegiate Press Best of the Midwest, 1995

          VIDEO AWARDS

          • Bronze Excellence in AdvertisingTelevision Ad: “Think Blue” spot, CASE District VI, 2008
          • Award of Achievement in Video/Multimedia, Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), 2005
          • Award of Achievement for Corporate Video, Iowa Film Awards, 1999
          • Corporate Video Finalist, Iowa Film Awards, 1996


          Recognizing projects I managed

          • 2009 CASE District VI awards: two Gold, four Silver, one Bronze
          • 2008 CASE District VI awards: one Silver, two Bronze
          • Sweepstakes Award for Excellence in Educational Advancement Runner-up, CASE District VI, 2007
          • 2007 CASE District VI awards: one Silver
          • Sweepstakes Award for Excellence in Educational Advancement, recognizes innovation in communications in such areas as publications, special events, public relations, alumni relations and fundraising, CASE District VI, 2006
          • 2006 CASE District VI awards: one Grand Gold, one Silver, two Bronze
          • Three Bronze Quill Awards of Merit, Drake Blue magazine, International Association Of Business Communicators, Iowa Chapter, 2005
          • 2005 CASE District VI awards: one Grand Gold, three Silver, one Bronze
          • 2004 CASE District VI awards: two Silver, three Bronze
          • 2003 CASE District VI awards: one Grand Gold


          • Board of Directors, American Civil Liberties Union, Iowa, 2017-present
          • Scenic, sound, and video designer, StageWest Theater Company, 2006-2012
          • Scenic designer, Des Moines Community Playhouse, Drake University, Central College, Grayson Community College, The Unexpected Company, The Drama Workshop, Repertory Theatre of Iowa
          • Art Exhibitions, one man show: Absolute Art Gallery, Des Moines, 2005; as well as participation in several other exhibitions
          • Vice President and Publicity Chair: The Drama Workshop, July 2000–August 2002
          • Producer/Creator, Urban Anthropology — an alternative art and entertainment event named one of the “Top 10 Events of 2000” by The Des Moines Register
          • WOWZA Award, staff honor recognizing communication, accuracy, communication and efficiency, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, 2011
          • Corporate Cornerstone Award, employee service honor recognizing style, quality, service and integrity; Saks Incorporated, 1997



            Grand View University, Des Moines, IA
            GPA 3.78

            Bachelor’s degrees in:

            • Journalism
            • Radio/TV
            • Mass Communication

            Additional studies in:

            • Graphic Design
            • Photography
            • Theatre

            Academic honors:

            • Communication Student of the Year, Grand View University class of 1996
            • Dean’s List 1990-1996
            • President, Grand View Broadcast Club, 1995
            • Vice President/Treasurer, Grand View Broadcast Club 1993-1995
            • Alpha Chi, National Honor Society
            • Grand View Honor Society 1994-1996
            • Managing Editor: The Grand Views newspaper, 1994-1995; Photo Editor: 1993-1994
            • Announcer: KDPS radio, Grand View University 1993-1995

          Download a printable version of my resume.