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Friday Forum

Bob Winter and Joe Nio Friday Forum headshots
Friday, April 6
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

VCU Commons Theater

907 Floyd Avenue

Bob Winter

Executive Creative Director, VSA Partners

Joe Nio (ST, 2000)

Associate Partner, Strategy Discipline Lead, VSA Partners

Topic: We’re sorry you have to sit through this: How an empathy-first approach leads to better ideas and better results.

Bob Winter and Joe Nio will be talking about design centric problem solving and how that contributes to collaborative problem solving.


An industry-leading talent, Bob Winter spearheads creative development for some of the world’s leading companies. He has a storied career in developing cross-functional solutions, working in collaboration with experts in digital, data and analytics, and strategy. At VSA, Bob leads creative for clients such as AB InBev, Google, Nike, Hayneedle, Kraft-Heinz, Kimberly-Clark, among others. Recently he led creative on the “Kleenex. Someone Needs One” campaign which was honored by top awards shows and won a Silver Effie as one of Kimberly-Clark's most successful campaigns in history. Others might recognize Bob’s name as the creator of Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius” campaign. Outside of the agency sphere, he recently completed a short film titled Beth about the backstory of the famous KISS song of the same name. His work is also in the MoMA’s permanent collection.

Joe Nio applies his rich background in marketing and design to help lead strategic brand development and research at VSA, working with clients such as Nike, Kleenex (Kimberly-Clark), AB InBev, McDonald’s, Pepsi and various start-up projects in the blockchain technology space. Prior to VSA, Joe leveraged his passion for design thinking by actively blended marketing and innovation in his role as Director of Strategy and Innovation at Y&R, Chicago. There he worked with, BMO Harris Bank and multiple Sears brands. Previously, Joe oversaw strategy for Leo Burnett clients Travelocity, Samsung, Symantec and Sony PlayStation and worked on passion brands such as O’Neill and Patagonia. He holds a Master of Design Methods from the Illinois Institute of Technology and Master of Communications from the VCU Brandcenter. In a past life, Joe played, toured and recorded with his band The Seymores. His band published two records and a rarely seen video through Virgin Records.