MEET OUR ROCK STARS

We’re a proven creative team that works directly with you, making sure your objectives are heard and effectively executed. With Blue Star, you get excellent customer service, thoughtful research and planning, an integrated creative process, and results to be proud of. Our talented designers, marketers, and writers are ready to reach your goals. 

Julia Briggs

CEO/Creative Officer

Julia Briggs, founder of Blue Star Design, is the acting CEO and Chief Creative Officer and has built the company from a sole proprietorship to an S-corp with a team of nine employees and 25+ partners.

Julia is the creative lead at Blue Star. She handles the majority of client relations and sales for the company. Julia earned a B.A. from the Columbus College of Art and Design in illustration, graduating in 1991 with honors, and has continued her education through Tri-C and is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.

In 1999, after working in a wide array of design careers, Julia created a job for herself in her very own studio, Blue Star Design. Having experience with everything from illustration to packaging and branding, to print and web, meant Julia would never be bored and her clients would benefit from the variety of her talents. In 2007, she took another step forward and added a talented crew to the mix to offer clients a more integrated approach to design, marketing, and idea generation.

Julia has more than 20 years’ experience in the graphic design industry in advertising, publishing, and social expressions industries. Among her many successes, she helped to build the top selling homeschooling product, Comprehensive Curriculum, developed licensed products with Charles Schulz and Jim Henson Productions, and left a successful career at American Greetings to start Blue Star.

(Little known fact: Julia is a pirate.)


John Briggs

COO, CMO, Finance

John oversees marketing, financial and business operations. He has played a key role in the development of our marketing automation tools, and has managed and encouraged the growth of Blue Star to date.

John graduated from The Ohio State University in 1991 with a B.A. in English after earning a degree in Computer Engineering, nearly becoming an architect, and taking enough French courses to all but make him a dual citizen.

He made the smart move of venturing into the technology industry at the beginning of the 90s bubble, working for companies such as Sarcom,  Agilysys, and Arrow Electronics. His marketing expertise grew right along with that big, fat bubble as he managed multi-million dollar accounts and became a trusted advisor to outside sales teams and stakeholders driving collaboration, accountability and results.

The bubble burst, but Blue Star beckoned. In 2007, he left the technology arena to share his marketing wisdom with everyone, fell head over heels for a Macintosh, and embraced social media like no other English major.


April Clark

Creative Coordinator

April has joined the ranks at Blue Star as Creative Coordinator.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Bowling Green State University and began a journey into the world of print, advertising and design. She quickly became skilled in prepress, proofing, and print production.

Fascinated with the Adobe products, she started her own business as a software trainer, consultant, and freelance designer.

Soon after, she was crowned an Adobe Certified Instructor and Adobe Freelancer. She took off traveling across the country and around the globe to train fellow designers in software applications such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

When April’s not busy designing at Blue Star, you might find her at the lake with her camera taking countless pictures.

Sue Harris

Design Director

Sue received a B.A. from Marietta College and went on to graduate from Marshall University with a Master’s degree. Early on, she worked as an in-house designer for a small printing company and did design work for two national magazines based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Realizing she would never be able to fake a good southern accent, Sue moved back to Ohio in 1985. She worked for a regional arts magazine for several years before joining Case Western Reserve University’s in-house publications office, where she remained for more than 17 years, designing anything and everything imaginable. After a year at Agilysys, Inc. and a few months of freelancing, Sue joined Blue Star as a full-time designer in January 2008.


Joan Mack

Senior Graphic Designer

Joan Mack graduated from The University of Akron with a degree in Graphic Design. A seasoned professional, Joan is an award-winning designer who has worked for many Fortune 500 companies and advertising agencies within Ohio and San Diego, CA. Yes, and she moved back to Ohio from warm, sunny San Diego because she missed the snow and orange barrels (and great Italian food). Joan spent several years in retail advertising, and she has created seasonal themes for a wide variety of products, including aspirin, sticky notes, tennis bracelets and dog food. She has also freelanced for small and large businesses in healthcare, beauty, higher education, finance and manufacturing, to name just a few.

Her major awards include an Ohio House of Representatives Special Recognition, Gold and Silver ADDYs and GDUSA awards. She is also involved in many local advertising groups and, in her spare time, enjoys making jewelry.





Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Car: Mini Cooper
  • Favorite Cartoon Character: Scooby Doo
  • Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride
  • Favorite Color: Pantone 549 Blue


Pat Lally

Graphic Designer

Pat has extensive experience in both print and web design. He has worked with a variety of high profile clients consistently displaying innovative problem solving skills under tight deadlines and severe budget constraints. Having produced milk nutrition labels, Times Square billboards and just about everything in between, Pat is the most adaptable and agreeable artist on the planet.

Pat Facts:
His favorite font name is Bembo.
He devours history books.
He loves watching his daughter play soccer.
He's fundamentally opposed to using italics in headlines (so don't ask).
He really misses giant software manuals.
He's an adjunct faculty member at CIA.


Blackbird Digital

Digital

Blackbird Digital has been Blue Star's dedicated digital partner for the past 12 years. Their team has grown-up right along side ours and today they are a crew of 7.

Together, we combine award-winning design, acute knowledge of technology, results-driven content and marketing savvy to help your organization succeed in today’s digital world.

How we work:
Blue Star's leads project management of your new site to ensure your project meets deadlines - keeping both the client and the development team on a straight and narrow path. We ensure brand adherence and handle writing, content entry/migration, and meta content research for proper SEO.

Blackbird’s talented team of tech gurus concentrate on wireframing, UI design, (HTML/CSS) theme creation and responsive design and development

Blackbird is a Certified Gold HubSpot Partner and a Certified Google Partner. Visit Blackbird.


Colleen McCarthy

Digital Marketing Manager

Colleen McCarthy graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in journalism. Before landing a spot at Blue Star, Colleen worked for several years as a newspaper reporter, a digital editor and finally found her calling as social media manager at a healthcare magazine. She is a self-proclaimed data junkie and enjoys unleashing her social media prowess to reach new audiences.

She is also the proud mama of a four-year-old rescue dog and a grumpy old cat.


Allison Stibrick

Social Media Manager

Allison graduated from Ohio University's Scripps College of Communication with a Bachelor of Science in Communication, a minor in marketing, and certificate in social media. Allison knew she had found her passion as an intern while creating a social media campaign for a nonprofit organization to raise awareness about pediatric cancer, and she loved every minute of it.

Allison is thrilled to live in Believeland, especially for our amazing local arts and culinary scenes, artisan businesses, eclectic, walkable neighborhoods, and incredible opportunities to experience music from classical to jazz to alternative rock. Her friends call Allison an old soul, with a love of black and white movie classics. When she's not tweeting, you can find her proudly volunteering as the Performance Director for Walsh Jesuit High School's Harmony Gold Show Choir.


Theresa Altalla

Social Media Manager

Theresa graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs Journalism and minors in creative writing and popular culture studies. She is a proud AmeriCorps Alum having served in her hometown (Akron), and she has worked several years in the nonprofit industry and as a freelance writer. Theresa carries a strong passion for storytelling, for helping others and thrives on using social media to raise awareness and to engage audiences.

Theresa is an avid podcast listener, ice cream snob, and travel junkie.


Jolie Higazi

Integrated Marketing Manager

Jolie joined the crew at Blue Star in 2017 and brings several years of journalism and inbound marketing experience to the team. After working for a few large corporations, she decided she wanted to put her skills and creativity to work in the local Cleveland area she has quickly grown to adore.

She is a graduate from Montclair University in New Jersey, where she enjoyed studying journalism and sociology.

When Jolie isn't helping local businesses find ways to meaningfully reach their customers, she enjoys playing with her two adopted pups—the best dogs in the world—and doing handstands every chance she gets.


Martha Day Boesel

Finance Operations Manager

Martha Day Boesel graduated Summa cum Laude from the Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh, PA, where she studied Accounting and Business Administration. She comes to Blue Star with varied work experience in public accounting, banking, office administration, and small business accounting.

A Northeast Ohio native, Martha moved back to the area in 2013 after having lived with her late husband and daughter in Philadelphia, Hong Kong, Houston, and Boston. During her leisure time when she's not in Beantown spoiling her two granddaughters, Martha enjoys gardening, writing, theater, and volunteering.

Three things she'd like you to know about her:
1. She was featured in a small Boston area newspaper for being a "recycling hero."
2. She has snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef, the Caribbean Sea off Aruba, and the Atlantic Ocean off Bermuda.
3. She enjoys handling her daughter's fourteen ball pythons (but not all at once.)


LEADERSHIP



Julia Briggs

CEO/Creative Officer

Julia Briggs, founder of Blue Star Design, is the acting CEO and Chief Creative Officer and has built...

John Briggs

COO, CMO, Finance

John oversees marketing, financial and business operations. He has played a key role in the development of our...

CREATIVE TEAM



April Clark

Creative Coordinator

April has joined the ranks at Blue Star as a Senior Designer and Client Relationship Manager. She earned...

Sue Harris

Design Director

Sue received a B.A. from Marietta College and went on to graduate from Marshall University with a Master’s...

"

Joan Mack

Senior Graphic Designer

Joan Mack graduated from The University of Akron with a degree in Graphic Design. A seasoned professional, Joan is an award-winning designers...

Pat Lally

Graphic Designer

Pat has extensive experience in both print and web design...

DIGITAL CONTENT TEAM



Colleen McCarthy

Digital Marketing Manager

Colleen McCarthy graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in journalism. Before landing a spot at...

Allison Stibrick

Social Media Manager

Allison graduated from Ohio University's Scripps College...

Theresa Attalla

Social Media Manager

Theresa graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs Journalism...

Jolie Higazi

Integrated Marketing Manager

Jolie joined the crew at Blue Star in 2017 and brings several years of journalism...

DIGITAL TEAM



Blackbird Digital

Pat Walsh, Owner

Together, with our dedicated web team at Blackbird Interactive, we combine award-winning design...

OPERATIONS



Martha Day Boesel

Finance Operations Manager

Martha graduated Summa cum Laude from the Robert Morris College...