Chris Lester, Chief Creative Officer at Arlington-based U.Group, has left to launch a creative consultancy.

Lester told Capitol Communicator that “it’s exciting to create the next thing. I’m currently consulting for a private equity firm, a New York media group, and an enterprise SAAS company, as well as supporting a board I have been engaged within in the social sector. Where this all ultimately lands is still up in the air. In addition to standing up a consultancy, I’m exploring the options of an entrepreneurial venture or a leadership role in an organization where I can do something important.”

Lester studied art and design in New York and worked in San Francisco as a designer before coming to D.C. where he met his future business partner Scott Johnson, founder of Rock Creek Strategic Marketing, where the two worked together before starting CHIEF, which launched at SXSW in 2012. According to Lester, they built the company “into a high-profile creative agency with exceptional clients including, Sandals Resorts, Disney, Hilton, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Howard University, Yale University and many others.”

In 2018, CHIEF was acquired by U.Group and Lester joined the U.Group leadership team as Chief Creative Officer, overseeing strategic and creative experiences. He was with U.Group for three years leading a team and supporting both government and commercial clients including NASA, U.S. Department of State, No Kid Hungry and EWG.

In August 2021, McLean-based tech contractor IntelliBridge LLC acquired U.Group. IntelliBridge is a portfolio company of Enlightenment Capital, a Maryland-based private investment firm focused on middle-market companies in the aerospace, defense, government and technology sectors.

Lester told Capitol Communicator that he “looked forward to reaching this point for a long time and feel like it’s just the beginning. Whatever the next move brings, I’ll be leaning into something fun that’s a big challenge!”

More on Lester here.

PHOTO: Cade Martin

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