Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring in-depth profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this “Up Close and Personal” profile, we feature Dennis Goris. Photography for Capitol Communicator’s profile series is by Cade Martin. Wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup was by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.
Dennis, please provide us a short bio.
I am president and creative director of a firm I cofounded as Bremmer & Goris Communications in 1984. We rebranded as Goris Communications in 2015, and specialize in branding, strategy and marketing communications for nonprofits and institutions.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
AMADC — especially the mentor program. I also teach a course in branding and advertising for Johns Hopkins’ MA communications program.
What are the things you are most proud of?
Personally, my kids who are college age now. In business, probably the fact that I am still in it. I’m pretty proud of the confidence placed in us, and the body of work we’ve produced for hundreds of organizations. And the stuff I’ve learned along the way.
Who are your role models?
Of course, my parents, who instilled in me a sense of responsibility. Professionally there have been many— most of them people I have worked with — many creative employees who have amazed me with their talent, their approach and their outlook.
Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
Always do the right thing.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Show up. Do what you say you’re going to do, every time. Don’t miss deadlines. And be ethical.
When it comes to creative work, your blood pressure will be lower when you understand that clients will be clients, and not everything they ask you to do is going to be what you think is good. It’s always been that way and always will be. Pick your battles.
What advice do you have on what’s appropriate attire in your business?
It’s pretty casual, but always neat. I think it’s important to look credible. You can dress comfortably but still look like a professional.
Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear?
I don’t really have a go-to place for that. If I find something I like that works, I tend to buy five so I don’t have to spend thinking time in the morning deciding what wear.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
I started my career doing editorial illustration. It’s still a passion, and I try to draw every day. In recent years, I’ve taken up painting. It’s great to do creative work that doesn’t require anyone’s approval, except mine.
I love those Up Close and Personal articles (and shoots) that you’ve published. I actually worked for Dennis Goris for a few years back in the early 90s. It was nice to him “in style.” Classy pieces.