Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this profile we feature Whitney Pratt.  Photography for the series is by award-winning Cade Martin, wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos  and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.

Whitney, please provide us a short bio.

 I would describe myself as a creative thinker with a passion for problem solving. I’m curious and pragmatic. I’m happy filling many different agency roles and I frequently find myself working on all facets of the business. Much of my experience is in healthcare industry. It’s is a lot like other industries but with more hand sanitizer. I’m currently the VP of Creative Strategy at Franklin Street, a brand innovation firm based in Richmond that specializes in health and wellness.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

My involvement with the Richmond Ad Club ebbs and flows. For a while, I was judging award shows all along the East Coast. I still participate when I can and do portfolio reviews at VCU.

What are the things you are most proud of?

Professionally, I’m proud of the little wins as they happen and then I’m on to the next thing.

Personally, watching my kids become their own people makes me proud. They are comfortable being themselves and sticking up for others even when it’s not cool.

And I have to admit, my ability to bring back plants from the brink of death is a source of pride, too.

Who are your personal role models?

I know it’s a cliche answer, but I’m going to say my parents. They taught me how to think for myself which has been invaluable in life.

Did your parents offer professional advice that helped you in your career?

My parents taught me a lot, but BEING a parent has taught me even more.

Kids teach you patience and how to pick your battles. They are great at asking hard questions and challenging logic which forces you to think strategically and have a solid rationale for every decision you make.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Learn to love the process. As long as you are working for a client other than yourself, you will never have as much control over the final product as you’d like.

Whats on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?

I’m a big fan of OkGo because they are creative in ways beyond music. Their behind-the-scenes documentaries and the production planning for their videos always inspires me. Working on one of their projects would be amazing.

I discovered Hilary Hahn & Hauschka’s Silfra album while doing research for a commercial we produced last year so I have a station devoted to the art of prepared piano.

Otherwise, I tend to find myself listening to set it and forget it stations…hipster bbq radio anyone?

Whats your favorite restaurant?

In Richmond, L’Opossom is fantastic and I’m still thinking about the orange cardamom ice cream I had at Charm School Social Club. Most of the little gems I like to go to are in cities where I travel for work—Red Bird in Waltham, MA; Momacho in Cleveland; and Alleia in Chattanooga, to name a few.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

When I’m not at work or parenting or tending to sad plants, I really love making big messy abstract paintings.

About The Author

The only child of a university art professor and freethinker mother, Cade Martin grew up surrounded by shapes and images. His love of art grew out of summer vacations filled with trips to galleries, museums and art studios. At home he often found himself around the dinner table with an eclectic cast of characters – sculptors, writers and painters. They paraded through his childhood, shaping his art foundation and forming his appreciation for the candid beauty found in people from all walks of life. Cade’s been chasing characters ever since. He seeks out their stories-told through the architecture of their faces or the costumes they wear-whether he’s on a commercial production or setting up an Avedon-like photo booth at Comic Con. They are the heroes in his pictures. His thirst for capturing adventures took its hold while shooting stills on movie sets and then as a photographer for National Geographic covering the railways of India. And it is that sense of adventure that Cade brings to his productions elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary with a cinematic touch. It’s not just a picture. He’s committed to the experience, building beautiful environments and, sometimes for his portraits, simply building trust. A talented storyteller, Cade splits his time between the East and West Coasts creating images for editorial, advertising, fashion, and lifestyle clients

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