Good Design. Positive Change.
Wheelhouse Collective

Our Story

We are a social impact design studio creating equitable and powerful solutions with people, not just for people.

We partner and collaborate with innovative organizations, telling their unique stories that transform ideas into actions. We create real-life connections that are unexpected, encourage interaction, and improve understanding.

This hands-on approach allows us to focus on making meaningful brand experiences for the community to see, think about and react to. We design with you, not just for you. 


What we believe

As avid thinkers, problem solvers and storytellers, we’re driven by the symbiotic relationship between strategy and design. This helps us create compelling narratives with impactful solutions that connect with audiences on a deep, human level.

We understand that a strong brand foundation is a key component to any organization’s success. It’s all about uncovering who you are at your core, what your values are and why they matter. Then we hone in on those unique qualities driving sustainable change both inside and outside your organization.

Collaboration

Strategy

Design


What we do

We work across multiple disciplines and technologies to advance communities and businesses alike.

– research
– strategy and positioning
– brand development
– logo design

– copywriting
– print collateral
– marketing
– web design & development

– environmental design
– social media
– strategy/media planning
– public relations


Teamwork Matters

At Wheelhouse, we build just the right team of extraordinary creative talent for every project. We co-create compelling brand experiences that reside in the hearts and minds of your audience and achieve your business goals, both online and off.


Principals

Our principals are outstanding problem solvers, energized by the prospect of helping visionary organizations create meaningful work that drives results. They lead a team of multi-disciplinary creatives who are the best in their respective fields, ready to learn and collaborate, dive in with vigor and create with passion and purpose.

Cathy Solarana
principal, designer, brand & equity strategist

Cathy Solarana’s passion for design and love of solving branding problems is infectious. When meeting with her, whether for the first time or fiftieth, you can’t help but get excited at the possibilities of what can and should be done. That irrepressible passion was the catalyst for starting Wheelhouse Collective. Cathy believes that the creative process should be as enticing as the outcome. She understands that her first job is to listen, then co-create with her clients and team, working through their brand challenges.

With more than 27 years of experience in branding, strategy and design, Cathy has built an impressive client roster and body of work that has been recognized on a national scale. Her vast knowledge has allowed her to lead branding workshops, including the sold out “Brand Therapy” workshop at the 2015 AIGA National Design conference in New Orleans.

More than anything, Cathy’s sense of social justice runs deep. She integrates her diversity and inclusion experience into Wheelhouse’s design thinking with a focus toward equity in our teams, process, and projects. She also served as the very first Diversity and Inclusion Director for AIGA Nebraska.

 

Neveen Hegab
principal, writer, communication strategist

Before diving into any project, Neveen always has a few questions she’d like answered. Okay, more than a few. But that’s how she’s able to reach creative solutions for complex marketing and branding projects. She knows there’s a story that needs to be told, so she digs deep until it’s uncovered.

Being in the details has helped her create award-winning work that resonates with audience members, whether it’s parents in their mid 30’s who are considering taking their kids on their first trip to Disney, a 23-year-old recent college grad who started his own lawn mowing business, or an older couple ensuring they saved enough for retirement. If the person exists, she can speak his or her language.

But getting into character is only part of the job. With more than 20 years’ experience as a communication strategist, Neveen has spent considerable time helping organizations of all shapes and sizes reach their goals through effective, creative thinking and work that speaks for itself.

Jill Rizzo
principal, designer, creative strategist

Jill creates love stories between brands and their consumers. For more than 20 years, she’s been masterfully connecting businesses large and small to the hearts of customers through award-winning, results-driven solutions packed with soul. Her keen eye for detail, broad marketing experience and creative instincts fuel her ability to tackle a problem from every angle. Fittingly, she’s garnered numerous industry awards and recognition for her direction and design in all channels of marketing, digital and web content, video, non-profit communication, to name just a few.

Jill has worked in nearly every kind of communications environment out there: from small design/branding studios to event production companies, advertising agencies and in-house marketing departments for Fortune 500 companies. She helmed national branding efforts, innovation strategies, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

A maker, a builder of brands and a leader, Jill is committed to working alongside team members for the good of every project, goal and initiative.


Our Creative Collaborators

Our people are some of the best in their respective fields—they love what they do and it shows. We’re ready to learn and collaborate, dive in with vigor and create with passion and purpose.

Bryant Holmes
project management

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Brian Wetjen
web strategy & development
  


Dan Svoboda
designer & developer
 

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Justin Kemerling
designer & illustrator
  

Maya Solarana
public relations intern

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Diane Krajicek
brand strategist & research

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David Burn
writer & content strategist
 

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Wendy Biernbaum
front-end web developer

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Cheryl Dyer
lettering & calligraphy


Recognition


Our Clients

We are fortunate to work with some incredibly visionary organizations who are tackling the many challenges of our time. Here is a list both past and present.