Meet Our Leaders

parkashParkash Ahuja – “Head Coach”

President & CEO

Before Crescendo:
I was a management consultant, business strategist, implementation expert, entrepreneur, key partner in growing businesses, and a self-proclaimed “Mr. Know-it-All.”

Where I trained my mind:
BS – Punjab University
MS – University of Michigan
MBA – Webster University
Exec. Leadership – Harvard Business School
Everything else – Street Smartness Institutes around the Globe

Lessons learned:
Talent wins games, teamwork and intelligence win championships

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be:
Hiking in the wilderness or sipping a favorite beverage (or both)

Books I love:
•  Timeless Leadership (18 Leadership Sutras – Bhagwad Gita) by Debashis Chatterjee
•  Good to Great by James Collins
•  Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore

Teams I support:
SF 49ers, Golden State Warriors, and Michigan Wolverines

What makes me intelligent:
My brain goes from 0-60 in half a second… give me a complex math problem and I’ll solve it in my head before you do it on a calculator.

traceyTracey Allman – “Numbers Gal”

Finance Director

Before Crescendo:
I was in the exciting field of Accounting ever since college graduation (just a few years ago, of course). Prior to that, I was a babysitter, gift wrapper at the holidays, worked at an Italian deli, drugstore, yogurt shop and Sizzler.

Where I trained my mind:
BS – Cal State University, Northridge

My greatest accomplishment:
Being married to my high school sweetheart and having 2 beautiful children.

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be:
An orthopedic surgeon.

3 Fun facts:
•  Went to UCLA premed for 3 years, then decided I liked Accounting better and transferred to Northridge… they had the highest CPA passing rate in SoCal at the time
•  Took 2nd place in the Junior Nationals for racquetball when I was 14
•  Love to travel, especially anywhere warm with beautiful beaches (and an umbrella beverage, or two… or 12)

What makes me intelligent:
I have a ridiculously good memory and common sense… and a ridiculously good memory.

kiraKira Llagas – “Purveyor of Pixels”

Senior Art Director

Before Crescendo:
I was a Cal undergrad buried in novels, short poems (or long if you’ve ever read Eliot’s Waste Land), and other influential pieces of literature. Although it was nice reading alongside brilliant minds, I prefer typing away on my beat-up MacBook in solitude, practicing the power of rhetoric.

What you’d find at my battle station (aka desk):
A seemingly bottomless bottle of Sriracha, flower-scented lotion, and a misfit band of tiny figurines: Groot, Wall-E and Eve, and a bobble-head turtle named Bolt who I adopted in Ensenada.

Where I trained my mind:
BA – University of California, Berkeley.

My most favorite useless word in the dictionary:
Pulchritudinous. I’ve tried slipping this into normal conversation numerous times. Let’s just say it wasn’t very… pulchritudinous.

What makes me intelligent:
I’m prepared for any occasion. For example, there’s a never-ending supply of snacks stashed in my office drawer in case of a zombie apocalypse. Trust me, you’d want me as an end-of-the-world companion. (I’ve got Twinkies!)

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be:
A masseuse. These hands were meant for more than just Photoshop!

nikkiNikki Rodriguez – “Print Guru”

Senior Media Buyer

Guilty Pleasures:
I like to watch the Disney channel even when my daughter is not in the room.
I love to blast the music up and sing my heart out to love songs in the car.

Where I trained my mind:
Contra Costa Medical College

3 Fun facts:
•  I LOVE to cook. (Hate washing dishes afterward.)
•  Took 4th in State for girls wrestling in high school.
•  I absolutely love Musicals!

My greatest accomplishment:
Being called “Mommy”

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be…
Running an at home day care. (Great excuse to stay home and play all day!)

Teams I Support:
Tennessee Titans
Golden State Warriors

What makes me intelligent:
I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

shariShari LaRocque – “Media Queen”

Vice President / Senior Media Director

Before Crescendo:
I was putting on make-up and reading the news. I was a 6 and 10 TV News anchor for twelve years for an NBC affiliate in the Midwest.

Where I trained my mind:
BS – Oklahoma State University

3 Fun facts:
•  I was the first female allowed in the St. Louis Rams locker room to cover post game reaction
•  I have a 17 handicap
•  I have interviewed Ross Perot, Michael Dukakis, Dan Quayle and George Bush, Sr

My greatest accomplishment:
Successfully gave my cat a lion hair cut with no trip to the ER.

What makes me intelligent:
I’m a woman!

xavierXavier Ahuja – “Growth Samurai”

Director, Business Strategy & Operations

Before Crescendo:
I was a management consultant, project manager, philosopher, and globetrotter (still trotting)

Where I trained my mind:
BS – Georgia Tech
MBA – Santa Clara University
PMP – Project Management Institute

Teams I support:
SF 49ers, Golden State Warriors, SF Giants, GT YellowJackets, SCU Broncos, USC Trojans, Chicago Bulls, Michigan Wolverines

Slogan for life:
“The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.”

Books on my bedside table:
The Power of Now, Unleash the Giant Within, Men are from Mars/Women are from Venus

Fun fact:
Trained in NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) – a school of thought that addresses the many levels of being human.

What makes me intelligent:
I’ve embraced the following mantra: “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

willieWilliam Carrillo – “Slick Willie”

Manager, Digital Marketing

Before Crescendo:
I was working at a small digital marketing firm in San Diego, and working part time in promotions at a radio station. I had a brief stint in the mortgage and real estate industries before that. Aspiring to be a renaissance man!

Where I trained my mind:
BS – San Diego State University

Wisest Advice I Could Give:
It is… what it is. Always move forward!

What is something I can’t live without?
Music, Films, and Sports

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be…
An actor on the show “Game of Thrones”

What Makes Me Intelligent:
I’m the perfect mix of book and street smarts. You better watch yourself

mattMatt Bickel – “The Force”

Senior Graphic Artist

Before Crescendo:
Born in Hanoi, Vietnam and living in the Bay Area. Graphic design artist at Bentley Publishing Group and ART.com.

Outside of Crescendo:
I design people and universes that are out of this world. My canvas is endless, this is just the beginning of a new world.

One of my greatest accomplishments:
A successful business venture with a small urban clothing company on Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley CA.

Best Advice Received:
If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.

Best Quote:
If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.

What makes me intelligent:
My mind, body, and soul. My 3rd eye sees the obvious decades before the rest of the world.

leader_details_03Ernie DeCoite – “Digital Ferrari”

Vice President, Digital Marketing

Before Crescendo:
I was building houses, waiting tables, chasing hot air balloons, cloning DNA, trafficking human organs, high finance – I’ve done a little of everything.

Where I trained my mind:
BS – University of San Diego
MS – The interwebs

Best Advice Received:
One play at a time

What is something I can’t live without?
My family, my dog, peanut butter

If I weren’t’ doing this, I’d be…
Rock-climbing, trail running, obstacle racing and other stuff that might sound like torture to more well-adjusted individuals.

What Makes Me Intelligent:
•  I have “The Google”
•  I can name all 26 Dinos in the “Dinosaurs A to Z” song
•  I am not afraid to tread new ground. The fact that I’ve never done something before does not stop me from envisioning it as a possibility… if it can be done, I can learn how to do it.

maeMae Cadao – “Jill-of-all-Trades”

Account Director

Best Advice Received:
•  “What are your KPI’s?”
•  Practice what you preach
•  They say life is a journey, but I like to keep an eye on where I’m heading

Where I trained my mind:
BA – Brown University

Something I Can’t Live Without?
|My iPhone. Tacos come in a close second.

Teams I support:
SF 49ers, Golden State Warriors, SF Giants

What makes me intelligent:
I surround myself with smart people. I also have a pretty good memory… sometimes I even pretend not to remember something to avoid creeping other people out.

katieKatie Watson – “Print Master”

Manager, Print Media

3 Fun facts
•  I absolutely hate cooking but LOVE the Food Network
•  My eyes don’t produce tears… however I do still cry sometimes (No really, I do!)
•  I’m pretty talented at playing level ‘Expert’ on Guitar Hero… so basically I’m an amazing guitar player

Where i trained my mind:
BA – University of Arizona

Teams I support:
SF Giants, SF 49ers, Golden State Warriors, and of course the U of A Wildcats (BEAR DOWN!)

What makes me intelligent:
I am exceptionally good at recognizing faces. If I were to see your face again after 20 years I bet I’ll be able to recall it!

brendaBrenda Yee – “The Unicorn”

Art Director

Before Crescendo:
I was a designer and developer for marketing agencies and startups around the Bay Area.

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be:
Playing in an orchestra that records soundtracks for movies.

Favorite quote:
“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite.”

Weirdest foods I’ve eaten:
Deep fried tarantula, pig’s blood, putrefied shark, and fried ants.

My greatest accomplishment:
Being able to climb Mission Peak, Fremont without breaking a sweat!

What makes me intelligent:
I’m curious and like asking questions. I have to stop myself sometimes for fear people will think I’m prying.

kurtKurt Ho – “Magician”

Creative Director

Before Crescendo:
I was in retail and automotive advertising before taking my talents overseas with agencies like Saatchi, Lowe and Leo Burnett. When I returned stateside, I was at RBG for 8 years and Chevron for a year. The great news is I’m back at RBG for my second stint… wiser in the Force and more powerful than ever!

Where I trained my mind and eye:
BS – University of Southern California
Refined – Art Center College of Design, Pasadena

Left Brain, Right Brain, and Shiny Objects:
30+ advertising awards and 2 Best in Shows
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Owner of 5 lightsabers… no, I’m not a real Jedi, I just play one at home.

Favorite flicks and games:
Leon the Professional, Seven Samurai, Heat, Casablanca, Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Madden & Halo.

What makes me intelligent:
I love feeding my brain TED talks and This American Life on NPR but I never donate, I’m a monster I know.

akA.K. Ahuja – “Master Mind”

Director, Strategic Partnerships & Neuromarketing

Before Crescendo:
I was living out of a suitcase as a management consultant, finance director at a non-profit, business development manager, professional dancer (no, not that kind of dancer).

Where I trained my mind:
BS – University of California, San Diego
MBA – University of Chicago (Booth School of Business)
Neuromarketing Certificate – Copenhagen Business School

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be:
•  Sipping on fine scotch in the Scottish Highlands
•  Giving financial advice to professional athletes – preventing them from going bankrupt
•  Sipping scotch in the Scottish Highlands while giving financial advice to athletes

Teams I support:
Chicago Bears/Bulls/Blackhawks, Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, Michigan Wolverines

What makes me intelligent:
I can confidently say there are 29 Chipotles across the city of Chicago (I’ve only tried 18 of them so far… gotta pick up the pace, I know)

thadThaddeus Coberg – “Maximus”

Senior Producer-Director

Before Crescendo:
I was a secret agent. I do this now because I still like telling people what to do. I just can’t kill them.

Where I trained my mind:
BA – Oklahoma State University
MS – Oklahoma State University

My current favorite quote:
Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re stupid. – John Wayne

3 Fun facts:
•  I’m an identical twin – the good one.
•  I swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco’s Aquatic Park – twice – on purpose.
•  I am founding a Cult. It will include only “Left-handed people.” Watch out righties.

My least favorite movies:
Vertigo and The Birds. Two of the most over rated movies in cinema. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or hasn’t watched them.

arielAriel Godinez – “The Little Mermaid”

*Not an actual mermaid

Account Coordinator

Something I can’t live without:
My best friends Flounder and Sebastian

What makes me intelligent:
During my legal studies, I learned to love research…it’s like solving little mysteries.

If I weren’t doing this I’d be:
Living on Maui, adopting dogs and reading books

Guilty Pleasures:
I am guilty of nothing! Can I live?

3 fun facts:
•  I am very afraid of heights and spiders.
•  I love cooking.
•  I can complete a pistol reload drill in under 3 seconds.

Favorite Book:
This House is Made of Mud. It’s a beautifully simple, sweet, poetic, bilingual and gorgeously illustrated children’s book I read when I was young. It spawned my eventual love of well-written copy and quality visuals =)

CONTACT US

Corporate Headquarters
5000 Executive Parkway, Ste. 350
San Ramon, CA 94583
(925) 939-1800

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