We’ve got Mojo.
(In every sense of the word!)
Woman owned and certified, Crux offers clients more than 40 years of cumulative experience in marketing, design and digital communications. Driven by a commitment to be the best in our field and fueled by our energetic imaginations, we deliver breakthrough creative grounded in results-driven strategies for every client – every time.
We also live and work in the virtual world.
As a cutting-edge branding firm, we’ve become experts in all areas of website development and management including SEO and social media. Plus, Crux also functions as a “traditional” ad agency producing ads, direct mail and collateral from annual reports to door hangers.
Our business model is lean, keen and affordable.
Our onsitestaff is supported by an extraordinarily-deep consulting network of writers, designers and web site developers. This innovative structure not only allows us to offer more attractive pricing, but to engage the most talented professionals available – whatever your project, time frame or location.
Our home is in Wisconsin, but our clients are nationwide.
With our headquarters in Milwaukee, we’re conveniently located for clients in both urban offices and suburban campuses. And since much of our business is conducted digitally, Crux can and does work virtually with clients across the country.
Our company mascot represents and
inspires our culture.
His name is Mojo. (Honest!) A purebred American Bulldog, he’s loyal, supportive and embodies the verve, devotion and tenacity we bring to every project. (He’s got a great sense of humor too!) All of which makes him a great pet, watchdog and symbol of our company.
Michele Allen, SEGD | Principal
With over 20 years of experience, Michele brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various mediums. This broad range of experience inspired Michele to open Crux in January, 2005.
Many of the projects Michele has been involved in have been recognized in graphic, retail and exhibit industry competitions for VM&SD, How and Exhibitor Magazines.
Michele has worked with several Fortune 500 companies throughout her career with a passion for branding corporate showrooms, exhibits, retail, museums, web and print. Michele thrives in large and small project planning, and working closely with clients and team members to create results and excellence. Michele consults firms undergoing large scale projects and is sought after for her knowledge to define, design and produce visual communications for all mediums.
Michele is originally from Oregon, but enjoys the vast opportunities of the Midwest. Michele enjoys sailing, CrossFit, interior decorating, cooking, traveling and enjoys spending time with her husband and children.
Matt Harmon | Managing Principal
Matt Harmon offers Crux several contrasting skill sets that are ideal for a contemporary marketing agency: A creative innovator who pro-actively explores the latest trends in design and digital communications; A big picture thinker who appreciates the importance of drilling down to get the details right and a decisive decision maker who enjoys collaborating with teammates, vendors and clients to provide successful solutions.
Joining the Crux team in 2016, Matt provides exceptional expertise on 3D design and environmental branding as well as coordinating our clients’ print, digital communications and social media campaigns.
He began his career as a Detailer over twenty years ago with Contempo Design working on projects for Baxter, Anixter and Allen Bradley. A few months later he moved on to the company’s marketing department as a junior designer and then Designer/Project Manager on Bank of America. Once the in-store banking program had been established he returned to full time design to work on other prestigious accounts. During his ten-year tenure at Contempo he also taught himself a host of complex three dimensional computer rendering and animation programs and, as team leader, taught other designers how to use them as well.
In 2004, Matt joined Catalyst Exhibits as senior designer and over the next 11 years played a key role in helping the company grow from 30 to over 140 employees. Promoted to design director, he managed eight Designers and was the lead creative for seven divisions of Siemens. In 2010, he became Director of creative services, overseeing the efforts of the design and engineering departments with 15 direct reports. When Catalyst restructured, introducing a project management role, Matt was the natural choice to head up the first team. He managed every phase of each project from sales and design to production and installation for clients like Gung Ho, EMC, Zimmer-Biomet and St. Jude.
Matt holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Product Design from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Wendy Lalli | VP of Creative
Wendy is an award-winning writer and marketing strategist who has served clients in a wide range of industries and created communications in every format. She started in advertising as a receptionist in a major ad agency in NYC where she was promoted to junior copywriter and within a few years had become a partner and creative director in a cutting-edge boutique firm. (She often describes herself as “Peggy from ‘Madmen’ grownup.”)
During the past ten years Wendy has shifted her focus to direct response and digital communications and expanded her skills to include journalism and public relations. She’s written everything from brochures and mass mailings to copy content and blogs for clients ranging from GE Healthcare to Blue Bunny Yogurt. Her articles on career and business have appeared frequently in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers and she contributed chapters to two college text books on marketing communications. She’s also produced sales videos and even researched and wrote the exhibits of a local museum. In short, she’s a perfect fit for Crux and our eclectic client base.
In addition to writing copy and developing winning marketing strategies for agency clients, Wendy also teaches copywriting as an adjunct instructor and mentors students and entry level professionals in marketing.
The truth about awards.
Everybody wins some. From somewhere. For something. Some time. So what’s the big deal?
Well, here’s the truth of the matter. Despite the cynical comments above, winning awards is a pretty true test of where agencies rank compared to their competition. Bad creative usually doesn’t win awards. Neither does bad strategy. And, as a general rule, good marketing communications sells products more effectively than bad does. So while our winning tons of awards doesn’t guarantee you sales, it is a very, very good sign that the work we’ll do for you will.