Hi! My name is Chris Gsell and I am a product development + digital strategy + creative technology + project management hybrid with over 20 years of experience in digital media.

I lead teams that make awesome things with technology — online and offline.

Director of Digital Engagement, IBM Events, Worldwide

George P. Johnson Experience Marketing
August 2017 - March 2018

As Director of Digital Engagement at GPJ, I led the charge in the creative and technical development of digital components for experiential engagements for IBM events worldwide, including HIMSS 2018, Gartner Symposium and THINK 2018. 

Projects included:

  • The IBM Global Technology Services "Exponentially You" Oculus Rift virtual reality experience (for Gartner Symposium 2018)

  • A global weather data-driven "cognitive sculpture" installation for the lobby of IBM Watson + The Weather Channel Headquarters in Atlanta

  • "The Progress Bar", an NFC-driven "digital sushi bar" that used bespoke 3D-printed models with embedded NFC tokens to trigger digital case studies displayed as "digital placemats" at a custom-built sushi bar (for IBM Think 2018)

My responsibilities included hiring technical and creative staff, managing technical and digital creative partners, developing UX/UI, functional and product specifications, building high-fidelity interactive screen prototypes, leading and participating in creative brainstorms and serving as creative technical leadership for all digital engagements.

Clients included IBM and Google.

VP, Product Development

Williams Forrest
May 2015 - August 2017

Vice President of Product Development at Williams Forrest, a creative technology boutique agency with offices in New York City and Lancaster, PA. As a senior executive and department head, I was responsible for the year over year growth of the agency while overseeing the product lifecycles of numerous digital projects for clients and investors.

Clients included Steinway and Sons and BMW of North America.

Director of Product Development

kbs+ Spies & Assassins
October 2013 – April 2015

  • Lead a cross-disciplinary team of 6 product architects who, in turn, served as creative and technical leadership on projects ranging from full-scale web platforms to interactive physical installations

  • Ensured all documentation and other technical and creative artifacts achieved a strict level of excellence in terms of content and presentation

  • Lead structured cross-disciplinary brainstorms via a refined process that focuses on developing rich, targeted stimuli presented in a controlled setting featuring exercises and processes specifically developed for extracting a high volume of actionable concepts in a minimal amount of time

  • Authored the RFP and led the RFP process for the front end development partner for the 2015 BMWUSA.com redesign

  • Hired and mentored product development staff ranging from interns to senior product architects and participated in the vetting of all technical, project management and user experience new hires for the Spies & Assassins division of kbs+

  • Led and participated in various agency pitches

  • Played a key role in the 2014 pitch win for the Baker & McKenzie website platform redesign

  • Clients included BMW of North America, Google, Dicks Sporting Goods, Baker & McKenzie, Harmon Kardon/Infinity, Kao Brands (Bioré), BDO and Babalú Miami

Product Architect

kbs+ Spies & Assassins
October 2011 – October 2013 

  • Developed detailed technical requirements documentation for on and off-web digital and interactive projects

  • Participated in brainstorms/workshops during idea development

  • Served as a thought partner for the digital creative team, developers and interaction design team, also serving as an assessor of technical feasibility

  • Synthesized input from internal and external stakeholders to develop product vision and served as a central record-keeper for that vision

  • Turned high-level software requirements into client facing proposals and SOWs

  • Worked with new business teams on client pitches

  • Developed product and business requirement documents

  • Partnered with account staff to provide client-friendly explanations of technical solutions and product vision

  • Collaborated with developers, U/X designers, and vendors to establish the technical vision and analyzed tradeoffs between usability and performance needs

  • Provided input to producers to develop timelines, work estimates, and cost estimates

  • Collaborated with producers to drive technical development

  • Clients included BMW of North America, new business, BMWi, and myriad technology projects


Senior Digital Strategist

kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners (kbs+)
November 2010 – October 2011

  • Role was a hybrid creative technologist + digital strategist + solutions architect

  • Agency-side technical lead for the BMWUSA.com platform. In charge of coordinating technical partners across a variety of capabilities with agency-side project management, ID/UX and creative

  • Responsible for developing technical strategies for web, tablet and mobile devices and transforming the BMWUSA platform into a device-agnostic digital delivery system

  • Worked in collaboration with BMWNA’s Chief Solutions Architect to develop and execute all enhancement and maintenance of the BMWUSA.com platform

  • Architected data schemas and sourced data for large-scale data visualization projects

  • Represented the agency in the RFP process for a technical professional services provider for BMWUSA.com

  • Clients included BMW of North America, kbs+ new business, BMW Active E, and kbs+


Senior Technical Project Manager, Interactive Marketing

kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners (kbs+)
January 2006 – November 2010

  • Project management and technical lead for site enhancement and maintenance of the BMWUSA.com platform, as well as participating in various interactive marketing projects for BMW of North America

  • Project management and technical lead on various 2 to 15 person-team interactive marketing projects including micro sites, dynamic CMS-driven online applications, online video, banner and email campaigns, working with account management, art directors/designers, developers, numerous partner firms and the client to create award-winning interactive media

  • Developed project plans, cost estimates, work breakdown structures and statements of work associated with incremental projects as well as developing and managing the yearly retainer scope for my department

  • Co-“product owner” for BMWUSA.com in the context of the Agile software development/project management methodology

  • During my first two years on the BMWUSA.com project, BMW of North America was awarded with the honor of “2006 and 2007 Interactive Marketer of the Year” by J.D. Power and Associates. BMWUSA.com continues to place highly in this biannual industry review

Freelance Interactive Producer

web dev lab
August 2001 – January 2006


  • Provided design, development and content creation services for a variety of clients on a freelance/consultatory basis

  • Designed branding and online marketing materials for clients, including community based web sites, microsites, and banner ads

  • Specialized in developing dynamic, database-driven web sites based on open source CMS solutions

  • Performed post-design configuration, support, training and production services for clients

  • Provided consultation services including search engine optimization, marketing strategies via targeted banner/text ads and RSS/ATOM news feeds

  • Provided technical and creative writing services and content creation

  • Projects ranged from eBay auction presentation to full blown community web sites


Senior Web Designer

Beatnik Inc. + Mixman Inc.
April 1999 – August 2001

  • Front-end development of Beatnik.com site through two redesigns and Mixman.com through one redesign

  • Designed and developed interfaces for a wide range of platforms including Palm PDA, PCs, and web-aware kiosks

  • Served in webmaster role for five months. Developed and executed change control process including all code deployment to production site and source code control, management of QA team, and content maintenance of all company websites

  • Designed and developed front end for company’s online e-commerce application, including IA, UX, art direction and integration with WebLogic back end

  • Implemented and maintained company-wide asset management system using Canto Cumulus