Building great brands is in our DNA

Since 1989, Cranium (a brand communications agency) has helped clients from early stage to Fortune 500 create, maintain and evolve their brands. Through our proprietary process, companies have benefited with stronger brand recognition, a clear market position, and more engaging customer experiences.

Meet The Team

Cranium, a brand communications agency, is comprised of a group of highly experienced, intelligent and creative people who produce brilliant brand strategies and outstanding creative design. Our designers have a proven track record for executing profound creative based upon strategic direction while developing designs for both print and digital media.

Alex Valderrama

Principal // Brand Strategist

Alex Valderrama is one of the nation’s top Brand Strategists, Award-winning Designer, Author, and the Principal at Cranium. Through his unique experience working with several hundred clients, he has helped many brands lead in their industry with Business Growth, Brand Strategy and Customer Experience Design.

Alex has worked with some of Nation’s most well-known brands such as Truven Health Analytics, Principal Financial, IBM Watson Health, Citi Community Capital, Massey Ferguson, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Gates Rubber, National CineMedia, and Fathom Events. In addition, he has also worked with small businesses such as Basil Doc’s Pizza, Spavia, Santa Claran Hotel, and Aldo Leopardi just to name a few.

Alex gained his BFA at the International Academy of Design with an emphasis in Visual Communications. He also achieved the honor of Summa cum laude. Alex has taught advanced branding and marketing courses at Arapahoe Community College and Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado. In the past, he has been the curriculum advisor to several universities as well as a mentor to both students and interns.

Alex has served as a judge for several national branding and marketing competitions. He lectures regularly on branding and marketing throughout the design community and the business sector. Alex has also served as a marketing board member and independent branding advisor for several community development projects, non-profit organizations, business groups and marketing associations. Additionally, Alex has held several board positions with the local American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and Business Marketing Association (BMA) Chapters.

Alex frequently writes about branding and his agency has received over 80 national and international awards from esteemed industry competitions such as Print Magazine, Graphis, and American Corporate Identity. His work has also appeared in over 20 international publications such as The Big Book of Logos 3; The Best of Business Card Design 5; Blue is Hot, Red is Cool; Direct Response Graphics Book; Rockport’s Letterhead; Logo Design 6 Source Book; and, Best of Brochure Design 5 just to name a few.

Laurie Valderrama


Laurie was introduced to the branding industry in 2000 when she served as an interim studio manager. Cranium quickly became aware of her uncanny ability to complete small and large projects at lightning speed. She was quickly hired on as the permanent studio manager. She has worked closely with all employees, outside contractors, vendors and clients.

As Cranium has grown, so has our need for senior management. Laurie graciously stepped in and is currently a Senior Partner at the agency. Her responsibilities include new business development, operations and communications.

Laurie spends much of her spare time with her three grand kids – Valon, Kennedy and Everly. Laurie loves to read, garden, hike and trail run. Her most recent major accomplishments were climbing to the top of her first three Fourteeners.

Edward Scott Forbes

Senior Writer

My first boss once told me, “You’re the James Brown of advertising; you’re the hardest-working man in the ad business.” While that great guy is no longer around to praise me, I have gotten plenty of kudos from bosses, co-workers, and clients alike in the years since.

After spending three years working 16-hour days at W.B. Doner & Company in Detroit, I bounced around the country—working at five agencies in four different cities in four years. Every move was a good one. Every move meant a promotion, new co-workers, new clients, new opportunities. When the moving finally came to an end and I was able to unpack, I did it here in Denver, Colorado, where I worked for more than eleven years at The Integer Group and wrote a satirical weekly column for Scripps Howard News Service that always made my editor very nervous.

In early-2006 I struck out on my own! Fortunately, I didn’t strike out… I’m still here and writing brochures, ads, commercials, Web sites, videos, blogs, magazine articles—I’ve even ghost written a number of books.

These are several clients I have worked with:

Canadian Tire, Highland Superstores, Iams Dog Food, Lincoln-Mercury, LaSalle Bank, NutraSweet Corporation, Bakers Square Restaurant, Kroger Stores, Corona Extra, Nissan Motor Corporation, Coors Brands, Coors, CL, Killian’s, Blue Moon, Molson, Winterfest, Herman Joseph’s, Marsico Capital Management, Orvis Outfitters.

Chris Deardorff

Master Storyteller

Chris Deardorff, CEO Magic Flight Studios

A driven and creative marketing professional of over 13 years, Chris possesses in-depth global marketing and sales experience working with Fortune 100 companies such as GE, Medtronic, and Seagate Technologies. He also has consulted and worked with over 35 emerging companies in the last few years, including some of the fastest growing companies in Colorado.

Throughout his career, Chris has been responsible for developing marketing and story-driven strategies that have generated rapid, double-digit financial growth. Chris has extensive experience in developing and executing storytelling initiatives, product value propositions, and positioning and messaging strategies. Some of his work includes creating dynamic sales and marketing assets spanning from traditional marketing materials to web, mobile-based, and interactive marketing tools.

Chris is a graduate from the Stanford Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. Chris also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado – Boulder and an undergraduate degree in Business Finance from the University of Colorado – Boulder, where he was a scholar of the selective Presidents Leadership Class.


Nathan Valderrama

UI/UX Creative Director

Nathan began his career at Cranium agency over 15 years ago. Staying focused on new and emerging technology he has continued his education in human-computer ergonomics. Nathan applies this wealth of knowledge to interaction design and makes decisions based on analytics and science-based research. He has improved the overall conversion rate of many SASS, e-commerce, and omnichannel businesses.

Tevi Lawson

Video Content Strategist and Creative Director

Tevi Lawson is the founder of Global CVM, a Denver-based video marketing agency.

For over l0 years, Tevi has helped innovative organizations worldwide find solutions to complex digital content challenges. His career evolved into B2B video marketing expertise while working closely with some of the Tech industry’s most influential brands.

Matt Daniels

Digital/Video Media Producer

Matt Daniels is a video media specialist who has helped some of the biggest companies in the country get important messages across to their stakeholders. With more than a decade as a video production expert and a 25-year background in graphic design and professional photography, Matt specializes in post-production, editing, and motion graphics, as well as video production, filming, audio, and lighting. His work has been seen in the healthcare, finance, automotive, and information industries among others.

After more than 25 years in corporate production, Matt started his own video production and photography business, where he is able to take any concept and turn it into a creative, streamlined communication that gets meaningful results for his client. Using the most innovative techniques and technology, Matt’s productions become valuable tools that companies use over and over again.

Matt has worked in many industries with clients of all sizes across various industries, including Thomson Reuters, IBM, IHS, Truven Health Analytics, Audi USA, Jackson National, Intel, and Western Union.

Additional Staff and Resources

Cranium Agency is comprised of a group of highly intelligent, creative people who produce brilliant brand strategies and great creative design.

Our designers and copywriter have a proven track record for executing brilliant creative based upon strategic brand direction

In addition to our internal resources, we forge strategic alliances with select vendors in order to provide the best possible finished designs to fit all of our clients’ needs and budgets. Among these are:

Printers | Professional Photographers | Public Relations Professionals | Sign Fabricators | Meeting and Event Specialists | Videographers | Design-to-Build Services | Paper Suppliers | Trademark and Intellectual Property

Cranium Advisory Board

Chris Scherpenseel

Advisory Board // Business Financial

Chris provides strategic and financial consulting to early stage and mid-market companies. His expertise includes business plan development, raising capital and helping guide businesses to improved financial performance. Many of his consulting engagements involve developing lead generation programs, establishing financial metrics and streamlining operations for improved profitability.

Until 2007, he was president and CEO of FRx Software Corporation, a $28 million Microsoft subsidiary. FRx was a leading provider of financial reporting and business intelligence applications for the mid-market. During his tenure at FRx, Chris led the company through significant revenue and profitability growth; culminating in the sale of the company to Great Plains Software (Microsoft) for $75 million in March 2000.

Chris is a licensed certified public accountant and is a fellow member of the Colorado Society of CPAs (CSCPA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s degree in finance from Colorado State University. Chris also teaches economics as an adjunct professor at a local college.


David Schachter

Advisory Board // Intellectual Property

David N. Schachter advises emerging and established businesses on Intellectual Property protection and general commercial matters, including technology transactions, formal IP protection, enforcement of IP rights, e-commerce and litigation at Fennemore Craig Law Firm. He also provides specialized advice in newly developing areas of commerce, including the Internet, cloud services, domain disputes, e-commerce, electronic sabotage, electronic signatures and wireless communications. David writes the regular Legal Bytes column for the Denver Business Journal, and is a frequent speaker and writer on areas of emerging interest in technology, intellectual property and the digital age.

He has been in practice for over 33 years, gained his initial experience in Silicon Valley, where he co-founded one of the first small firms focusing on computer law in the mid 1980‘s. As a Denver native, David returned in 1995 and continues to serve clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition, David frequently lectures on IP topics to trade groups and professional organizations. He also created the LEGAL BYTES column for the Denver Business Journal, which he has written bi-monthly since 1996.

Jeff Bernard

Advisory Board // Commercial Real Estate

Jeff is truly one of the most experienced commercial real estate professionals in the Denver Area and most likely in the State of Colorado. He provides expert real estate advice to many small to medium-sized businesses.

Jeff is the CEO at Bernard Real Estate Advisors, a real estate consulting company specializing in commercial investment and development. He also founded Co1 Labs, a collaborative workspace.

Jeff earned his Masters of Business Administration from Regis University and also earned his BSBA from the University of Phoenix, both from which he graduated with honors. Jeff has served on numerous boards to include the Denver Board of Realtors as the President from 2005-2006, National Association of REALTORS as an Executive Board of Director from 2004-2007and more. In addition he was named REALTOR of the Year in 2007.