WELCOME TO THE HIRE GROUND!
So, you are a client in search of a Creative Director who can "run the show" and in the final analysis, "get it done!"
How about a mentor and a catalyst that empowers those around him to find their own bliss?
Why stop there? How about a holistic thinker who breathes ideas like a fish swimming in an ocean of concepts, comes with a big list of contacts and vendors, is capable of managing creative service departments, production managers, and traffic production coordinators, has years of experience in customer care and tech support?
Better yet, why not partner-up with an visionary who has successfully created and marketed his own brand and fostered customer loyalty?
Simply put, a Creative Director with a proven Strategic Marketing Planning track record!
In 1992, when Mario Henri Chakkour, decided to take a temporary leave from the world of architecture and urban design to find his own bliss, and resume an old journey, he had already millions of dollars worth of construction management under his belt. That journey began as early as 1979, when the Founder of the Dahesh Museum in New York City, and mentor, discovered his unique talent for illustration and graphic storytelling. Salim Moussa Achi, AKA Doctor Dahesh, would give Mario first commission—he was merely 19. Also around that time, Mario purchased his first 4-track recording machine and began to dabble in music production. He would build a rich catalog of songs and themes and perform live on numerous occasions; he would mature as a specialist in Music Branding and soundtrack design.
Between 1980 and 1985, Mario manages the family construction business in the USA.
Between 1985 and 1987, Mario graduates with Honors from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture degree; he moves to Massachusetts to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earns a Master of Science in Architecture Studies degreeEnvironmental Design (and an "A" for his unconventional thesis titled "Tensile City," an urban-design-fiction story which demonstrated Mario's sensitivity to urban design issues, understanding of sophisticated structures, and his gift for story-telling.)
In 1987 Mario cofounds Studio Twenty Six Architects with David Michael Johnson, AIA best friend, flying and diving buddyto address unique design challenges, providing full architectural services, feasibility analysis, interior design, and space planning. The firm's goals is to utilize design strategies and technologies that meet Owner/User needs while maximizing budget construction dollars and meeting construction timelines. But that is only part of the story: David and Mario are constantly involved in art and music production, as a way to fuel their architectural creativity. They put together several concerts and cut an album named "Silent Waves."
By then Mario would have participated in a wide range of projects among which are the design of the new vision for Logan airport, the Olympic Village of Lake Placid, the urban development around the Third Harbor Tunnel, Dorchester Avenue, the depression of the Central Artery, over 50 commercial and residential projects which included a 100,000 square foot Villa in Saudi Arabia and The Dahesh Museum on Fifth Avenue.
In 1992, and with David's encouragement, Mario establishes Studio Twenty Six Media and immerses himself in Digital Paint and Multimedia.
In 1993 Mario receives a Technical Achievement Award from Kodak and Computer Pictures Magazine for his digital painting "Final Harvest" which would become part of a traveling art show sponsored by Fractal Design Corporation, along with several others of his digital work.
In 1994 Mario creates a Pilot for a TV-Show called "The Joy of Pixels" modeled after the "Joy of Painting" by Bob Ross. To artists too afraid to consider digital art, this ground-braking project would prove to be a panacea! Also this year, Techview Interactive discovers Mario's talent for seamlessly weaving art, animation, and Music. Gregory Scott Wills, President of TechViewan eminent new media producer in his own rightbecomes his mentor.
In 1995 he authors his first major book and CD-ROM: "Painting with Computers" (which featured excerpts from "The Joy of Pixels") He discovers, publishes, and mentors many artists. In March 1995, Desktop Publishers Journal publishes "The Joy of Pixels, Diary of a Digital Artist" a 6-page article about Mario and his digital art, and hires him to write a plethora of articles and features. AGFA publishes his paintings in a global marketing campaign to promote the CHROMA PRESS machine which exceeded one million impressions. WCVB Boston, airs a three-minute news segment about Mario and his work. Also in 1995, Techview Interactive and Studio Twenty Six Media merge and StudioView Interactive, LLC. is born. Greg and Mario spearhead several media-rich CD-ROM projects to enable companies like GENRAD and SQA to launch new products and facilitate personnel training.
In 1996, Mario turns his attention to the world of imaging and printing and joins PSB Imaging, as a partner and Creative Directorhowever, not before managing customer service for one full year! (As part of the deal, to prove he understands the business from the ground up.) Mario, through PSB Imaging, would learn all he can about the art and science of putting ink on paper. Plus, he would be exposed to many design firms who would hire him as a freelance creative director. There, he hones his marketing and design communications skills. Also in 1996, the StudioView Interactive logo graces the cover of Desktop Publishers Journal's May issue!
In 1998, Mario accepts an invitation from Sid Buck, president of Virtual News to join the promising startup as Creative Director and eventually partner. He becomes responsible for conceiving, storyboarding, and directing short animations for broadcast and through his connections in the industry, he is key in acquiring the NEWS HOUR as its main client.
Mario's strength has always been to marry design and technology to produce a seamless and memorable user experience. By that time, his customersbig or small relied on him as a strong leader to create content that comes alive and stirs the imagination. His own tag line was "Just add content and stir!" With his proven management ability to motivate and lead, entertainment exposurewhich included street performing! motivational speaking, and compatibility with the fast-paced, hectic DotCom work environment; he was the man to hire when you needed to "get it done!" and didn't have a lot of money to do it!
Enter The Office of the Management Committee Secretariatwhich provides Government wide oversight of advisory committees. It commissions Mario to design and develop the "Get the Public Involved!" hybrid CD-ROM through his acclaimed StudioView Interactive, LLC. to help reinforce the 1973 Federal Advisory Committee Act. Mario cannot turn down this honor, and he heads back to DC.
In 1999 Mario rallies several of his contacts in the publishing and entertainment industry, and forms a collaborative, which included his old buddy David, who personally built the rotating platform for "Virtual Pose ® The Ultimate Visual Reference Series for Drawing the Human Figure" a project which brought all of Mario's conceptual, creative, strategic, technical and marketing skills together. Presently in its second installment, and after a total of five editions, this series is hailed as "Invaluable" by Library Journal. It is adopted by Art Institutes Online as a major textbook and source of "virtual models" for their online Life Drawing classes.
In 2000 as Vice-president of Marketing of Imaging Zone, an award-winning imaging company he cofounded that same year, Verizon pays him the ultimate compliment by publishing his portrait on the cover of its business magazine.
In 2001 Mario is invited by Joseph Fox (CEO) and Gregory Scott Wills (President) of BTV Network, a new broadband startup. He is offered the position of Executive Creative Director and partnership. He discusses the matter with his partners at Imaging Zone and it is decided that this would indeed be a great move given the potential business from BTV.
Sadly, BTV would not see the light of day after the 9/11 tragedy.
Mario remains in D.C. and Virtual Pose ® 2 goes into its second edition.
In 2002, both Art Institutes and Corel Corporation invite Mario to be a guest speaker at MacWorld, to help the attendees liberate their creativity and demonstrate how tools like Painter ® and Virtual Pose ® can be used in concert to further art and design education online.
Later this year, he proposes a joint-venture between Imaging Zone and The Art Directors' Club of Metropolitan Washington D.C. which would lead to the creation of a calendar celebrating volunteering. Last but not least, Mario joins The American Institute of Architects Northern Virginia Chapter as a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Marketing Committee.
In 2003, Mario produces Virtual Pose ® 3
In 2004 Mario joins the board of directors of The Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington D.C. and chairs the Marketing Committee.
In 2005, Mario is awarded the "Special Award for Service to the Chapter" by The American Institute of Architects Northern Virginia Chapter. Virtual Pose ® Children & Teens goes into production (featuring clothed models).
In 2006, Mario completes his second term as the Chair of the "DC Paper Show" for The Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington D.C. and turns his attention to producing "Virtual Pose® DUO." A series of project followed for which Mario was invited to act as the Branding consultant—in the U.S.A. as well as France.
In 2007, Mario produces Virtual Pose ® 4
In 2008, Mario learns all about Hip Hop culture as a producer for the "Back To The Lab ™" show in NY, which included producing a short animated series called "The BeatMavens™"
In 2009 Virtual Pose ® goes "green" and the online store features more products. L'Art et La Plume Editions ® (a French publisher) hires Mario to head the team that would ultimately create a ground-breaking method to teach English to French Kindergarten students.
In 2010, Mario officially creates the concept and name for the "Fluke and Duke ®" project, and heads the creation of this complex interactive, media-rich audio-visual tool, that facilitates the immersion in the English language; one that would be tested extensively within a school in the Paris region and receive the endorsement of several French governmental educational advisors.
In 2011, an independent year-long study sponsored by the school district of St. Denis, shows that the children who had studied English with the Fluke and Duke method — now in first grade — have a better grasp of, and more natural and intuitive approach to English than even their 5th and 6th grade counterparts.
Passion, vision, and tactic-driven strategy...What can Mario Henri Chakkour do for your labor of love?
Copyright © 2012 by Mario Henri Chakkour, AIA NCARB