12.19.19

West 2019 in Review

As West heads out for the holiday season––wrapping up projects and laying the groundwork for new ones––we’re also pausing to reflect on the last year. This has been one of our most impactful years to date, and while we’ve been heads down in production mode, we’re taking the end of the year to share a few special moments and turbocharge for the one ahead.

On West

West moved! We kicked 2019 off at 50 Pacific and it really feels like home. In addition to a new home, we added five new full-time team members: Stacy Tarver Patterson (Managing Director), Felicia Reyes (Creative Director), Eva Pullano (Communications Director), Brandon Hightower (Strategist), and Andie Hamm (Strategist).

A seasoned marketer, Stacy brings over a decade of experience to West and was most recently a Senior Marketing Director at Nike Inc leading teams across the U.S. and internationally. While at Nike, Stacy covered a myriad of diverse roles in brand strategy, planning, and digital marketing; including stints leading the marketing teams in Beijing and Shanghai, two of Nike’s fastest growing markets. Stacy holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Management and Organizational Behavior from NYU Stern along with an MBA from Columbia Business School. She is currently pursuing her MS in Data Science from University of California, Berkeley. 

Felicia is a Creative Director with a passion for design and creating visual stories that bring brands to life. Prior to West, Felicia was Associate Creative Director at John McNeil Studio in Berkeley. At JMS she led a team of designers, photographers, programmers, UX designers, animators, writers and makers to build brands and help tell their stories. A creative leader in developing global branding systems, digital experiences and advertising campaigns, Felicia has led campaigns from concept to execution for technology companies such as Cisco, Google Pixel, and Nest. She is a designer at heart with a strong knowledge of how design meets product, marketing and company strategy. Felicia’s endless curiosity of the ever evolving business landscape plus her love for strategy and design thinking led her to pursue an MBA in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Prior to West, Eva managed communications for the investment platform, CircleUp, and served as a resource to portfolio companies on their PR efforts. Eva previously led PR initiatives for early-stage startups at LaunchSquad across industries including fintech, blockchain, adtech and cybersecurity. Eva originally hails from New York and holds dual-degrees in International Studies and French Language & Literature from the University of Michigan. She is captivated by the evolution of story and the dynamic nature of the communications industry. She was drawn to West by the opportunity to support our portfolio companies and shape how our story is told in the wild.

Brandon has a passion for understanding people, analyzing systems, and creating beautiful experiences in order to spot trends and shift culture. Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Brandon came to California to study at Stanford University, graduating with a B.S. in Product Design. He’s since worked as a UX Designer and Design Researcher for SAP Silicon Valley, and consulted for a number of young companies in user research, product definition, and design strategy, within varied industries from streetwear to consumer electronics. Brandon is excited to join West and expand on his penchant for understanding people and refining products to tell stories that resonate.

A former West intern, Andie has since graduated from the University of Southern California with degrees in Architectural Studies and Communication Design. Andie is interested in all things at the intersection of business and design, strategy and creativity.

…and in case you missed it, West Partner Matt Hirst gave a heartfelt talk on aging at the most recent TEDxBroadway in New York. You can catch Matt’s talk as well as a Q&A on the origins of this passion project here.

On our partners

Our portfolio and studio clients brought their bold ideas to life with companies that will have a lasting impact on their respective industries. We work with founders and founding teams at inflection points. Those who need to define or discover their markets, and those who are ready to lead and own new ones. 

Some of those moments include Inc. Magazine naming Impossible Foods ‘Company of the Year’ and Prelude Fertility becoming the largest provider of comprehensive fertility services in the U.S. After graduating from Y Combinator’s Winter 2018 cohort, Haiku launched its public beta and was recognized on Product Hunt as Product of the Day. With $8.2 million in seed funding, Veronica Lee and Remrise are tackling the $30 billion sleep-health industry. Torch‘s Cameron Yarbrough and Keegan Walden are paving the way for upskilling leadership across corporate teams at scale, while full-body electrical muscle stimulation workout, Katalyst, is gearing up to make every workout not only extremely efficient but highly effective. Additionally, Jacky Cohen, VP of People and Culture at Topia, was spotted sharing best practices for approaching Diversity & Inclusion during the holiday season with Forbes

Our venture fund selectively invests in a few of our studio partners. It was an active year with 10 new seed to series B investments in companies including Newfront Insurance, Sweeten, Circles, Remrise, and Proxy

We consider it a great privilege when we get to apply our unique set of skills and experiences to companies committed to inventing a better, kinder, fairer future. We are honored to have worked with some of the best founders around. 

Onward

This Monday at our last weekly team meeting of 2019, we took a moment to reflect on 2019 and visualize the future. In true West form, we created a proverb, with each Westie contributing one word to the narrative. What transpired was quirky and amusing, energizing yet serious. It was a true reflection of the values we’ve crafted for our team and the companies we partner with. We are Truth Tellers, Uncommon, Relentless, Brave, Optimists [T.U.R.B.O. ;)]. 

We’re committed to partnering with exceptional founders to maximize their opportunity. We build for impact and in 2020 we look forward to doing just that.