RKS announced that Sumner Lee has joined the world-recognized strategy, innovation, and design firm as Director of Business Development and John Kiehle has joined the firm as Manager of Marketing and Communications. Both executives will be based at RKS' headquarters in Thousand Oaks.
With a breadth of experience from flying combat support helicopters in the Persian Gulf, developing and implementing complex technology systems for United States Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, and designing comprehensive brands for growing companies, Sumner Lee brings a deep understanding of the importance of strategic partnerships and delivering concrete results to RKS. His formal education comes from the United States Naval Academy and the Marshall School of Business at USC, and his deeply rooted sense of design comes from growing up in the family that established the high performance watersports boat company, Centurion Boats. With a balance of strategic, design, and business expertise Sumner adds a new element to the rich excellence of the RKS team.
With more than a decade of media relations and corporate communications experience, John Kiehle adds a deep understanding of marketing and communications management to the RKS team. Kiehle brings with him insights gained while employed at three of the nation's most successful entertainment brand-builders - Disney, MTV Networks and Bragman Nyman Cafarelli PR - where he was responsible for creating, executing and strategically managing high-value national media campaigns supporting diverse entertainment and sports brands. Kiehle also gained considerable event management and corporate communications expertise while in studio, network and agency positions, which he will leverage to lead marketing/communications campaigns supporting RKS, the firm's distinguished clients and team of award-winning designers. Kiehle's formal education includes Texas Christian University, where he obtained a BBA in marketing, and Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business, where he earned a MBA in marketing.
"Both Sumner and John landed their positions after a rigorous interview process with many highly-qualified candidates," remarked RKS founder and C.E.O. Ravi Sawhney. "I'm confident their energy, experience, and leadership abilities will help propel RKS into a new era."
"The focus at RKS is not just design, but design with a purpose - design that has impact," said Lee. "I was immediately impressed by the ability to combine design, strategy, leadership, and the ability to 'get it done.' RKS is the perfect place to share my passion for the power of design to transform business decisions and leadership."
"I was attracted to RKS' rich legacy of innovation and design success spanning numerous competitive industries, as well as the firm's methodology for harnessing consumer insight," commented John Kiehle. "I am thrilled to join such a talented team of design, strategy and research professionals."