Holiday party

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We are only as awesome as the individuals who work here. So our culture is built on autonomy, empowerment, and fun. People need a life beyond their desk and screen, because the most creative, unexpected insights can come from anyone. Anywhere. At anytime.

Traction fun facts

  • 49

    Employees and Contractors

    Who are actually robots

  • 102

    Average cups of coffee a day

    Overly jittery hands

  • 12

    Friday happy hours a year

    Monday unhappy hours a year

  • 45%

    Admit to having a tattoo

    Regret getting that tattoo


Master raconteur / Barbecue champ
Adam Kleinberg

Born and raised in New York, Adam bought a one way ticket to California after graduating from Cornell. From an early age, he was attracted to art and technology— programming video games on a PET computer in 6th grade — so the exploding digital scene in 1996 San Francisco felt like home. 

In the entrepreneurial spirit, he bought a book on Photoshop and declared himself a web designer. After a few years at a handful of agencies, he had officially earned the title. In 1997, he was blogging before the word “blog” was coined. In 1998, he was the resident Flash guy at Think New Ideas, a hot integrated agency. In 2000, he was recruited to help start the SF office of Tribal DDB.

Adam and his partners founded Traction in 2001 (in the spare bedroom of Adam’s apartment) on the principle that doing great work is easier with people you like and admire. Fifteen great years and a full trophy case have borne out their philosophy.

A prolific writer, Adam has published scores of articles in Ad Age, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and others. In 2013, he was a MediaPost All-Star, an award given to the three most influential digital creatives in the US each year.

Adam practices tai chi and lives in Oakland with his family, five cats, two pit bulls, a goldfish, and a tarantula. 

Amateur alchemist / Archaic ephemera collector
Theo Fanning

Originally from Hawaii (though we have yet to see a birth certificate), Theo was blessed with a knack for creative problem solving. 

A founding partner of Traction, Theo has been concepting, designing, and creating digital advertising and great experiences for brands including Apple, Charles Schwab, Getty, Lenovo, RedBull, Robert Half, Shutterfly, Salesforce, Ticketmaster, and Virgin Mobile for over 20 years. 

He is an illustrator and filmmaker by design, a designer and copywriter by necessity, and his office is living proof that vintage tin toys and crystal skulls can live harmoniously with deer heads and silver emulsion photo cells.

Theo has deftly managed to leverage the tectonic shifts in digital marketing against his passions for conceptual thinking, animation, and storytelling. His other skills include, but are not limited to, String theory, scissor sharpening, hostage negotiation, and tan-less tanning.

Master of puns / Scotch enthusiast
Paul Giese

For the past decade and a half Paul has been mixing 2 parts goals, 1 part requirements, and 3 parts design to construct functioning digital experiences for brands such as Apple, Adobe, Bank of America, California Bank & Trust, Bonny Doon Vineyards, and SalesForce.  

Within the halls of Traction he’s known for building things, fixing things, breaking things, and then fixing them again. Outside of work you’ll find him hosting large gatherings, watching bad SciFi, pulling creatures from the sea, and occasionally pretending to look like he knows what the hell he’s doing on a stand-up paddle board.

Part-time actor / Proud Chicago Cubs fan
Sidney Burrows

That 11 year-old on his bike at 4am delivering newspapers in the Chicago air (brrr) couldn’t have known it, but he was already learning the art of reliable client service.

As our Senior Account Director, Sidney oversees client relationships on premier accounts at Traction. Having spent time on both the agency and client sides of the industry he is an expert at understanding, navigating, and managing client needs, expectations, and realities. Prior to joining our team, Sidney spent several years at Bank of America where he was a VP, e-Commerce Product Manager.

Whether it’s working with top brands like Apple, Nike, and Bank of America, or simply delivering the local newspaper, he believes that good service should come naturally. If it’s a struggle, perhaps client service is not the path for you.

Sidney is an avid sports fan (Go Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs). He loves spending time with his wife, daughter, and amazing Golden Retriever DeNiro, who has become our de facto mascot and spirit animal in the Traction offices.

Precision Puzzle Solver / Global Gadabout
Jessica Baum

As a Media Director who brings a refreshingly different perspective, Jessica believes that brands need to get beyond counting impressions and get back to making them. She understands this need and works hard to bring that to life. Coming from an integrated background, Jessica has experience in both online and traditional media on a national and local level. 

Prior to Traction, She led media on a diverse array of accounts such as MINI USA, Union Bank, Ethan Allen, and GNC. Born in Finland and raised in England and various places in the United States, Jessica developed a love of travel and exploration at a very early age – something she still strives to do as often as we will let her.

Professional globetrotter / Voice of reason
Lauren McGehee

Lauren began her advertising career at The Richards Group in Dallas, TX, honing her ability to inspire great creative work backed by solid strategy on a wide variety of brands. She has worked at several agencies in the Bay area to uncover insights for brands like MINI Cooper, El Pollo Loco, Greyhound, Microsoft, and Walmart.

As one of the bigger brains at Traction, Lauren makes sure everything we do has a damn good reason to exist. As the champion for the consumer, she steers our discovery and research to insure that we have relevant insights into our audiences’ behavior and desires.

When she’s not making our team better, she is learning about the world through travel, food, books, art, and chasing her very fast dog, Greg.

Waffle Master / Urban Subculture Archaeologist
Ginger Piscitello

Ginger has over 15 years’ experience in keeping agencies financially healthy. Prior to Traction she spent several years as CFO of Black Bag Advertising and was instrumental in their acquisition and transition to Essence Digital, where she remained for another year. 

Before that, the Berkeley mathematics grad spent eight years as the Director of Client Finance at both Carat and Freestyle Interactive, where she developed a comprehensive understanding of the unique dynamics of successful media and creative agencies.

Rare and Elusive SF native / Familial Paparazzi
Jennifer Gaddini

With over a decade of HR experience, Jen has a history of driving results in operations excellence.  Her role at Traction is to make sure our focus remains on our most important resource: our people.  Prior to joining Traction, Jen spent five years in HR at a successful Bay Area start-up that received several "Best Places to Work" awards by the SF Business Times.

During her free time, you'll find this San Francisco native enjoying the City's diversity, outdoor experiences and the food (oh, the food!).  Jen also loves exploring the Bay Area with her family and taking way too many picture and videos of her daughter.

Iron Chancellor / Gourmand
Otto von Bismarck

Otto brings 35 dog years of experience to Traction, serving as project manager, mascot, and all around distraction. As an Australian Shepherd, one of the most intelligent canine breeds, his management skills are second to none, as is his work ethic and dedication to his many roles. 

Outside of the office, Otto enjoys long walks on the beach (off leash), meeting new people (who have food), and taking naps whenever he damn pleases.

Fun fact: he is named after Otto von Bismarck, the statesman who unified Germany in the 19th century.

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