Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dino Ianniello '95

Dino is the Principal & Executive Creative Director of Silvermoss Partners – – an Atlanta-based branding, design, web development and social media firm.

Dino studied under Western’s design program chair Terry Wells, and professors David Skora and Bill Quinnell. “When I entered the design school at Western, Terry (Wells) had just begun heading the program. I recall my first conversations with him about my future in design. He was intensely passionate about the craft and the curriculum. He really raised the bar for everyone involved,” Dino remembers.

“I had started out as a marketing major in my first two years at Western, taking many courses at the Ancell School of Business. Later in my career, I came to more fully appreciate my foundational background in business and marketing as a brand professional today.”

Dino started out working for small advertising and public relations firms in Danbury on internship, such as Penn Gardner (, then moving to Manhattan after graduation, taking design roles at the Impact Group ( and Ernst & Young ( “Early in my career, I had some exceptional mentors that really contributed to a positive experience in the agency business,” Dino recalls. “I gained a great deal of knowledge about how to manage the creative process, client expectations, and how strategy translates into design objectives. I was given considerable face-time with clients from various market verticals, helping to sharpen my consulting skills and industry expertise.”
Eventually moving to Atlanta, Dino worked his way up into more senior creative roles at various
agencies, and finally starting his own firm Silvermoss Partners in 2002. His early adoption of interactive design (web and multimedia), was well-timed with emerging trends in the field. “I remember jumping right into web design and development as early as 1996,” Dino says. “Web design software such as Adobe Dreamweaver was not available, and web browsers had no standardization with regard to how HTML was rendered on screen. I couldn’t get websites to look like I had designed them, so I buried my head in HTML books and studied.”

“Part of being a good designer is knowing your tools,” Dino emphasizes. “Typography, Layout, Photography, Writing, Illustration, Video, Audio, anything that touches the senses with regard to communication and user experience. We orchestrate these elements to speak to audiences. We simplify information so people can understand. We cut through clutter and organize data. We are problem-solvers at heart.”

Today, Dino brings all of these things to bear when dealing with his own clients. Silvermoss Partners currently serves organizations such as InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Coca-Cola, LexisNexis, Reed Elsevier, and other Fortune 1000 to mid-size companies in the


“I feel good about the work we do for our clients!” Dino exclaims. “We don’t like to label ourselves as ‘the agency’. We want our customers to feel like we are their partners, and an extension of their own company. We get embedded and personalized, so we can drive long-term value to their brand initiatives over time. In today’s economy, we have to deliver value and find ways to develop meaningful business relationships.”

Some of Dino's designs are pictured throughout the interview. To find out more about Dino and Silvermoss Partners, visit online at, on Facebook at , on Twitter at or on LinkedIn at

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Marlana (Cole) Semenza '91

Marlana is the owner and designer of MDC Enterprises, Inc, a photo styling
and interior design company.
In addition to MDC Enterprises, Marlana co-owns Amber Light Gallery, a fine art photography studio, with a long-time friend. They create Note Card Collections to express your own
sentiments featuring their unique photography. They also provide a Photographic Print Gallery in which they strive to capture the beauty
found in cities, the country
and all over the world. They offer hand-signed photographs printed on archival paper and custom matted. The prints can be purchased separately or in sets.

Marlana is pleased to report that she just signed a contract with one of the largest production companies in the world and they will be marketing her photos (for use as wall decor, posters, for print on objects, etc) in 72 countries.

Amber Light Gallery will also be participating in a fundraiser for The Connecticut Affiliate of Susan G Komen for the Cure. A percentage of all purchases made of their note card collections from September 1 through October 31 will go to breast cancer awareness and research. We can all help raise money for this cause by logging on to their site and purchasing for the cause.

Amber Light Gallery can be found on the web at

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Carol Hawkes

WestConn's former Dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, Carol Hawkes proves inspirational in an article by Eileen FitzGerald, Danbury NewsTimes Staff Writer, published, Thursday, July 28, 2011.

Read the article on the Art Alumni website