Kathryn Downing
Visual Design, UX Design, Creative Direction


For the past eight years, I’ve been employed at an insurance company where we had the challenging job of marketing really complicated, intangible products (annuities) to people who are approaching retirement. I’m ready for a new challenge.


Ready for new challenges

I’ve always looked for new things to learn and new ways to grow. I taught myself web design and coding. I learned 3D modeling, animation and Flash ActionScript during my agency days. As an in-house designer, I learned the ins and outs of email marketing and focused on digital design — visual design, prototyping, interaction design and front-end development. Once I was given an opportunity to lead a team, I beefed up my communication and influencing skills. Leading writers pushed me into the realm of content strategy, editing and a writing. I’ve also been responsible for print fulfillment, event management and asset management functions.

Recent accomplishments

In the past year:

  • Led a collaborative effort to conduct an operational assessment, map current processes and future workflows.

  • Built out the a Marketing Operations team, hiring some amazing people to help with event management, print fulfillment and asset management.

  • Selected, configured and implemented new Work Management software, Workfront.

  • Selected, configured and implemented new Digital Asset Management software, Widen.

  • Selected a new print fulfillment vendor and implemented their order fulfillment platform.

  • Coordinated an upgrade to the company store platform, providing a modernized look and feel that matches Athene.com and new capabilities such as product reviews, promotions and coupon codes. 

  • Documented processes and procedures to support new roles and technology. Conducted training sessions to increase adoption of the tools.

  • Managed a $2.5M budget.

  • Worked with agency partners and vendors to execute the 2018 marketing plan and support day-to-day workload.

In the previous seven years:

  • Engaged my peers in building a new vision for the Creative Services team, modifying processes to foster more collaboration and efficiency.

  • Lobbied for IT resources to support our new vision.

  • Initiated an effort to move a public blog to our main website, designing the UI and pages to support existing content.

  • Worked collaboratively across departments and legal entities to consolidate and simplify Athene web properties.

  • Helped convert Athene's fixed-width agent and client web portals to a responsive design.

  • Rebranded Aviva websites and email templates to Athene standards.

  • Helped implement a distributed marketing platform.

  • Built modular templates for customized campaigns (print, email, landing page).

  • Designed and developed a modular adaptive email template system, reducing the effort of building (and testing) new emails while increasing design consistency.

  • Created industry leading promotional microsites for Aviva.

  • Wireframed UI elements and layouts for Aviva's new agent portal.

With an abundance of research to support her proposed solutions, Kathy led our marketing team to the next level in web design and e-communication. And her contributions did not stop there. She was a patient and effective teacher, leading and inspiring the the Creative Services team to become more effective digital designers. She is a quick problem solver, amazingly fast learner and a thoughtful communicator. Quite simply, Kathy makes everyone around her better.
— Karen Kolodzej, former Creative Director at Aviva USA