Meet The Team
President & Founder
The founder and President of TalkingTree Creative, Craig was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in the Washington DC area. Throughout his young adulthood, Craig studied classical piano, jazz and composing. He competed nationally in classical piano competitions, studied with big-band luminaries, and landed at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since the age of 13, Craig also worked at photography and (through his part time job at a camera store) attended Kodak’s master seminars on photography and film. After college Craig’s national career in music began as the keyboardist for the Peaches & Herb World Tour from 1980-1982. He has shared the stage with The Temptations, Bob Hope, The Beach Boys and many others. Performing top-10 hits to international crowds of thousands gave Craig experience with large venue productions, and taught him what it takes to engage an audience. This background in music, visuals and audience engagement would inform his desire to produce live events.
During the 1990s Craig moved into the field of video production and event production when he founded Image and Sound – a post-production studio. At Image and Sound, Craig produced pitch videos for entertainment companies, promotional corporate pieces, session openers and documentaries, as well as radio jingles and TV ads. Soon, clients began asking Craig to take care of production for presenting the content he created – and this is where he saw the impact of multimedia production on an audience.
In 1999 he sold his partnership in Image and Sound and took a position as creative director at an AV production company where he produced events and content while learning about the latest technologies and staging techniques. Since then, Craig has been producing live events using all the experience he has accumulated throughout his career. In 2007, he founded TalkingTree Creative to create the productions he always envisioned.
Craig’s awards and honors include:
- Multiple ADDY Awards for Video Productions
- ISES Awards for Best Technical Production and Best Corporate Event
- Communicator Awards for corporate TV programs
Craig is passionate about engaging audiences and making the on stage talent look good. It’s what he has trained for his whole life. He is an insatiable learner, experimenter and life hacker who thoroughly enjoys working with people of all types. Craig has 3 grown children and currently lives in Baltimore MD with his wife Jane.
Kaitlyn is a rare breed – one of those organized and detail oriented personalities who also happens to be creative. She excels at creating compelling visuals and proofing content on one hand and then orchestrates logistics for an event and makes it all look easy. Kaitlyn studied at UMBC where she received her degree in Financial Economics and Media & Communication Studies. While in school, she jumpstarted her career by interning with event professionals and simultaneously worked on school events, planning sorority formals, philanthropy events, and playing club volleyball. Being Maryland born and raised – she also made time to avidly attend Orioles games (saying she’s an O’s fan is an understatement).
Throughout her professional career Kaitlyn has mastered many facets of the events industry, working for wedding coordinators, entertainment companies, and meeting planning/logistics firms alike. With that wide variety of knowledge and experience, she brings a unique skillset to the TalkingTree table. Artistic and analytical by nature, Kaitlyn embodies the strategic creative mentality. Her left brain and right brain work in tandem to design, coordinate and deliver everything from short promo videos to full scale event productions. A TTC team member for over 3 years, Kaitlyn has made her way from Production Coordinator to our Associate Producer.
During work hours you can find her on set, on site, or at her desk directing, coordinating, and designing every last detail. But once the work is done she leaves her planning hat behind and welcomes the impromptu adventures of life. After work and on the weekends you can find her exploring a newly discovered bike path, paddle boarding down a hidden canal, hiking a promising trail, expanding her palette at the latest restaurants, and connecting with friends for events all over the US. The busier the better, you can always trust you are in good hands with this work hard play hard member of the family.
After attending the University of Maryland and Westminster conservatory, David moved west and spent many years in Los Angeles as a successful studio musician, writing songs, plays, and other performance art. He gained a keen interest in the behind-the-scenes business of music and art, which informed his decision to eventually leave Los Angeles.
That interest in business brought him to Boston and a corporate sales position with a nation-wide provider of institutional pharmacy services. B to B sales successes, and the experience of working with a top-notch sales team, eventually brought David to marketing. It also triggered a desire to integrate creativity with corporate savvy, the very paradigm he found at TalkingTree.
Managing scripting, visual effects, design, talent and much of the graphics, David works out of offices in Baltimore, Maryland and Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
David’s spare time is spent indulging his hobbies of designing and building sailboats, cooking, and playing music. David lives in Massachusetts with his wife Heidi.
A Maryland native, Mike DeMattia started his career in live event production early. As a sound engineer with incredible ears, Mike learned the intricacies of audio engineering quickly and was soon an indispensable front-of-house asset for major label artists like “Smashmouth” and “Presidents of the United States”. His involvement in film and video came soon thereafter with the start of his own production company, MDfilms.
His artistic approach to audio carries over into his video direction and editing and TalkingTree Creative benefits hugely from Mike’s talents. Mike spends almost as much time getting the right shot as he does editing the right story for our clients. As an editor, he understands the demanding nature of every project we do and can deliver the messaging with the pace, flow, and excitement our clients expect.
More About Mike:
- Originally from: Mt. Airy, MD
- Favorite Shows: Howard Stern, The Office, 30 Rock, Roseanne, Family Guy
- What I do with my Spare Time: Running, Photography, Traveling
- Favorite Music: Nine Inch Nails, Failure, Year of the Rabbit, ON, Ken Andrews, Blinker the Star, Nick Drake, Presidents of the United States of America, Abandoned Pools, Alice in Chains, Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, Bjork
- Favorite Movies: Little Miss Sunshine, The Godfather, Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, American Beauty, 2001 Space Odyssey, Donnie Darko, Crash, Back to the Future
Director of Special Events & Meetings
Amy brings 20 years of strategic communications and event planning execution expertise. Since coming to Washington, she has created several high-impact national public relations and marketing campaigns. By marrying this with several of the core communications practice areas, Amy developed a deep understanding of and appreciation for the event planning process. With this as a foundation, she is focused on creating multi-dimensional communications programs that not only raise a client’s visibility to increase event attendance, but also help define and solidify their leadership position. She regularly takes on site sourcing, contracting, on-site services, general registration requirements and event reporting and wrap-up.
Amy previously helmed the Communications and Networking group at Merritt Group, a high-tech public relations firm. During her tenure there, she managed numerous public relations campaigns for a diverse range of high profile, global clients. She also worked on developing branding campaigns for corporate and non-profit organizations.
Amy cut her PR teeth at Ogilvy Public Relations, where she created programs for the agency’s consumer marketing clients. In addition, she was the Communications Director for a national public television network. In that role, she was tapped on several occasions by the United States Information Agency to work with broadcast executives from emerging free-market countries.
On a personal front, Amy lives in Fairfax with her very tolerant husband, mostly affable children and their perpetually troublesome Not-So-Great Dane. She earned her MA in Public Relations from Emerson College and BA in Communications from State University of New York at Oswego. This is a very good thing as her first career choice (Interpretive Dancer Extraordinaire) was fatally flawed from the get-go.
Whether it’s building computers or camera rigs, Washington-state native Chris Judd is immersed in findin g solutions for creative needs. As an inquisitive creative, Chris can manage the nuts and bolts of creative projects, while maintaining a vested interest in the final aesthetic.
Chris holds a degree in Electronic Media & Film, having graduated with honors from Towson University, where he also produced shows for the local WMJF TV channel. Shortly after graduation, he served as an assistant on major motion pictures and television productions throughout the Baltimore-DC Metro area. Hungry to produce his own creative projects, he left the motion picture industry to start his own creative LLC, Steel Side Media,which has served clients such as Clear Channel Airports and Clear Channel Outdoor. This gave Chris hands on experience in serving large corporate clients and promoting their message in the public arena. Chris wanted to focus more on his craft and less on running a business so his next step brought him to TalkingTree Creative as our multimedia designer. He is excited to expand his skillset by working in live production and to work with a larger team.
Having lived all over the country, Chris loves to travel and he has chosen Japan as one of his favorites. When he’s not rendering videos, he’s hitting the gym, crafting a new home-brew, or scheming another home improvement project.
Jeremy brings over 20 years of experience in the production industry to his clients and his artistic perspective is a perfect fit for TalkingTree Creative. After graduating from Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1994, Jeremy began his career as an audio engineer. He produced and engineered music productions in recording studios and engineered live corporate events. Over the next few years, Jeremy not only expanded his audio engineering skills, he learned about video and installed both audio and video systems. Jeremy grew to provide audio design, production design, staffing and logistics and develop loyal customer relationships. His clients learned what we all know: Jeremy makes things happen for you while making you feel like you’re the most important person in his life. He’s a natural problem solver, exhibits strong leadership skills, keeps his cool under pressure, and is honest and dependable.
No wonder, people like him!
In recent years Jeremy has mastered; managing multiple productions at the same time, designing and visualizing scenic elements and executing experiential events through the integration of all the creative and technical elements available.
Jeremy became an independent producer in 2015 and joined TalkingTree Creative as an “adjunct” producer in 2016.
In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family. His philosophy is you are only as good as your last show. Make every minute count. Never stop and always be early.
Jeremy lives in the Baltimore/Washington area with his wife and 2 kids when he’s not on a show site.
An overactive imagination and a desire to live up to his namesake brought Shaheer (meaning “well-known”) into the field of digital media and into the doors of TalkingTree Creative. At an early age, after failing to materialize the budding child-star career he had imagined for himself, he fell in love with creative writing and storytelling which led him write screenplays and create animated videos before ever even touching a video camera. It wasn’t until he switched high schools, discovering the lack of an animation/digital arts program, that he was given the opportunity to bring the creative writings and scripts to life through the Video Production courses at Magruder High School in Derwood, MD. There he was able to gain access to equipment, later getting his own MiniDV camera and created short films with his family, friends, and in some cases inanimate objects when he couldn’t find a willing participant (stop-motion filmmaking). With the boom of YouTube came a fountain of knowledge that allowed Shaheer to soak up information about filmmaking, different cameras and equipment, shooting styles, codecs and frame rates, visual effects, storytelling and advanced editing techniques that he would continue to expand on into a freelance career.
While unable to attend a traditional film school, Shaheer made use of connections and began shooting music videos, concerts, commercials, and more for local musicians and production companies while working on short films and sketch comedy videos, until the resume amassed was strong enough to submit to larger companies. That led him to a few more video editing gigs, and then in 2015, to TalkingTree Creative where he utilizes his “jack-of-all-trades” skills and ability to pick up on tasks quickly to get various video jobs done.
When not in the office, you can find Shaheer watching a B-action movie while writing the outline for his next short film or music video, behind the boards as a sound mixer/engineer for multiple “DMV” recording artist, catching one of those guys perform in DC or just playing NBA 2K with friends.
Social Media Marketing Manager
Holly graduated from Notre Dame of Maryland University in 2012 with a degree in Communications. While in college, she worked as a dueling pianist at “Howl at the Moon” in Baltimore and taught piano lessons. Post graduation, Holly moved to NYC to pursue a career in events/communication. She landed her first job in the city as an account manager for Peter Callahan Catering. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to work for clients like Martha Stewart and the Tisch family. After a few life-twists and turns, Holly jumped into the modeling and fashion industry working for models.com. There she provided social media marketing, event coverage and managed the production calendar. Holly absolutely fell in love with the team and the fashion industry as a whole, and continues to work for the company remotely on a part time basis.
In the summer of 2015, she moved back to Maryland to pursue her passion for music. She currently teaches piano (www.redberrymusic.com) and performs regularly as a vocalist/pianist in Washington DC. Holly joined TalkingTree in November 2016 and is excited to be a part of such a dynamic and creative team. She feels ridiculously lucky to be working in three areas that she loves: fashion, music, and events!
- Both her mother and grandmother are piano teachers – Vegan for 4 years,
and vegetarian for 7
- Took Spanish language classes for 11 years and yet can’t seem to hold a decent conversation
- Hates being late
- When she’s not working, she loves trail running in the woods with her dad
- Writes a lot of lists
- Both her mother and grandmother are piano teachers – Vegan for 4 years,