Executive Profile

Eric K. Richards

Comprehensive communications (and marketing) experience with blue-chip clients including agency ownership, advertising, art direction, graphic design, media buying, brand management, crisis communications, and direction of creative teams and production vendors. Over 25 years of award-winning brand building with an extensive background in publishing, corporate identity, local government communications, and marketing development. Implementation of print, digital, social, and web-based channels for more than 150 corporations and businesses including the financial, software, medical, food services, municipal, insurance, and manufacturing industries. Work has ranged from small local businesses and local government to regional and national companies with extensive marketing budgets.

Professional Experience

Communications Director       2013 – Present
Sandy City

Represent the city in various situations and maintain relationships with communication partners inside and outside the city. Supervise and perform numerous projects and initiatives relating to communications, marketing, branding, web development, copywriting, public relations, and intergovernmental relationships. Assist Administration in promoting the city, the city brands, city operations, and city services to the general public. Roles include creative direction, concept development, city-citizen communication coordination, back-up Public Information Officer, media channels supervision, staff management, budget monitoring, partnership/ departmental meeting representation and facilitator, city image and brand policing, editorial approval, crisis communications, and overarching design. Lead an award-winning team of creatives and liaison with all city departments, branches of government, and neighbor jurisdictions. Served on many committees including South Valley Tourism, Healthy Sandy Partnership, The Cairns design group, Energy Action Plan Stakeholders, Historic Granite brand committee, events committees, and Beautification Day team. Directly created and developed programs and initiatives like Sustainable Sandy 360°, Sandy Adventures, SmartSandy, and Cityology.

Regional Director of Marketing                                       August 2011 – 2013
Chartway Federal Credit Union

In the spring of 2011, Chartway purchased Utah Central and selected me to head up marketing functions for the entire Utah region while dissolving marketing functions at the other credit unions that they assumed. Many programs and ideas created at Utah Central were enthusiastically continued and supported by Chartway. Directed all marketing functions for Utah region divisions including media buying, advertising, alternative channels, social media, and MCIF tracking while coordinating all marketing efforts with corporate executives for the entire Chartway enterprise at the Virginia home office. Serve as a key player for crucial communications for converting SouthWest, HeritageWest, and Utah Central credit unions to the Chartway core system.

Vice President of Marketing                                             August 2006 – July 2011
Utah Central Credit Union

Directed all marketing affairs and operation of an in-house ad agency as a member of the Executive Team. Created brand recognition and built and executed multiple campaigns.  Developed product and service categories to meet the needs of various member segments and influenced member growth in top 10% nationwide. Built onboarding and retention programs and shaped award-winning youth services winning the CUNA Diamond Award represented by the best credit unions in the nation. Elevated the charitable arms of the credit union via raising marketing and promotional channels for Christmas Wishes (fulfilling needs of hundreds of kids annual during the holidays), Angel’s Hands Foundation (supporting children with rare diseases), as well as the Make A Wish Foundation and American Heart Association. Initiated the KSL Studio 5 monthly financial segment and executed a 75th anniversary annual campaign. Additional duties included graphic design, ad compliance review, promotion scripting, training and cross-sell tool development, as well as merchandising creation.

President, Founder, and Creative Director               October 1996 – April 2006
Market Design Media, Inc.

Created hundreds of identities and branding tactics for small to large companies like Associated Food Stores, Ray Quinney & Nebeker, Salt Lake Board of Realtors, Zions Bank, 1-800-CONTACTS, Bellagio, and the Utah Hotel and Lodging Association. Built architectural back end for small to major web and digital projects and oversaw development of front-end creative and launch of these projects. Developed full-scale magazine projects for chambers of commerce and annual publications for the G8 Summit over an 8 year period featuring 8 different countries. Other publications included Feminine Fortunes, 2002 Winter Olympics Official Guide, and eXceed Magazine for teens in the western U.S. region. Conducted discovery and brand analysis for numerous corporations, and built creative strategies for a wide range of clients resulting in increased distribution (Beyond Borders expansion into Home Depots), increased sales (ARCOM architectural software and Giggle Bug kid safety device), and increased awareness (CareSource, the only in-house hospice in Utah). Lead teams to create relevant branding and marketing campaigns via print, web, and digital media.

Related Experience:

2000: Judge, Golden Spike Awards              
1993 – Present: Freelance Brand Development & Graphic Arts
1993 – 1996: Art Director, International Voyager Media          


2022: Utah Public Information Officer Association, Communicator of the Year
2022: Best of State, Web-based Community Resource
2022: 3CMA Savvy Award: Best Use of Humor Marketing Tools – Mr. Do Right Bulk Waste
2022: Silver Circle – Digital Interactive/Issue Specific Website – Sandy Adventures
2022: Award of Excellence – Digital Interactive/Other Media – SandyNow! Chatbot
2020-21: 3CMA Savvy & Silver Circle Awards – Cityology Branding and Video Series
2020-21: 3CMA Savvy Award – Shop Sandy Campaign
2019: 3CMA Savvy Award – CityServe App Branding & Marketing
2019: Silver Circle Award – Resident Participation Campaign (Connect with Us)
2018: Award of Excellence – Bell Canyon Trail Initiative
2018: Award of Excellence – Fireworks Safety Education
2017: Outstanding Employee (Sandy City)
2017: 3CMA Savvy Award – Sandy City Map Illustration (support)
2017: Silver Circle Award – Meet The Mayor
2017: Silver Circle Award – Firefight Dress Up Artwork
2016: Savvy Award – Adventure Week
2016: 3CMA Award of Excellence – Sandy Safety Kids Graphic Design    
2015: Silver Circle Award – Folks with Fresh Ideas Video
2015: 3CMA Award of Excellence – SandyNow! Newsletter, Partnering for Success
2015: Silver Circle Award – The Cairns: Where Mountain Meets Urban
2014: 3CMA Award of Excellence – Sandy Facebook Content
2009: Gold Award – NAPA End-use Superiority and Best Innovation
2008: Utah Genius Awards – Utah Central Trademarking
2008: Diamond Awards – Youth Marketing Programs & Credit Card Designs  
2007: Employee of the Year – Marketing Director  
2003: Crystal Awards – 2002 Olympic Guide  
2002: Crystal Awards – Feminine Fortunes Magazine  


University of Utah: BA Mass Communications & Film
FEMA Crisis Management Communications (PIO G290, G291, EO388 Advanced Public Information Officer, 100, 200, 700, 800, and G402 for senior officials)

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