Michael Leonardini

Creative Director

An avid woodworker who’s been known to build a beautiful kayak or two.

Michael joined the KPS3 team as our creative director in 2020, bringing with him a serious passion for creative storytelling. With 15 years of industry experience to his name, Michael is a seasoned brand marketer who always aims to merge the technologies of the digital world with human-centered, solutions-driven thinking. His impressive portfolio includes work for brands ranging from Paramount Pictures and Make-A-Wish to Walt Disney and Pebble Beach Resorts (just to name a few). 

Michael earned his B.A. in journalism from San Francisco State University and, from 2000-2005, worked as the creative director for Barcellona—a destination advertising company based in Sacramento. He then made his way to MeringCarson as the team’s design director, where he co-founded Emcee Design, a strategic design arm for MeringCarson that specialized in tourism, luxury, and sports-and-entertainment brand work. During his tenure there, he increased annual revenue by $1.3M and developed some seriously stunning—and, not to mention, award-winning—product packaging. 

From 2015-2017, Michael worked as the creative director for Moxie International (a 40-year-old chemical company that he transformed using an integrated digital and traditional marketing approach), and, later, for Cambria Solutions. He then accepted a position as the chief creative officer for The Abbi Agency in Reno—leaving the sunny skies of Sacramento behind for the snowy Sierras. During his time at The Abbi Agency, Michael was responsible for everything from client relations and business development to brand health metrics and creative campaigns. He also led research, strategy, and branding efforts for clients including Blockchains LLC, Google, and Tesla.

Driven by a balance of both data and intuition, Michael is a firm believer that, while research and analytics should steer the ship, knowing when to trust your gut is key. When he’s not in our offices building relationships, broadening customer bases, and improving processes, you can find him soaking up fresh air on his motorcycle or getting his hands dirty restoring bikes, cars, and anything else with wheels. He lives with his wife and two sons in beautiful Truckee, California in a home his family built in 1977. The quickest way to his heart? Bring him some Thai food—he loves it almost as much as he dislikes Futura (#fontwars).