“The opinions expressed in this blog are my own views and not those of Cisco.”

Bio Highlights
Rachael leads Customer Insights and Customer Experience at Cisco. See her LinkedIn for more information on her current position.

Prior to this role, Rachael was the Global Creative Director in Cisco’s services organization. McBrearty’s team has achieved some milestone accomplishments, EcoMap the first website that allows neighborhoods to track their greenhouse gases, the first implementation of a multi-channel remote expert in a retail environment, RFID-enabled personalized signage, Cisco’s Active Collaboration Room and the design of Dialog Café. Prior to Cisco she was Vice President of Creative Strategy at LBi where she worked on a variety of websites and interactive spaces including an RFID-enabled flagship store for Prada, MasterCard NFC Mobile Payments, RFID Center of Excellence that demonstrated how to use RFID and associated technologies could transform retail. McBrearty also created an “interactive mirror” for Nanette Lepore, enabling customers to get instant feedback from their friends anywhere in the world and was named one of Time Magazine’s “Top 100 Inventions” of 2007. Rachael graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from SUNY New Paltz.

Rachael has been interviewed for television, appearing on the BBC, CNBC and NY1. Her work has been covered in The Washington Times, The Boston Globe, CNN Money, Forbes.com, MarketWatch, USA Today and Wired. She has written numerous articles and white papers on the topic of technology-enabled customer experiences.

Here is a link to Rachael’s bio and a link to project portfolio.

My Personal Story
I grew up in family of artists, which is the most obvious influence. I was also fortunate to grow up near the town of Woodstock NY where creative New Yorker’s escaped to on the weekends. This enabled me to meet people who were leaders in the arts and to imagine the possibilities for myself; sitting on the floor as a child in front of Milton Glaser when he was speaking at the local gallery, seeing a performance by Twyla Thorpe or being able to wander in to the gallery of Mary Franke.

I still aspire to be like those artists.

The person who had the most influence on my artistic development was the painter Nicholas Buhalis who I met when I was 14. Not only did he teach me to draw and paint but he taught me the reward of being focused and dedicated to building my skills. In moments when my discipline is slipping I think of him.

There came a point when I needed to think about how I was going to support myself while still painting. I couldn’t afford to go to the Rhode Island School of design, but I was fortunate to find a few RISD graduates teaching at the local college of SUNY New Paltz so I got a BFA in Graphic Design there.

My first career was in book publishing. When the internet came along I was well-versed in information design and was enticed by this new form of communication – worked on a variety of web-based projects before taking on a full-time position at LBi.

It was working there there that I met the architect Rem Koolhaus and his team – my company was hired by Rem to build the software to support a new RFID-enabled shopping experience for Prada including interactive dressing rooms, signage and mobile solutions. This project taught me how to apply Design Thinking to physical space design. Based on that experience we were able to win projects with Abercrombie & Fitch, Brooks Brothers, MasterCard, Cartier and of course Nanette Lepore which led to break-thru innovation and the invention of a new way of shopping we named Social Retailing. I was also intrigued by what I call the extended internet (with RFID as the primary enabling technology) and became the Chief Creative Officer of the RFID Business Association.

Links to Select Articles, White Papers & VoDs:

Manning the Unmanned Aisles, 2012
The Future of Retail Customer Loyalty, 2012
Unifying Customer Experience in a Multichannel World, 2011
Economics of Collaboration, 2010
Seeing Is Believing: The Power of Video Collaboration, 2011
RFID Shows Gains over EAS, 2005

Infographic Resume