I currently provide digital strategy consulting, creative illustration, web design and technology development services to small and medium-sized organizations. I combine my background experiences and unique creative skills + technology expertise within a business team context to communicate ideas, solve challenging problems, or achieve new business goals.
I am a visual artist, entrepreneur, and leader that has steadily aligned my core creative interests and talents with digital technology as it has transformed the marketplace and world we live in.
I welcome new challenges and opportunities that leverage my unique combination of creative skills + technology experience in a measurable, value-added manner.
Since 1970, I’ve been fortunate to participate in a wide range of work experiences including the nuclear power industry, industrial sheet metal fabrication, designing and building energy efficient housing, performing with and building musical instruments, educating and informing audiences through visual communications and transforming businesses through applied digital strategies.
In this process, I have benefited from working with talented, gifted, intelligent and wise associates from nuclear physicists, architects, and engineers to artists, musicians, web strategists, technologists and business leaders.
The educational process for me is best achieved by doing: developing my mind and skills through work experiences, and hands-on, self-directed projects.
I’ve had training in music, photography, watercolor painting and perspective drawing (see the Illustration Portfolio) and attended many other kinds of creative + technical workshops.
1980 – Present
BIRKEY ASSOCIATES, INC.
Founder / Owner
- 1980-1984 – Freelance Illustration & Design
- 1984 – Formed Birkey Associates, Inc. – Continued in Digital Illustration & Design
- 1996 – Launched Birkey.com – Web consulting, design and development.
1999 - 2007
BIRKEY.COM, Div. of MIS, Inc.
- In 1999 I merged my freelance business with a software development company called Midwest Information Systems, Inc.
- I managed the Web Strategy, E-commerce, Design & Development division for 9 years, then sold back my partnership.
- The division was subsequently sold to a third party.
I have an honest and open leadership style focused on serving clients.
I am most comfortable and productive in a team setting where I work to earn respect and trust.
I am creative, organized, innovative, entrepreneurial, self-motivated and a problem-solver.
I have strong verbal and written communication skills which I use to develop new business, or present, teach and train others.
I produce professional quality and compelling visual content and communications plus written proposals and presentations using the MacOS platform. I am also an Apple iOS and Google Android user.
- Adobe Creative Suite – Expert web/print user since 1987
- Corel (Fractal) Painter – Advanced/expert web/print user since 1990
- Apple & Microsoft Mac Office Suites – Expert
- Google G Suite – Expert
- CMS – WordPress, Sitecore, Adobe CQ / Adobe AEM, ExpressionEngine, Drupal
- Apple MacOS – Expert user since 1987. Certified Apple Technician 1990.
I regularly use a range of other software utilities and business management tools.
My hobbies and interests tend to be quite different and a balance to my computer-based work.
I enjoy working hands-on on my custom 2008 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle or 1993 Chevy pickup, or riding/driving them on various road trips or to moto-related events.
I have also worked part-time in the service department of a local Triumph motorcycle dealer.
I enjoy painting with watercolors, playing my various guitars and listening to a wide range of music.
I own or manage/maintain the following web properties:
- BonnevillePerformance.com – Aftermarket performance products and Triumph factory sponsored AMA Pro Flat Track racing team.
- BonnevilleBrackets.com – Custom Triumph aftermarket products and accessories
- TriumphBonneville.org – Personal blog about my experiences with the Triumph Bonneville product line and culture.
- WindyCityRATs.org – Chicago area Triumph owners motorcycle club
- NewBonnevilleRiders.com – Online community and discussion forum for Triumph motorcycle owners
AUTOS & TRUCKS
I’ve owned, driven, modified, maintained or restored a number of classic, muscle or sport vehicles: 1963 and 1965 VW Bug, 1972 Datsun 240Z, 1955 Ford F-100 Pickup Street Rod, 1969 Chevy Impala, 1987 BMW 535is sport sedan and a 1993 Custom Chevy Indy Pace Truck.
I have worked with many great clients:
- McDonald’s Corporation – Oak Brook, IL
- Hyatt Corporation – Chicago, IL
- Disney Consumer Products – Glendale, CA
- Safelite Autoglass – Columbus, OH
- Amsted Industries, Inc. – Chicago, IL
- Sante Fe Pacific Gold – Chicago, IL
- Chicago Board of Trade – Chicago, IL
- Rand McNally – Evanston, IL
- The Petersen Automotive Museum – Los Angeles, CA
- State Farm Insurance – Bloomington, IL
- Ryerson Corporation – Chicago, IL
- Perdue Farms, Inc. – Salisbury, MD
- Law Bulletin Publishing Company – Chicago, IL
- Dillon Kane Group – Chicago, IL
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Association – Chicago, IL
- Catholic Order of Foresters – Lisle, IL
- Wheaton College – Wheaton, IL
- Venture Miles – Burnsville, MN
WHAT OTHERS SAY
I have known Randal for over 15 years. I have had the pleasure of interacting with Randal in many roles – client, co-worker and friend. Randal’s company did an impressive set of work for me when I was the Sr. Director of Global Web Communications at McDonald’s Corp. He lead the redesign of our corporate website and then followed on with several years of project work for our intranet, that served 5000 owner-operators, 1.6 million crew in 92 countries.
Randal is a gifted designer and illustrator with many years of practical experience of delivering digital solutions – from small startup organizations to iconic brands like McDonald’s, Hyatt Hotels, State Farm Insurance and more. I would be happy to have Randal on my team. Best of all, Randal possesses a great deal of integrity, in his personal and business relationships. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.Steve Wilson
Randal was always a consummate professional bringing together strong technical knowledge of the Digital domain with great communication and management skills. I highly recommend Randal for future opportunities.Robert Petersen
Randal is a highly skilled professional in the areas of web design and web development. He also possesses skills in the area of business analysis.Jorge N. Reyes
I have known Randal for over 10 years. He has been instrumental to the success of my website mattaboutmoney.com, leading the design and development of the site and providing invaluable input regarding content strategy. He carries his expertise with a rare combination of confidence and humility, making him a pleasure to work with.Matt Bell
Randal is a top-notch IT professional, designer, illustrator and strategic thinker/planner. He is a reliable, trustworthy and personable person. He is honest in business and his personal life.Dwight O. Nelson
Randal I have known each other for many years. We have worked professionally together as co-workers, but we have also worked in client/vendor relationships. In addition, he is a very good friend and confidante. His work ethic and quality are impeccable. He is always efficient, dependable, creative, and authentic in everything he undertakes.Rich Nickel
Randal was my supervisor for 9 years. He is a genuine person with a desire to do best for each of our clients. He has a well rounded digital experience in the marketplace.Benjamin Nelson
I’ve known Randal for many years, and he is an honest and diligent individual.Mark Goeke
Randal is a person with vision, creativity, integrity and the highest work ethic. His deep knowledge of design enables him to visualize complex digital solutions with sound architecture for virtual environments.Corey Wilkinson