Our People

At the heart of The History Factory’s creativity and client service are our people. Our culture is highly reflective of rigorous scholars who think like practical business people and practical business people who function as rigorous scholars. Our team includes talented communicators, archivists, historians, curators, editors, filmmakers, technologists and designers who seek the challenge and satisfaction of a fact-based, story-driven, results-oriented enterprise.

Our people seek the challenge and satisfaction of working for a fact-based, story-oriented, results-driven enterprise.

Hannah Warmanen Managing Director, Chicago

  • Hannah most recently served as Chief of Staff to the Executive Office at Zurich North America, where she championed a number of key marketing, leadership and employee engagement, and brand strategy projects, including the 100th anniversary of Zurich in North America.

  • Previous roles include VP Head of Marketing and Communications for Zurich’s Canadian Business, where Hannah was responsible for the strategy development and execution of the marketing direction for this business, and Communication Consultant for Zurich’s Life Business in the UK.

  • Hannah is a graduate of the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom, where she obtained a Master of Science in marketing. She also has a postgraduate diploma in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the United Kingdom.

  • In her spare time, Hannah is proud to be a board member for Children’s Home & Aid in Chicago.

An experienced communicator and executive, Hannah Warmanen has joined The History Factory team as it expands its presence in the Chicago market. She is experienced at leading and executing strategic marketing communications plans utilizing an integrated mix of PR, advertising, print materials, event communications and online channels to reach target audiences.

Questions for Hannah

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

Life as an expat is never dull.

What did you work on this morning?

Up early, strong coffee in hand and a quick scan of the business headlines noting new ideas and possible new authentic content opportunities. Client checkpoints and business development calls as part of our plan to build The History Factory’s presence in Chicago. Then, lunch with a CMO colleague to get some feedback on a renewed marketing strategy and see if our direction resonates.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, by William Cronon.

What is your favorite quote?

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." —Winston Churchill

Why The History Factory?

I was a client for 2.5 years and experienced firsthand the measurable results that can be achieved through accessing and leveraging organizational experience and powerful storytelling in business. I joined The History Factory to help more organizations benefit from this, too. I’m excited to be a part of the unique blend of creativity, intellectual curiosity and business problem-solving our team brings to the table.

What’s the secret?

Listening more than talking.

Bruce Weindruch Founder & CEO

  • The History Factory’s chief strategist and creative force

  • Between high-school and college, operated record stores and produced concerts in his hometown

  • Received B.A. in American Civilization (major) and Education (minor) from Grinnell College

  • Attended the George Washington University/Smithsonian Affiliation Ph.D. program

  • Began his career at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC

Bruce’s unique background, blending history and business, has given him the insights to help major corporations, nonprofit organizations and associations use historical resources to benefit their bottom line. Forbes Magazine described Bruce as the man who’s “Making History Pay.” He has amassed millions of frequent flyer miles advising some of the most admired global companies and brands.

Questions for Bruce

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

Passion and impatience are very closely related.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at The History Factory?

Been lucky enough not to kill it.

What did you work on this morning?

My website bio.

What’s the secret?

Creativity happens.

What’s your favorite book(s)?

Samuel Butler’s “The Way of All Flesh” and William Alexander Percy’s “Lanterns on the Levee.”

What’s your favorite quote?

“Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” - Gustave Flaubert

Bruce Says:

“I’ve been privileged to have grown up with a generation of amazing corporate communicators. As a result of those special client relationships, a lot of things that The History Factory has been advocating for over thirty years – in terms of the power of heritage and storytelling – have become widely accepted in the corporate mainstream. I’m proud to have helped create a new communications discipline.”

Rick Beller Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

  • In positions as EVP, VP of Strategy, COO, and as an Executive Consultant, Rick has built and managed global sales and service operations, streamlined operations, and forged strategic alliances for capital equipment, professional services, pharmaceutical, financial services, and industrial solution providers.

  • Extensive global market development experience, including 10 years managing Asia markets and three years as an expatriate

  • Graduate of Harvard University, a John Harvard Scholar, and a Michael J. Rockefeller Memorial Fellow

  • Father first, competitive martial artist, and occasional golfer

Rick is accountable for ensuring The History Factory brings creative, business, and implementation excellence to every client program. His focus is on building the organization’s world-class talent, establishing scalable approaches and systems, and driving the integration of the organization’s creative, archival, and consulting services. Rick also works directly with clients as a senior consultant and facilitator to promote alignment between each client’s business and communications objectives and The History Factory’s solutions.

Questions for Rick

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

Explore, push, fail, achieve, learn and repeat.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at The History Factory?

Learned the power of heritage communications to drive business outcomes, and led the development of engaging methodologies that help establish the vision for how a client’s investment in heritage management can yield measurable outcomes.

What did you work on this morning?

New talent recruitment and two client meetings with Fortune 500 firms—one to explore virtual exhibit solutions and the other to prioritize the stories to be included in the core content bank needed to inform its integrated, 100th anniversary communications program.

Why The History Factory?

While adapting to change, The History Factory has retained both its character and compelling vision of heritage management for over 30 years. It is home to an incredible blend of creative, archival, and business professionals who share a passion for what we do. We push ourselves to be the premier global Heritage Management Agency and work with many of the world’s leading organizations. The History Factory is both a great idea and a great business because our commitment to substance has made us relevant for 30-plus years and gives us confidence that we will continue to be relevant and create value for our clients.

What’s the secret?

Stay tethered to what matters.

How do you clear your head?

A two-hour Brazilian Jiu Jitsu workout.

Rick Says:

“Do the right things and you will get the right outcomes.”

Jason Dressel Vice President and Managing Director

  • Helps clients and prospects design and execute programs and projects

  • Leads many of the firm’s strategic initiatives

  • Worked at the National Archives and for a management consulting firm before joining The History Factory

  • B.A. in History from George Washington University

Joined The History Factory in 1999 and has been involved in all areas of the firm’s operations. Jason has worked with dozens of clients on all kinds of engagements spanning The History Factory’s spectrum of capabilities.

Questions for Jason

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

Too. Wordy. To. Reduce. Myself. To. Seven.

What did you work on this morning?

We had our weekly production meeting with our creative team. We prepped for a client meeting where we will be sharing concepts for interactive exhibits for their headquarters. I spoke with two clients: a financial services firm that is interested in building a corporate archives program and a consumer goods company that wants to have a more compelling story to tell in support of their new brand positioning.

Who is your favorite author?

The “Johns”—Updike, Irving, Franzen, and Lethem

What’s one thing that people might be surprised to learn about you?

When I was a kid I lived in a museum for a while. My dad was a museum director and there was a job that came with an apartment. Coming home entailed walking up through two floors of exhibits in 18th-century-furnished rooms. In hindsight, it was a rather unusual place to call home and it left quite an impression.

What do you enjoy most about life at The History Factory?

Helping solve problems and create all sorts of cool solutions. And learning a lot about business and how the world works through all of the amazing companies and people we work with.

What’s the secret?

In terms of our work? That it’s about experience and how organizations harness it. Once you get beyond the word “history,” we’re in the experience-saving and -sharing business. Have you ever heard an executive in a successful organization discount the importance of knowledge or experience?

Jason Says:

“The work we do tends to have the involvement and attention of the highest levels of the organization. But our clients have rarely done something quite like this, so there’s often some uncertainty or anxiety about how to go about it. I enjoy being a resource for clients: accelerating their learning curve, helping avoid mistakes and providing them with new ideas or approaches.”

Chris Juhasz Managing Archivist

  • B.S. in Education with a major in English from Bowling Green State University

  • M.L.I.S. from Kent State University

  • Gained experience as project archivist at the Oberlin College Archives and the Cleveland Orchestra Archives before joining The History Factory in 2003. Has served as Director of Archival Services since 2006

  • Received certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists in 2005

As a manager, Chris is responsible for measuring project performance; observing project execution; managing adherence to accepted standards and practices; optimizing resource utilization; implementing quality control processes; and driving continuous improvement activities. As an archives specialist, he conducts field work to survey and appraise records, consults with prospective clients to evaluate archives program requirements, and acts as liaison with clients to ensure user needs are met and to deliver technical assistance with archives management, planning, and policy development.

Since assuming the Directorship in 2006, he has planned, organized, and managed large-scale projects for Brooks Brothers, Morgan Stanley, The Nightingale-Bamford School, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, and others.

Questions for Chris

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

Took both roads in the yellow wood.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at The History Factory?

Built and sustained strong team cohesion. The Archival Services team has a combined 30-plus years of experience with the company. It has been extremely rewarding to coach and develop such a tightly knit, highly skilled group of archives practitioners. The team is proving every day that the combined length of our service and the attendant depth of our knowledge of client collections; the extent to which we operate as a truly integrated unit; and the amount of entrepreneurial ability we bring to our tasks and responsibilities are the most critical factors affecting the quality of our work and the value we generate for our clients.

What did you work on this morning?

Reviewed and advised on a proposed classification scheme/taxonomy for the information management component of a complex corporate anniversary project.

What’s your favorite sound?

An air-cooled flat-four engine.

What’s the secret?

Think like a user.

Chris Says:

“I think of myself as more of a knowledge manager and information architect than an archivist. Designing and implementing archival information systems for clients whose resources are decentralized, fragmentary, and largely inaccessible to potential audiences is the most gratifying part of my job. The challenge lies in making the archival function more proactive and service-oriented so as to enable clients to continually identify new ways to use corporate memory and archival content to support their goals and objectives.”

Michael Leland Vice President

  • Kenyon College, Anthropology and Sociology w/ honors

  • Started with The History Factory in 1995

  • Advises clients on how best to use their history as a strategic asset

  • Guides clients on how to approach, plan, and implement heritage-based initiatives

  • Vast experience in all History Factory deliverables—Story Programs, web-based heritage sites, publications and e-publications, museums and traveling exhibits, and videos

  • Specializes in Global Anniversary Celebrations

Questions for Michael

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

New Hampshire, Washington, DC, Kenyon College, The History Factory

What’s your favorite sound?

My front door opening after being out on a long trip.

What did you work on this morning?

Started early, revised an Anniversary Celebration Programming Guide, reviewed resumes for an open position, covered for a vacationing colleague putting a corporate history book to bed, caught a 10 a.m. flight to a client presentation

What do you enjoy most about life at The History Factory?

That no two days are ever alike. We get the chance to work on so many different, unique projects for the best companies and clients in the world

What’s the secret?

Be in tandem with the random

What’s your favorite [book, movie, song or group]

Cyamande—Losing Ground

Michael Says:

“Sometimes companies think about their history as a dry timeline of acquisitions and expansions. At The History Factory, the first questions we ask focus on the organization’s current (and future) business objectives, and then look back into their inventory of experience to find common threads to pull forward and make relevant for today’s audiences. Whether it’s crafting a web-based anniversary program to increase employee engagement or creating heritage-based collaterals to support sales and marketing efforts, we strive to extract what’s important from our clients’ history and use it to draw stronger connections with target audiences.”

Adam Nemett Author

  • B.A. from Princeton University (Religion, Creative Writing)

  • M.F.A. from California College of the Arts (Fiction, Screenwriting)

  • Published fiction author; teacher of undergraduate fiction, film, and screenwriting

  • Writer/director of The Instrument (2005), a narrative feature-length film

Helped develop the StoryARC™ methodology and served as Creative Director on projects for Adobe Photoshop, Cardinal Health, CME Group, Pfizer, and Whirlpool Corporation.

Questions for Adam

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

Baltimore. Princeton. New York. San Francisco. Baltimore.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at The History Factory?

Developing StoryARC felt like a pretty big deal, but the coolest single project that pops to mind is the one we did for Adobe Photoshop for their 20th anniversary. When we started, they had a basic timeline, but not much else. I think we helped the client understand their unique place in a long lineage of innovations that have evolved both art and science. That was a powerful and very satisfying project to be part of, and it was a pleasure working with the Photoshop team. So much passion there.

What did you work on this morning?

Went over wireframes and design documents for a history web portal we’re developing for a Fortune 20 pharmaceutical distribution company. After that I worked on a campus walking tour for a comprehensive cancer center in California. Variety is the spice of work.

What are some of your favorite movies, books and musicians?

Movies: Brazil, Raising Arizona, This is Spinal Tap, 2001, THX 1138
Books: House of Leaves, White Noise, Walden, The Glass Bead Game, If I Ran the Circus
Music: Otis Redding, TV On The Radio, Phish, bluegrass, 60s funk/soul

What’s the secret?

Ask questions. And then listen.

Adam Says:

“I enjoy creating the ebb and flow of a narrative, creating more drama than the typical timeline approach to corporate storytelling: this happened, then this happened, and then this happened. People tend to glaze over when you tell a story that way. But when you build drama—authentic, substantial drama with ups and downs—it makes people want to keep turning the page and clicking the next link.”

Scott McMurray Author

  • Grinnell College—Double Major in English Literature and American Studies; Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society

  • Radcliffe-Harvard Publishing Procedures Course

  • The Wall Street Journal, based in New York and Chicago

  • Freelance writer and editor specializing in finance, technology, energy, health

  • Joined The History Factory full-time in 2007

  • Cubs fan

Scott writes books for key clients of The History Factory in fields ranging from national oil companies in the Mideast to global consulting firms, insurance companies, cable television pioneers, money managers, biotechnology companies, and nonprofit health-care systems. Scott works with clients to help shape the editorial components of their heritage projects, including everything from book-length histories to online content for employee as well as external audiences, and material supporting milestone advertising campaigns.

Questions for Scott

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

My life is not a short story

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at The History Factory

I rode shotgun with a Saudi Bedouin working in the field for the Saudi Aramco oil company who is so adept at reading the desert that he ignores GPS and drives watching the changing shapes of the dunes and vegetation, while at the same time singing Saudi Country and Eastern songs to passing camel herds. He personifies the personal warmth and humor of the Saudis that is so hard to appreciate from the outside.

What did you work on this morning?

I interviewed the former head of marketing for a client who helped define best-in- class, innovative work for his industry.

Favorite author?

Hilary Mantel

Why The History Factory?

I get paid to do this.

What’s the secret?

Secrets are not the secret to success.

Scott Says:

“I consider myself fortunate to contribute to the success of projects that cut to the heart of how our clients define themselves and their success, and at the same time feel as if I am participating in a master class with some of the best and brightest minds in global business.”

Damion Boulden Senior Production Manager

  • B.A. in Art/Illustration from Columbus College of Art and Design

  • Gained 10 years experience as a Project Manager and Director of Graphic Production at Design and Production Inc. before joining The History Factory team as a production lead in 2008

  • When he finds himself with spare time, it will be filled with either art and woodworking, restoring a 1969 Austin Healey Sprite, or entertaining his two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Mirabelle and Ollie. He is also planning on building a jetpack in the near future.

As Creative Production Manager, Damion is responsible for managing The History Factory’s expenses, such as the associated costs of our fabrication and technology partners, along with other external contracts as a client’s project may require.

His primary focus is ensuring all subcontracted elements of a project are completed on time and on budget and are of the exceptionally high quality in materials, production techniques, and finish that The History Factory demands of its partners. Additionally, he researches new and upcoming interactive and media technologies that could potentially be utilized on a commercial basis with clients of The History Factory.

Damion has 10 years of project management and vendor experience on multimillion-dollar contracts in both the museum industry and commercial clientele. In addition to his project management experience, he spent three years as a Director of Graphic Production, streamlining the production, application and inspection of thousands of graphic items. Some of his previous clients include the Smithsonian Institution, The Library of Congress, Harley Davidson, CME, UniGroup, Edward Jones, and Hewlett Packard.

Questions for Damion

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

Create with passion and imagination. Avoid fire.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at The History Factory?

Geez, this is a tough one. Every project is so different, and all of them are awesome in their own right. I would have to say researching and implementing new technology solutions from our clients. It is so much more than just spec-ing out tech fads, though, it is identifying what technology supports the client’s story and needs most appropriately and utilizing that to its best.

What did you work on this morning?

Contacted several of our website development partners to initiate a competitive bid on an upcoming web project. This was followed by filling out some incredibly exciting expense forms and filing my copies accordingly. I then worked on a cup of tomato basil soup and fresh bread from the local Cosi. It was tasty. And then it was gone. Once that task was checked off, it was back to estimating our fees on a large, multi-location exhibit project.

What’s your favorite task?

Getting through the period right before the completion of the project is my favorite task. It is an amazing experience to see a website go live, or a book as it comes out of the bindery. Of all of them though, overseeing the installation of an exhibit is truly my favorite. Everything on paper that you’ve been poring over for months comes to life around you. You are representing the work and hopes of so many people, so must make sure that the vision is achieved. Also, for some reason beyond comprehension, I enjoy making Gantt charts.

What do you enjoy most about life at The History Factory?

There are two things, actually. First off, you couldn’t ask for a more brilliant, patient, and committed group of individuals to collaborate with. Every one of them is an artist is his or her own right. Which brings me to the second point, I get to do my favorite task (creation), daily. But even better than building things, I get to build myself. The History Factory has given me the opportunities to expand my knowledge base into media, technology, book manufacturing and other branches that I didn’t experience previously. Every single day is a learning experience.

What’s the secret?

Support. Generosity. Laughter. Great food and better company.

Damion Says:

“There is nothing to it, but to do it. But if you do it, do it right, no matter what. The projects you work on are bigger than the individual; they carry the vision, dedication, and commitment of your team, and the hopes and goals of your clients. So… don’t be a screw-up.”

David Buck Senior Producer

  • Likes the title “Senior Idea Engineer” but is still figuring out what it means

  • 20-plus Years as a Documentary Filmmaker, 150 credits as Writer, Director and Producer

  • B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College

  • Found his calling as a creative lead at the History Factory

  • Is the grandson of Solon Buck, one of the founders of the National Archives and U.S. National Archivist, 1941–1948

Dave guides our creative teams to ensure that the client stories we tell are vibrant, emotionally engaging, and authentic. Working across heritage communications platforms—clients’ websites, publications and e-pubs, exhibits, employee communications, and historical documentaries—he brings a strong point of view to client storytelling.

Since joining the History Factory in 2009, Dave has worked with The Hartford, Discover Financial Services, Pfizer, Whirlpool, UniGroup, Lockheed Martin, and Zurich.

Questions for David

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

Make them laugh, make them cry. Always.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at The History Factory?

I burned lower Manhattan. Well, not literally, but helped recreate the dramatic fire of December 15, 1835 in a documentary detailing a key turning point in the history of the U.S. insurance industry, and client company The Hartford’s critical role.

What did you work on this morning?

Planned an editorial calendar for a client and wrote a web article about the epitome of propeller-driven aircraft design; edited a web narrative for a client’s centennial site, and helped plan an online virtual exhibit for their centennial; wrote a historical documentary video script.

What’s your favorite sound?

My family’s laughter around the dinner table.

Why The History Factory?

There’s no one who does what we do—cutting-edge creative portraying our client’s critical history through a contemporary lens—and does it so well.

David Says:

“The last step in the History Factory’s beautiful process is when an audience receives a story and finds it moving—they lean forward to browse through a company’s anniversary website, watch a company documentary online, explore a company historical exhibit, or settle in to read a custom-designed centennial book about the company, hearts and minds are fully engaged, and the full power of history is brought to bear on the company’s future.”

Marissa Piette Client Counsel

  • Bachelor of Journalism in Advertising from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Double majored in Spanish

  • Gained experience at advertising agencies in Lincoln, Nebraska and Washington, DC, managing various client accounts including McDonald’s

  • Loves wine, photography and football, both separately and together.

Marissa serves a dual role at The History Factory, dipping one hand in the account management bucket and the other in business development. Her past experience has exposed her to both, and in her current role she finds herself managing internal initiatives, client relationships and projects on the account management side, while also consulting with prospective clients and organizing proposals in support of the sales team.

Questions for Marissa

What’s the seven-word story of your life?

Shaped by experiences. Midwestern upbringing, global perspective.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at The History Factory?

The coolest thing I’ve been involved with at THF so far has been helping manage our rebranding effort. I love participating in brand development – defining who we are as a company, what we want to communicate through a logo mark and what will be the best visual representation of our brand. I particularly enjoyed walking into our designers’ office and looking at all the boards full of different fonts, colors, vector drawings and layouts during development. Getting to be a voice in the process and help guide it to completion was a great experience.

What did you work on this morning?

Kicked out some proposal copy, gathered content for the website you’re viewing now, worked on a PowerPoint presentation and caught up on the status of an exhibit project.

Why The History Factory?

Authenticity, authenticity, authenticity. When you work in advertising, marketing or communications, you’re telling things to people that you want them to trust, in order to elicit a favorable response. How can they trust you if your messages aren’t rooted in anything? At The History Factory, we work hard to find those threads – the truths about a brand that either come out of them exemplifying their mission and values time and time again, or stories from their history that help support a messaging point. In that way, we’re able to help our clients best represent themselves to both their internal and external audiences. I can get behind anything rooted in authenticity and truth – and that’s why The History Factory is such a great fit for me.

What’s the secret?

“Work hard and keep your nose clean,” as my dad always says.

Marissa Says:

“The history of American enterprise is fascinating and inspiring. And we have the opportunity to work with it every day, discovering stories that have never been told before and communicating them to audiences. We educate as we communicate – that’s pretty cool.”