Holiday party

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We are only as awesome as the individuals who work here. So our culture is built on autonomy, empowerment, and fun. People need a life beyond their desk and screen, because the most creative, unexpected insights can come from anyone. Anywhere. At anytime.

Traction fun facts

  • 49

    Employees and Contractors

    Who are actually robots

  • 102

    Average cups of coffee a day

    Overly jittery hands

  • 12

    Friday happy hours a year

    Monday unhappy hours a year

  • 45%

    Admit to having a tattoo

    Regret getting that tattoo


Master raconteur / Barbecue champ
Adam Kleinberg

Born and raised in New York, Adam bought a one way ticket to California after graduating from Cornell. From an early age, he was attracted to art and technology— programming video games on a PET computer in 6th grade — so the exploding digital scene in 1996 San Francisco felt like home. 

In the entrepreneurial spirit, he bought a book on Photoshop and declared himself a web designer. After a few years at a handful of agencies, he had officially earned the title. In 1997, he was blogging before the word “blog” was coined. In 1998, he was the resident Flash guy at Think New Ideas, a hot integrated agency. In 2000, he was recruited to help start the SF office of Tribal DDB.

Adam and his partners founded Traction in 2001 (in the spare bedroom of Adam’s apartment) on the principle that doing great work is easier with people you like and admire. Fifteen great years and a full trophy case have borne out their philosophy.

A prolific writer, Adam has published scores of articles in Ad Age, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and others. In 2013, he was a MediaPost All-Star, an award given to the three most influential digital creatives in the US each year.

Adam practices tai chi and lives in Oakland with his family, five cats, two pit bulls, a goldfish, and a tarantula. 

Amateur alchemist / Archaic ephemera collector
Theo Fanning

Originally from Hawaii (though we have yet to see a birth certificate), Theo was blessed with a knack for creative problem solving. 

A founding partner of Traction, Theo has been concepting, designing, and creating digital advertising and great experiences for brands including Apple, Charles Schwab, Getty, Lenovo, RedBull, Robert Half, Shutterfly, Salesforce, Ticketmaster, and Virgin Mobile for over 20 years. 

He is an illustrator and filmmaker by design, a designer and copywriter by necessity, and his office is living proof that vintage tin toys and crystal skulls can live harmoniously with deer heads and silver emulsion photo cells.

Theo has deftly managed to leverage the tectonic shifts in digital marketing against his passions for conceptual thinking, animation, and storytelling. His other skills include, but are not limited to, String theory, scissor sharpening, hostage negotiation, and tan-less tanning.

Master of puns / Scotch enthusiast
Paul Giese

For the past decade and a half Paul has been mixing 2 parts goals, 1 part requirements, and 3 parts design to construct functioning digital experiences for brands such as Apple, Adobe, Bank of America, California Bank & Trust, Bonny Doon Vineyards, and SalesForce.  

Within the halls of Traction he’s known for building things, fixing things, breaking things, and then fixing them again. Outside of work you’ll find him hosting large gatherings, watching bad SciFi, pulling creatures from the sea, and occasionally pretending to look like he knows what the hell he’s doing on a stand-up paddle board.

Part-time actor / Proud Chicago Cubs fan
Sidney Burrows

That 11 year-old on his bike at 4am delivering newspapers in the Chicago air (brrr) couldn’t have known it, but he was already learning the art of reliable client service.

As our Senior Account Director, Sidney oversees client relationships on premier accounts at Traction. Having spent time on both the agency and client sides of the industry he is an expert at understanding, navigating, and managing client needs, expectations, and realities. Prior to joining our team, Sidney spent several years at Bank of America where he was a VP, e-Commerce Product Manager.

Whether it’s working with top brands like Apple, Nike, and Bank of America, or simply delivering the local newspaper, he believes that good service should come naturally. If it’s a struggle, perhaps client service is not the path for you.

Sidney is an avid sports fan (Go Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs). He loves spending time with his wife, daughter, and amazing Golden Retriever DeNiro, who has become our de facto mascot and spirit animal in the Traction offices.

Captain of all the ships at sea
Emily Wheeler

For the past ten years Emily has been successfully managing teams, guiding creative projects and campaigns from start to finish, and creating and/or evolving processes along the way.

Emily’s rare talents for motivating, planning, organizing, executing, and optimizing enable her to successfully lead the Project Management team and Operations, ensuring that live projects and day-to-day activities stay on the rails, and on point. 

Some of her milestone projects and campaigns included Starbucks, Capital One, Avery Dennison, Martha Stewart Home Office, Disney, PayPal,  Autodesk, AMD, and Citrix, to name a few.

A few other things Emily is passionate about: San Francisco Giants baseball, traveling, running, sailing, and photography.

Professional globetrotter / Voice of reason
Lauren McGehee

Lauren began her advertising career at The Richards Group in Dallas, TX, honing her ability to inspire great creative work backed by solid strategy on a wide variety of brands. She has worked at several agencies in the Bay area to uncover insights for brands like MINI Cooper, El Pollo Loco, Greyhound, Microsoft, and Walmart.

As one of the bigger brains at Traction, Lauren makes sure everything we do has a damn good reason to exist. As the champion for the consumer, she steers our discovery and research to insure that we have relevant insights into our audiences’ behavior and desires.

When she’s not making our team better, she is learning about the world through travel, food, books, art, and chasing her very fast dog, Greg.

Join the Team

Calling all misfits. Want to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond, and work with some of the sharpest knives in the drawer? Let’s collaborate and conspire together. Stop by for a drink, and check out the full-sized trees growing inside our workspace. Freaking trees.

Available Openings

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