About Us

JDI is a boutique consultancy that brings emerging technology and science-driven companies to market.

We are based in sunny Austin, Texas, though our clients are located all over the U.S. and around the world.

Our clients are on a mission, and so are we.

Our Team
We’re a senior group, and we come from diverse backgrounds like journalism, industrial design, code, government, events, academia, film, and finance. Few of us self-selected for agency life originally. That makes us unusual as a firm. We value heterogeneous skill sets highly, and everyone does both strategy and tactics.
Brittany Solano
Alexa Ball
Judith Uzcategui
Brittany Solano
Vice President

Brittany pushes big, classical industries forward. Her work spans agriculture, healthcare and manufacturing.

The key to communicating scientific concepts is discerning the basic building blocks of any given breakthrough. There’s almost always an old technology behind each new one. As such, Brittany is at her best when marketing science from the inside out, starting with a solid understanding of a technology’s fundamentals. She has an uncanny ability to convey esoteric concepts to a mass market.

Brittany also co-leads JDI’s business development efforts; she is responsible for developing new practice areas like food systems and consumer genomics.

Previously Brittany helped start The Food Lab, ran the Food Studies Project, interned at Texas Monthly, and wrote for the Daily Texan.

She lives outside of Austin in historic Georgetown with her husband, Tim, and her two dogs, Scout and Ollie. She spends her time outdoors as much as possible.

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What is Kolbe index?
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Featured clients
  • Clear Labs
  • Bina Technologies (acquired by Roche)
  • Farmobile
  • Ozlo (acquired by Facebook)
  • Vida Health
  • OS Fund
  • OpenStack
  • Skyloom
Alexa Ball
Director

Alexa busts into markets with high barriers. She prizes agility and swiftness, helping her clients create influence and build momentum on a daily basis. Done well, small moments can impact major movements.

A teacher at heart, Alexa has learned how to harness the “kids-eye” view. She gravitates towards above and beyond ideas, where nothing big or small is out of bounds. It’s “what if” and “yes, and,” and then rolling up her sleeves to make the blue sky a reality.

Before JDI, she worked closely with underprivileged youth as an instructor in AmeriCorps. Today she’s a therapeutic riding instructor at Healing With Horses Ranch, and Alexa also co-leads JDI’s professional development program.

You’ll rarely find her without dirt under her nails or her canine companion, Luna. She calls many places home, having been born in Canada, raised in Charleston, and educated in Scotland.

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Featured clients
  • Fuzionaire
  • Hypergiant
  • Canvas 1839
  • Farmobile
  • Triggr Health
  • Camera IQ
Judith Uzcategui
Director

An experienced designer across many mediums, Judith is a communicator and consultant at heart. She has been guiding clients to success for nearly a decade, driven by a desire to bring lasting impact to projects, causes and organizations.

Judith believes in design as a powerful tool for communication: it is not enough to create stunning graphics, there must be a clear message and purpose. As a designer, Judith goes beyond producing great work; she also provides pointed counsel that ultimately guide our projects to success.

Judith was born in Caracas, Venezuela, before her family immigrated to Puerto Rico at an early age. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Design and Illustration from The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and has since settled in Austin.

At the end of the day, Judith enjoys making beautiful things, collaborating with brilliant people and having loud, passionate conversations.

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Featured clients
  • Civic IO
  • Rewired
  • WQU
  • WQ Predictive
  • Litmus
  • Tiber Health
Doug Freeman
Heather Smith
Jamal Wilburn
Doug Freeman
Senior Director

Doug is fascinated by how we talk about technology, and how it informs our social and cultural narratives.

As a founding member of JDI, he helped develop the firm’s expertise in artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and emerging frontier technologies.

He works across all clients to discern emergent patterns, develop new initiatives, and help companies define their vision and strategy. He’s driven by a desire to discover the unique story not yet told.

Doug earned his Master’s degree studying digital rhetoric at the University of Texas, where he taught in the Digital Writing and Research Lab.

He also writes for the Austin Chronicle, profiling some of the most interesting artists throughout Texas. He has written for numerous publications and is co-editor of the Austin Chronicle Music Anthology, published by University of Texas Press.

Doug laughs too loud, argues too much, and asks far too many questions. You can find him on Twitter and just about anywhere else as @DMFreeman.

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Featured clients
  • Vulcan
  • SRI International
  • Arch Mission Foundation
  • Leia
  • Roku
  • Next IT
  • Aviate
  • Civic I/O
Heather Smith
Manager

Raised outside Baltimore, Heather has long been fascinated with human behavior and the wide range of factors that influence it. Her interest in the ‘UX of cities’ led her to earn her master’s in Media Studies and Technology from the University of Texas at Austin, and continues to inform how she thinks about user experience and the sociological implications of emerging technologies.

At JDI, Heather’s work with health tech, artificial intelligence and agtech clients has validated her belief that technology can save the world, but only if people want to hear about it.

Prior to JDI, she managed customer service, events and operations at General Assembly and was a transit supervisor at the University of Virginia.

Despite her experience in technology, Heather learned most of what she knows driving a bus for a living. Outside of work, Heather loves to bake, spin yarns (literally and figuratively), and have conversations with her dog and cat. She is still hunting for the best bagel in Austin.

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  • Farmobile
  • Hypergiant
  • Vida Health
  • WorldQuant University
  • Canvas 1839
  • Transmute
Jamal Wilburn
Director

Jamal’s career has spanned finance, media, theater, entrepreneurship, and technology. What ties it all together is a passion for how creative thinking and communication unfold in a business context. Nothing is more exciting to him than helping others find their voice.

Jamal is focused on business development at JDI, where he gets to reframe the questions that founding teams are facing. Risk takers spark Jamal’s curiosity; uncovering their drivers, goals, and emotions is his favorite part of the job.

Jamal studied International Business and Finance at Howard University, and Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Prior to JDI, Jamal’s experience at boutique investment management firms William Blair & Company and Dimensional Fund Advisors gave him an appreciation for the value of good advice.

Outside the office, Jamal is often reading the Economist, working on his deadlift, or watching Netflix. And chilling.

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Featured clients
  • Canvas 1839
  • Traverse
  • DivInc
  • Satellogic
  • ScaleFactor
Josh Jones-Dilworth
Emily Leclair
Aliyah Marandiz
Josh Jones-Dilworth
Founder & CEO

Josh has spent his career making sure that the right things get the attention they deserve.

At work and in life, he’s passionate about science and technology; his specific expertise lies in the areas of “brains, bots and bodies.” He founded JDI in 2009 to bring emerging technology and science-driven companies and to market. He’s also a co-founder of Litmus Health, Culturati, The Daily Dot and Totem.

Josh is a believer in giving back early and often. He’s on the Boards of McDonogh School, SAFE, DivInc, The Entrepreneurs Foundation, and Folio Collaborative. He teaches in the Acton School of Business MBA program in Entrepreneurship. He is also an Advisor to the Austin Tech Alliance.

Josh is grateful to live in beautiful Austin, Texas with his rockstar wife Liz and two energetic daughters, Claudia and Quincy.

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Featured clients
  • Siri
  • Viv
  • WolframAlpha
  • Clear labs
  • SRI International
  • Kernel
  • Nginx
  • My ASICS
  • Fuzionaire
  • Arch Mission
  • Zocdoc
  • Outbox
  • Roku
  • Canvas 1839
  • WorldQuant University
  • Hypergiant
Emily Leclair
Manager

As a farmer’s daughter from Northwest Iowa, Emily’s character was formed by dragging a hoe through soybean fields, dreaming about making people laugh. That combination of grit and creativity is what she looks for as part of JDI’s recruitment team.

Emily orchestrates complex scheduling and travel plans. She is known among her co-workers for finding a way when there is none, using her mystical skills to bend time and space. She ensures that we’re able to accommodate clients on tight timelines.

Emily’s training in acting and improvisation amplifies her natural ability to listen, respond with empathy, and build relationships quickly. Saving all the drama for the screen and stage, she is appreciated by her colleagues for her cool head as well her quick wits.

Emily recently move to L.A. When she's not performing or taking acting classes, she explores the city through various hikes, tacos, and Korean spas. She’s a voracious podcast consumer, and wants to know your favorite one.

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    Aliyah Marandiz
    Associate

    Aliyah focuses on how to best communicate content and style to audiences verbally and visually. At JDI, she gets particularly excited to work on inventing brands through design thinking.

    As a little girl growing up in Zimbabwe, Aliyah and her sisters would spend hours playing with the only toys available to them: Barbies. They sewed doll clothes, constructed furniture from wood and styrofoam, and acted out scenes they saw in their neighborhood. Aliyah attributes time with a doll in her hand to her creativity, love for making things, and need to analyze human interactions.

    Aliyah studied Sociology and Studio Art at Santa Clara University. At JDI, she’s exploring the ways in which culture and social structures shape the design and use of technology, and how technology in turn influences cultural and social experiences.

    Outside of JDI, Aliyah loves rearranging her house, playing basketball, busting a move at dance class, and, of course, playing with Barbie, Ken, and her little cousins.

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    Featured clients
    • Arch Mission
    • Traverse Systems
    • Fuzionaire
    • Litmus
    • WorldQuant University
    • SolHEALTH
    Justin Davis
    Katarina Brown
    Liz Jones-Dilworth
    Justin Davis
    Director

    Justin creates and implements systems that track our KPIs. He excels at analyzing and interpreting the data that guides decisions made by executives at JDI. Justin brings a meticulous eye to research and has an affinity for finances.

    Prior to JDI, Justin was a Loss Mitigation Specialist at OneWest Bank (acquired by CIT Group). He built the bank’s first quality control department, implemented new auditing policies, and helped senior executives navigate an ever-changing landscape of regulation and compliance issues.

    Justin values precision, accuracy, and clarity—and speaks spreadsheet as a second language. He believes no process is sacred, or perfect. He’s uniquely gifted at finding the signal in the noise.

    On any given day, he’s either doing mathematical party tricks for the amusement of the team, sprinkling humor into team meeting notes, or reading up on the San Antonio Spurs. Justin is unbeatable at movie and TV trivia, and he would like to be an avid golfer.

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    Featured clients
    • DSACT
    • Litmus
    Katarina Brown
    Manager

    Kat specializes in honing a client’s message and delivering that message to impactful places and people. She is currently focused on enterprise security, artificial intelligence and digital health technologies.

    ​Previously, Kat worked in content marketing at Native Commerce​ where she led​ writing and editing​​ for 25 clients​​. ​

    Kat is also a special contributor to the Austin Chronicle, covering everything from NEA funding in Austin to star therapy dogs to community activism.

    Outside of work, Kat is a member of numerous book clubs and story workshopping groups, and volunteers with Austin Bat Cave to teach creative writing to elementary students. When she finally needs a break from words, she loves to hike and camp.

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    Featured clients
    • Vida Health
    • Litmus Health
    • SAFE
    • Satellogic
    • Arch Mission Foundation
    • Hypergiant
    Liz Jones-Dilworth
    Vice President

    JDI calls upon Liz’s writing, teaching, process-creating, and problem-solving skills on a daily basis. Fueling her efforts is her goal to make JDI a place where everyone on the team finds their work meaningful.

    Liz first pursued the most impactful career she could imagine: teaching. While getting her Ph.D. in American poetry, she taught literature and communication at The University of Texas at Austin. Inside academia, she was horrified by the working conditions her colleagues had to accept in order to do the work they loved.

    Meanwhile, exploring publishing and non-profits sparked her interest in operations. Initially attracted to these companies for the art they created, Liz found she cared most about how they ran, how they fostered growth, and how they treated customers and team members.

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    Featured clients
    • The Daily Dot
    • Litmus
    • DSACT
    • Farmobile
    • Culturati
    • Vida
    • Clear Labs
    Talia Bromberg
    Tony Fassi
    Kevin Lahaise
    Talia Bromberg
    Associate

    Talia loves the ephemeral nature of design, which turns intangible feelings and ideas into a tangible experience that communicates something and serves someone. Taking a client’s vision and goals and translating them into visual form is an extraordinary and rewarding challenge.

    Talia’s academic and work experiences align with her desire to understand people and human behavior. She studied film and anthropology at Mount Holyoke College and assessed independent films for potential acquisition and distribution at FilmBuff.com. Design is at the crossroads of visual creativity and the pursuit of human understanding; it begins with understanding the user, along with their challenges and desires.

    Talia previously worked for Mogul.com, a platform to help women across the globe connect and exchange knowledge. Mogul exposed her to design thinking and the ins and outs of product development, along with the opportunity to design in different media from VR and animation to app design.

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    Featured clients
    • WorldQuant Predictive
    • Civic I/O
    • Squarelink
    • DivInc.
    • BuildGroup
    • Skyloom
    Tony Fassi
    Senior Director

    Tony works closely with enterprise software and developer-focused clients, and he's a lifelong tinkerer and naturalist. He bought his first telescope at age 12 and has built almost every computer he's ever owned.

    Tony is driven to both understand how things work and tell stories that inspire a similar curiosity in others. At JDI he applies his expertise across AI, Robotics, Blockchain, and Genomics. The majority of his work spans content creation – writing op-eds, white papers, and case studies – media relations, and messaging and positioning. He also enjoys recruiting for JDI.

    Before joining JDI Tony worked as a US Coast Guard Captain and a divemaster, founded a coffee roasting company, and earned a doctorate in American Studies at UT Austin where he taught courses on the history of underground infrastructure and the rhetoric of futurism.

    These days he spends as much time as he can exploring the outdoors with his daughter, Luisa, reading pulp detective fiction, and taking stuff apart.

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    Featured clients
    • VIV
    • Clear Labs
    • Satellogic
    • ARCH Mission Foundation
    • Bonsai
    • Fuzionaire
    • Immuta
    • WorldQuant University
    • Hypergiant
    • Austin Bat Cave
    Kevin Lahaise
    Vice President

    Kevin has spent his career helping early stage technology companies outmaneuver their competition. In his leadership role at JDI he is responsible for the overall client experience and outcomes. He works directly with clients to set marketing strategy and ensure programs track towards their goals. And while the allure of top-level strategy never fades, Kevin can still be found writing press releases and case studies, talking to customers, debating with analysts, penning op-eds and executing product launches.

    Kevin is also General Manager of Totem, a software startup incubated at JDI. Totem builds hosted press pages that 8 out of 10 journalists prefer. If you don't have a press page, Totem can make a great one for you.

    When he's not working, Kevin is probably cooking French or Italian food, gardening with moderate success, or earning neighborhood noise complaints with his kids Audrey and Harry, and his wife Cameron.

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    Featured clients
    • Republic Wireless
    • WorldQuant University
    • Conversable
    • Groundfloor
    • Aptimize
    • NGINX
    • OpenStack
    • Hypergiant
    • Bandwidth.com
    • Next IT
    • Siri
    • Viv
    Whitney Gonzalez
    Rebecca Ewing
    Whitney Gonzalez
    Associate

    Whitney strives to maintain a strong community at JDI. A problem-solver by nature, she spends her time solving puzzles that help us work more efficiently and improve our daily processes. For our team and our guests, she makes our collective space a home.

    Whitney studied sound engineering and music production. This path led her to Arlyn Studios, a commercial recording studio. At Arlyn, her primary role was to manage the studio as a facility while also focusing on project management, event production, social media, and photography.

    Whitney has always enjoyed learning new systems and technologies. She fine-tuned her tech skills at Volusion, an ecommerce platform. There she assisted business owners in running their online businesses. At JDI, Whitney has instituted new IT systems in our brand new office, making communication easier and allowing us to manage our space and time.

    Away from JDI you will find her hanging with her dog, Jude, making home improvements, and binge watching The Office.

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      Rebecca Ewing
      Vice President

      As a Vice President at JDI, Rebecca is focused on creative services: from copywriting to graphic design and code, from photography to film and audio production. She has spent a decade as both a verbal and a visual communicator, helping companies large and small craft a narrative that speaks volumes. She's a marketer by trade, but an artist at heart. Rebecca believes that the best designs in any medium are data-driven and customer-obsessed. After years as a communicator, she is building a unique creative department at JDI that looks at client challenges from the same side of the table as marketing itself.

      The majority of her experience lies in emerging consumer technology, with a focus on sports, entertainment, health and social impact. Previous to JDI, Rebecca spent two and a half years at global agency Porter Novelli, for which she's eternally grateful. There was no better place to learn the ropes; PN instilled in her the drive of an entrepreneur and opened her eyes to a wide world of innovation.

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      Featured clients
      • Siri
      • Daily Dot
      • Outbox
      • Triggr Health
      • Upstream
      • YouVersion
      • Civic I/O
      • BuildGroup
      • Kernel
      • ATLAS
      One of our many extracurricular projects at JDI is that we’re very proud co-owners of the science, art, and culture magazine Nautilus. This article uses the magazine’s namesake mollusk to describe how science and story meet.
      The author, Robert Burton, M.D., a neurologist and novelist, says it best:
      “Science remains one of the great advances of humankind. Its stories, properly told, are epic poems in progress, and deserve to stand alongside the great stories of history.”
      Impact
      We are proud to have partnered with the fine folks below by donating time, making direct investments, and serving as Advisors and on Boards.

      Let’s get to know each other.

      We'd love to meet you over coffee or a call. Just drop us a line.
      hello@jones-dilworth.com