About RKS: RKS is a design and innovation firm that creates solutions for clients that are:  Relevant to Market, Builds Brand and Creates Emotional Connection

RKS services the full range of companies from funded startups to multinational corporations. Founder Ravi K. Sawhney cultivated a people-centric approach modeled from his work at Xerox PARC in the 1970s, where innovative methods using psychology as an essential factor in design resulted in the first-generation touch screen graphic interface as well as many other breakthroughs. 

RKS came to national attention shortly after its founding by developing the production design of the animated Teddy Ruxpin, one of the greatest disruptive success stories in the history of the toy industry. Success followed success, with RKS being in on the ground floor of tablets with Alan Kay, Pocket Arcades with Sega and the game-changing dental whitening system for Discus Dental. Another milestone was the turnaround of MiniMed, developing a discreet personal insulin pump that allowed millions of diabetics to shed the stigma of being seen as "sick." This inspired design took MiniMed from a declining 40MM in revenue to 270MM in three years, leading to its acquisition by Medtronic for 3.6B.

The 1990s brought a confluence of deep introspection and humanity, along with insights into how the work of Joseph Campbell and Abraham Maslow could inform design. This direction led to RKS Design's highly acclaimed Psycho-Aesthetics methodology.

Our Leaders
 

RKS Leadership comes from all over the world.
With many different skills and backgrounds.

Mike Elam

Director of Product Development

Mike joined RKS after relocating from London where he ran Hyphen Design. Mike brings his industrial design and design engineer background to develop mechanical solutions that advance the interaction and usability of new innovative solutions utilizing his haptics expertise.

Watch Ravi's TED Talk.

ravi head 2.png

Ravi Sawhney

President & CEO

Ravi Sawhney has driven RKS to thrive through 36, and counting, years in business. For decades, Sawhney has led his team in wowing industries from consumer products to medical to technology with unexpected and impactful innovation. Sawhney has a track record of incubating successful companies of his own as well as investing in many of the companies that RKS has created designs for.

Lance Head.jpg

Lance Hussey

Partner, Chief Creative Officer

As the design guru of RKS, Lance oversees the design of virtually every project that comes in the door and ensures that the design intent is always framed in reference to the clients’ business strategy. Lance has continued to innovate and bring products and services to life for over 25 years.

 

Amalia Sawhney

Chief Financial officer

Amalia Sawhney has served as RKS’ CFO since 2008, and brings considerable expe- rience and expertise to her executive role at the firm, including finance, accounting, human resources and operations. She brought to RKS more than a decade of experience as a controller, which she obtained while working in the auto sector managing all aspects of accounting, audit, compliance and warranty administration.

Carl Fronhofer

Director of Operations

Carl comes to RKS with over a decade of experience coaching at the highest level of collegiate athletics. At RKS, he provides leadership and mentoring to RKS’ clients, as well as our skilled team. Carl attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned degrees in Sociology and Psychology. Coming from a family of designers, engineers and machinists RKS was a natural fit for him to pin a role as team leader at RKS.

Ben Azzam

Executive Vice President

Ben’s main focus is to understand the goals and objectives of RKS’ partners to best define how the team can support their strategic initiatives. His business background and experience working in design for over a decade allows him to focus on facilitating long term growth for our customers by leveraging RKS’ services to innovate in new categories, maintain their leadership position, or propel their brand perception.

cary-chow.jpg

Cary Chow

EVP of Client Management

Cary started his career at RKS in 1990 and moved up thru the ranks to VP helping the firm achieve phenomenal growth and recognition within a 10 year time span. He returned to RKS recently and fulfills the role of Exec VP of Client / Program Management ensuring that our clients’ needs and expectations are met. He has run many multi-disciplinary large scale programs across consumer, industrial, and medical segments.