Our name is inspired by the simplest element in the universe: hydrogen. One proton, one electron, the lightest of all elements. Yet also the most powerful—hydrogen powers the sun.

Marketing Strategy Design Brand Creative Digital Creative Content Creation Media Planning
and Buying
Social Media
Websites Analytics Public Relations Events Capabilities How do we make the complex look so simple? By working together to solve meaty marketing problems that leverage paid, earned and owned platforms. Our arsenal includes:

Slide New Layer New Layer Clients

Using Hydrogen’s 3Cs we dive deep into the category, customer and company. That leads to a key takeaway that is ownable, relevant and creatively differentiated. The best ideas don't happen in a vacuum in space. We won’t disappear into a black hole and come back with the answer. Working sessions lead to better work and no nasty surprises. We work with you to map out and deploy paid, earned and owned media channels along the path to purchase. Today, we harness that power to help our roster of local, regional and international advertising clients succeed. How? By leveraging a proven yet simple three-step plan: Approach

intro As our clients often tell us, we’re adults. Seasoned marketing pros simplifying your world every step of the way. It’s all of the good stuff you get with a big ad agency, without all of the overhead, baggage and layers. Team


Tom started out as a biochemistry major. Today he translates that passion to the bond people have with brands to form even stronger, more valuable entities. And how advertising can strengthen those bonds exponentially.

A rare mix of business and creativity, Tom’s background is on the creative side, began his career as an art director and creative director. He has worked on both coasts at large as well as boutique agencies. In 2001 he co-founded the agency with the belief that simplicity leads to better work and more powerful partnerships. The partners named it Hydrogen after the simplest element in the universe.

Today Tom serves as the president of Hydrogen. He sets the tone for our unique atmosphere of collaborative ideation, hard work and comradery.

Tom’s work has been honored by Cannes, Communication Arts, The One Show, Clio Awards, Addys, Emmys, Graphis and Caples Awards. He has served as a judge on several prestigious shows during his career.

Tom is a card-carrying beachcomber, resident salty dog, philosopher and deep thinker. He lives on Vashon Island.

Tom Scherer President, Co-Founder

After years as a writer and creative director in Dallas, Chicago and Seattle, what is Mary’s first word of advice to clients? Beware the sea of sameness. You know, those all-too-common, forgettable “me too” ideas that fail to capture people’s attention. Much less their hearts, minds and wallets. She is a firm believer in the power of simple emotional connections—be it laughter, empathy, wit or even heartstrings. The true test, she says, comes in understanding which emotion will best resonate with a brand. And delivering on that connection in an authentic, respectful way. She knows it’s not always the easy answer. But it is the answer for brands that want to truly stand out.

Like DiGiorno Pizza. Under Mary’s creative watch at FCB Chicago, DiGiorno passed the coveted billion-dollar sales mark. And the Tabasco® Brand Jalapeño Sauce launch she worked on at DDB Dallas was so successful, the work had to be pulled due to a global jalapeño mash shortage.

Creatively, Mary’s work has been honored by Cannes, The One Show, Clio, D&AD, ADDYs and Effie. She has been featured in Communication Arts, ARCHIVE, Print, Best Spots, Creativity Pick of the Day, Adweek Creative All-Stars and The Wall Street Journal. Mary is often asked to speak at industry events and has served on several prestigious juries including The One Show, Communication Arts, Effie, The Pele Awards and the National ADDYs.

She lives on an island in the Puget Sound with her husband, two children (one of each), four dogs and somewhere around nine chickens.

Mary Knight Partner, Executive Creative Director

Michael has an eye for detail and visual language that pairs well with the sophisticated—with occasional notes of humor or heartstrings, but never even a hint of stuffy. He has worked on both coasts, beginning his career in New England, where he was raised and educated. After a few years, Michael journeyed across the country to Seattle, where he brought his visual sensibility to global giants like Boeing as well as local gems like Seattle Children’s.

After years on the agency side, Michael answered the siren’s call from Starbucks Coffee to lead their advertising group. While on the client side, he led creative for the Starbucks brand across Canada, among other initiatives. But when an opportunity to work on the Third Coast arose, Michael joined FCB Worldwide and subsequently survived five Chicago winters, leading creative for Sharpie, Valspar and SC Johnson. In 2014 he once again heeded the call of the Pacific Northwest to join Hydrogen as partner and creative director.

Michael’s work has been recognized by Cannes, D&AD, The One Show, The Art Directors Club and the ADDYs. He has been featured in Communication Arts, ARCHIVE and Print magazines.

He lives in the midst of a “never-ending” remodel, with his wife, two sons and a cardigan welsh corgi named Stella.

Michael McGrath Partner, Creative Director

Hillary’s philosophy is that effective advertising happens when brands translate what they want to say into something consumers want to hear.

Over the past 25+ years, she has worked with brands large and small, global and local, interactive and integrated. Through that, she’s learned what it takes to distill the brand’s passion and promise into actionable messages that people want to engage with.

Before Hydrogen, Hillary worked at agencies such as BBDO, DDB and Wunderman on accounts like Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery & Estates, Holland America Line, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Amtrak Cascades and JanSport.

A sought-after speaker and instructor, she is a faculty member of the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, where she teaches brand strategy and creative brief writing. Hillary attended the executive program in strategic marketing at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and received her management leadership training certification from the American Association of Advertising Agencies. She has spoken in Beijing, China, on strategic tools innovation and at an invitation-only technology summit in Athens, Greece. Recently, Hillary was a judge in the international Effie competition for advertising effectiveness.

When she’s not at work, she’s on the road—for fun. Hillary loves to travel and has been to all 50 states and their capitols. And all the Canadian Provinces and their capitols.

Hillary Miller Partner, VP, Strategy and Accounts

As Hydrogen’s Media Guru, Lauren leads both the planning and buying disciplines for local, regional and international clients. A self-proclaimed “strange media unicorn,” she is one of those rare media pros equally adept at buying traditional and digital media.

Of course, don’t let that friendly face fool you. Lauren is a negotiating shark. (Everyone at Hydrogen has asked Lauren to negotiate their next new car for them.) She started her career negotiating TV and radio but also dove headfirst into digital as it emerged on the scene.

Lauren’s media philosophy is simple: Do fewer things better. Whether it’s a traditional plan based on TV or online video, or a nontraditional plan that includes grassroots gems like green graffiti or wheat pastes, Lauren makes sure each channel is the right fit, at the right price.

She cut her media teeth on one of the biggest media spenders in the world—General Motors. Other clients under her past watch include REI, Taco Bell, Wells Fargo, Nissan and the Seattle Mariners. These days, Lauren is at her happiest when she can combine on- and off-line media buys for Hydrogen clients like Windermere Real Estate, The Polyclinic and 365 by Whole Foods Market. And her peers have noticed, awarding Lauren the 2017 national Cynopsis Buyer and Planner Award.

When not cutting down rates like a lumberjack, Washington native and proud Cougar alumna Lauren loves going to WSU football games with her husband and watching ballet recitals of her tiny, curly-haired daughters.

Lauren Rose Media Director

After 25 years in advertising and the design industry as a graphic, production and digital designer, clients listen when Brian offers this advice: Details matter. He knows that successful campaigns are just getting started once the creative concept is approved—and flawless execution is vital. Brian’s (often behind the scenes) role ensures that creative concepts translate across all platforms with the intended voice and vision, while maintaining consistent brand identity.

Brian has worked with companies both large and small. He’s known for delivering the finest quality output on time and under budget for clients such as Levi’s, MTV, AT&T, SEGA, Taco Bell, Dockers, HP, Nautilus, Washington State Tourism, Agilent and Keysight Technologies.

Brian is an avid hobbyist photographer and design researcher, with a love of road trips and adventure in his vintage VW camper with his wife, son and their Australian Shepherd.

Brian McCartney Senior Designer

Matt is a graduate of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU where he earned his degree in Communication with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations. A native Washingtonian, Matt grew up in Lake Forest Park and attended high school at Bishop Blanchet in Seattle.

Matt is Hydrogen’s sports fanatic and is always following one of his favorite teams, whether it be the Cougars, the Seahawks, or the Dallas Mavericks. If he’s not at work, you can find him at his local 24-hour fitness playing pick-up basketball or swimming laps.

This is Matt’s first job in advertising, but his previous job at Duke’s Seafood has helped prepare him for the ad world. At Duke’s, Matt worked as an expeditor, so he has a keen eye for detail and a sense of urgency that translates well to getting work done ahead of time. His days as an expeditor will filled with interactions with guests, hospitality and of course, carrying lots of heavy plates.

Matt McGee Assistant Account Executive/Social Media

As finance manager and resident lead left brainer, Lori is responsible for keeping Hydrogen’s ingoing and outgoing finances on track. Which is not always an easy task, considering she’s surrounded by right brainers most of the day. Whether she’s forecasting budgets, invoicing clients or paying bills, Lori delivers with a seamless ease and ready smile that our clients and vendors have come to know and love.

Lori began her love affair with the “ad biz” over 25 years ago at local Seattle agencies including Herring Newman, FCB Seattle, DDB Seattle and Copacino+Fujikado before joining Hydrogen in 2015.

In her spare time, she enjoys cruising the Puget Sound with her husband and two daughters in their 38’ Sea Ray Sundancer, as well as hosting occasional cocktails on board with her fellow workmates.

Lori Bentler Finance Manager

Pirkko believes in the “art of possible” when it comes to bringing a creative vision to life. Her organizational, technical, shopping and people skills allow her to seamlessly switch from producing ads to supervising an art installation to supplying files for a video to be shown at Times Square. No task is too daunting. She’ll figure out how to get it made on time, within budget and of the quality Hydrogen’s clients deserve.

With 20+ years in the industry, Pirkko has produced award-winning work at The Domain Group, Bozell Worldwide, FCB, Becker & Mayer, and The Hacker Group before joining Hydrogen. A native of Ashland, Oregon, Pirkko’s favorite clients include many of the Northwest’s most respected brands including Starbucks, Eddie Bauer, REI and Kenworth Trucks. Her passion to serve the community is evident in her work with Mercy Corps, Union Gospel Mission and as a board member for Mercy Flights, the first nonprofit air ambulance service in the country.

Pirkko Terao Production Manager

Independent Global Network Hydrogen is a member of Worldwide Partners, a global alliance of 65 independent advertising agencies in 50 countries. By sharing resources and ideas, we’re able to offer our clients the power of a large agency network, without that large agency overhead.