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 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 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 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
Mary 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 strand 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 while at DDB 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. In 2020, Mary received the Seattle American Advertising Federation chapter’s prestigious Silver Medal Award for her contribution to the Seattle advertising community. Her work for Group Health Cooperative (a Northwest closed healthcare system) was lauded in The Seattle Times two years in a row as one of Seattle’s favorite advertising campaigns by popular vote and was awarded in D&AD. Recently, Mary’s work was shortlisted in Communication Arts and won an Obie award for outdoor effectiveness.

Mary is often asked to speak at industry events and has served on several prestigious juries including The One Show, Communication Arts, Effie, The Mercury Awards and the National ADDYs. In addition, Mary is a member of the invitation-only International Women’s Forum, a global group of over 7,000 female leaders that includes artists, activists, business owners and sports figures.

She lives on an island in the Puget Sound with her family, which includes two kids (at college), three dogs and six or seven chickens at last count.
Mary Knight Partner, Executive Creative Director
Michael 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 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
Noelle Noelle, a seasoned marketer, knows Hydrogen from both the client side and as a member of our team. As our former Windermere client, she partnered with Hydrogen to develop an integrated brand campaign that extended from corporate messaging to individual real estate agent messages. But that’s just a taste of Noelle’s brand marketing experience which also includes experience at a Fortune 100 company, three start-ups as well as previous agency-side life as the account lead on Hewlett-Packard while at Foote, Cone & Belding in Seattle. It was at FCB that Noelle spearheaded the launch of HP’s first ever Customer Relationship Management program.

She brings her proven track record of successful brand and product launches, corporate partnership negotiations, web development, social media implementation, messaging framework and marketing plan creation to the Hydrogen account management team—offering our clients a business-minded marketing brain who knows what it’s like to “walk a mile in their shoes.”

The marketing industry has recognized Noelle’s contribution with several accolades including “Top 50 Female C-Level Marketing Professionals in Seattle” Boston Logic’s Top Marketing Pros to Watch, and the President’s Service and Marketing Technology Advisory Council Awards from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.

Noelle is married with 3 children and lives in Sammamish, WA. In her spare time, she likes to cycle, garden and is currently learning to fly fish.
Noelle Daly-Jones Senior Account Director
Jason Jason built his impressive media chops in the travel and hospitality industry across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean; on accounts ranging from boutique hotels to international chains and everything in between.

But he’s perfectly at home planning and buying everything from big brand campaigns to multi-tentacled digital programs. From strategy to media negotiations to post-buy analysis, optimization and reporting, Jason brings his big brain to the table on behalf of Hydrogen’s clients.

And while most people give their synapses a break after hours, Jason can’t stop thinking and has a reputation for destroying his opponents at Scrabble®, and even plays competitively.

He received his B.A. Degree from the University of Michigan and his M.A. from Northwestern University—a Big Ten fan to the core. Jason also has a soft spot for the Rocky Mountains, the Cubs, the Blackhawks and tennis. Oh, and he’s bowled a perfect game, too!.
Jason Kallen Media Director
Matt 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 Account Executive/Social Media
Brian 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
Laura With experience on both the agency and client side, Laura has always been captivated by the art and science of advertising as well as the teamwork that mastering this careful balance requires to succeed. As an Economics and Psychology double major, leveraging data and metrics to drive strategy that results in powerful creative to influence human behavior makes for truly intriguing work. Growing up playing softball, basketball, volleyball and tennis has given her an appreciation of the power of cross-functional teams and personalities that come together to make it all happen.

With multiple years in advertising, education and marketing she has a breadth of insights on how to get things done. Add to that her experience with full-service agencies, smaller design shops, for profit/non-profit and B2B/B2C clients and she’s willing to tackle anything that comes her way.

She’s worked in Seattle as well as Chicago on accounts that include, Washington State Department of Health, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Allstate Financial, Keebler, Jones Lang LaSalle and Commworks.

Born in California but raised mostly on the east coast (she’s moved 8 times), Laura believes in seizing the season. You’ll find her on a paddleboard in the summer, hiking in the fall, skiing in the winter and appreciating the flowers in the spring. In between that, she’s playing ping-pong with her two kids, throwing the chuck-it for her dog, Maple, and cozying up with a good book.
Laura Burke Director of Account and Project Management
Lori 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
Mia A rising junior at the University of Oregon, Mia’s brings significant experience in social justice and reform including serving as a “Get Explicit” facilitator covering sexual violence, health and consent training for incoming University of Oregon students and three years as a member of Seavuria/Girls to Girls—an organization focused on forming friendships and raising scholarships for girls (and boys) in Kenya.

As Hydrogen’s GenZ Advisory council lead, Mia works closely with strategy and creative groups to ensure that the voice of her generation is heard.

When not in class, mining insights or creating content, she enjoys rock climbing and paddle boarding.
Mia Knight GenZ Advisory Council Lead

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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.