REVERB lives and thrives at the intersection of art, politics and community engagement. We approach design and communication challenges through a multidisciplinary creative lens—one that encourages collaboration within and among the community. As the name “Reverb” suggests, we invite clients to join them in an endeavor to spark movement and change from the city outward.
Chief executive officer
Michelle D’Cruz is a designer and strategist with extensive experience in graphic design, marketing and business development. As a Founding Partner of Reverb, her client work focuses on creative solutions for non-profits, health and education initiatives—both on a local and national level. She is formerly a professor of design at the University of Detroit Mercy, where she developed multiple courses on ‘community-based design’. Michelle’s understanding of design is such that it is not separate from the social world. Rather, consciously crafted design impacts and moves people to act as engaged consumers and as active community stakeholders. That world view is woven into every thread of her work.
Michelle holds an MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, as well as degrees in Design, and Marketing. She currently serves on the boards of Caracole and The Carnegie, and is a member of the Contemporary Art Center’s Community Engagement and Exhibition committees, the Cincinnati Pride planning committee and Cincinnati Compass Community Partners.
LEO J. P. D’CRUZ
Chief communications officer
Leo D'Cruz is an experienced community organizer and communications strategist based in Cincinnati, Ohio. As Chief Communications Officer and a Founding Partner at Reverb Art + Design, Leo heads up communications—both on the written page and through public engagement. His rich background in policy and academics uniquely positions him to work closely with government officials, business professionals and community leaders. He’s adept at earning the trust of stakeholders—and their buy-in—to achieve sustainable project outcomes. Leo is actively involved in civic work, specifically focused on economic, racial, gender and sexuality inclusion. He has served on multiple boards and task forces, from the United Way Poverty Task Force to LULAC National Civil Rights Committee, and Vice Chair of Cincinnati's Citizen Complaint Authority.
Katie Vogel has nearly a decade of experience in community-centered strategic communications in non-profit and media organizations. Most recently, as the Audience Engagement Editor at The Cincinnati Enquirer, she was managing member of the newsroom that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. Vogel oversaw social media strategy for projects and community engagement efforts for 11 newspapers around Ohio. She holds a Master’s in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati and undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and History from Loyola University Chicago. She is a present member of the Jewish Vocational Services’ Hilb Scholarship Committee, a past executive member of Gannett’s Ohio Foundation, and is the co-founder of Havayah, an independent Jewish community based in Cincinnati.
Clare Bottenhorn’s passion for design lies at the intersection of art, functionality, and humanity. She studied Graphic Design and earned a B.S. from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She is interested in design that is exceptionally made, engaging, and thoughtful.
Sso-Rha Kang is an art historian and her specialties are exhibition planning and design. Her research areas include institutional critique, contemporary art, blankness, and aesthetic experience. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in Art History and certificates in Critical Visions and Film and Media Studies from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.
Christina Coobatis specializes in graphic design. Born in Canton, Ohio, she came to Cincinnati to pursue a degree at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Christina has since settled in Cincinnati, with a desire to be part of the rapid changes taking place in the city and using her design work to bridge seemingly separate worlds.
Ethan Alter currently attends Xavier University where he is majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and the Public with a minor in Economics. Concurrent to his course work, he has worked on local political campaigns, advocated on behalf of public policy issues, and co-authored a chapter of a forthcoming book on the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati.
GRAPHIC DESIGN ASSOCIATE
Stephanie Werth is a student at Bowling Green State University where she is studying he Graphic Design and Marketing. She has strong interests in logo design, branding, and advertising. At BGSU, she is involved several community-oriented organizations, including Campus Cursive, Alpha Phi Omega - Zeta Kappa, The Vagina Monologues, and Dance Marathon.