Cantina Company Overview
Our approach aligns research, human-centered design, and technology to build elegant and meaningful digital products and services. Fortune 500 companies and rapidly growing startups turn to us to help them identify opportunities for innovation and growth, and to design, develop and deliver products and services that improve lives.Fortune 500 companies and fast-growth startups turn to us to help them define strategies, create human-centered designs, and build products customers love. We have build digital experiences for enterprise customer like Avid, Empower Retirement, John Hancock, and MIT. Our startup clients include LINK AKC, SyncThink, Toast, and Vets First Choice.
Jobs at Cantina
Co-Founder & CEO
I’m co-founder and CEO of Cantina, a strategy, design and technology firm in Boston that helps companies evolve their customer experiences with emerging technologies.
Growing up working in my father’s architecture firm, I developed an appreciation for the relationships across all facets of business, including people, design and technology. These work together to create structures (or experiences) that matter, fostering a positive impact on the environment. I realized that design and implementation of any “thing” is a social endeavor.
My mother’s background in psychology influenced my understanding that people are both fantastic and weird, and often there are motivational forces that subtly influence their actions. Considering the person’s gestalt, being conscious of these forces, and having empathy leads to a compelling creative journey.
These lessons sum up to a philosophy to which I adhere: I believe people — not machines — create change, and that technology is merely an expression of our desire to be better.
Thus, Cantina was born of these principles.
Chief Operating Officer
Hi, I'm Adam. As a Co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer at Cantina, my role is to ensure that we’re delivering for our clients in a way that delights them and excites our team. I couldn’t be prouder of what Cantina has become since we began in 2007.
After earning my Bachelor’s in Computer Science from UMass Amherst, I’ve spent nearly two decades focusing on technical architecture and development across the web, mobile and connected devices. I’ve worked on projects ranging CMS-driven marketing platforms to implementing an entire ecosystem for online video delivery. Some notable projects include the award-winning LINK AKC connected collar, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts member self-service portal, Liberty Medical Diabetes education website, and digital projects for The Financial Times, an industry-leading global business publication.
Chief Innovation Officer
Hi, I'm George. As Chief Innovation Officer at Cantina, I'm responsible for guiding our innovation efforts as well as working with clients on building game-changing products. I have spent most of the last 25 years working to make technology and design that matters. To accomplish this, I wearing many hats as a developer and a designer, I lead teams through complex and sometimes challenging projects, and act as a resource for our clients. My primary role is to support the efforts of others, sharing my experience and knowledge in the hopes that we can all continue to do exciting and amazing work.
Though I’ve touched almost every Cantina project for the last several years, there are a couple that stick out. I worked on the Appy-winning Putnam Investments FundVisualizer from day one, and helped LINK AKC launch it’s first consumer connected product. Before Cantina, I developed a strong understanding of publishing through the lens of technology during my time at McGraw-Hill and Thomson.
I’m actively involved in the maker movement through networking, peer-led workshops, community outreach, and shared learning to help others. Exploring the intersections of technology and human expression, I put my experience to work on projects that utilize 3D printing, CAD models, and microelectronics to execute on my ideas in customized connected things, electronic toys, home automation, and quantified self.
I’ve been asked to moderated panels on topics ranging from design to IoT for organizations like General Assembly, Forrester Research, and Brightcove. I’ve also mastered the art of leading design workshops for New.co Boston and SXSW.
Joe Walsmith, Ph.D
Chief Commercial Officer
Joe designed and built BMX bike courses and skateboard ramps as kid. Now he is an EVP focused on strategy, sales & marketing, and customer engagement at Cantina. Times have changed, but Joe’s love for creating, building, and innovating is as strong as ever. Prior to Cantina, Joe worked in strategic planning, sales & marketing, and technology development for leading companies, including AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and L.E.K. Consulting, a global management consulting firm to a full range of companies, including Fortune 500 companies like J&J, Pfizer, CVS Health, and GE. Joe has a passion for entrepreneurship, life sciences, health & wellness, and sustainability, and in his spare time he is Founder & CEO of Fortua, an online community marketplace and crowdsourcing platform for healthy, active, and eco-friendly events, projects, and causes. He enjoys bicycling, running, surfing, and skiing, and listening to podcasts about science and tech, ideally with a craft beer in-hand. In a prior life, Joe was a Division I NCAA collegiate soccer player, elite amateur triathlete and Hawaii Ironman finisher. Joe holds a Ph.D. in Physiology, Metabolism & Nutritional Biochemistry from Tufts University. He also holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biological Science from Brown University and Harvard University respectively. He received post-doctoral training at Harvard’s Office of Technology Development, and if given a choice, he’ll take a burrito, T-shirt and jeans over a fancy restaurant, suit and tie any day.
Executive Vice President, Services
Hi, I’m Ian. As the EVP of the Services at Cantina, I wear several different hats in account management, strategy, and technical consulting. When I’m not hiring, measuring or helping build out our product development capabilities, I’m managing project teams focused on building mobile platforms, which is where I’ve spent most of my 12 years in the industry.
Prior to joining Cantina, I led research-driven IT and marketing strategy projects at Forrester Research working alongside customers such as Marriott, InterContinental Hotel Group, Penske, and UPS.
I’m passionate about project management and have written several posts on the topic.
SVP, Client Strategy & Engagement
Hi, I’m Jocelyn. I earned my B.A. in English at Westfield State University, then began a career that now spans two decades in the world of digital marketing technologies. I joined Cantina in 2014 and have held three different positions since then; Principal Consultant, Senior Vice President of Practice Development and now Senior Vice President of Client Strategy and Engagement. In my new role, I focus on our clients’ successes and optimize how we work together to achieve great results. Whether it be robust global marketing platforms, brand and mobile marketing sites or content management implementations, I’m comfortable working in any digital marketing medium to achieve our client’s goals. I’ve worked with clients including American Express, AstraZeneca, Empower Retirement, General Motors, Great-West Financial, L.L.Bean, and Putnam Investments.
Senior Vice President of Projects
Hi, I'm Pamela, SVP of Projects at Cantina. My job is to ensure that we have the best people and practices to help our clients innovate, grow, and thrive. With over 30-year‘s experience (22 years working internationally throughout Europe) as a leader, I have a diverse background in service strategy and development, focusing in retail, finance, healthcare, logistics, and telecommunications. I help our clients succeed through building long-term strategies that transform organizations’ revenue models, operations, and customer experiences.
Before Cantina, I managed a team in Sweden at the global retailer H&M, which enhanced the customer experience through enabling in-store technology to help drive foot traffic, provided a better platform to reach customers via Cloud technologies, and improved customer call centers. I also helped H&M achieve aggressive expansion and cost-reduction goals by developing a service portfolio, as well as negotiating and agreeing contracts with two global IT service providers supporting all 4,700 stores in 67 countries.
Other projects I’m proud of include: successfully launching a program to consolidate a retailer’s five companies into one ERP solution-providing a consolidated and standardized corporate view; implementing a new CRM solution to improve customer support desk service; and developing service, business, and pricing strategies for a mobile operator, telecommunications providers, and an online bank
Vice President, Experience Design
Hi, I’m Chris. As Senior Vice President of Experience Design, I’ve been responsible for Cantina’s design practice since its inception in 2008. My focus is plotting Cantina’s course toward a design-centered, human experience-driven organization. With two decades of experience, I’m proud to have been a part of many of Cantina’s award-winning projects and some of Boston’s most recognizable brands, including Zipcar, Avid, LogMeIn, MIT, Rue La La, Harvard and Newport Folk Festival.
Vice President, Engineering
Hi, I'm Jay. I’m a pragmatic technical leader with a people-first approach to building successful, innovative digital experiences. With 17 years experience in professional software development, and over a decade in consulting, I've been a part of nearly every size and shape of project team you can imagine, in nearly every industry, and I've played many roles. In this time, I've learned that the most valuable and impactful thing you can build is not a product, but a team. This is my mission at Cantina. Notable projects I’ve been a part of include SyncThink, architecting medical device software for the Android concussion detection protocol platform EYE-SYNC, Vista Higher Learning’s Maestro Chat, a real time video enabled language learning platform, the award-winning FundVisualizer for Putnam Investments, and Harvard University’s Campus Services website redesign.
Vice President, Service Design
As Vice President of Service Design, I lead our experience strategy and service design practice.
Before pursuing a career in design, I received my master’s in history. History and Design Thinking are curiously similar. Both involve evidence, interpretation, and narrative. In the case of history, it’s to reconstitute the past. In Design Thinking, it’s to create a new future. Same ingredients, different directions. Alan Kay said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it—experience strategy & service design help our clients do just that.
Over the past 25 years, I’ve worked as a practicing designer, researcher, design strategist, organizational leader, and educator. My expertise falls into three, interconnected areas: to work with clients to understand what their customers really care about, to design great, holistic product & service experiences, and to empower employees to keep the promises the organization makes.
I lead client engagements, speak regularly at conferences like Design Thinking and Connected Health and facilitate workshops on topics like brand purpose and strategic narrative. I recently published an article in Service Design Network’s journal Touchpoint on “Service Design from Innovation to Governance.”
WHAT WE'RE ABOUT
At Cantina we’re more than coworkers; we’re a community. We frequently organize events and gatherings, from our TechBark dog-friendly event to our hands-on Spark meetups where we learn about connected devices together.
Many Cantinistas bring their hobbies and outside interests to work with them. We love to share our interests with each other, including photography, cooking, sound engineering, woodworking, and more. We believe that loving where we work is core to designing and building great products and services for our clients.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Cantina is all about its people. To come up with game-changing ideas for our clients, we hire bright, talented, and enthusiastic people. We support them by providing competitive pay and benefits, an inclusive and affirming culture, and opportunities for accelerated career growth in a stimulating environment. We also get out of our peoples’ way so they can do their best work by limiting bureaucracy and a formal management structure; and fostering a rich learning environment where anyone can take the lead. Cantina encourages collaboration across the company and strives to make everyone feel included in its success.
QUALITY OF LIFE
We work hard and enjoy what we do. We also enjoy spending time with family and friends, and for this reason, we encourage all of our employees to live full and meaningful lives outside of work.
- Be Humble
- Ask Questions
- Experiment Often
- Fight Mediocrity
- Help Others
- Listen Carefully
Welcome to Cantina! We are a strategic design and technology development agency located in the heart of Boston’s “innovation” Seaport District.
Our Cantina sign welcomes visitors with a personal message or custom animation as you see here.
We have an open and flexible space that gives our people the ability to ask “where can I be the most productive today?”
Our lobby entertains vistors with some of our favorite reading material, prototypes, and design & innovation awards that we've received over the years.
Erin, one of our project managers proudly showing off her whiteboarding skills.
Meet Buster the Bulldog! He lets visitors know that we are a dog-friendly workplace.
Every Thursday we host a hacker night for the Boston-based maker community.
We provide space to design, code, fabricate, and produce new media outside of normal business hours.
Our values are core to everything we do, including the way we work with each other and our clients.
We build interactive product prototypes for clients interested in learning how technology can impact their business.
A meeting is assembling in one of our breakout spaces for collaboration and teamwork.
Designing for the next big thing? We think so.
We design and build VR experiences in our maker space.
Lights. Camera. Action! We use this space to interview leaders in the local tech and innovation community. Buster had a lot of interesting things to say about the Boston digital health ecosystem.
Cambridge Semantics moved into their new Back Bay offices last December at 500 Boylston Street. One really cool aspect of the company is the personalization that we discovered on the walls. Each employee has his or her own profile created into a piece of artwork by the VP of Engineering's wife, which are hung up on the walls throughout the office.
A unique perk for BitSight Technologies is their BitSciFi series, where employees get to enjoy retro Sci-Fi movies and popcorn some Wednesday afternoons. Outside, there's lots of green space to either relax, grab lunch from a food truck, or take a walk.
Catalant's offices are located in the Seaport District. Taking a look inside the offices, one can see how each team works to achieve the company’s goals. Along the tour, viewers can also see what lunch time looks like at Catalant, as well as what the employees do for some R&R.
As you are coming off the elevator and head through the doors of Brightcove's offices, you'll immediately notice a colorful front desk with a beautiful mural of Boston in the background, plus some of Brightcove’s awards... including their recognition this year by the Boston Business Journal as one of the Best Places to Work.
America’s Test Kitchen recently moved from Brookline to their new home in the Innovation and Design Building located in the Seaport District. After walking into the offices, it is apparent how unique the company is. It’s not a typical startup office, but rather one that would fit right in at a culinary arts college.
Definitive Healthcare's offices have a striking mix of blue, green, and white throughout the place, which reflects the company's logo and branding. Similar to many other tech companies in the area, the company offers their employees a wide-open workspace perfect for collaboration.