Our team,
your team,
one amazing team.

Finding business potential in unlikely or undiscovered places takes more than intelligence; it takes deep experience, mature confidence and a carefully developed sixth sense for opportunities. Our leadership team has literally seen it all, tried it all and done it all, across virtually every category, in every medium, around the world. From building famous brands from scratch to designing digital platforms that have revolutionized industries, our collective wisdom is at your disposal. Propane was founded on this very notion: that a small team of experts, with diverse experience, skills and viewpoints, can be combined, recombined and applied to solve any business challenge or capitalize on any business opportunity.

Neil Chaudhari

PARTNER/CHIEF EXPERIENCE OFFICER
Entrepreneur and innovator, Neil Chaudhari has guided the direction and development of Propane Studio since its inception. During the past decade of growth and transformation, he and his expanding team have helped define what it means to be agile. In the process, the agency has become a trusted partner to leading and emerging brands in the automotive, fashion, financial services, hospitality, healthcare, and technology industries. Neil inspires the creation of radically compelling digital experiences that leave a lasting impression.

Drawing from his real-world background on behalf of globally recognized clients—Audi, Hitachi, Intel, Intuit, Kaiser Permanente, Macy’s, Whole Foods, and others—Neil maintains a deeply strategic vision for his clients’ brands that extends well beyond the digital space. His focus area of expertise is in human behavior and resulting user experience, content strategy, and platform architecture. As a result, Propane Studio has earned a reputation for solving the really difficult communications challenges that modern businesses face.  (He wouldn’t have it any other way).

When he’s not working, Neil loves traveling the world with his three girls: wife and Propane partner Lilu, daughter Sana and pug Tara.

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https://propanestudio.com/leadership/detail/Neil-Chaudhari

Lilu Odedra

Director of Digital Resources
Lilu Odedra is a dedicated brand builder, respected design leader, and inspired product innovator. In her senior role as Director of Digital Resources, she oversees Propane Studio’s comprehensive digital resourcing requirements, as well as supporting strategic partnerships and senior-level recruiting. She is also the driving force behind Propane Labs, the agency’s dedicated product-design group. The Propane co-founder served as lead art director for nearly a decade as the agency established its industry leading credentials.

Before joining her partners to launch Propane Studio, Lilu was Lead Designer at AllBusiness.com where she supervised site design and brand identity work for major partner companies, including American Express and First Union. She also previously led a successful freelance design career, servicing brands such as Bank of America, Dun & Bradstreet, and Sempra Energy. Lilu earned her BFA in New Media from the Academy of Art College and a bachelor’s degree in Art and Art History from the University of Central Florida.

When she’s not working, Lilu enjoys reading, cooking, and rediscovering the sights of her adopted hometown of San Francisco through the eyes of her young daughter.

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Tom Despain

COO
As a proven business innovator and builder of successful infrastructures, Tom DeSpain brings more than three decades of financial and operations expertise to his role at Propane Studio. He is responsible for the overall financial management of the agency, including fiscal reporting and long-range business planning. He also provides the kind of modern, supportive leadership that instills loyalty and humanity in the people around him.

Prior to joining Propane in 2012, Tom amassed a depth of varied experience across retail, eCommerce, technology, and other vital industries. Most recently, he served as an independent management consultant to start-ups and emerging brands in the San Francisco Bay Area. His impressive professional background also includes senior financial and operations positions at Vinfolio, Gap, Sega, and Amoco.

Outside of the office, Tom enjoys travel and the company of family and close friends (preferably with good food and wine). His creative pursuits include everything from cooking and writing to gardening and painting.

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Rebecca Baker

VP, PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
Rebecca manages a talented team of project managers and is responsible for ensuring quality, timeliness, and budget for all Propane Studio deliverables. She contributes expertise in scheduling and cost efficiencies, technical strategy, process design, resource allocation, cross-functional team facilitation, client management, and documentation.

She has almost twenty years of experience as a manager of websites, applications and interactive advertising. Prior to Propane, Rebecca has served as Executive Producer at the award-winning B2B advertising agency Doremus, as Senior Interactive Producer at McCann Worldgroup, and as primary project manager and client liaison for several web design firms. She has led design, development and deployment teams for high-level projects for Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Logitech, Corning, Visa, and Intel.

Rebecca is a San Francisco native and still resides in the city. She is also a martial artist who teaches self-defense courses on weekends.

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Kim-Minh Huberwald-Leung

Director of Strategy
Part strategist and part creative, Kim-Minh answers the question, “what’s next?” She collects insights and crafts cohesive brand experiences across every touch point including product, platform, and campaign. Kim-Minh immerses herself in the world of each client, and truly enjoys the series of conversations that uncover the needs of each stakeholder, customer, and user. Not content to churn out piecemeal business solutions, she loves coming up with big ideas for the intersection between technology, service, message, and design.

Before coming to Propane, Kim-Minh started her career in the entertainment industry working in television and film. After starting her own production company, making video content for brands, she expanded into a brand consultancy and began doing design and strategy work.  Kim-Minh has worked both in-house and at various agencies with notable clients such as Coca-Cola, Sony PlayStation, Carnival Cruise Corp., and Walmart. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter. Kim-Minh has a serious travel addiction, an ever-growing sneaker collection and an oft-indulged board game habit.

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https://propanestudio.com/leadership/detail/kim-minh-huberwald-leung

Dante Lombardi

Creative Director
With almost 25 years of experience as a designer, writer and creative leader, Dante has created award-winning work for brands like Nike, Budweiser, Microsoft, HP, Wells Fargo, Yahoo and many more, across a range of online, offline and beyond.

He combines deep agency experience (BBDO, Goodby Silverstein and Partners, and McCann-Erickson) with in-house experience (Yahoo, Wells Fargo, TiVo) to drive innovation and create powerful creative ecosystems and creative teams. He’s managed organizations both large and small, global and local, on everything from massive, integrated brand campaigns to digital experiences for scrappy start-ups and purpose-driven non-profits. Dante believes creativity and tough questions can solve any problem.

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Alec Ditonto

Director of User Experience
Alec designs for the experience economy. Competitive businesses today recognize that they must provide more than products and services; that their value is actually in the transformation they provide their customers through useful and meaningful repeat experiences. Recognizing this, Alec leads an experience-driven, human-centered approach to the UX design processes at Propane, ensuring that we architect intention, emotion, and value into every touch point of a brand’s digital ecosystem.

Over the last 15 years Alec has helped organizations of all sizes research, design and develop digital experiences that provide measurable impact in their users’ lives. He has had the unique luxury of both directing and contributing to development, design, and product management teams, leaving him years of experience in the many phases of bringing world-class digital experiences to market.

When he’s not living and breathing clients’ digital opportunities, his love for and interest in ALL OF THE THINGS means there’s a good chance he’s probably annoying his wife with some crazy idea about space, ghosts, and the origin of the universe...while playing the banjo.

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Kevin Lee

Director of Technology
Creative and jack-of-all-trades problem solver, Kevin joined Propane Studio as the technical director. He brings over 15 years of technical expertise into providing recommendations for Propane’s key clients, ranging from selecting content management solutions to building scalable architecture for hybrid mobile applications.

Kevin has worked with clients such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Yahoo, and Getty Images, and he has mentored over 50+ engineers throughout his career.

A computer science and theatre major, you might find Kevin mingling with the musical theatre and ballet crowd over the weekend, or just enjoying glass(es) of wine in the company of his three dogs.

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Saad Khan

Business Development
Saad Khan is the voice of clients and partners; he heads Business Development and Sales at Propane Studio, ensuring continued growth, development and new market penetration. He credits his ability to relate to people, understand customer sales psychology and deliver value based solutions for all parties involved to his joint experiences in startup and corporate environments, as well as his multicultural upbringing.

Prior to joining Propane Studio, he was pursuing his MBA and was a Co-founder at Beard Nomads, the largest crypto-currency mining platform in the Middle East. He worked as a Senior Business Development Manager at Hilti, leading teams for major development projects in 12 countries. Saad began his career in the Energy and HVAC industry in business development, successfully delivering solutions for corporations such as Emirates Group, Starwood Hotels, Brookfield Multiplex, JCDecaux, Besix and multiple governments throughout the EMEA Region.

As an amateur chef and foodie, Saad spends his weekends going around the Bay Area hunting for the best hidden eateries or hosting dining events for his friends. He spends the rest of his time traveling to as many places as possible on mini holidays.

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Joe Meanor

Head of Client Services
Joe serves as head of Client Services at Propane Studio. He brings deep experience working as a team lead and team builder with creative companies and clients, focused on strategy, design, and delivery of business-building products, experiences, and communications.

With a background that spans a variety of business categories, including financial services, retail, wireless, consumer electronics, healthcare, travel and CPG, Joe’s well-versed and experienced in working to better define business opportunities and leading client engagements with a focus on solving complex business problems.

On the home front, with two young kids under the age of 7, Joe has mastered his Ninja Turtle moves and perfected his Disney princess tea party table manners.

An East Coast native who only arrived in the Bay Area recently, Joe is looking forward to exploring California and spending a lot of time outdoors with his family.

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Tara

director of snacks
Tara joined the company in 2005. Although fresh out of puppy school, she was able to add value almost instantaneously as a cultural leader. While greeting and welcoming all new clients and employees, she uplifts spirits around the office. She quickly graduated from welcomer to manager, and would seek out stressed employees and offer consulting and support in the form of lap rest and cuddles.

After 4 successful years, she was promoted to vp of mascot. During that time she organized partnerships with food, snacks and requested daily walks from employees, which had a positive impact in overall health of the team. In the beginning of 2015, she was promoted to Chief Ambassador, in which she over sees operations from her remote bungalow. She reminds the partners daily that life is precious, and that it is a privilege to be able to earn a living via digital communications.

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