Bittersweet 16: Tsilli Pines

Posted in Personal


San Francisco 2002, back when the Internet was just proving itself more than a fad. Tsilli Pines joined our team to help take our pioneering web design efforts to the next level. And also to bolster our old school hip hop bonafides.

Four years later, FINE opened its first office in Portland, and she was the first along for the ride. We promoted Tsilli to design director. We made things. Brought in more digital clients. Saw how the responsive web produced a much more complex set of defensive design challenges. We rose to meet them, and promoted Tsilli again in 2015 to digital creative director to continuously focus on doing the same.

Tsilli’s been with us for 16 of our firm’s 25 years. Most filled with great stories. Some with stories too good to share here. And she’s now closing her chapter at FINE.

As Tsilli transitions to VP of Creative at Instrument, we recognize her tenure here as nothing short of transformative. She’s representative of our own credo: Be human. Be awesome. Make big happen. And for her especially, it’s not bossy when you’re a boss.

Creative Director Kenn Fine says, “Her career is evidence of the fertile ground we strive to provide here for people to do their best work and be their best selves. I’m very proud and excited for her to take this evolutionary step in her career.”

Throughout her time at FINE, Tsilli has mentored designers to find comfort in the sticky bits — to work through design challenges even with no clear solution. She’s also dedicated time to the community as Co-Founder and Director of Design Week Portland, and as the host and organizer of Creative Mornings for nearly 7 years. She’s clearly immune to any sort of self-imposed “time restraints.”

FINE’s always been the type of place to prioritize humans, and house some of the best in the business. Their trajectories are all different. Some are brief collaborations. Some are decades long.

Tsilli’s contributions have helped keep our company brand consistent, and consistently evolving, amid 16 years of great industry change. And even in her absence Tsilli will continue to inspire. We’ll need new energy. New ideas. We’ll find new approaches to stay small in scale yet large in impact. And our bar will remain firmly set at creating a nurturing ecosystem where talent like Tsilli’s can grow and shine.

For now we say: Thanks for an incredible 16 years, Tsilli.

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