Project Manager

Justin Sims

Justin believes project management is the driver of better work and happier people.

In one way or another, Justin’s life has always involved creative work. Some of his earliest memories involve taking the train in for family days at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Art Institute. This laid the foundation for years of theatrical play, degrees in architecture and sustainability studies from the University of Minnesota, and a self-taught career in graphic design post-college.

While designing identities for impact-oriented small businesses and nonprofits, Justin joined the all-volunteer team of TEDxMinneapolis as their Creative Lead. Here, he led brand development for events as big as 1,000 attendees and shepherded the organization’s external presence. This work, plus a fortuitous conversation with a friend, nudged him toward a different facet of creative work: project management.

Eventually, Justin’s focus would shift scales massively, moving from teams smaller than 10 people to the creative arm of Target’s 400-person internal media company as a Program Manager for brands like Fitbit, Energizer, and Canon. Seeing a big opportunity to streamline how teams work together across the agency, he spearheaded, then later co-lead, the implementation of an agency-first, agency-wide work management tool. The Creative Operations team took notice and invited him on to streamline how creative work is managed across domestic and international teams. He held this role for 2.5 years before joining Focus Lab as a Project Manager.

Justin believes that project management is about creating clear paths for clients and creators alike to succeed; he has found that when creative work is easier to do, the work is better and everyone is happier.

In addition to his project management role at Focus Lab, Justin is certified as an Agile Professional in Marketing, is an ordained officiant, architectural photographer, and life-long learner. Off the clock, you can find him working on a campervan conversion with his wife, finding ways to keep his loud but loveable cat entertained, running outdoors to ease out of the day, and immersing himself in story-laden video games and movies.