Over 20 years, Fast Forward has advised 150+ clients in arts, fashion, publishing, financial services, real estate, architecture and engineering, television and new media, design and manufacturing, consumer goods, software, health and wellness as well as non-profit cultural, educational, environmental and social service organizations. Click below to learn more.
Art Dealers Association of America
We provided a series of professional development seminars to the membership on: branding; building loyal client relationships; and, improving gallery management through real-time financial reporting.
Arts for Learning
We helped this fast-growing education organization develop a 5-year plan by measuring current performance and customer appetite for new programs and services. The client now has a quantitative basis to evaluate various growth opportunities at the local, regional and national level.
Saudi Arabia’s largest contemporary art gallery wished to incorporate a project management team to respond to large scale commissions; and, a foundation to celebrate and preserve cultural heritage. We developed the staffing and financial model to integrate and manage all three entities successfully.
An esteemed artist-run gallery was rapidly expanding. We clarified roles and responsibilities among the founders and a larger team to operate at a new scale.
The auction house sought to optimize its web site to better serve new and existing customers worldwide. We conducted usability testing and reviewed best practices across various industries. We supported Christie’s objective to enhance interactivity on the site by creating richer user profiles based on preferences and past transactions.
This sector leader in media relations expanded its service offering to include digital marketing. We facilitated a mutually beneficial strategic partnership.
FITZ & CO
A public relations firm opening a second office in Los Angeles wanted a plan for a seamless expansion. We implemented a number of systems to centralize client and corporate information, which, in turn, resulted in more efficient and profitable project management.
Flint Institute of Arts
A new Executive Director at Michigan’s second largest museum wished to re-focus the museum’s Board and staff on audience development and engagement. We identified the skills and resources necessary to attract younger and more diverse audiences to the museum and its affiliated art school.
Haas Brothers Studio
The imaginative and technical versatility of the brothers has made them among the most sought-after artists in the world of collectible art and design. We worked with the brothers and studio craftspeople to clarify their purpose and prioritize the opportunities coming their way. The plan is to enable them to explore new avenues of artistic practice while building on the depth and vitality of their work in ceramic, precious metal, glass, beading, and fur.
The New York art fair is known for its curatorial point of view. While many gallerists and collectors are experiencing “art fair fatigue,” Independent is strengthening a distinctive offering that has won critical acclaim. We worked with the fair’s founder to develop a model that frees gallerists from mounting commercial pressure, to showcase a wider range of international and emerging artists.
Independent Curators International
ICI supports a global network of curators who are building stronger art communities outside of traditional art centers. Together, we looked at the changing museum landscape and sought ways to leverage ICI’s convening power, financial support, and media attention to develop more public programs that embrace experimentation and collaboration.
Exciting online exhibitions mounted during the pandemic raised Fuentes’ profile, while other galleries were scrambling to migrate to digital platforms. Fuentes is known for re-vivifying and re-contextualizing the work of overlooked or under-valued artists. We helped the team think through the move to a new location in Tribeca and a second gallery in Los Angeles.
Lehmann Maupin Gallery
One of New York’s premier contemporary art galleries undertook a major expansion of its Chelsea venue, built a showcase gallery in Seoul, and opened a venue in London, to exhibit work by a distinctive and diverse roster of artists. We support the leadership team as they continually refine a long-range strategy to penetrate the international art market.
A storied gallerist was preparing for significant expansion into global markets and sought our support to buttress the infrastructure and add staff capacity. The gallery has a reputation for amplifying its program with performances and publications that add new dimensions to curated exhibitions. The gallery is better positioned to expand its program of contemporary artists.
After opening galleries in New York City, Shanghai, Beijing and Los Angeles, Lisson has evolved from a well-respected European gallery to a major player on the global stage. A seasoned and sophisticated management team wishes to remain true to a culture founded on loyalty and trust while competing in an increasingly transactional marketplace.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
A pivotal broker in the cultural development of Lower Manhattan, the arts council sought strategic and operational support to take full advantage of new public programming and funding opportunities while continuing to provide grants, artist services and residencies.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash
The decision by gallery owners— esteemed secondary market dealers who opened a large new space in Chelsea to serve the primary market– created some brand confusion in the art world. An in-depth analysis of staff capabilities, access to works and new partner opportunities helped to re-align the gallery’s brand position.
Museum of Arts & Design
The pre-eminent American institution in its field, the museum doubled its exhibition space and programs at its new landmark location on 2 Columbus Circle. We worked with Board, staff and external consultants to ensure that operations are scalable and aligned to its unique position in the cultural landscape of NYC.
New Art Dealers Alliance
A non-profit platform for arts professionals to connect, to learn and to foster collaboration sought a more strategic approach to long-range planning and financial sustainability. NADA’s membership receives a greater range of benefits than ever before.
Nina Johnson Gallery
The gallery, located in Miami, draws connections between design, painting and sculpture. Johnson is known for pairing ground-breaking women artists and a younger generation who were influenced by them. We urged the gallery to raise visibility in New York and Los Angeles to take full advantage of an increasingly national profile.
At the forefront of artist representation since its founding, Pace is anticipating how changes in technology and communication will deracinate the art world from traditional capitals like New York and London. We are collaborating with the leadership team to identify those strategies that will bring artists and audiences together seamlessly.
A strong leadership team was held back from timely decision making because of a lack of readily available data. We worked with managers to improve the information flow and shore up a digital marketing strategy. The expanded gallery has moved into one of Chelsea’s premier locations.
A champion of younger artists, the London art dealer has to manage the demand for coveted works while protecting the artists from non-stop market forces. We worked with artist liaisons to take a more methodical approach to market development that would enhance the value of the gallery as a true business partner.
Resnicow + Associates
A strategic communications firm is continually assessing the evolution of print, broadcast and interactive media platforms. We organized a two-day professional development retreat featuring industry analysts and journalists to explore the future of media relations and user-generated content.
Rubin Museum of Art
A NYC museum with an outstanding collection of Himalayan art and a dynamic program of public events is planning their 10th anniversary. We were brought in to advise on the brand strategy and the implementation of a 360 degree marketing campaign to raise awareness; drive traffic to the museum and its website; and, cultivate relationships with visitors, members and donors.
Ruth Foundation for the the Arts
A new foundation was launched to provide direct support to artists and communities throughout the U.S. We worked with the Executive Director to draft top line goals in every operating area prior to the first round of grant-making.
Ryan Lee Gallery
Partners have steadily built one of New York’s most esteemed galleries through long-term relationships with visionary artists and clients who are unfazed by market trends. We have explored ways to build on their uniquely strong relationships with museums across the country.
A new Executive Director stepped into the role at the start of the pandemic and a country-wide lockdown. We worked with her and the senior leadership team to articulate a strategic plan that acknowledged the changing role of museums in general; Serpentine’s unique leadership position in curatorial practice; and, its ambitious partnerships with global brands.
Terry Knickerbocker Studio
A renowned acting teacher opened a studio devoted to teaching the Meisner technique to passionate actors. We helped home in on effective recruitment strategies, as well as improving financial and operational systems that would enable the business to scale to full capacity.
Yancey Richardson Gallery
In a new location in Chelsea and representing some of the world’s leading fine art photographers, we worked with the management team to take full advantage of the increasing interest in the medium by individuals and museums alike.
Design and Architecture
A new generation is assuming the leadership of a highly regarded architecture firm known for urban design and cultural work. We developed a strategic plan to evolve and position the brand to secure more design projects in the museum and education sectors.
Traditional agencies aren’t as attuned to the publications and platforms that drive the world of interiors, product, fashion and urban design. This firm has emerged as the most qualified and effective working in the design sector. We assessed what skills and resources they would need to deliver an expanded service offering to their clients.
Deborah Berke Partners
Three partners manage an architecture practice with more than 50 staff. As the number and scope of projects continue to grow, the partners could no longer deliberate together over all aspects of the business. We re-configured the leadership team to work on major initiatives in marketing and business development, project management, human resources and finance.
The world’s most highly regarded platform for collectible design, Design Miami continually seeks strategies to promote its exhibitors and keep pace with the surging market of international collectors. Anticipating further expansion, we worked closely with the new CEO and the management team to re-align internal roles so that dealers and their clients have an optimal experience at the fair.
A family owned contracting business was not taking full advantage of its partnerships with interior design and architecture firms. We clarified roles and oversight of business development, project management and operations.
Kramer Design Group
This NY-based design firm diversified its service offering to compliment a well-established expertise in store design. Together with the executive management team, we developed a strategy and operating scenario to offer brand management to existing and new clients.
Leroy Street Studio
This highly regarded architecture firm has attracted outstanding designers and blue-chip projects by remaining committed to innovative design, craftsmanship, and a collaborative approach. As the firm grows, new management and operational processes are required to protect the design process and deliver the ultimate in client service for which they’re known.
In less than a decade, this architectural practice has won high profile projects for New York’s major cultural institutions because they collaborate effectively with clients; and, they reflect the diversity of NYC audiences. We helped to re-organize the Studio to enable smooth hand-offs between design and project delivery.
Pembrooke & Ives
An expert team delivers an exceptional level of design and decoration for residential and institutional clients across the U.S. and Europe. With an opportunity to expand into new markets, the firm needed to shore up its management and information technology infrastructure. A strategic plan is focused on empowering leaders with real-time reporting to facilitate project delivery.
R & Company
NY’s premier vintage and contemporary design gallery is considering expansion into adjacent business lines. We determined the infrastructure to provide integrated services to a global clientele.
The partners of this award-winning architecture firm had competing ideas about the future direction of the practice. We worked closely with the leaderhsip team to determine a path to pursuing various kinds of projects– from affordable housing to landmark cultural institutions.
The firm has carved out an exceptional niche by becoming subject area experts in environmental reclamation and waterfront design. We worked with the team to elevate its brand position and extend the firm’s reach far beyond the city agencies and developers who already know it well.
The agency serves niche cultural organizations as well as global powerhouse brands by bringing every client through a rigorous discovery and ideation process. We worked with the senior team to tighten the workflow so that project benchmarks are clear and staff and client expectations remain aligned.
Fashion and Luxury
3.1 Phillip Lim
In 10 years, the brand achieved a dominant position in the affordable luxury market by resonating strongly with global tastemakers. As the business expanded into new product categories and new markets, we worked closely with the management team to build the foundation for the next 10 years.
Billy Farrell Agency
The pre-eminent photography agency in the fashion world grew at a fast pace. The partners needed to delegate responsibility for major initiatives to up-and-coming managers. We put new systems in place and clarified functional areas to ensure better financial controllership, project management and reliable internal reporting.
Talent agents for photographers and stylists in the fashion sector engaged in strategic planning to respond to an evolution in branding and advertising. New creative skills increasingly sought after by clients include casting, video and set design and creative direction.
Council of Fashion Designers of America
We assisted the CFDA, the largest fashion trade association in the U.S., to incorporate the web within a coordinated marketing and communications plan. Our research helped determine the functionality and resources that would best serve its membership online.
After critical changes to the management team, this luxury/lifestyle brand undertook a major reboot. Eleven James had a unique offering, enabling watch enthusiasts and serious collectors the chance to learn, explore and enjoy the world’s most exceptional timepieces. We worked closely with managers to detail how each team will deliver on the brand promise.
A mens lifestyle brand, with an avid online following, was considering launching new brands as well as expanding into bricks and mortar retail. The management team collaborated on a 2-year plan to shore up resources and capitalize on early successes.
A seasoned management team is building an international wholesale and retail business around Elad Yifrach’s unique sensibility across categories of luxurious, functional design. We identified that rapid growth required tighter operational processes and a better technology infrastructure to meet the growing demand in the market.
We worked with this leading web design and development firm to differentiate their offering by taking full advantage of their deep market intelligence, expertise in e-commerce solutions and exceptional service delivery to fashion brands.
As the world emerged from the pandemic, this fine jeweler seized the opportunity to open a new store on Madison Avenue. We worked with the owner and senior managers to re-assess the product array, pricing, brand visibility, and marketing collateral for a new generation of consumers.
Soon to celebrate its 100th Anniversary, this dealer in rare vintage and collectible fine jewelry sought new strategies to compete in a crowded market of online retailers and luxury corporate brands. We supported the investment in branding, marketing, and sales strategies that foreground Siegelson’s connoisseurship and access to unusual and coveted pieces of historical importance.
Finance and Real Estate
Citigroup Art Advisory Service
A division of the Private Bank, the Art Advisory Service had little market research to inform a new communications strategy. Following a survey of clients and usability testing with private bankers, we were able to clarify the brand equities and define the scope of content and web site architecture.
National Check Trust
With a new Chief Executive Officer and significant market opportunity, one of the largest check guaranty companies in the nation used the strategic planning process to build consensus around key priorities. We worked with the executive team to sharpen the brand focus; to evaluate the product development cycle; and, to create milestones to maintain the level of responsiveness through a period of growth and change.
Paramount Realty Group
This privately held real estate firm built an exceptional platform to manage a portfolio of luxury commercial real estate in 3 U.S. markets. We identified system upgrades to further improve service to tenants and returns for investors.
Health and Wellness
Henry Street Settlement
Founded in 1893 and located on the Lower East Side, HSS offers social services, arts and health care programs to 50,000+ New Yorkers every year. We facilitated a 3-day “brand camp” with senior managers to clarify key brand messages and align the activities of communications, marketing, fundraising, government relations and community outreach teams.
Holy Cross Hospital
For an orthopedic surgeon launching a concierge practice, we detailed an operational scenario that ensures a first-rate customer service experience in addition to the best surgical outcomes for patients. We worked with the physician practice and the hospital administration to identify cost-effective solutions to typical patient complaints.
After the success of “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” the documentary filmmaker and CEO of Reboot sought a business plan to stay connected to his audience and to promote the juicing lifestyle globally. We defined the service level agreement with a strategic partner and the management infrastructure to support the Reboot e-commerce platform.
Marketing and Distribution
Allied Domecq Duty Free
A Miami-based subsidiary of a global wine and spirits company was pursuing new market opportunities across Duty Free channels in the Caribbean. We facilitated a pan-regional strategic planning meeting to focus on the major team goals and assess how resources would be allocated. We trained managers in a process analysis method to zero in on inefficient processes that, if re-engineered, could save time and money.
A global wine and spirits company launched a new Commercial Unit in Mexico to manage a portfolio of more than 60 brands. We mapped 75 operational processes throughout the supply chain to create effective inter-relationships with distribution partners, advertising agencies and the distilleries. We defined job functions and the reporting structure as well as a dashboard of key performance indicators to support the management team.
A creative communications agency, preeminent in the food & beverage sector, was seeking to partner with clients on revenue sharing opportunities. We considered ways to grow the core business while adding new lines of business.
An owner-operated toy company, in business since 1990, needed a competitive strategy to launch new product lines; expand its distribution channels; and, launch an effective direct-to-consumer strategy through its web site. We worked closely with the owners and managers to ensure that roles and responsibilities were aligned to the strategy.
Leitzes & Co.
A creative branding agency has formulated and executed some of the most exciting collaborations between large consumer brands and celebrated artists who confer their own cultural influence. We support the owner on critical decisions that impact staffing and financial performance.
World Equity Brand Builders
This entrepreneurial venture was able to achieve extraordinary market penetration in a short period and that, in turn, attracted the attention of major suppliers who cannot compete as effectively in the Caribbean and Latin America. We worked closely with the management team to bring the operation to full scale with as little friction as possible.
Media and Technology
A start-up dedicated to bringing transparency to the art world used our support to refine the product offering for launch. We narrowly defined the value proposition of a block chain ledger to major players in the art market and then, recommended a staffing plan to deliver the customized product.
Roles and responsibilities at this start-up were muddled so we re-defined the key positions and reporting structure to distinguish between product development, marketing and sales and financial accounting. As a result, the go-to-market strategy became more clear for investors and staff alike.
This publisher has achieved meaningful brand equity and robust ad sales that distinguish it in the cluttered online environment. We looked at trends in the market to evaluate current and alternative revenue models that leverage its insight into a niche, hard-to-reach audience of opinion leaders.
Empty Quarters Studios
Prior to the pandemic, this production company had significant commitments in hand for original documentary film projects. The company continued to generate more content ideas but the market has become fragmented in recent years. We developed a two-pronged strategy to capitalize on core strengths; and, to diversify to compete with larger players.
Ms. Rabbino served as Project Manager to implement their $27.4 million co-branding deal with AOL. Oxygen content was served to ten web channels. 27 team participants were located in New York, Seattle and Washington, DC.
A 24-hour network of local television channels in five markets was producing and broadcasting content in a non-standard way. We mapped and re-designed processes to standardize programming and scheduling across the channels. The processes enabled scalability for additional markets.
Part of Gannett and the USA TODAY Network, this product review site became a a top competitor to rival sites and an important revenue driver for the parent company. We helped the senior team transition from a start-up culture to a more process-oriented mid-sized organization. The growth strategy is backed by a staffing plan and a financial forecast.
In a fast-changing media landscape, this well-known design publication sought opportunities for brand extension. We worked with the team to successfully pivot into consulting on design-centric ventures without losing the creative essence of a beloved magazine.
Wide Eye Creative
A digital agency achieved recognition in the field for rapidly developing user-friendly, beautifully designed websites for progressive candidates and causes. The team undertook strategic planning to maintain its entrepreneurial spirit while building a durable infrastructure to take on more projects across business and non-governmental sectors.
American Friends of Jordan River Village
The American fundraising arm of an Israel-based camp for kids living with chronic and life-threatening illness needed to re-structure the governing body to build a wider base of donor support. We worked closely with the Executive Director and Board members to incorporate new Board members into a tiered structure with varying degrees of oversight responsibility.
Apex for Youth
More than 1,500 Pan Asian American youth are served through a variety of programs– from sports, arts to mentorship– by this dynamic organization located in Chinatown. Apex receives major donor support to combat the impact of systemic racism and economic inequity on this under-served population. We are supporting the leadership team– staff and Board members– to expand to other boroughs and provide services to a larger share of NYC’s Pan Asian youth.
Azuero Earth Project
An environmental non-profit based in Panama needed to home in on program priorities and determine an appropriate staffing plan to ensure sustainability.
East River Development Alliance
Adjacent to the nation’s largest public housing project, ERDA offers college prep, workforce development and financial fitness programs to serve 10,000 residents. We were retained to shore up operational processes that will improve program delivery, customer service and evaluation.
As a mentor for the Global Social Venture Competition hosted by Columbia Business School, Ms. Rabbino collaborated with a team that is dedicated to creating the most efficient and cost-effective model for base-of-pyramid market entry in India. Ms. Rabbino accompanied the team to implement a proof-of-concept trial in northern Karnataka that far exceeded performance benchmarks.
National Children's Chorus
Serving more than 1,000 children in eight U.S. cities, the nation’s largest children’s chorus has enabled members to perform at the country’s most important musical venues including Walt Disney Concert Hall and Lincoln Center. Garnering a Grammy and rave reviews in the U.S. and abroad, we are helping the NCC to build the infrastructure as it continues to scale.
Perfect Earth Project
A visionary environmentalist founded this non-profit to make homeowners more conscious about how to care for their own properties in such a way that local plant and animal species thrive. We worked on the plan and an operating timeline to achieve the founder’s vision and hand it off to volunteers and staff.
Qatar National Food Security Programme
A far-reaching, government-sponsored effort to achieve food security in this Gulf country required an administrative infrastructure to produce a Master Plan in 2 years. We assessed the current capability gaps and created a staffing plan to coordinate the activities of stakeholders including Qatar’s national agencies and private sector businesses, universities and non-governmental organizations abroad.
Speak Up Africa
Speak Up Africa has struck unique partnerships between media operators, governmental agencies, and funders to revolutionize the way health information campaigns are disseminated in key African regions. We worked on a plan with the founder to adapt the policy and advocacy work to improve public health in new regions.
Women's World Banking
Leaders in women’s financial inclusion, this social venture is bringing user-centered design into financial institutions that have traditionally ignored the vast market of low-income women. We developed a business plan to bring proof of concept pilots to full scale so that financial institutions and telecomms would achieve ROI and prioritize this customer segment.