With deep roots in both advocacy and the corporate world, our leadership team has been the steady hand behind all stripes of campaigns, stories, brands, and movements.

Charlie Cardillo

President & Creative Director

Charlie is Underground’s founder, employing his nearly 20 years of experience crafting creative strategy and campaigns for a wide variety of non-profits, foundations and government agencies. A master of storytelling and message, Charlie has led creative development for some of the most memorable and effective campaigns in the nonprofit world.

His deep experience in the advocacy space underpins Underground’s work and culture, serving clients from Earthjustice and the ACLU to the Rainforest Action Network and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The campaigns he’s developed have helped to propel a number of campaigns into the media, placing issues on the political and social radar.

Rochele Tanabe

Senior Art Director

Rochele brings over 14 years of experience in branding, art direction, and design development in print and digital media. Her background spans consumer and civic projects, specializing in education, healthcare, and retail. She is experienced in developing capital campaigns, editorial collateral, and environmental design.

As part of the creative team, Rochele builds conceptual frameworks to execute as strategically robust designs. She collaborates with the team on content formation and design development. Before joining Underground, Rochele partnered with WCG as Senior Creative Manager, lead the creative vision and managed projects for Alterpop, a strategy and design studio, and executed award-winning designs on multi-disciplinary teams for The Office of Michael Manwaring, a design firm specializing in public works. She is an alumna of the California College of the Arts.

John Winkleman

Director, Strategic Account Services

John is a brand strategist and client service executive with over 15 years of experience in brand development and integrated marketing communications. His work spans multiple industries, including healthcare, financial services, consumer products, retail, and nonprofit.

Experienced in all facets of communications development, including positioning strategy, messaging, identity design, campaign creation, and print, digital, and video execution, John brings an exceptional level of counsel and service to all the clients with whom he partners. Prior to joining Underground, John directed brand marketing engagements at WCG and NewGround. He was also a senior consultant for FrontLine Management Consulting, where he directed strategic planning, market research, and consumer insight studies.