At the ripe age of 23, Edward Estipona launched his own design firm. It wasn’t the brightest move for a recent college grad with little experience and fewer clients, but it was indicative of the way Edward would build his business, making the uneasy choice and innovating his way to success.
What makes Edward’s story atypical starts with the man himself. Spend any time with him and the distinct nature of Edward’s leadership become clear (and yes, we do include Edwardisms— his signature malapropisms—in that description). He was an early Apple adopter (remember the Macintosh LCIII?) and was among the first agencies to implement start-to-finish design with one artist taking a job from concept through final production—no production artists, no layers. As he grew his agency, the horizontal structure stuck with every employee having an equal voice and responsibility for the work. He took his agency virtual back in 2009, before it was common or even fully understood, choosing to invest in talent and technology over bricks and Red Vines.
Over the course of 27 years, he has guided that agency from a one-man design shop into a full-service marketing agency with over a dozen rambunctious employees known for smart, effective work, a commitment to community and a bit of irreverence. The advertising industry and the local community has taken note. Edward was named “Reno Advertising Person of the Year” at the age of 25, “Marketer of the Year” by the American Marketing Association’s Northern Nevada Chapter, a top business leader under 40 by the Nevada Business Journal and, in 2008, one of the “Top 20 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Reno Gazette Journal.
While according to Edward, “We don’t do it for the plastics,” under his leadership, the Estipona Group been honored with a host of marketing awards, including American Advertising Federation ADDY awards and American Marketing Association ACE awards. In 2008, Estipona Group was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Arts Award in recognition of its support of the arts; in 2016, the agency was named “Outstanding Media Partner” in the Silver Syringe Awards, the same year Edward was named “Technology Advocate/Creative Services” in the NCET Tech Awards; and in 2017, Estipona Group was a finalist for the Governor’s Points of Light Awards, recognizing community contribution through volunteer service.
Edward has been on the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of Western Nevada since 2014, last year earning an appointment to the Board of Trustees. He was appointed to two consecutive terms by then-Governor Brian Sandoval to the Nevada Arts Council, first in 2014 and then again in 2018. He was a founding member of the New Nevada Jobs Coalition in 2017, and just last year, was appointed to the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
Edward and his sweet 90s perm graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is the father of two and happily married to his high school sweetheart.