"It's ok to make mistakes, just learn from them."
At the ripe age of 22, 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 becomes 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 nearly three decades, 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. In 2022, the agency he founded was named Advertising Agency of the Year (under 10MM) in the West.
While according to Edward, “We don’t do it for the plastics,” under his leadership, Estipona Group has 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 is devoted to his community and passionate about supporting its health and growth. And he doesn’t just talk the talk — he volunteers his time, energy and expertise on numerous community and statewide boards. He has served on the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada Board of Directors since 2014 and on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for three years as Chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion task force. He served two consecutive terms on the Nevada Arts Council, a term on the Nevada Travel Commission, and currently serves on the Governor’s Workforce Development Board. Edward is a founding member of the New Nevada Jobs Coalition, as well as a founding member of Truckee Meadows Tomorrow (TMT). After serving on TMT from 1997-2002, he returned to the board in 2020. In 2022, Ed was invited to join the Truckee Meadows Community College Institutional Advisory Council.
Edward and his sweet 80s 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.