The Hub of the LevLane Wheel: Donna Pangione, Director of Production
Since she joined LevLane in 2010, Donna Pangione has often been referred to as the “hub” that keeps the agency’s projects in motion, from concept to completion. Here’s why:
How does your position fit into the functions of the rest of the agency?
Our department brings the project to life. Whether that’s a brochure, an outdoor billboard, print advertising, t-shirts – we handle it from start to finish and deliver the final product.
What led you to LevLane?
I had worked at LevLane years ago, and remembered the friendly people. I was glad to find that a lot of the people were actually still here! In this ever-changing world of advertising, it is rare to find so many familiar faces so many years later.
How did you know this was the right position/career path for you?
I loved the subjects of art and English growing up. Penn State University had an advertising major at the time, so I thought that would be a good mix of both! Now, I am one of the few Penn State Alumni with an actual advertising degree.
What is a typical day at LevLane like for Donna Pangione?
I manage the creative workflow, answer A LOT of questions, answer a lot of phone calls, double-check, double-check, double-check, review proofs, and most importantly ensure that everything is produced on time and within budget.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role at LevLane?
I interact with everyone on a daily basis and each department has its own idiosyncrasies. It can be challenging handling multiple personality types in the appropriate manner. It is also difficult to partake in the multiple steps involved in the successful completion of a project. My anticipation is always to exceed clients’ expectations, so there is a lot of back and forth and verifying to ensure that all parties are satisfied and that the final product looks as close to perfect as possible.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
It is so satisfying to see the finished product and working collaboratively with others to develop the best possible creation. And I love when I come in under budget!
What types of projects do you most enjoy, and why?
I love utilizing unique printing techniques that just add the final, special touches to a design. Embossing, UV coating, varnishing techniques, foil-stamping, die cuts…it’s fun!
What’s your favorite thing about LevLane?
Everyone works really hard and at the same time the atmosphere is laid back, fun, and friendly. I also thrive on the fast pace of the agency. The ever-changing environment allows the day to go by quickly and there is always something to do.
How do you handle the constant pressure of working on multiple deadlines?
Jogging!! Also, remembering that we are all working toward the same goal and that the deadlines always end in a beautifully-executed design.
As the head of your team, what plans or goals do you have for Production over the next year?
I’m really excited for the new software that we recently began using. It is a system that enhances project management tools. The goal is to further explore how it can facilitate our workload and make managing and interpreting creative needs more feasible and efficient.
Do you have any advice for someone trying to enter/advance in your area?
Follow your heart!! You’ll be successful…whatever success means for you. But above all, only you know how to make yourself happy. Follow your heart and you’ll get there.
What are some personal qualities that help you do your job efficiently?
My ability to “see the forest for the trees” has brought me a long way in this industry – sometimes it just takes common sense. My job requires careful consideration to budgets and timing, which are essential when it comes to producing projects as directed. I also try my best to be a good listener – that’s very important! Whether it’s filing each project into a “job jacket” or organizing the various folders on my desktop, my ability to organize has been a great help. It is extremely important to pay attention to detail and stay one step ahead of the game.
Some people describe you as “the glue” here at LevLane. Why do you think that is?
My department is kind of like the quarterback of a football team. Our job is to throw the ball and to set the play in motion for the rest of the agency. Without direction, it is hard to know where to begin and how to proceed. The glue is unseen, right?! Another way to put it is that we are like the hub of a wheel – everything starts and ends here and turns all around the central location. We are able to take note of the details and note any inconsistencies to bring the project up to par.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
To Key West to paint sweatshirts on Sunset Pier….yup, that’s where I’d like to be right now. (She showed me pictures. It’s awesome!)
By Gena Bushnell, LevLane Spring 2015 PR Intern and marketing major at Saint Joseph’s University