We Go the Extra Mile

We are Northgate, a global creative agency that brings together the best in every phase of digital marketing so that you can bring the world to your doorstep.


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Our Story

A first-rate business venture always starts with a dream. Northgate’s certainly did. In 2019, when David Tracy and Philip Lin gathered together like-minded friends who had both talent and imagination matching their plan to offer a combination of first class ability and collaborative ethics unknown in the marketing business, the world noticed. Northgate began as though shot from a gun and hasn’t backed off since.

Our Customers

Northgate has served businesses in over 20 distinct types of industries including healthcare, food services, construction, fashion, non-profits and more. Our client base extends beyond our headquarters in Des Moines, IA as we have served clients in over 16 states and six countries. Our team is multilingual and multicultural so that we are positioned to provide marketing services in nine languages and assist companies that want to conduct business internationally.

Our Team

Diversity is a buzzword in today’s world, but at Northgate, it’s business as usual. Our team gathers an almost dizzying myriad of languages, cultures, and time zones, joined by a single desire to use our best to reveal yours.

David Tracy


CEO, Founder


David Tracy, founder and CEO of Northgate, is an award winning marketing and advertising strategist with a global perspective. He has traveled to more than forty countries in the course of working in international non-profits. His conviction is that one of the best ways to influence our world is through media, arts, and marketing. He brought his experience in event organization, design, branding, cultural anthropology and documentary film to unite some of the multi-talented people he’d come to know from all over the world with a client base that would bring new life to them all. David’s vision, and his commitment to make a difference, is the bedrock of Northgate.







Philip Lin


COO, Co-Founder


Philip Lin was born and raised in Taiwan and graduated with a BA in finance. After traveling the world for ten years working with international non-profits, he found that many had marketing and branding needs. In response, he and his team organized media promotion projects for organizations in China, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries in Asia which included both digital marketing and printed magazine publications. Now working in Northgate as the COO, in addition to helping Northgate grow their market in East Asia, he provides a foundational stability and focus so often missing in a creative environment.








Ryan Reed


CFO, Co-Founder


Ryan Reed has been part of Northgate since its inception. As CFO, he brings all of the business experience he’s gained as a CPA, a commercial accounting professional, and as Controller for Des Moines’ well known and respected Elder Corporation. Among an ever-growing team of creatives, he is Northgate’s cool head, keeping his finger on the pulse of local markets, and a steady hand on our day-to-day decisions.











Daniel Johnston


Director of Video Production


Daniel Johnston pairs extraordinary enthusiasm and energy with a keen and inventive eye to showcase Northgate clients through video. A natural storyteller, Dan was a Nashville musician first who used his camera to promote his guitar but, in the process, found a calling. Now, his lens has become a way to examine and understand the world. A self-proclaimed Internal Culture Enthusiast, Dan has a gift for not only getting the best angle on his subject, but for revealing what lies below the surface. He’s found  that the culture at Northgate has brought out his  best work and we’re ready to bring it to the world.









Lily Want


Director of Photography


Lily Wang, born and raised in China, has been practicing photography for over ten years. With the passion to show beauty in its original form, she has traveled to over 25 countries to document nature, culture, and people. She has been the lead photographer for media projects in Asia, Europe, and America. With Northgate, she can now continue to help companies elevate their brands through her photography.










Rodrigo Cisneros


Website Design


Rodrigo Cisneros was born and raised in Mexico, and carries a deep love for the Mexican people wherever he goes. After completing both his formal education and post-traditional schooling there, he and his new wife Lauren moved north to live in Milwaukee among the Latino community. Soon, however, they moved a bit South to Illinois and while Rodrigo worked as a marketing professional, he also authored Eden Meditaciones, a Spanish-speaker’s guide to Christian meditation. They still live in the Chicago area, from where Northgate immediately began to benefit from Rodrigo’s quietly enthusiastic efficiency and quick graphic imagination. 








Valerie Wu

Social Media Scheduling
Product Design

Valerie Wu was born on the tiny island of Guam and has grown up living in both Taiwan and Los Angeles. Spending most of her life living in Los Angeles where creative expression is highly encouraged, Valerie discovered how art and design can influence our world in a creative way. With a passion for creativity in bringing new ideas and perspective to simple ordinary life, she strives to communicate intentional messages and concepts through the beauty of design. Valerie embraces design as one of the most influential, subtle ways to visually communicate ideas and to effectively create meaning within it. 









Malena Toral


Social Media Targeting


Malena Toral, Northgate’s targeting specialist, is a bilingual Panamanian native with a special love for social media. She is in a unique position that allows her to both pursue her career and study at the same time, although her surfboard is never far away and spare moments often find her at the beach. While some firms manage targeting using automated bots, Malena makes sure that every contact she mines for her Northgate clients is a legitimate potential market for them. She’s looking as forward to growing with us as we are to growing with her.








JoAnne Potter


Content Writing


JoAnne Potter has lived in the American Midwest all of her life, but gained a world of experience. A business career spanning more than twenty years included both Accounting management and a Marketing Vice Presidency for a Chicago area steel manufacturer, while leaving her enough free time to race cars. After that, JoAnne taught Literature and Writing for ten years, but her own freelance writing career has spanned almost forty years. Her work has been seen in dozens of publications and her memoir, “The Last Thread”, was published in 2019. As Northgate’s Very Senior Content Writer and token hippie, she applies her experience to the new world of modern marketing.







Joe Olson


Graphic Design


Joe Olson started his graphic design career early, winning a design contest even before leaving high school. His formal training came from the International Art Institute of Minnesota, and he comes to Northgate from an early career in freelancing. A Minnesota native who now makes his home in Des Moines, he strikes a delicate balance between the fast-paced demands of modern internet marketing and a deep-rooted desire for self-sustenance. Overlaying it all, Joe has a desire to create in all avenues within his experience. “Design amplifies story,” he says, and now he’s helping Northgate tell ours.








Atena Jackson


Graphic Design


Atena Jackson is another of Northgate’s international artists. From her home in Mexico, she’s been providing graphic design and photography for local businesses for three years and has recently expanded her influence to international markets. Her focus on collaboration and trust make her a perfect fit for Northgate, as is her enthusiasm for our shared vision. Atena is only now coming into her own and we’re looking forward to her influence.








Tim Byun


Graphic Design


Tim Byun likes things bold. A graphic designer who honed his natural talents while earning a BA from Cal State Los Angeles, his strong, distinctive designs get clients noticed.  A Korean American, his resume includes both band promotion in English and product design in Korean and encompasses food, sporting equipment, service and sports logos, and apparel. He is a perfect fit for Northgate: talented, imaginative, and multicultural.








Selansia Crawford




Selansia Crawford, or Sisie as she likes to be called, is one of Northgate’s gifted photographers. Although her roots are in Indonesia, she makes her home with husband and growing family in Des Moines. Her photography career started with a friend’s wedding, led to a mentorship under a Time Magazine professional, and now flourishes with family and public events. Her position with Northgate gives her a chance to hone her craft in studio and other indoor lighting applications, with a special emphasis on fashion. For Sisie, it’s her way of pushing the envelope. For Northgate, it’s another way to add someone imaginative, proficient, local, and multicultural to our team. Perfect.






Cerrita Tracy


Accounting Assistant


Cerrita Tracy does far more for Northgate than keeping husband and CEO David Tracy’s home fires burning. A Minnesota native who has traveled the world working in restaurant and caregiving roles, as well as alongside David’s various ventures, she’s gained a wealth of experience and thrives in fast-paced social environments that bring her in contact with people. A natural counselor and accomplished listener, she finds her niche helping people, not the least her own four daughters, finding satisfying roles and futures that fit their gifts. Now, as accounting assistant and bookkeeper, she also helps keep our legion of visionaries and creatives organized and her serene, centered voice is often just the reminder we need to focus. For someone who gets her own satisfaction from helping others succeed, she’s the perfect fit.