Dan Crask: Portrait of a Shepherd.

 

As Creative Director and Co-Founder of Brand Shepherd – a creative agency based in the Maryville, Tennessee area – I work alongside every account we serve; I am extremely hands-on.

Brand Shepherd specializes in building, branding, and guiding better products: Digital products, tangible products, and productized services.

Guidance is at the center of why we are called Brand Shepherd because it is what brands benefit most from and yields collaborative relationships that span many years.

I co-own Brand Shepherd with my wife, Andrea. We began as a part-time business in 2006, then in 2008, Brand Shepherd became my full-time interest. Our team is a flexible group of full-time independent contractors who work under my creative direction.

I also am a NASM-certified personal trainer, and have a “side gig” called Body Shepherd. I am a former morbidly obese man who struggled with emotional eating, eating disorders, and the myriad problems that come with obesity. Having journeyed out of the obese lifestyle in 2002, I have since transformed myself and now enjoy my fit 40s.

Body Shepherd was set up to do just that and I am thrilled to say that my clients have lost hundreds of pounds in Body Shepherd’s short time in business so far.

A wonderful and short article was written about my dual roles as a Shepherd by a very talented and renowned journalist. You can read it here.

Rapid-Fire Q&A

  • How would a brand benefit from working with you? Anyone who has worked with me would likely say that they value how much I listen upfront, ask great questions, and only then, form a plan of action, then execute it with quality – usually over-delivering.
  • What is your personality like? I am an INTJ, and learning this about myself has done wonders to flex strengths, become aware of weaknesses, and truly know what ways I can best help people.
  • What is your favorite season? Spring. I am a morning person, and springtime is the season where nature – and people – wake up from the winter slumber. Spring is nature’s morning, so it suits me well.
  • Do you have a favorite sports team?  Yes! I am a lifelong Chicago sports fan, except for those dreaded White Sox. It’s all Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks.
  • What is your food weakness?   If a love for Southern-style biscuits and gravy is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
  • Lastly: What’s up with that beard?!  In Scotland’s Highlands is a tiny village called Crask; even has a little place called The Crask Inn where I hope to one day get a meal. My beard is orange/red, and I blame my Scottish blood for it.

Man of Faith

I am a follower of Jesus the Christ and believe he is the son of the one true God the Father. My faith drives every part of who I am. There is no distinction between business, personal, volunteerism, public, etc. for me — I believe God is sovereign over all things and therefore my faith in him flows through all things, too. I would not describe myself as an “evangelical” in the sense that is commonly understood in the American church parlance, but rather I am of the Reformed/Calvinist line of Christianity.

Family Man

I am a father to 4 kids I didn’t know I could love as much as I do, and I place the highest of value on being present for them. My wife and I have been together for many years, and have a unique relationship that pits two very strong-willed first-borns together with complementary skill sets.

Education

In 1999 I graduated with a B.A. from Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. During my studies, I majored in graphic design and commercial photography. I found that working as an assistant to many commercial photographers in the Chicagoland area exposed me to a lot of design shops. Over the years I’ve used my knowledge of photography to aid me as a designer.

In 2018 I became certified as a personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) to be able to work with people who also want or need to get out of obesity. I was re-certified again in 2020.

Volunteering

My approach to volunteering is directed by my faith, and Jesus tells us to give so privately that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. So, I try to volunteer in a non-public way, at least in such a way that I don’t broadcast the play-by-play.

Volunteer efforts, to date, have mostly been as a mentor with various types of business development orgs. I am extremely guarded with my time, as my role of father is a much higher priority, so I take on volunteer roles rarely and only when it’s a fit with all other parts of my life and career.