We Are A Diverse Team Of Talented Folks
who are driven by big ideas and great stories
MARKETING. E-LEARNING. FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION. IT’S ALL ABOUT STORY.
The common thread through all our work is the power of story. We’ve been hired by ABC, Soulpancake, Lionsgate, and Samsung, among others, to create rich narratives — from an original scripted web series to multimedia marketing experiences — for highly critical audiences.
For corporate training, auto sales training, and other e-learning engagements, our stories create compelling contexts that drive alignment between the individual’s motivation or WIIFM and why the organization wants them to adopt a new behavior or learn a new process.
Our holistic approach to learning, marketing, and the production of digital content sets a very high bar in IP, design, and experience because we tackle the critical questions that must be answered and conditions needed to achieve behavior change.
President / Director
Before Upper Diamond, David was Vice President Production & Creative Director for the Ninth House Network – the leading provider of e-learning business solutions. His work there started with their first product – a six episode interactive series that taught Ken Blanchard’s ‘Situational Leadership’ which was shot for weeks, day and night, in the Arizona desert.
In his 5 years at Nine House, he led the creative team on two different award winning interactive series and over 20 e-learning programs based on the work of America’s top business thinkers.
David is able to simultaneously grasp instructional objectives and interactive structure while leading all team members to create an engaging story, be it narrative or documentary.
David’s international documentary production experience has taken him to the Persian Gulf, China, England, and Nicaragua. Before Ninth House, David was co-founder and Vice President of Production for EntertainNet, an Idealab! start-up funded by Bill Gross and Steven Spielberg.
Earlier in his career David produced the award-winning interactive video CD-ROMs ‘Silent Steel’ and ‘Flash Traffic’ and received credits from Columbia, Universal, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and Castle Rock on shows including ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Rocketeer’ and ‘Beethoven’. Member Directors Guild of America. Undergraduate: Vassar College. Graduate: UCLA Film and TV.
Client Services Director
As Client Services Director, David focuses on business strategy, finding the best way to utilize top creative approaches, technical know-how and market experience to offer the most effective solutions. His breadth of experiences with F500 companies, innovative startups and emerging companies help him understand the challenges and opportunities at each stage of the business cycle. He has delivered for clients on key objectives related to creative innovation, interactive marketing, integrated internal communications and technology-enabled solutions for clients such as Google, Lincoln Motor Company, ABC, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Nike, IMAX, Win Forever, Baby Blues BBQ, Levi Strauss and Athleta.
David’s natural strength as a communicator helps him understand the challenges individuals and teams face in articulating their brand or achieving their desired goal. With Baby Blues BBQ, he has been instrumental in helping form a strategy that both activated the brand and expanded the company into new territories (Baby Blues BBQ Case Study).
His down-home practicality means he won’t hesitate to roll up his sleeves and dive in to help launch a campaign, build an asset, or do whatever it takes to accomplish the desired result. A great example was the launch of the Lincoln Motor Company ‘Hello, Again’ campaign, which was centered on a $20-million one night event.
By title David was in charge of nothing, yet he was at the center of everything helping three marketing agencies, two production companies, and a global car company remain civil and deliver an award-winning event and groundbreaking online experience. With David’s results orientation, you know he’s got your back.
David brings an east coast vibe and southern dialect to the Upper Diamond team. David’s diverse background makes him a great fit for the wide array of award-winning specialties Upper Diamond is known for delivering. A scratch golfer and an accomplished musician, when David isn’t busy with work he can be found enjoying a fine cigar or slow cooking a large piece of meat.
Producer / Project Manager
Noopur Sinha has over a decade of experience producing television shows, short films and digital content in the two biggest film industries in the world – Los Angeles and Mumbai, India.
She started her career as an Executive Producer for the largest television conglomerate in India, Zee Television Network where she worked on popular unscripted television shows including big-budget talent hunt shows, award shows and events. Transitioning to independent producing, Noopur wrote and produced several shorts in India and New York, which were screened and awarded at festivals in both countries.
With a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering and a Master’s in Film Production from India’s top ranked film school (Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune), Noopur’s expertise combines technical knowledge and creativity to make her a skilled storyteller. She’s a recent graduate of the prestigious and highly competitive Peter Stark Producing Program of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, Los Angeles.
While a student, she was granted funding to produce ambitious short films like The Broken Camera (USC Stark Special project, 2015) and a comedy web-series on the Indian/American culture The FOB and I (funded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer-owned New Form Digital), which are currently making the rounds of film/ digital festivals.
Her current projects as a producer include the comedy So Happy for You starring Emmy-winning comedy writer Christine Nangle and the family drama Mr. Goode starring Oscar-nominated actress Sally Kirkland.
Noopur is also a trained Indian classical dancer and she continues to add to the list of over thirty countries she has explored around the globe.
Director Business Development / Producer
Noel Scher has spent most of the last two decades helping companies communicate their value propositions.
From direct mail to product placement, branded entertainment and thought leadership initiatives he has worked with brands such as Chase Manhattan, Andersen Consulting, Patagonia, Red Bull, Apple among others. With a BA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz, he has long appreciated what makes a story.
He is honored to be tasked with telling the Upper Diamond Story in the hopes you will let us tell yours. He has lived most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area between stints in Hawaii.
Yakira’s love of story telling and belief in the importance of education is backed up by her embrace of technology and business processes. She earned a B.S in Management Information Systems, an MBA, and an adult education teacher certification — Yakira is well suited for the diverse projects under the Upper Diamond umbrella.
Yakira started her career in Software Quality Assurance with Southwestern Bell Communication, now AT&T in St. Louis, MO, where she supported five development applications in the IT organization. Successful in aiding applications reach CMM level two and three maturity, Yakira was promoted to project manager for the DSL organization where she was tasked with the rollout of the million-dollar eVista/Artemis implementation across platforms.
Over the past decade, Yakira has helped several companies ranging from small non-profits to fortune 500 implement process improvement initiatives and project management disciplines.
Yakira brings a Midwestern vibe with a no-nonsense New York approach to project management and the Upper Diamond family.
Senior Partner, Learning & Development
Laura is a gifted organization development and strategic change collaborator who excels at deciphering patterns in complex environments. This fuels the work she does with both businesses and government organizations in course curriculum and instructional design development for face-to-face and virtual environments. Designing interactive modules engages the learner to immediately apply and practice the content benefiting the participant, the consumer and the organization.
When it comes to sales training Laura believes that marketing the right product or approach to the right consumer saves time and money. Educating employees to understand and better serve the consumer is a win-win for everyone. Laura utilizes both quantitative (performance evaluations, increase in sales/revenue) and qualitative (feedback surveys) metrics to ensure effectiveness.
Laura has a proven ability to build alliances and engage cross functional areas and between stakeholder groups – especially when they appear to have competing agendas. She has a charismatic style that is both inclusive and collaborative and she excels at creating a positive dynamic in the room that moves groups toward common visioning resulting in developing shared goals. A keen focus is on collaboratively developing sustainable solutions to instill organizational agility.
Laura has led the implementation of broad based initiatives across multiple states and between diverse organizations. She has been a team member on federal grants testing and evaluating new interventions and models to improve organizations. Laura has partnered with many companies in healthcare, marketing, branding and legal.
Laura has a great sense of humor, and as a mother of four children, a step-son and two dogs, she will quickly tell you that no workplace environment is harder to decipher than a modern home!
Director, Business Development/ Producer
For more than two decades, John Dietsch has helped agencies and brands tell visual stories whether for education, branding or marketing initiatives.
From branded content to web-based platforms, and from corporate videos to content marketing, he has worked with agencies and F500 brands such as Apple, Bank of America, Honda, Suzuki, Boeing and Visit California among others. As a published co-author and reality-based TV producer with more than twenty awards, he has an affinity for dynamic story telling.
John likes the task of telling the Upper Diamond Story in the hopes you will tell us yours! Also known for his work on the fly fishing scenes in the film A River Runs Through It, John lives in the Pacific Palisades with his wife and three kids when he is not off fly fishing in Aspen or some other exotic location.
Paul Ryder, PhD
Teaching anything and everything from social ethics to security training, sales performance to American history, Paul engages students so that they will not, no cannot, forget. A graduate of Harvard College (physics), Rutgers University (developmental psychology), he has recently received his doctorate in Mythology and Comparative Religion.
Before joining Upper Diamond, Paul worked as an independent consultant engaging a wide array of clients – from the DoD to the TomPeters! Group, Amazon.com to the University of California.
Before going out on his own he spent 15 years in the training industry working for Andersen Consulting, Xerox Learning Systems/Learning International, AchieveGlobal, and finally as the VP of Content Licensing and Development for Ninth House.
Professor Ryder holds a faculty position in the University of San Francisco’s department of American Studies. Paul spent his adolescence in the swimming pool where he was a three-time All-American and won a national championship.
From her first TV gig at 18 as an intern on “Good Morning, America,” Sibyl was hooked on media. After years in production (at fledgling MTV and the New York cable TV scene), she moved to L.A. to write.
Comedy, drama, episodic, moviesâ€¦ she’s done it for more than twenty years now. Produced credits include: Law & Order, Judging Amy, Profiler, Any Day Now, Joan of Arcadia, Saving Grace, Hawthorne.
Connecting with Upper Diamond, she jumped at the chance to use story-telling as a means of teaching content.
As a single mom with two young daughters and two dogs, she knows how to wear different hats, juggle, and make everyone laugh.
Mathew M Estrada
Mathew is a Business Strategy and Operations expert with a long history of helping entrepreneurial startups and rapid growth organizations build a culture of teamwork focused on excellence. He has wide-ranging industry experience, including ecommerce, digital marketing, logistics, non-profit, manufacturing, broadcast entertainment. He has leveraged his diverse background to help organizations overcome complex business challenges with experience-backed strategies.
Mathew brings these skills to Upper Diamond where he leads on all operational initiatives, including: HR, Finance, Cash Management, Planning & Forecasting and Strategic initiatives. He operates with a sense of urgency mixed with a clear, steady view of the future and always has an eye toward emerging tech & automation which is essential in today’s business environment.
Mathew has a strong orientation in operations and finance. Before Upper Diamond he guided Local Splash from 27 employees & $1.2m revenue to 187 employees & $12m revenue in 5 years. His ability to lead high-level operational initiatives has distinguished him among peers.
A proponent of empowerment and accountability, he was brought in by the Alzheimer’s Association for a restructure. The project entailed replacing 50% of the workforce and building a new, skilled, cohesive team focused on the mission. Not only did the project come in under budget and under schedule, it also resulted in a 25% revenue growth. Jim McAleer, President & CEO of Alzheimer’s Association stated “I found him to not only be an highly effective CFO, but also an inspirational leader.”
Mathew eagerly shares the lessons he learned at the top corporate level developing training programs, employee tools, leadership programs, strategy and vision, customer service programs, and cost efficiency programs. He proudly extends his leadership acuity to his community and has a true passion for charitable endeavors that benefit youth. He has worked with Corazon de Vida, including a stint as interim CEO, for the past 15 years raising funds to provide food and supplies for the orphanages of Baja California.
Mathew graduated from UCLA and earned an MBA at USC’s Marshall Business School.
5225 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1212
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350 Townsend Street
San Francisco, CA 94107