President / Co-Founder
Mark is the co-founder and president of SDA Creative. Before founding SDA, he was the Advertising Art Director of SURFER Magazine for 15 years. Mark was entrused with the creative image of virtually every major action sport company during this time, and helped many brands achieve long term success.
While keeping his roots in the high-energy action sports industry and armed with countless branding success stories, Mark also branched out into corporate America to apply his experience with the active lifestyle market to mainstream businesses. His marketing and branding expertise defines all aspects of SDA’s creative services, and he has now surrounded himself with an amazing group of design experts.
Mark was able to pass his love of surfing, tennis, snowboarding, and wakeboarding on to his 3 sons, who now show him how it’s done. Mark currently resides in Laguna Hills, CA with his wife Carole.
Creative Director & Designer
Mark is an award-winning Creative Director with over 25 years of experience. His background includes art direction and design expertise, production management, systems management and implementation and photography. He demonstrates team leadership, organizational skills, and is dedicated to our clients’ goals and ultimate success. Mark has worked within many diverse industries including motorsports, action sports, publishing, technology, manufacturing, fashion, and real estate. He recently completed the design and production of the highly touted book Hobie; Master of Water, Wind and Waves, a biography of Hobie Alter written by Paul Holmes for our client Croul Publications.
Also an avid photographer, Mark knows how to maximize impact in design by applying concepts of light, exposure, and composition to photography as well as in his design work.
Mark is happily married to his lovely wife of 17 years, Kris, and has two beautiful daughters, Shannon and Savannah. He is an avid cyclist and commutes to work often on his road bike, but also loves to ride his mountain bike, ski and snowboard, surf (not often enough) and occasionally do some stand-up paddling for recreation.
Senior Art Director
Born and raised in Southern California, Bob grew up living an active outdoor lifestyle. For many years he has made surfing, fishing and playing music key elements in his life. His design style reflects these pastimes and influences his work.
He obtained his foundation skills at the Art Institute of California, San Diego earning a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design. After college he worked as a freelance designer and with several agencies gaining experience with a wide variety of clients. Bob brings his unique skills to the SDA team and always looks forward to taking on the next challenge.
When not designing, Bob enjoys spending time with his wife and son.
Film & Media Director
Mark took an interest in filmmaking and new media at the age of 12, incubating his talents in the surf and snow cultures of Southern California through the creation of short films, websites, and surf flicks. After six years behind the camera, Mark attended Chapman University and received a B.F.A. in Film Production with an emphasis in producing and cinematography.
As the media landscape has changed, so has Mark. Positioning himself as Preditor (Producer/Editor) he’s made a name for himself by delivering professional and engaging short form content that can be delivered across any medium. In addition to the immense amount of commercials, music videos, and webisodes he’s created, Mark has consistently demonstrated his ability to execute large media projects with stellar results. An award winning film maker, garnering “Best Environmental Short” at the 2012 Miami Film Festival for his film “The Last Orangutan, Mark has produced the Surfer Poll Awards (2008-2011), The JDI Chosen Tour for Nike, and the Volcom Fashion Show to name a few.
Fluent in all aspects of new media, Mark knows how to bridge the gap between user experience, marketing, and modern storytelling on time and on budget. With over 18 years of experience producing, directing, and shooting, Mark brings yet another element to SDA’s ever expanding roster of talented professionals.
Sr. Web Designer & Developer
Mark Popkes is no stranger to southern Orange County. Growing up here in southern California has given him the privilege to surf, skateboard, and snowboard. Being rooted in such a lifestyle has helped shape and cultivate him as a designer.
While attending BIOLA University, Mark inadvertently fell in love with the web and began learning the “nuts and bolts” of websites. Now, you can find Mark building custom WordPress themes for clients, email marketing campaigns, and more.
Mark has such an insatiable desire to learn new things and accomplish difficult projects. With every project, he’s constantly trying to better himself with new and more efficient ways to code as well as always implementing the latest design trends. It’s safe to say that Mark is always pushing for excellence.
Mark currently resides only minutes away from the office with his wife and 2 daughters. When he isn’t glued to the computer screen, you can find him surfing down at Trestles or just hanging out at the beach with his family.
Web Designer and Developer
His family was very influential in his artistic talents growing up. Derrick’s father owned one of the first silkscreen shops in California and Aspen. He recalls all the time he spent helping out and learning about design. It was several years later, that he retuned to college at Long Beach State. It was there that he started working at a local internet cafe. The internet was young, and he viewed it as the modern Gutenberg Press. Armed with a degree in Graphic Design, Derrick focused on all things web and learning to code. He launched his career into Web creative by designing for several large agencies. He has seen the web world grow and stays current with trends and techniques. Derrick brings a long history of top notch design to the SDA Team.
Derrick is engaged to be married and has a wonderful teenage son.
Dan Snipes knew he was destined to become a photographer when, at the age of 12, he received his first Kodak Brownie camera as a gift. He pursued his passion with an education at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA. In 1985 Dan opened a commercial photography studio in South Orange County.
He has traveled throughout the world, photographing in Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, Central America, the Soviet Union, the Caribbean and Asia. During his travels, Dan seeks to capture “images that reflect unique light, pattern and design elements.” His portfolio includes a wide range of subject matter… from dolphins to doors to worshipping Jews. Whether its people, places, or things, Dan’s technical and artistic abilities combine to create images that are wonderfully fresh, graphic and emotional.
Carole began her professional life as a Food Technologist, utilizing a degree in Food and Nutrition. She took on numbers as a career when her husband, Mark Samuels (SDA President) started SDA in 1995. As financial and HR manager, Carole is your go-to person for all A/R and A/P matters. On the creative side, she facilitates the SDA marketing and social media promotions.
Carole’s personal interests center around her home and family, finding gardening and cooking ultimately rewarding. Along with her favorite canine, Neptune, she walks off stress miles at a time. A book lover, she believes in the power of the printed word in marketing and publishing, but concedes that technology is really fun and hugely useful.
A people person at heart, Carole is always happy to help our clients organize, improve and promote their companies. Working with the vast number of amazing entrepreneurs SDA has assisted over the years has been both gratifying and inspiring.