Age: 40
Occupation: Founder of TGW Studio
Current residence: Rochester, NY
Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Lisa Kribs is, first and foremost, a human being trying to find balance in everything they do as a partner, parent, musician, artist, and “proud elder millennial.” On top of all that, Kribs is a dreamer and a doer. Full of smiles, advice and support, they are an advocate for their many communities, a role model to colleagues and clients, and an open book to those getting to know them for the first time.

It’s important to know this up front, because Kribs is more than just their job, even though that job attempts to make significant, meaningful changes to the world around us one day at a time. As the founder of TGW Studio in downtown Rochester, Kribs is helping businesses get creative and thrive without sacrificing values and purpose.

Their journey was a short one—the distance between Syracuse, where Kribs grew up, and Rochester is less than 100 miles, after all—but there were detours along the way. After graduating with a degree in communications from Roberts Wesleyan University in 2005, Kribs landed a role with a market research firm focused on big pharma. While it wasn’t the career they had dreamed of, it did prove to be pivotal.

“It really planted a seed for me,” Kribs said. “I thought, if I'm going to be spending a lot of my week working, every single day, how can I align that with things that I value and find productive, or at least helpful, for the community?”

click to enlarge RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ
For several years that seed germinated and in 2012, TGW Studio was formed. Kribs calls it “a charming story,” but it’s also one of humble beginnings. Like tech empires in garages, the origins of TGW Studio (first known as This Good World) began in the backroom of The Playhouse//Swillburger on South Clinton, with the nearby drone of cars on I-490. That space now is filled with arcade games, but if you look close enough you might still find an old TGW logo visible through thinning paint. “Anytime I go over there, I think, this is where we started,” said Kribs. “It's very, very cute.”

Now based in the no-less iconic former Merkel Donohue building at 210 South Avenue, TGW delivers a brand of marketing expertise for a society that’s evolving fast, and has partnered with clients as diverse as Planned Parenthood, Seneca Park Zoo, and Greenspark Energy, alongside local businesses like Strangebird, Ugly Duck, and the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley.

As an LGBTQ+, non-binary, women-owned and -operated social impact marketing firm that is also a Certified B Corporation (meaning they strive for a balance between profit and purpose), TGW is focused on meaningful work.

“The creative, communications, and marketing industry as a whole really lacks representation,” Kribs said. “It lacks the leadership and ownership of women or any minority or marginalized peoples – if, for nothing else, when I'm thinking, ‘is this worth it?’, it's so worth it because we are really trying to be different and to be that representation.”

Beal St. George, TGW’s strategy director, said Kribs is fearless.

“The work that we do is not easy,” she said. “It takes a lot of time, intentionality and thoughtfulness to deliver the results that we do for our partners, and Lisa acknowledges that.”

And for Kribs, that fearlessness found a home in Rochester.

“There's great energy and momentum happening in Rochester, more so than 10 years ago when we came up with This Good World,” they said. “There have been times over the past couple of years when I’ve wondered, ‘do I still feel that way about the world?’ But I still feel strongly about putting a stake in the ground and saying ‘it can be, and it should be,’ so let’s all figure it out together.”

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