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Michael Kline
Principal/Creative Director

Leadership. Creativity. Results.

An experienced Creative Director with over 25 years of award winning design and art direction. Strong conceptual thinker, outstanding visual and strategically focused designer, with proven leadership abilities. Hands-on leader in creative concepting and strategy development. Extensive understanding of marketing and brand objectives, consumer needs, and the value of effective communications.

Principal and Creative Director  |  Black Creek Creative
January 2017 – Present
Branding and creative business. Offering a range of creative services from concept through completion and beyond. Clients have included, Aviators Market, Online aviation market; Frederick Indoor Sports Center; AOPA; Total Health Enhancements, Small business health and wellness consultants.

​Brand Creative Director | AOPA
September 2014-January 2017
Currently leading Brand Experience team, the internal Marketing and Communication Agency that provides strategic and tactical leadership to all divisions of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). This creative team is comprised of Graphic Designers, Copywriter, Project Specialist, and Production Manager. Collaborate with and provide direction to Digital Marketing and Web Experience teams. Work closely with AOPA’s Executive leadership team including CMO and President.​

Key Areas of Responsibility

  • Brand Positioning and Management

  • Member Recruitment and Retention

  • Major Gift and Donor Marketing

  • Consumer Product Marketing

  • Safety Education Marketing and Communication

  • Event Marketing and Experiential Design

  • Direct Response and Direct Mail Marketing

  • Manage External Marketing Agencies

Director, Creative Solutions Group | AOPA Media
August 2004-September 2014
Provided creative/design direction in all assigned communication areas of the association including monthly magazines and websites. Manage, promote and develop AOPA’s Creative Solutions Group as a primary internal resource for “creative” of AOPA’s communications and marketing efforts. Responsible for the association’s visual brand identity especially where “look and feel” was concerned.

Key Areas of Responsibility

  • Managed production of 500+ jobs per year

  • Managed team of seven FTEs

  • Managed editorial design and photography

  • Managed the budget for all art and creative

  • Collaborate with magazine editors

  • Collaborate with internal business partners

Art Director | AOPA Publications
March 1994 - August 2004
Art Director of award winning aviation magazines AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training. AOPA Pilot is the world’s largest monthly aviation magazine with a circulation of more than 400,000. AOPA Flight Training is a monthly consumer magazine with a circulation of more than 70,000. In addition I also oversaw art and design of many other AOPA editorial products.

Art Associate | Queensmith Communications    
March 1992- March 1994
Act as editorial and promotional designer for Professional Pilot magazine. Professional Pilot is a monthly trade publication for aviation professionals with a circulation of approximately 40,000. In addition to working on the magazine, I created advertising designs for Murray Smith Advertising a division of Queensmith Communications.

League President  |  Frederick National Little League
August 2012-Present
The League President is elected by, and is accountable to, the local league board of directors. Duties of a president is to oversee the affairs of all elements of the league. 

​Key Areas of Responsibility

  • Oversee a 250+ family youth sports program

  • Oversee all league operations

  • Oversee league marketing and communications

  • Coordinate league-wide community events

Freelance Design and Creative Direction
June 1996 – Present
Freelance graphic design and marketing business. Offering a range of creative services from concept through print. Clients have included, Laketalk a monthly newspaper produced for the Lake Linganore Association; Frederick County Holiday Committee; Immersion Active; and Jasco Inc..


2043 Sumner Drive
Frederick, MD 21702

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
School of Visual and Performing Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design


  • Gold and Silver Ozzie Awards for Magazine Design (AOPA Pilot and Flight Training)

  • Gold and Silver Excel Awards from Association Media and Publishing

  • Gold and Silver Addy Awards

  • Recognized with more than a dozen AOPA Management Awards.

  • Guest Speaker at Folio Show, IAOPA World Assembly, International Symposium of Aviation Photographers, and Association Media & Publishing

  • Coached youth baseball and basketball for 10+ years


  • Expert in both Mac and PC environment

  • Expert in Adobe CC Applications—Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Acrobat Pro, and Dreamweaver

  • Expert in Microsoft Office Applications—Word, Power Point, Excel, and Outlook

  • Expert with email and marketing automations services such as MailChimp, and Real Magnet

References and/or portfolio available upon request

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