“Don’t censor yourself. Believe that if you have a thought that genuinely excites you, it’s worth sharing. Get in the habit of learning how to let it out,” shares Lou Massaia, the newly appointed executive creative director at PALIO. “Even if it’s not the most brilliant or fully connected thought, someone might be able to build on it and that’s what this game is all about. It’s a collaborative sport.”

While the agency world may be a collaborative sport, Massaia joined PALIO for its uniqueness and ability to differentiate from the hundreds of other healthcare agencies, he says.

“To me PALIO was always this cool shop that existed in its own little universe. I like to try and keep myself exactly in that creative mind-set. It’s a very special place full of original thinkers that never tried to be on Manhattan Island. Instead they created Fantasy Island and just made the magic happen.”

And Fantasy Island will receive a new look, according to Massaia. “Each office is undergoing its own face-lift and the NYC and Irvine offices are moving to completely new and fresh spaces.”

Massaia joins Palio from The CementBloc, where he served as senior vice president, creative director. With a career spanning over 15 years and multiple awards, he has a few ideas on how to succeed in the agency world.

“Go with your gut. My gut response to design and ideas in general is usually right for their intent. When you learn to rely on gut response and your creative vision is clear, you save time and you’re able to be more prolific in general.

“As a leader, never get in the way of a good idea,” he adds. “Some of the best visual ideas come from writers and some of the greatest headlines can come from art directors—and that’s the fun of it. When we put our guard up against those possibilities, we just wind up stifling potential greatness.”