DENVER, USA // Norm Shearer has been the Chief Creative Officer at Cactus since 2003. A graduate of CU Boulder and the Art Center College of Design, Norm is passionate about helping organizations and diverse teams learn new and effective problem solving skills and creative thinking processes to increase innovation and effective strategies. At Cactus, he leads all the creative for clients in industries such as mental health and wellness, finance, healthcare and more. At his core, he believes that everyone needs to be more creative, not just the creatives.
In 2015, Norm and his business partner, Joe Conrad, launched Grit Digital Health — creating innovative digital products and tools for mental and behavioral health, with a specific product focus on student success and wellness.
With over 25 years of experience in advertising, design and branding, Norm’s blue-collar, “work hard, play hard” approach to creative work has earned Cactus accolades from Cannes, The One Show, SXSW and countless others. Through his long-standing partnership with The One Club, he has had the opportunity to be a judge as well as a mentor for students in The One Club’s Young One’s program.
In his free time, Norm shares his ample knowledge, and Dad jokes, as a guest lecturer, speaking on all things creative and design. A natural born educator, he currently teaches at the Denver Ad School to cultivate the next generation of creative talent. He served as an Adjunct Professor for 11 years at his alma mater, CU Boulder, and was named Alumni of the Year for CU’s Advertising School in 2013, where he now serves as a board member for the newly designed College of Media Communication and Information.
Norm is deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and leads the direction on this for Cactus, continuously challenging his colleagues to improve in every way possible. He recently spearheaded Cactus’ participation in Black Creativity Matters, a diversity scholarship program for the Denver Ad School that the agency is honored to be a part of.
With a heart of gold, Norm is the true embodiment of Cactus culture.