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Photo of Dr. Tom Guarriello

Dr. Tom Guarriello

Founding Faculty

Tom Guarriello was born in The Bronx at the beginning of the Baby Boom. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in psychology from the University of Dayton and earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Duquesne University. 


Tom specializes in helping individuals and organizations develop the creative ideas, innovative methods and customer-focused products needed to succeed in rapidly changing environments. 


He spent the first 20 years of his career working in the public and private mental health system as both a clinician and executive. 


Since 1989, Tom has focused on helping leaders improve their individual and organizational performance by developing a deep understanding of the context, experience and behavior of their customers.


In 1994, he co-founded TrueTalk, Inc., along with his partner, Peggy Kelston. The firm focuses on enhancing organizational creativity by strengthening social systems. 


Tom has been fascinated with the social/psychological impact of technology since spearheading his first IT project in 1981. He has authored The TrueTalk Blog since 2004, and has created hundreds of video blogs. In January, 2006 he was invited by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen to be one of five members of the inaugural YouTube Community Council. On November 21, 2006 he became Twitter member #13,472. TrueTalk now helps organizations of all kinds use modern social technology to change the way business is done.


In late 2009, Tom was invited to become a faculty member in the newly launched Masters In Branding program at New York's School of Visual Arts. He currently teaches “The Meaning of Branded Objects,” a course in the psychology of branding and serves as one of Thesis advisors for the program's students.


Tom has worked with a wide variety of companies (from Victoria's Secret to Harvard Business School) in the apparel retail, publishing, insurance, health care, transportation, and communication industries.


Tom resides in Connecticut with Karen, his wife.

The curriculum for The Masters in Branding Program allows students to create frameworks to guide brand, design and business development, critically evaluate brand, business, marketing and design strategies and Master the intellectual link between leadership and creativity. Learn more...


Come check out the branding studio. Make an appointment...

Debbie Millman
Chair, Co-founder


Emily Weiland

Director of Operations, Graduate Advisor


Steven Heller
Co-founder, Faculty Advisor