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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2021

Tom Duffey, Crescendo Collective CEO: “We take on some of the most complicated web technology and digital marketing challenges our clients face. We get called in when other agencies don’t meet client expectations. We believe in working fast and over delivering. We have a 100% success rate.”


Every business wants to have a strong digital presence that will attract interested parties and convert them into satisfied, happy customers. No matter the industry, C-suite management knows the impact technology has on the future of their business. Businesses know that all of these elements need to be running efficiently and with a sustained strategy to maximize ROI from providing essential online services and content, PPC advertising, or social media marketing. However, finding a partner that can do these things well can be a challenge, especially when the IT industry is already overflowing with agencies competing with each other in an intense battle to cut through the chatter for the chance to even be considered for work.

In this tight market, Crescendo Collective takes a David vs. Goliath approach and provides solutions with the speed and efficiency that other, often larger, agencies simply do not have. Crescendo fights against administrative bloatware to achieve client success in faster, more efficient ways. Even with the latest best-of-breed technology, Crescendo’s goal is essentially old-school: be the best partner customers have ever had. This goal is met with a mix of technological innovations, agile leadership, and a traditional, midwestern work ethic. Headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, founders Tom Duffey and Bernard Gomez have always fought to showcase the talent and ingenuity outside of Silicon Valley, starting in the land best known for beer and cheeseheads. What started in 2014 as a small digital agency with everything to prove has grown into a force to be reckoned with, having team members and clients spanning the globe.

A Full-Service Agency Specializing in ECM Digital Transformation

Crescendo understands the need to offer workable solutions at an accelerated pace. In fact, many of the jobs that Crescendo takes are jobs that are often deemed too challenging. Because of this, Crescendo gets called in to fix the work of other agencies that weren’t able to uphold the weight of their promises with the demands of tight client deadlines. As a full-spectrum technology agency, Crescendo offers a range of solutions and expertise to meet the digital needs of today’s successful businesses.

  • Content Strategy & Optimization
  • Content Management Systems
  • Development Team Augmentation
  • Customer Data Platforms
  • Digital Marketing Experiences
  • Web Creative Services
  • User Experience Design
  • Audience Acquisition

The Collective of Crescendo

What started with 12 people in 2014 has blossomed into a true global collective. With a multitude of skill sets and coming from various disciplines, the team at Crescendo views themselves as a band of misfits and trailblazers that put the emphasis on getting things done. According to Bernard Gomez, co-founder and VP of Accounts at Crescendo, “What sets us apart from the competition is our workforce. We focus on bringing in high quality talent who can get the work done with a smart, clinical approach. At Crescendo, we don’t just have tech experts. We have tech ninjas.” From all across the US and the Asia-Pacific region, from all backgrounds and identities, one characteristic is intrinsic for workplace success: a highly motivated, self-starting attitude with a drive to get winning results.

A Culture of Self-Motivation and Success

When it comes to company culture, one thing that all members of Crescendo can agree upon is the support system to help teams succeed is an essential component to get positive results. Another accepted fact about Crescendo is that working here isn’t for everyone: the work is challenging and not for those that want to simply slip through the cracks and hope for the best. For those that enjoy a challenging, fast-moving work environment, they can find many new opportunities for challenge and growth.


At Crescendo, the leadership is allergic to excessive bureaucracy and gives employees the freedom and independence to work their own way. Since micromanagement is indicative of slow, nonproductive death, the management team at Crescendo lets adults be adults without the need to manage every hour of the day. As long as teams communicate and provide results, that’s the only thing that matters.

For upward mobility in the company, Crescendo employees have the opportunity to build their own path to career success. If someone wants to try new things, expand their skills, or go for specific roles and positions, they are more than welcome to present a plan of action to ensure their own needs and interests are being met. Tom Duffey, CEO and co-founder of Crescendo Collective says, “When we consider candidates for new roles and positions at Crescendo, we always leave the door open for current employees to step up and do great things. We believe in the investment that we make in each employee and want everyone in Crescendo to be a part of our success story.” The current management team at Crescendo is a great example of building homegrown heroes. When looking at the makeup of the management team, 93% were promoted from within the company. And 31% of the management team started as rookies and worked their way up.

Pandemic Challenges Give Rise to New Opportunities

As 2020 proved to be a challenging time for everyone, Crescendo remained true to its calling to be a dependable digital partner for its clients. As businesses were scrambling to make tough choices and quick changes to their overall strategies and timetables, Crescendo was able to provide clients with the stability and dependability needed to navigate those crucial first months of quarantine in the pandemic.

As physical businesses were shutting down, Crescendo also met the needs and concerns of its team members and encouraged safety and prudence. As quarantine life began in earnest, the Crescendo team soon discovered that working remotely could still give clients fast, effective results. In 2021, Crescendo officially transitioned into a “work where you want to” environment, allowing its team members to better manage their work/life balance with the added freedom to not be tied down to a specific geographical location. As team members opted to relocate, telecommute or take a more relaxed approach to work at the office, this new freedom meant that Crescendo’s pool of talented workers was now wide open to anyone who wanted a rewarding, fast-paced work environment.

Celebrations and Visions of the Future

Crescendo Collective is known for its fast, successful results and the unique relationships it forms with its clients. Because Crescendo is so sharply focused on delivering customers scalable enterprise solutions with demanding deadlines, it can be easy to move from one project to the next without much fanfare or a victory lap. And since Crescendo now has employees across the globe, one thing that the leadership is more focused on is celebrating and sharing the success stories of the collective. “We’re at a point in Crescendo history where our work is not only speaking for itself; it’s driving others to us. That type of success is impossible without a great group of people that we can rely on, and it’s time we really show off and brag about the excellence that we have onboard,” says Gomez. To help bring a global team closer together, Crescendo is looking into the opportunity for an exchange program where the Milwaukee and Manila offices swap team members for better chances to learn and grow together. As for the future of Crescendo Collective, that future is motivated by finding even more excellent people to work with across the globe to better serve its clients. “We say that the sun never sets on Crescendo, and we’re doing our best to make that even more of a reality,” says Duffey.

“We’re small, fast and agile. We don’t believe in business as usual. We want to be the best partner you’ve ever worked with.”