Who We Are


Blane Friest, CEO and Executive producer

Blane Friest in Maui

Blane began his theatrical career designing lights for The New Minowa Players production of The Music Man in 1980 and hasn’t stopped doing shows since. He has toured nationally and internationally as Technical Director/Production Manager with productions ranging from The Rocky Horror Show to Driving Miss Daisy, Porgy and Bess to The Romeo and Juliet Ballet. As Designer/Technical Director/Adjunct Professor at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, he managed the College’s Otteson
Theatre, a vibrant roadhouse hosting music, theatre, and dance from across the globe. During this period he also served as President of his Stagehand Union local, IASTE local 217. Shortly after moving to New York in 2000, Blane shifted to the corporate and industrial event world.
He quickly accumulated such clients as; AOL/Time Warner, Xerox, Sesame Workshop, New York Botanical Garden, Atlantic Records, Christie’s New York, Estee Lauder, Macy’s, and Morgan Stanley where he accepted full time consulting position. During his 5+ years as Senior Event Producer at Morgan Stanley he worked primarily with Senior Management and Institutional Investment clients, interfacing directly with 100’s of CEO’s and government officials, from Martha Stewart and Steve Ballmer to Hilary Clinton and Bob Dole. In 2007, Friest re-launched DDM where he continues to bring his vast theatrical design, direction and production background to his event work creating fresh, innovative events that produce outstanding results.

Casey Cook, Controller

Casey provides financial, administrative, and production back-office functions in support of live events, corporate meetings, trade shows, and product launches. From developing, tracking and reporting budgets to processing multi-venue payroll, Casey has supported such clients as Comcast, E! Entertainment,Morgan Stanley, and Xerox. Administrative support has included all aspects of venue operations, including ticketing, union and talent contracts, insurance, copyright clearances and scheduling for Novo Nordisk, Colleagues Theatre Company, and Bank of America. Casey also has solid production experience as both Stage Manager and Production Manager for the Irish Repertory Theatre, Drama Dept, and Big Fish Productions, all in NYC, as well as Coach, Daichi, Glaxo Smith-Kline, and GM.

Sara Nowlin

Sara Nowlin is a new addition as a production assistant for the DDM Production team. She has several years of administrative experience working with corporations, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. As a Virtual Assistant, she has several clients, which keep her busy attending to a variety of duties, including email newsletters, social media, customer management. At DDM Production, her expertise is in creating systems and organizational structures for streamlining administrative processes. She also assists with on-site production at conferences. Previously, Sara worked at AOL as the Executive Assistant for three new sales departments. Aside from her regular administrative duties, she also focused on executive reporting, new employee training, and event planning. In her free time, Sara loves to travel, dance, and spend time with family and friends.

Val Figueroa

Born in Jersey City, NJ and raised there in early childhood. At age 10, moved to Carteret, where she attended grades 6 through 12. In high school, she was a member of NAHS, the National Art Honor Society, for 3 years. Having a desire for animation that has existed since elementary school and progressed greatly ever since. Influences include American and Asian animation, the comedic style of American cartoons and story-based style of Asian animation. Originally planning to pursue a degree in Fine Arts, the first exposure to Windows Movie Maker in 2006 changed the path to a newer digital style of art. Now she is currently a student at New Jersey City University pursuing a BA in Media Arts, focusing on animation. She has interned as a 2D animator/character designer and is currently the post-production editor/producer intern at DDM.

Steve Cleary, Creative & Interactive Media Producer

Steve brings his experience as a digital marketing professional to lead DDM’s online efforts. Steve grew up in southern New Jersey and went to Drexel University in Philadelphia to study Mechanical Engineering. After college, Steve moved to the Bay Area during the height of the dot com boom and picked up skills in business analysis, application development and web project management. Steve moved back east in the fall of 2006 and has been working as a freelance creative/marketing services consultant ever since. His clients have included boutique marketing and creative services firms, traditional advertising agencies, digital agencies, entertainers, fashion labels and non-profit organizations.