Who We Are

So much more than designers.

Launched 26 years ago by Elle Chute and Denny Gerdeman, Chute Gerdeman is now one of the industry’s most respected global design agencies. We imagine freely, think strategically, and execute precisely to create dynamic environments, precise communications, and transformative business solutions for your brand.

We’re a community of over 75 professional partners, each bringing a positive reputation and unique background to the projects on which we work. We’re united by the common goals of developing lasting relationships with clients and designing beautiful spaces informed by real-world strategy.

How We Work

These values guide us.


We do our work with soul. We feel our company is unique and our ideas worth advancing. We care about our industry, our clients, and the consumers we ultimately serve. We shop. We eat. We travel. We ARE the consumers we serve.


Our ideas and advice are for actual use and solve real problems. We remind ourselves of our purpose to balance our creative passion. We are in this business to transform our clients’ businesses, but also to nurture our own. Whatever it is, we make it better. We make it matter. And we make it last.


Relationships are built on a series of experiences. We believe that we are “better together.” We collaborate with each other and with others. We play well together. And we win when we work together.


Blazing a path toward the future.


Denny Gerdeman

Co-Founder & Co-Chairman

At his core, Denny is a curious and passionate retail veteran. To the retail industry, he is an ambassador, leader and student mentor rolled into one.
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Brian Shafley


Brian sets the bar high for all of us, ensuring that each client gets a successful and proven mix of creativity and operational practicality.
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Wendy Johnson

EVP, Account Management & COO

As CG’s senior program director and administrator, Wendy is at once the voice of the client, hands-on creative team member, and high-level strategic manager.
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George Nauman


Easygoing yet hardworking, collaborative yet focused, George is the consummate consensus builder, team champion and client advocate at Chute Gerdeman.
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Jay Highland from Chute Gerdeman

Jay Highland

Chief Creative Officer

Jay has been instrumental in championing CG’s core capabilities and building CG’s diverse creative teams. Always challenging the status quo, he is a consummate retail design authority.
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Gary Yoko

EVP Development

Gary brings proven real estate, construction and architectural knowledge. He represents a critical shift in retail design toward providing proof and accountability to the full scope of creative services.
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It’s about more than just aesthetics.