About Us

When we really know you, then we can apply our creative process, Cognitive Design, to maximize your market presence and develop everything from your corporate capability statement to your next proposal in ways that will make you stand out from the crowd. Cognitive Design combines cognitive learning theory with visual design to raise your value proposition above the competition.

At 90Degrees we want to know you, and we want you to know us. This builds successful partnerships that build business.

Since 1992 we have helped customers design captivating messages, develop business opportunities, and prepare winning proposals for billions of $’s in government and commercial contracts.

We know that developing a corporate message, taking this message to the marketplace, positioning business opportunities and writing winning proposals requires the development of an intimate understanding of the culture, skills and aspirations of our customer.


Al Pines

Managing Director

Al has had a 40-year career in marketing and business development working with US Government contractors and commercial corporations covering many different industries both in the U.S. and around the world. He has applied his expertise on 5 continents. Since founding 90Degrees in 1992 he has helped dozens of companies build market strategies for penetrating the Federal Government, and has led numerous capture and proposal efforts accounting for billions in client revenue. He is also a specialist in preparing teams for oral presentations.

Sam Frentzel-Beyme

Managing Director

Sam is a brand strategist, designer and inventor with a lifelong curiosity about how innovation, design thinking and strategy combine to create and grow successful brands. Since founding our sister company Diligent Rocket, Sam continues to be sought out by entrepreneurs, executives and city leaders for his insights and strategies. Sam has an MBA from McGill University with additional studies in design at the School of Visual Arts and innovation at MIT.

Chuck Colton

Business Strategy Director

Chuck has over 35 years of experience managing business development as well as operational units of 400+ personnel with P&L responsibility. He has served in senior executive positions at Xerox, Keane, Syscon/Logicon (now Northrop Grumman) and Wang Global (now BAE). Chuck also spent time working in the energy industry and supported the Council on Environmental Quality (The White House) and the White House Energy Policy and Planning Office. He also was involved with mergers and acquisitions activity and continues to advise clients in these areas.

Ahkemi Hume

Research Director

Ahkemi is a 2013 graduate of East Carolina University, BA in Business with a concentration on marketing. She has quickly become our number one research guru, leading our efforts to research business opportunities in the federal market place for clients that subscribe to our pipeline development programs. Her unique talent for applying creative thinking to our research efforts helps our clients in their efforts positioning for new business.

Terry Krohn

Director Proposal Architects

Terry has a diverse background graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a BS in Mathematics and Physics, he won the RWP King Prize from the IEEE for his work on electromagnetic scattering from composite materials. At the same time Terry is an accomplished author, having published two widely praised novels taking you into the shadowy world of the moneychangers. His first novel, eye of the Pyramid achieved Amazon bestseller status in December of 2005. Having already become an expert in government proposals, for the last 5 years Terry has guided the Proposal Architects at 90Degrees, achieving a spectacular win rate for our clients.

Ritzya Mitchell

Public Speaking Coach

Our own Ms. Unforgettable, founder of the Speaker Salon, Ritzya graduated from the University of North Carolina with a BFA in Theatre and Performing Arts. She has studied at Juilliard and performed at Carnegie Hall. In 2003, after a long career in entertainment, Ritzya began coaching others in drama and public speaking. For the last 4 years she has worked with 90Degree clients to help them create unforgettable presentations.

Paulette Gilmore

Art Director

Graduating Summa Cum Laude in Art/Commercial Art Illustration, Paulette brings true artistry to the development of proposals and corporate marketing materials. She is an award-winning designer having developed materials for Mitsubishi, Drager International and SAIC. Paulette’s eye for great art (fine art, which she creates in her spare time) lends a special dimension to the graphical components and visual displays we create for our clients.

Alex Pines

Creative Director

Alex brings over ten years of experience working with in-house and client services, startups and digital advertising agencies. His work and writing has been featured in design magazines and publications including IDEA Magazine, HOW, Communication Arts, I-D, and PRINT Magazine. Since 2013, he has been one of the principals and co-founders of our sister company Studio Unlisted. He holds an MFA from CalArts and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Alex is also an adjunct professor at Otis College of Art and Design.

Sam Trapkin

Creative Director

Sam is a strategic design thinker with passion for leading projects from inception to launch, ranging from brand experience to multi-platform roll outs. Since 2013 he has also been a founding partner and principal at our sister company Studio Unlisted where he works on various interactive projects. Before that, he was Senior Interactive Designer at Under Armour where he was involved in a variety of projects including the re-branding of their campaign “Protect This House”. Sam has a BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art.