An 18-year veteran designer for web, print, mobile and User experience.
A results-oriented creative director and graphic designer specializing in brand science, color theory, typography, logo design, branding and corporate identity, publication design, advertising design, information design and website design and development. A visual communicator and User Experience Architect with a rare blend of artistic talent, education, practical experience and marketing insight. Demonstrated ability to communicate brand messaging, product benefits, user interaction and business strategies through the development and presentation of compelling visual storyboards to final published works. Viewed as an innovator, leader, systems thinker, and strategic problem-solver to support organizational vision and to achieve business objectives.
In 2010, Ron created and founded the first social media platform of its kind for people with disabilities (ilwad.com) and since speaks publicly with his co-founder Scott Sussman on the topic of what social media and online support groups can mean for those who suffer. Ironically, helping other people, he had kept his own disability and issues a secret.
In 2015, at 35 years of age and after finding out why he had been very sick for 20 years, he created HSAWARENESS.ORG to organize patients and fight for awareness, education, and for the civil rights of patients that are abused within the healthcare system and desperately need successful treatment where there is none consistent to all patients.
Ron was born an activist of HS in 1980. The results of his latest effort and “life’s work” are found here within our current HS Awareness Programs and Projects.
“After fighting my way to a fairly successful life, a event at work in late May 2015 took it’s final toll. I had bled through my clothes before in public and have become an expert over the years concealing it, but this time it was different. I had been keeping a secret most of my life, since I was 16 years old. I broke down and for the first time looked into what had and still is destroying my body to this day. With some light research, I quickly discovered that I suffer with a chronic inflammatory skin disease, HS. I fear I will return to how I was in my late teens and early 20s – when this disease wreaked havoc through both my body and mind. That late night in June 2015, what I discovered transformed my life, for the worse in the following weeks, but soon thereafter I discovered the real me and a purpose for what remains of my life I cannot get away from if I wanted to.”
CNN and Healthgrades publish on Ron Bercume
Hidradenitis Suppurativa: I’m Done Hiding
I left home at 16 before graduating high school. I moved from upstate New York to a warmer climate, and in that warmer climate, something happened to me that had never happened before.
What started as a boil-like lump on my thigh grew to a 4- or 5-inch open lesion. The same thing happened on the other thigh, and eventually the same boil-like monsters appeared and multiplied on my pelvis. I didn’t know what it was, and truthfully, I didn’t want to. My best guess was it was a bad case of herpes—which wasn’t anything I wanted anyone to know or see.
So I just wore pants, continued bussing tables, and pushed through the pain. Since then, I put myself through college, became a graphic designer, started my own company, and even worked for a Fortune 100 company as a user interface architect. For 20 years, I didn’t tell anyone about my secret lesions.
Read the full article on CNN: Hidradenitis Suppurativa: I’m Done Hiding
Senior User Experience (UX) Architect, Creative Director and Graphic Designer
SeeMore Media Graphic Design
April 1999 – Present (17 years)
Greater Philadelphia Area
Principle of this design company focused on the management and design of print, web and advertising materials for an international client base. Over 10 years of experience in managing small to large-scale projects based on original, creative design solutions that meet client needs. Lead all business activities including strategic business planning and corporate definition of marketing and sales strategies; lead generation; project and proposal writing and presentation; cost negotiating; establishing project budgets and timing objectives; and the fostering of key customer relationships.
Sr. UX Architect
June 2012 – May 2015
Greater Philadelphia Area
Creative Director and Senior User Experience (UX) designer on 4 key projects for a Fortune 100 client. Instrumental in project scope and discovery as well as execution of a core production process including project planning, wireframe development, and high fidelity interface UI design. Responsible for project implementation from ideation and branding to web engineering.
Chronic Disease Patient, Advocate and Activist
Organization Founder and Awareness Activist
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) Awareness
June 2015 – Present
Greater Philadelphia Area
Founder of a unique activist and advocacy group that supports the legitimate efforts of all Hidradenitis Suppurativa Organizations and Awareness efforts worldwide. We will do everything within our power to aid and bolster philanthropy, research and compassion for those who are plagued by Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
Co-Founder and Disability Rights Activist
June 2009 – Present
Greater Philadelphia Area
Founder of the first social networking platform focused on the empowerment of people with disabilities and their loved ones. This online community focuses on providing tools and resources that are needed to enable self-expression through success stories, solutions sharing, and emotional support.
Education and Certifications
Rochester Institute of Technology
Imaging Arts & Sciences – Graphic Design
Rochester, NY 1999 – 2003
Studied Graphic Design at the School of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester.
ORCID is a non-profit organization supported by a global community of organizational members, including research organizations, publishers, funders, professional associations, and other stakeholders in the research ecosystem.
ORCHID ID: 0000-0002-2851-2732
News, Acknowledgements and Accomplishments
ARISE to host Special Olympian, social media speakers at June 26 conference
Auburnpub, Apr 6, 2015
Social media creators of ilivewithadisability.com, Scott Sussman and Ron Bercume, will present three sessions to those who want to immerse themselves in the world of social media opportunities. Sussman and Bercume developed “a social platform for those of us who refuse to allow a disability to become a defect, a disadvantage or a defeat.”
From Dirt to Design, Lake Placid News Book Review
Lake Placid, NY June 2014
LAKE PLACID – Reading “From Dirt to Design,” a biography of former Lake Placid resident Ron Bercume, Jr., I kept asking myself the same question: “What makes this man in his early 30s so special that a biography had to be written about him?”
Ron Bercume & Scott Sussman: Using BuddyPress to Change the World
Wordcamp Philly, December 11, 2010
Emerging philanthropist and WordPress aficionado Ron Bercume partners with Scott Sussman of ILiveWithaDisability.com (ILWAD.com) to create a revolutionary social networking platform for people with disabilities and their families. Merely three days after launching ILWAD.com, Automattic, the developers of WordPress and BuddyPress, invited Bercume and Sussman to present their website at WordCamp Philly, a conference at Temple University on October 30, 2010.
Speaking Event: Wordcamp TV Video
Hun School staff member launches social media website for people with disabilities
Wordcamp Philly , December 11, 2010
Eventually, he and Bercume would reach out to organizations such as Special Olympics and Autism Speaks to dual-market with the website.