What got you in the business in the first place?
“I started in the business when I was just 9 years old. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Russ (who happens to be my dad) started taking me to the office to help with projects in the late 80’s. He’d always walk me through the projects and give me special things to do to ‘help’. “
“It was just a great environment in which to learn. As I got older I tried to stay away from doing what my dad did, but somehow, no matter where I was working, I ended up doing marketing. I finally just went all in 10 years ago when he approached me about working with him. Of course our family said “no way, bad idea, you two are too much alike” but I did it anyway. And here we are. No relationship is perfect but we have a great system.”
“End of long story is, Russ is the biggest influence in my career. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be doing what I am now. And I LOVE what I do. “
What was “your finest moment,” the thing you’re most proud of?
“My finest moment would be the conclusion of my very first two-day All Staff event. We were presenting the new Enculturation™ process for our largest client. There were too many employees to do just one event, so it ended up being two days’ worth. After nearly a year of planning it went off without a hitch (or at least that is what the attendees thought). It was awesome to see how everything came together. And awesome to have a congratulatory drink after.”
What was your most embarrassing moment in this business?
Now my most embarrassing moment, gee, that isn’t easy. I think there have been a few. For me it has to be when running a meeting and having an outside speaker with us, then ALL of the AV equipment which had been working flawlessly the entire day suddenly decided it needed a break. We stop the presentation in front of everyone trying to find the issue. And NOTHING, I mean NOTHING is working. Not only does embarrassment kick in but so does panic. Eventually we figured it out and had a good nervous laugh. But I sure was red in the face.
Do you have a method for coming up with ideas and solutions for clients?
We all work so well together in the office. I’m big at just throwing ideas up on the board and seeing what tickles our fancy. I love starting with the “No, but. Yes, and” game. You start with an idea and everyone says “no, but” and the reason it isn’t a good idea. Boy is that an idea killer. Then we change it around and do the same idea with everyone says “yes, and” then adding anything to the idea. No matter how silly or outlandish. Then we share our ideas. You would be surprised at what can come out of this.
What makes a great brand?
A great brand is one that had great people. If every single one of your employees is not living your clear and distinct brand, then you are doing it wrong. Just one bad interaction can have massive negative implications for your business.
What driving career goals do you still have?
Honestly I’ve never wanted to have the biggest clients, or clients with the biggest budgets. But I have always wanted clients that I love working with on a daily basis and ones that I know we are making a positive impact for. My goal is for us to continue doing that with as many companies as we can.
What talent do you wish you had?
The one talent I wish I had was to read people’s minds. Haha, I guess this answer needs to be a real one. I’ve worked really hard on being a bit more sensitive in how I respond to clients. I am a very direct person and at times can come off as being a bit rude. I’d love to be able to answer clients like Russ does, haha.
If you had to live on a desert island, what would you miss most?
I would miss Netflix the most. My get-away is to binge watch on the weekend with my husband.
Is there any food that helps you think more creatively?
I am a chili head. I LOVE anything SUPER spicy. It keeps you on your toes. So I would for sure say anything spicy, tangy, salty helps me keep my creativity going.
What’s your favorite sports team?
I can’t choose just one team. It has to be the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the LA Lakers. Please don’t make me choose because I just couldn’t.
What frustrates you the most?
I have teenagers, so there’s that.
What’s your point of view about politics?
Not touching politics.
Tell us about your pets?
My pets are the absolute best and cutest of all time. No matter what Russ says about his dog Cuba. Currently we have a Pressa Canario named Zula and a French Bulldog named Lady. We also have a beta fish named Frosty (he’s red by the way). All of our dogs are rescues, older dogs with either behavior issues or health issues. And in some cases both. We also foster dogs. Mostly Frenchies, Bulldogs, or mixes. It is one of my all-time favorite things to do!
What was growing up like for you?
It was awesome. The first 9 years were spent in Nebraska. A small town with more cows than people. Very tight-knit community where everyone knew everyone else. Then at 9 we moved to San Diego. Ok, major difference. We spent most of our time outside and together as a family. I was in the band and did cheerleading and was just a regular active kid.
What’s your favorite TV program? And your least favorite?
I am really into real life murder mystery documentaries. I HATE the real time cop and prison shows. Just too much.
What do you for a good time when you’re not working?
My husbands’ family is HUGE, and most of them within just 15min of us. We spend a lot of time together, eating, drinking, listening to music and just having fun. We spend a bunch of time with our friends as well. There’s nothing like spending time with extended family!
What was college like for you?
If I had gone it probably would have been awesome.
What are your favorite internet sites?
I’m not sure I really have a favorite site per se. I’m kind of all over the place on the internet.