Not to make too much of our recent milestone, but I am a bit reflective as we celebrate our agency’s 25th anniversary this week.
There are so many people and companies to recognize:
- Thanks first to our early clients for entrusting their work to a small startup. Included in that slate of initial clients was Amerock Corporation, a local hardware manufacturer where I had worked in the marketing department for 13 years and gained many friendships. Though I had been away from Amerock for a few years, the rich experiences I had there helped shape our agency's focus and gave us some market knowledge we could pitch. Still, I truly wasn’t sure how it would all pan out. I am very grateful that Amerock and others gave us some work right away. We were able to hit the ground "busy" and have been similarly fortunate ever since.
- Though this may sound a little unusual or deserving as a shout out, our first landlord should be recognized as well. The help I received at that time was indeed unusual. Jim Benkovich & Associates is another agency here in town that remarkably was willing to sublease some very nice office space to us. This greatly simplified the logistics of establishing our business with a legit address, telephones, reception area, a conference room, offices, “lights” and even some flexible backup help in graphics when needed. I’ll never be able to thank Jim enough for his support and kindness.
- Most definitely, I am also indebted to the highly gifted people who have formed the HMG team over the years and kept our work relevant. It has always been humbling to me when people so talented and often with good jobs elsewhere chose to step aboard. We are fortunate that many of those individuals have been with the company the majority of our 25 year history. Those senior members are the ones who best know that I'm probably not kidding when I say I take credit for their great work.
- And speaking of credit, I must thank our vendor partners that granted us the oh-so-important lines of credit to enable getting things printed, produced and published for our clients.
- Our accounting firm, bank and corporate attorney have worked with us since the beginning as well, always keeping things organized and official.
- Friends have also come forward over the years to offer referrals as well as encouragement in case I should ever waiver from the goal of building something special along this path that God has provided for me.
- And special thanks to my family, of course, for putting up with my being so absorbed in the startup efforts which began in 1993, a year in which my two Gen X sons were young teens. I made it to football games and other activities as best I could. Still, as anyone who has started a business probably knows, it does make it more difficult to be there for everyone.
To keep my reflections brief, I won’t recount all of the changes that have taken place in marketing communications over 25 years. There is plenty out there about all of that. Let me just say that being involved in marketing today continues to be exhilerating and rewarding for me personally.
For anyone who may be considering a career in marketing and particularly in an advertising/marketing agency, I’ll offer that I truly find great pleasure in working within a creative atmosphere involving graphic design, photography, video, writing and other tools of our trade. It’s great knowing that our work has played a part in many, many successful product launches and in helping to create brand value for some great companies.
Among my many proud moments is when I see packages we’ve designed being selected and placed in shopping carts at Home Depot, Lowe’s and other retailers. Behind purchases like that are companies that employ people, and through those jobs, help put food on tables at those employees' homes. Pretty cool. I enjoy running across any of our work being received, read, talked about and affecting successful outcomes.
In business, few thing are as satisfying as feeling that your work means something, is noticed and possibly has moved the needle a little. We’ve had that opportunity for 25 years. Thanks to all that have contributed and continue to be a part of our small story.