Giving Thanks to Our Ann Arbor Team
Our Ann Arbor team’s pretty solid. And while all but one aren’t technically employed by Mayniax Branding, I consider every one of them part of our crew. And you should make them part of yours, too.
Well, except for Vanessa.
These are the people who’ve helped us in innumerable, and immeasurable, ways this year. Basically, they’ve been the backbone of Mayniax Branding while I’ve been goofing around giving talks, or out sick for an undisclosed illness that looks dangerously close to – allergies! *gasp*
Plus, it’s closing in on Turkey Day, so what better time to give thanks to our people?
And now, without further ado, here is our Ann Arbor team!
Patrick Collins, Ypsilanti Tech Works
Behold, the most dangerous man I’ve ever networked with!
Sir Collins, as he’s come to be known, knows all about server networks, I.T. security, and various other computer-related stuff. He likes to say he “takes the ‘SH’ out of ‘IT.’”
So why’s Patrick the most dangerous man I’ve ever networked with? Because we had a shared love of whiskey. And had no problem imbibing in the cups. In fact, the first time I ran into him “in the wild” was at Conor O’Neill’s on St. Patrick’s Day. I still don’t know how I escaped alive.
You may remember that, earlier this year, our site was sloooww. We were afraid we’d have to get a dedicated server, which would’ve been pretty pricy. Patrick was able to get it handled so we ended up only having to pay a bit more, but nowhere near what a dedicated server would’ve cost.
Whenever we have any computer-related questions, or a need for whiskey, we get a hold of him.
Nehemiah Harmsen, Nehemiah9Design
It’s likely Nehemiah’s sense of humor’s drier than Death Valley.
I’ve got a pretty dry sense of humor, but Nehemiah takes it to a whole other level. He also worked as a teacher in China for 12 years. So, one day, after a meeting, we were walking through the mall, and stopped so he could listen to a top 40 song from a few years back. Ah, the weird things one remembers.
I’m very much someone who tries to surround myself with people who are better than me. Nehemiah and I both have design backgrounds, and I’ve gotta say, I think he’s got me beat. In fact, I referred him to a client of mine who’d asked for some illustration work I couldn’t pull off, and he knocked it outta the park!
Nehemiah also co-founded Washtenaw Creatives, and asked me to speak on a panel for the group this past October. It was a blast, and I even think it was helpful.
The man’s nuts, which is probably why we get along, but he’s also a killer graphic designer!
Chris Lee, The Chris Lee Show
This dude’s the non-judgmental cousin I never knew I needed
Chris and I didn’t start out as pals in business, though we did meet at a networking event. And later we met again at another networking event. And it was all downhill from there!
Chris and I have way too many conversations about way too many things to be too judgmental when it comes to one another. It seems nearly every texting conversation has one or two moments it’s best the world at large doesn’t know about. Because we don’t want to end up on any lists. The guy’s a smartass after my own heart.
When he records my Branding with The Big Guy podcast, he drags his equipment to The Castle – the humble name I’ve given my humble abode – it’s usually on the weekend. We’ll sit down and chat before he hands me the microphone. The high-quality recordings are always top-notch!
And when we’re done recording, we chat rather than text. Because it’s safer that way.
Stefanie Mitchell, S Mitchell Marketing
It’s not every day you meet a kindred spirit.
When Vanessa and I brought in Stefanie to help with our social media, we knew she was cool. We also knew she was the only person we’d met who knew more about social media than we did.
As Stefanie and I got to know each other, what I didn’t know – but soon realized – was just how fundamentally alike we were. We also had some of my favorite conversations of the year, revolving around the future of business culture, the world, politics, religion, and assorted ideas where I actually had to think – not about strategy, but about life.
At first, Stefanie wasn’t as blunt as she needed to be with her content ideas. I told her I needed her to be more so because I’m fairly oblivious. Now she has no problem with said bluntness, which means I get plenty of homework. I’ll clearly need to re-think the whole bluntness thing in the future.
We call her our social media queen and chief idea-ologist because, well, she is!
Francis Olegario, Allegra Print Mail Marketing
He once tried to tell me something was his fault, even when it wasn’t!
I met Francis while networking at an event a couple years back. He handed me his card and I didn’t think much of it, because it was just another business card. Fast forward a few months, and I was sick of the people we were using for printing. So, rifling through my insane collection of business cards, I found his. And we haven’t used another printer since.
Francis and I get along for a few reasons. Those are mostly based on the fact he’s such a positive, upbeat dude, and we chat about the different exercise programs we’re doing. That’s right, I’m sexy and you know it. He also constantly invites me to different events that I swear I’ll be able to go to one day very soon!
We have a client who always needs things designed, then printed, last-minute. We design, and Francis’ team prints it just in time!
Francis is also into jui-jitsu, so I like to think they get everything done so he doesn’t take them down.
George Pariseau, Brainstream Creative
It’s seems George isn’t a big fan of mediocrity.
We gel on that. As a contractor, I once left a marketing meeting telling everyone I was “…sick of this second-rate bullshit!” George had a similar experience when he was working for a contractor putting in tile. The tile wasn’t straight, George brought it up, but the dude he was working for said it was okay. The homeowner was not pleased.
The good Mr. Pariseau and I have a lot of discussions revolving around marketing vs. branding. We both know each is important, but enjoy getting under each other’s skin.
George is the guy who recorded our first branding video. It’s the black and white one you can find all over our social media and on a few pages of our website. Hell, I think I’ll even put it right about here!
George can be an intense guy, but he’s fun to give crap to. He’s also one hell of a videographer.
Vanessa Symington, Mayniax Branding
And so it’s come to this.
You can read all about how Vanessa and I met by clicking here. But I figure I should give you a little more on why I’m so thankful for my business partner in crime.
Many of you know our roles: Vanessa’s the behind-the-scenes person who handles all the business-type stuff and organization, and I’m the face who gets out there in front of the public. She’s the classic operator, and I’m the classic visionary. If I said, “Vanessa, we’re going to the moon!” she’d say, “Dave, we have to build the rocket first.”
There are other things. For instance, she’s just the bluntness I need in my life. When I get off the phone with someone, she’ll often say, “I don’t know how you have friends.” When I’m all proud because I did something like cleaned off my desk, she’ll say, “You should just do that, anyway.” And whenever I say anything that could be thought of as even a little cocky, she’ll just roll her eyes. She’s always honest with me and calls me out on my crap when necessary.
Even when she thinks I did something well, she’ll give me a half-compliment, just to keep me in check.
But mostly, I’m thankful for Vanessa because through all the years of us working together, and through all the part-time jobs she’s had to get to keep it going, she’s never abandoned the dream. She’s never abandoned me.
Even when I get frustrated because things are taking a while – when really it’s just been a little over two years – she reminds me to stay positive. And she reassures me that we both knew this would take a while.
Folks, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you need a Vanessa. Even if she only gives ya half-compliments, just to keep you in check.
And Now for the Big Finish!
And that’s it, folks. Those are the people I consider part of the team. We’re not yet ready to pay them everything they’re worth, so I thought the least I could do was tell you just how awesome they all are. And how thankful I am to have them as part of the team.
Stay gutsy, gang!
The world is broken, and we believe only entrepreneurs can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.
Wanna set up a happy fun time chat with Ann Arbor’s favorite branding team? Then click here, fill out the form, and we’ll get back to ya!