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Knock, Knock, Knock!

When you hear that bang on the door of life, it is important to check it out. Sure there are a fair share of times when you pull the door open to find nobody on the porch, but every now and again something special is waiting on the other side of the door. Why am I talking about doors? Well that is my not so subtle way of announcing that I am making a career change.

A few weeks ago, opportunity came knocking – actually it called my iphone. It was a call from a Walter Ohlmann, President and CEO of Penny / Ohlmann / Neiman, Inc. – an advertising agency based here in Dayton, Ohio. Turns out that Walter has been looking for someone to help him bring a more modern approach to their service offering. In particular, while the firm has a great depth of traditional public relations, strategic marketing and creative resources, they were looking for someone with experience in developing marketing strategies that incorporate the use new media and social technology. He had been given my name by a mutual friend, and out of the blue, gave me a call. (Knock, Knock, Knock)

After a few conversations, an offer was made, and I said yes. So, starting February 1st, 2010, I will take on the role of Chief Marketing Strategist at Penny / Ohlmann / Neiman, inc.

There are a number of reasons why I am excited about this opportunity. First, I am going to get to share my creativity, knowledge of marketing strategy, and passion for social technology with businesses in Dayton, Ohio and beyond. I have been exploring this area for some time now, and really look forward to delivering these services with the capabilities of an agency behind me.

Second, the fact that this will be a new service offering for Penny / Ohlmann / Neiman means that I will get to build the practice from the ground up. Make no mistake, this is going to be a big challenge. I realize that success will involve a great deal of work both internally and externally, but I know that I am up to the task. It is going be very rewarding to see this come to life over the coming year in the form of happy clients and a reinvigorated agency. We will practice what we preach, and our results will be testament to our understanding of what modern marketing is all about. We will face the same challenges our Clients face, and ultimately we will use passion, time, dedication and talent to steadily evolve into something remarkable.

Third, it is exciting to be a part of a company with such a rich history. Penny / Ohlmann / Neiman has been around for a long time. My job is to make sure the company is around a long time from now. The agency has a good reputation, exceptionally nice people, and has worked with just about every business in the Miami Valley at some point in time. The primary weakness that I heard when asking people about the firm was that they really needed to update their service offering. My hiring should send a strong signal of the intention to do just that. I plan to make the firm far more progressive in what it can offer to clients, while not losing site of the fundamental services that have made it successful. It is not about just slapping on some social media, but rather taking a modern view of what a marketing services firm can offer to Clients. Hopefully, my hiring is merely the first of many, as the agency adds Clients, services, and ultimately more people in the years to come.

I am also excited to be back with a company based in Dayton, Ohio. This is the place where I was born. Most of the professional connections and personal relationships I have are in this community. While I have done my best to maintain these relationships since departing for Cincinnati two years ago, it will be great to once again call Dayton my professional home. Cincinnati is amazing, but there is no place like home. It will be great to once again be able to get involved with projects, programs, and organizations that are working hard to make Dayton prosperous.

I am also looking forward to giving my friends at Hafenbrack, the talented folks at RealArt, my friend David at The Next Wave, and others around the city some friendly competition. They have set the bar pretty high, so I know I am going to need to bring my “A game” in order to succeed. Ultimately competition helps to drive innovation, so hopefully we all engage in what I like to call “coopetition.” I look forward to taking part in our collective success, and the collective success of our clients – the businesses and people of the Miami Valley.

There are a bunch of other reasons I could list, but you get the idea. It is a big change, and one that I am very excited about making.

As for my former employer, LÛCRUM, I want to thank the company for giving me so many opportunities to succeed. I have enjoyed my time with the firm, and was given the freedom to explore a lot of new marketing territory. I made so many friends, accomplished some great things, and enjoyed the ride thoroughly. With the new direction of the company focusing on delivering Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Data Visualization, and Data Strategy Services, I anticipate much success for the firm in the years ahead. I learned so much about the transformative capabilities of technology while at LÛCRUM, and I hope to apply that knowledge to drive success for Clients in my new role.

So in the coming days, I have a lot of loose ends to tie up, a lot of calls and emails to answer, a lot of updating to do, and a lot of preparation work to accomplish so that I can hit the ground running. Come February 1st, if you are looking for an innovative approach to marketing strategy, please contact me.

Finally thank you to my family and friends who have supported me over the years. Life is an adventure. Your love, kindness, and generosity have helped me to realize great success. Without such support this opportunity would not be possible. I hope to make you proud to be a part of it all.