Sometimes, you just have to know when to shake things up. That’s especially true in advertising—and with Lisa Vielee becoming the new president of Well Done Marketing and Ken Honeywell transitioning to creative director, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
This wasn’t some impulsive decision. Ken and Lisa have been working on this plan for years, and now the timing is right. It means a few day-to-day changes around here, but it mostly means we’re going to continue evolving, innovating, and delivering exceptional work to our clients while making this world a better place.
We’re pretty excited about that. Not only will this transition keep everyone on their toes, it’ll mean a lot of great things for the company down the road. To help explain the change—and why it’s the right move for the business—we sat down to chat with Lisa and Ken.
Let’s get the important stuff out of the way. Better fictional president: Harrison Ford or Martin Sheen?
L: Martin Sheen for sure. He was compassionate and smart, but also had a middle-of-the-road mentality. He was a good listener with his staff and always tried to do the right thing—those are some important presidential qualities right there.
K: He may not have thrown anyone off of Air Force One at 30,000 feet, but I also have to go with Martin Sheen.
Now that’s cleared up, can you guys talk about why you decided to make this transition?
K: This is something we’ve talked about for a long time. It’s a succession planning thing—I’m 61 and thinking about what’s next—but it’s time for the agency to think about what’s next, too. This was the right time to make the switch when we consider agency stability and how many great people are on our team. Lisa is a better business person than I am, so it also made sense from that perspective, because it’ll give us more time to concentrate on what we’re good at.
L: It’s rare for a business this size to have a succession plan, and it speaks to how Ken is thinking about the future of the agency and how it will live beyond him. My new role as president will help me concentrate on not just the future of Well Done Marketing, but also the future of the industry, and that’ll be key for our long-term success.
K: Right. More often than not, an agency of this size dissolves when the founder leaves. But by planning ahead now, we’re going to keep momentum and make sure that doesn’t happen.
How else does this decision bode well for the future of the company?
L: Ken is an outstanding creative director, and now he’ll be able to immerse himself in more of that work, which is a major boost to our creative team. I also think the transition will help us get our own story out into the world more. Well Done Marketing started as a small creative boutique, and today we’re an incredibly versatile, full-service marketing agency. And while we’ve traditionally been seen as an Indianapolis agency, we’re ready to grow our client base throughout the state and beyond. Having Ken at the helm of the creative team will help us do that.
What’s one thing people should know about Well Done Marketing?
L: It has to be our depth and breadth of capabilities. We’ve become very strategic, tactical, and data driven in recent years, and sometimes I’m not sure people understand just how much we can do.
K: I would agree with that. We often hear our people are great to work with, but our clients and prospects don’t understand all we have to offer. We have almost 30 people on staff at this point, and we want our clients to take advantage of our expertise.
How will your new role change your day-to-day job?
K: I really hope it gives me more time to be an engaged, hands-on creative director, which will continue to help our creative product get even better. I also plan to spend more time helping our creative team continue to develop their skills and confidence.
L: My routine will probably change a lot. This new role will help me concentrate a bit less on the daily stuff and more on the long term, which is what we need. I do like management and being part of the creative process, but I hope being president will help me get out of the office more so I can expand our footprint and influence.
Since both of you now have some presidential experience, what would be the name of your autobiography?
L: Hmmm…I’d go with Six Months. When I started my own company, I didn’t have a plan or business cards or anything, but I had two freelance projects and enough savings to cover my expenses for six months. I gave myself half that time to get my former company, Gracie Communications, up and running. The other three months were set aside to land a job interview if I failed. Luckily, I didn’t, and more than fourteen years later, I finally feel like I made it.
K: Probably Walking to Gibraltar. One time I was sitting on the beach in Martha’s Vineyard, and I looked out across the open ocean and thought about walking to Gibraltar from my little spot on the sand. I just felt like my life was, in a way, about going through the sea to get from one place to another. If I ever get around to retiring someday, maybe I’ll write it.
We started with a hard-hitting question. Let’s finish the same way: What kind of animal would be the best president of Well Done Marketing?
K: A dog. Dogs are smart, compassionate, and tough when they need to be. They’re hard workers and good boys and girls. And they’re clean!
L: A dog would be good, but I’d go with a cat. Dogs seem like they want to please everybody, but a cat is a little more strategic and mysterious. They always seem like they know what they’re doing. Nobody ever questions the cat.