Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em: How Eric Rees Got Cooking at Well Done

4 min read

Well Done Marketing has its fair share of vegetarians, but new junior developer Eric Rees isn’t likely to be the next convert.

Rees’s family is from Kansas City and he remains true to his barbecue-loving hometown heritage. Sweet, molassesy Kansas City barbecue, to be specific. So much so that the Reeses own Stockyard Indy, a catering company, where you can order batch-smoked meats (think brisket, pulled pork, turkey, ham, or chicken) and decadent sides, including meaty mac ‘n’ cheese, BBQ beans, and more.

And if Eric’s professional dreams come true, one day he’ll take over the barbecue business, handling both the smoking and marketing for Stockyard. Right now, though, he’s just getting started at Well Done and we wanted to get to know him. So we asked a few questions.

Q: You’ve steered your career through a couple of brave changes. When you were a kid, what did you want to do?

A: I didn’t know. In high school, journalism was that one extracurricular I kind of stuck with, and then I majored in it in college (first at University of Missouri and then Indiana University-Bloomington). But when I graduated in 2014, I chose the agency path, working as a copywriter.

At the same time, I was working with Pattern magazine and it showed me how the city has changed since I left to go to college. There is a lot of stuff in Indianapolis to enjoy if you know where to look. I’ve been working with Pattern for almost seven years, and it pretty much kept me here because it got me to learn about a bunch of cool places.

Q: Pattern itself is pretty cool and you’re an editor. What are your roles?

A: A little bit of everything—social media, uploading content to the website, editing, and laying out stories. I was an event volunteer, too.

Q: Pattern’s founder Polina Osherov, wears a lot of hats—she’s the executive editor and creative director. What was it like to work directly with her?  

A: Polina. If I could ever muster a quarter of the work ethic that she inhabits on a daily basis, I could take over the world. It’s insane. I’ve never met a more get-stuff-done person in my life, and I respect that. I definitely try and embody that, especially with this whole career-change thing.

Q: Let’s talk about career shifting. You went from handling content to learning coding and now you’re here on our web development team.

A: I had an opportunity last year to attend the coding academy, Eleven Fifty Academy, so I did. I have this connection to design and technology, which I never really expected. I guess all the years of working with designers have kind of rubbed off on me.

Here at Well Done, I’m doing a lot of site maintenance for our clients—downloading and uploading, making sure the client websites are running smoothly. And I’m pretty excited because Well Done has always been a place I wanted to work. I like the culture and the work.

Q: OK, this is the part of the interview where we ask a few random questions and find out what you do when you aren’t in the office.

A: My dad and I are Pacers season ticket holders—we’re on the first row of the balcony.

First, I bought one seat by myself and it became my way to unwind after work and then, two years ago, my dad bought the seat next to me.

Q: What do you think of the team right now?

A: They’ve got a really good group. I watched Oladipo play at IU when I was there and I remember telling my friends that he’s going to be a better player than his teammate Cody Zeller. They didn’t believe me, so I always hang that on them whenever I can. I love Myles Turner, too.

And I eat out a lot. I just had Shani’s Secret Chicken for the first time. My god, it was amazing. The fries were the best handmade fries I have ever had in my life. And I say that without hesitation.

Q: Those are big words coming from a foodie.

A: I heard about it going in, but it exceeded all of my expectations.

Q: Last question. Your resume says you’re an Eagle Scout? That’s quite an accomplishment.

A: It was a lot of work. I almost didn’t make it because they have a cut off of age 18. So, at 17½ I earned my final merit badge: Personal Fitness. I just couldn’t not finish because of that. I had to do a three-month fitness plan and my scout master was determined he wasn’t going to let me slide.

I’m not going to lie: I barely improved. I ended up doing my final half-mile run around a high school track when it was snowing.

Q: Well, we won’t ask you to run in the snow here. But maybe you could bring in some of that BBQ—I mean, for the carnivores among us?

A: Just give me eight to twelve hours’ notice.