As a newly hired Account Supervisor, Joe Judd is one of our newest employees. However, he originally worked here from 2014 to 2018—which makes him a Well Done veteran. Another contradiction: he doesn’t like math, but he loves solving problems. And while he claims to despise lifeguarding, he’s also been rescuing clients and coworkers for years. We recently sat down to delve into the many-layered enigma that is Joe.
Joe, let’s start at the beginning. Where are you from?
Can you describe an ideal day in Goshen? What would it start with?
A walk along the Goshen Millrace. It’s a historic canal that was created to power all the factories back in the day. Just a really pretty walk. And then, going to the Electric Brew for a cup of coffee. Then, strolling downtown along Main Street. There’s a great bookstore, a great shoe store, and an antique mall, which I love spending time in. Followed by lunch at the Olympia or the South Side Soda Shop. Then heading to The Chief, which is a great ice cream place. And maybe picking up a growler at Goshen Brewing for the evening.
I’m pretty sure you just won the Goshen tourism account for us. What was your first job?
My first official job was being a lifeguard at the Goshen College Rec-Fitness Center. I had to be there at 5:30 a.m. to open the pool for water aerobics. It was hard to stay awake.
What did you learn there?
I learned that being a lifeguard was not a good fit for me, because I’m a very risk-averse person, and the thought of having someone’s life in my hands kind of terrified me.
Well, lifeguarding’s loss is our gain. So, where did you go to college?
Butler University. I was a marketing major.
From the very beginning?
I went in undeclared, with no idea what I wanted to do. Sophomore year came around, and my advisor told me I had to at least choose a general focus. So I picked business. And then, in my junior year, she was like, “Okay, you really need to pick something.” I didn’t like math—and of all the business majors, marketing seemed to be the least mathematically inclined.
So, you were drawn to marketing…because you were repelled by math?
Also, my aunt and uncle had owned an advertising agency in the ‘70s and ‘80s. And the Judd side of my family is very artistic. My grandma was a professional artist, and my aunt still is. My grandma passed away in the 90s, but she was a very big influence on me. I think that’s what I really connected with was the creative aspect of marketing.
Which may explain why you ended up at Well Done. Not once, but twice! When did you work here the first time around, and what attracted you to us?
Summer 2014 to fall of 2018. I liked the idea of working with lots of nonprofits, based right here. I felt like I was making an impact on my neighborhood, and on my community—and that felt really good.
And then you left here to be a marketing manager at IU Health?
Yeah. I really enjoyed healthcare marketing, and I thought that working there would be an incredible learning experience. In my first role, I worked closely with HR and talent acquisition teams to lead IU Health’s employer brand and recruitment marketing efforts. More recently, I led marketing for several specialty care service lines.
We’re glad you got that opportunity. But we’re even happier that you’ve brought your new knowledge back here! What adjustments have you had to make since returning?
At IU Health, I oversaw marketing for just a few operational areas—which required me to go very deep into those areas. Now I’m back at Well Done, where you have to learn about a variety of different clients—their businesses, their industry, their competitors. So what I’m adjusting to is the variety of clients, and the variety of work.
What else do you like about working here? I love being presented with a client’s problem, and coming up with solutions for it. It’s similar to my hobbies. I enjoy complex board games that require strategy and troubleshooting.
Oh! Speaking of hobbies, I’ve heard you used to brew beer?
I did! Have you heard of StrengthsFinder?
Sure have. You answer a bunch of questions, and then you learn what your top strengths are.
I found out that “Learner” was in my top five. And that very much plays into my hobbies. When something piques my interest, I want to learn as much about it as I can. And so, brewing was one of my “deep dives,” as my wife calls it. For two and a half years, I brewed, and learned as much as I could about it. And then, when I felt like I had learned what I wanted to learn, I wanted to learn something new. And I guess that’s what led me to axes.
Axes, you say?
Camping and backpacking is another hobby of mine. And through that, I was looking for a really good backpacking hatchet. I didn’t want a big box store’s mass-produced hatchet. I was looking for something heirloom quality. So I stumbled upon a local blacksmith, who was blacksmithing hatchets and axes. And through him, I was introduced to a whole community of people who restore old axes. “Axe Junkies” is one Facebook group. “Axe Addicts” is another. Just people who love axes, and spend lots of time restoring them, modifying them, writing the history of different axe manufacturers—it’s just super fascinating.
I’m fascinated by your fascination.
This was really a COVID hobby. Like, “What can I do if I can’t go out?” So, I started looking at eBay for rusty, beat-up axe heads. I clean them up, sharpen them, and put them on new handles.
And then what do you do with them?
I hoard them.
Damn right you do! Joe, there’s only one more thing that I want to ask you about. Your self-written employee bio mentions that you love cheese. What are your favorites?
Tulip Tree. I think they’re local? Their Hops Beer Cheese is incredible. And they change out the beer they make it with. There’s Saint-André, which is like a creamier version of brie, with a little bit of funk to it. And I like an aged gouda. Not any particular brand—I just like the crystallized crunchiness of it.
We’re grateful to Joe for answering our questions, for sharing his opinions—and for once again putting his sharp-as-a-lovingly-restored-axe-head marketing skills to work for our clients. Welcome back!