Practically speaking, we’re a group of writers, designers, account executives, tech workers, analysts, and strategists. Philosophically speaking, the answer is a little more complicated. Who are any of us, really?
We’ve given it some thought, and here’s where we’ve landed: Who We Are = What We Choose.
That’s not to say we all can just “choose” to be awesome. Rather it’s to say that our choices—good and bad—define us. Therefore, we choose carefully.
to be an antiracist
and inclusive company
that advances a culture of diversity
and equity in our workplace
and our lives.
to work with clients who share
our values and want to make
the world a better place.
to do bold, risk-taking work
that makes us and our clients proud.
to be honest,
even when it’s uncomfortable.
to be kind.
to never sacrifice any of this
for a few extra dollars. Ever.
By “our people,” we don’t mean “our loyal subjects.” Rather, we mean it in the same way you might when you refer to your friends or your brothers and sisters as, “My people.” Without further ado, here are ours.
I have been called many things: passionate, demanding, smart, crazy, decisive, bossy, ambitious, stubborn, curious. One thing I’ve never been known for is being content. I’m at my best when I have a goal and a plan to get there. Take the time I wanted to have “Michelle Obama arms.” I hired a personal trainer, bought weights and a medicine ball, studied macros, planned a weeks’ worth of meals and workouts every Sunday, and asked friends to hold me accountable. Man, my arms looked good.
With all this Type A energy, you might be surprised that I preach an 80/20 rule at work. Plan for 80% and be open to opportunities the rest of the time. As Ferris Bueller says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
I was walking on South Beach in Miami. The weather was a perfect 75 degrees with a cool breeze coming in off the ocean. The sun was just beginning to rise over the horizon. I was by myself with my feet in the surf. As I walked down the beach, I saw a man in the distance sitting at the edge of the water. He was in an old lawn chair with a TV tray in front of him. As I got closer, I noticed he was typing on a laptop sitting on the TV tray. I walked up and asked what he was doing. He looked up and said, “Designing a website for a client.” That’s when I knew I wanted to be a developer.
I have a general rule to not spend money on T-shirts with logos or promotions on them. If you’re going to be a walking billboard for a company, the shirt should be free.
That being said, there are a few exceptions:
1. The T-shirt is the best way to promote a cause you believe in—a measly bumper sticker won’t cut it. Then, sure, go donate your hard-earned cash and wear that shirt proudly.
2. You yourself created the epically sublime art proudly adorning the preshrunk, organic, cotton-blend tee. Shirt-folio™ for the win, my friend.
3. The T-shirt is in another language and you have absolutely no idea what it says but you’re willing to roll the dice on it. Caveat emptor, fashionista.
Vlad, Von B, Chud, Chadley, Chaddicus, Chadostradamus, Chadosaurus, and Chadanardo Di Caprio. These are examples of how hard it is to come up with a nickname for someone whose real name has one syllable.
So, for everyone’s convenience, call me anything (just not Shirley). I’m a coffee-addicted wanna-be mixologist with a thirst for art, music, motors, tattoo history, and narrative. When I’m not designing, illustrating, or staring into the void, you might find me playing video games with my buds, trying to develop the next classic cocktail, or submerged in the current TV show I’m watching.
Fun fact: If you see me in shorts the world is ending.
“Your artwork was stolen by a student from the art department display case!” my teacher exclaimed as I entered the classroom.
I only had a picture of myself with my half-finished painting, so I dreaded the thought of starting over on my version of the Liberty Leading the People that I was preparing to enter in various art competitions. Luckily, they found the student who had pulled off the heist and I was able to get my painting back. Knowing I had lost several days, my high school art teacher gave her time after school to share advanced techniques to enhance my retrieved artwork and gave me the idea to write an interesting provenance story for the Prelude Awards. Unbeknownst to me, the Savannah College of Art and Design had sent a representative to look at my work. From that showing, I won a full 4-year scholarship to SCAD.
Because of that teacher, I was able to discover my passion for creating interesting stories that go along with my visual compositions, whether with a paintbrush or a computer mouse. To this day, whenever I look at that old artwork, I am reminded that one instance and one mentor can make a big difference—in both life and in work.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
Before Well Done, I worked a lot of food service jobs: at an ice cream stand, a sandwich shop, a fine dining restaurant, and an event space. I learned a lot from these roles, like how important a positive attitude is, to treat everyone the way you want to be treated—and for goodness’ sake, clean up after yourself.
These were all lessons young Natalie needed to learn. When I was a few years old, my family went out to eat and I made a huge mess of the table and floor around me. While my dad was cleaning it up, I asked him why, when they have people who could do that? Clearly karma exists because I’m usually the person cleaning up the mess now.
I appreciate the historical. I cherish the unusual. And—should I happen across a two-fer event that celebrates the historically offbeat—the odds are better than even that I’m already gassing up my plucky little Sentra and clearing my weekend schedule.
My compulsion has led me to Albany, Ohio, for their annual Pawpaw Festival (commemorating a once-cherished native fruit). It’s drawn me to Bone Gap, Illinois, for their once-a-year “chowder” (a social event named after the thick, clam-free soup served to attendees). And it’s lured me to Dubois, Indiana, to meet the Jeep: a 1930s Popeye sidekick/pop culture phenomenon who, as the mascot for the local high school, is still riling up their student body on the regular.
I never quite know where I’ll be heading next. But I’m always open to ideas—particularly when they involve food, drink, or plush costumes with alarmingly oversize noggins.
I first joined the workforce as a 13 year old dishwasher at the local steakhouse for $6/hr—paid in cash at the end of the night, of course. I invested every penny I made for two years straight…into baseball cards, candy cigarettes, and pogs. Remember those? Needless to say, I’m not a financial advisor.
I am, however, a born and raised beach-kid-turned-midwest-transplant with deep affection for soccer, local breweries, and movie trailers. I also love on and care for a few little humans with my partner, Lindsey, who is unsurprisingly my favorite travel buddy. And even though you didn’t ask, here’s my favorite life lesson: Travel is the best education I never knew I needed.
I was born and raised in The Garden State, and I love the beach. Calling it “The Garden State” makes it sound so much nicer than New Jersey.
I broke my middle finger when I was in second grade. It never healed properly, so my right hand looks like Spock’s hand from Star Trek.
I’m one of those crazy people that starts decorating for Christmas on November 1.
March Madness is the best time of the year. Hands down.
I have four kids who keep me extremely busy between school and extracurricular activities. I apply a lot what I have learned from my traffic role to managing all my kids’ schedules. With at least 4–6 activities each night of the week, trying to get the kids from Point A to Point B is always a challenge.
One of my favorite sayings is, “Life is hard yard by yard, but inch by inch it’s a cinch.” This has helped me immensely in my professional and personal life. When any challenging task can be broken down to its simplest form, even the hardest things become doable.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received is soap is soap. You can use Pantene Pro-V to wash your body, and a Dove bar to wash your hair. As long as it lathers up and smells good, it can get the job done. Don’t let the mythical limitations of soap ruin your ablutions.
When I was a child, I was an avid piano player—as in several complicated compositions memorized at once as a 7-year-old. If I continued, I probably could have gone professional. But I didn’t. I stayed true to the inner voice that found my piano teacher too intimidating and I quit.
These days, I can barely keep a beat and my piano skills are limited to “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” The self-discipline of my youth has instead been translated into running half marathons, weight training, and keeping up with Google Trends. But I guess that’s how it goes: Follow your childhood dreams and if you quit, you might just end up in digital marketing.
That picture of me is pretty funny, it could definitely be a meme. The Green Hornet with Seth Rogen is such a slept-on movie, I think it’s one of the best films ever made. Jordan 3’s are the best sneakers. BabyTron and Nav are the best rappers. PlayStation > Xbox. My favorite color is blue and my friends call me Z.
From the funky to the fruity and the crunchy to the creamy, I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. My cholesterol and waistline show it. But I’m not what you might call a cheese snob. I’d be content with a slice of American Cheese or a can of Cheez Whiz©. Some may debate on whether Cheese Whiz© is actually cheese, or not. Me? I simply accept it and move on. And now, a haiku about cheese:
Cheese: a food for me
The flavors, textures, and smells
My palate delights
I called the Milan-Malpensa Airport at least six times in two days before I was reunited in the Room of Misfit Luggage with my precious in-case-my-big-suitcase-gets-lost bag. I might be a little Type A (I’m underselling it), but I like to think of myself as determined and driven. I love to be organized–even my lists have sublists. Office supplies make me happy. I have more notebooks and pens than one person should own. That said, I do remind myself to take time to relax every once in a while with photography, face masks, and episodes of Real Housewives, Full House, and Chef’s Table.
It’s pronounced K-ears-ten but you can pretty much call me anything that starts with a K. I’m a born and raised midwesterner, but I’ve lived in North Carolina and South Korea before moving to Indy. Please don’t call me a Hoosier, though; I am a proud Boilermaker.
They say that you can tell what a person cares about by looking at their camera roll, so here’s what’s on mine: approximately 500 pictures of my dog, some good food and coffee, travel pics…and a few more of my dog. It takes a lot to get this introvert out of the house but when I do, you’ll probably find me at the gym, a coffee shop, or checking out some local shops.
I am a product of the Indianapolis Public School system. During my 13-year tenure I experienced several (retrospectively) amusing circumstances. Among many other things, I was hit in the back of the head with a snowball in 10th-grade French class, I was punched in the face by a girl in 9th-grade history class, and on my first day of middle school, I was jumped in the bathroom by a hulking beast of a boy in front of most of my classmates. But there were things that happened that I’m thankful for, too. Things that helped shape who I am today. Things like being hit with a snowball, punched in the face, and beaten up in the bathroom.
Knows the prepositions in alphabetical order
Yelled “Carolina in My Mind” with 50,000 people after UNC won the National Championship
Listener of Crime Junkie daily
Inclined to run a Ragnar Relay by the end of the year
Elevator pitched to Martha Stewart, literally in an elevator
Medalist at the state, sectional, and national levels in multiple swimming events
Indulges with Key lime pie and red wine
Has (accidentally) walked into Jennifer Lopez’s cabana and stolen her kid’s seashells
Obsessed with Andy Cohen and every show on Bravo
Known as Ky, KyKy, and Smiley Kylie
If there’s one thing I love in life, it’s the feeling of joy I get when dancing. Not because I’m good, but because I get a sense of peace in letting go through movement and music. I find peace in many things: walking, yoga, cooking and baking, sunsets, hiking, and being with my friends and family. I value these moments of joy—and in such a busy world, it’s important to always protect your peace.
When I was in first grade, my aunt (a Delta employee) rigged a contest, which allowed me to interview swimmers Pablo Morales and Summer Sanders for an article in the airline’s in-flight magazine. My classmates helped me do the research and come up with the questions. I interviewed Sanders and Morales at NIFS, before shooting free throws with them on the basketball court. I couldn’t believe these Olympic champions were so generous with this six-year-old they had never met, just for a feature in a stupid magazine. I have been addicted to talking to interesting people and sharing their stories, ever since.
I’m a big believer in the power of nicknames. For example, I was born without a right ear, which means I not only come with a built-in anecdote, but I’ve also earned a lifetime of nicknames ranging from Nemo to Van Gogh. While most of my bad jokes come from ear-related puns, I like to think my creativity, passion, and drive have all stemmed from my love of Vincent Van Gogh and the influence of my nickname. I guess I’ve got my ear (or lack thereof) to thank for that. Van Gogh once wrote in a letter to his brother Theo, “I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.”
That’s what I hope to do here: Seek, strive, and be in it with all my heart.
When I was young, we didn’t get to sit at the adults’ table during family gatherings without learning to play Euchre with everyone else. And if you think they went easy on the kids, you’re sorely mistaken. My great grandpa, Jack, was the best I ever played against, only partially because he was known to give his team free points with his elbow if you didn’t keep an eye on him. I give a lot of credit for who I am today to those years playing with him, including a competitive spirit that greatly outweighs my athletic ability, an attention to detail, and unmatched skills at the Euchre table.
If you’ve followed all the rules, the reality is
you’re doing something that someone else has already done.
Be a sponge. Absorb the rules, but don’t forget…
In 1997 the Chicago Bulls went 72-10 and won an NBA Championship. The only team to win that many games, including a championship, ever. Most consider that Bulls team the best in the history of basketball. Growing up in central Illinois, they were my team.
What my 12-year-old self didn’t know was the full extent of how that team achieved historic success. The team comprised a motley crew of vets and rookies, shooting specialists, foreign players, Hall of Fame superstars, and a pink-haired rebounding guru named Dennis Rodman. All orchestrated by a zen-like coach.
What I learned is that team dynamics and tolerance matter, whether it’s dribbling a basketball or launching a large campaign.
During the pandemic, I gained a new appreciation for a precious and underrated activity, with a really bad rap, called Napping.
I’m not afraid to say, whether you’re 4 or 44, take your nap! And if you’re reading this between the hours of 2 and 3 pm (when humans naturally have a dip in alertness), shut your eyes for 20 minutes and come back to this page It will still be here… It’s the internet.
In one of my personal studies, I found even the relaxation, which comes from the simple act of lying down and resting is a mood booster, whether you fall asleep or not.
And I’d suggest, after your nap, look in the mirror and make sure your hair isn’t lopsided and your face and shirt are clear of any drool. Whether a video conference or IRL, it’s just not a good look.
I’ve been called a lot of things in my life. Miss Jody, Jo Rooser, Jojo, Jo, and as my dearly departed PopPop never failed to call out to me, “tell the truth Jo Ruth.” I’ve been a Judy and a Stinky Judy. I’ve been called a Bodie by a Boogie. Queenie was a fun time. I’m delighted to be Juice (short for Juicifer, rhymes with Lucifer) to my brother-in-law Ben. I’ve been a Jefe, a Babe, a Boss. But of all the things I am and have been, my favorite name is “Mom.”
A few things you should know about me:
The summer before my senior year of college, I interned for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. I was assigned to the opening and closing ceremonies and worked in the puppet department. Our core team of twelve (along with dozens of volunteers) was responsible for building and maintaining hundreds of large prop pieces and costumes. Those days in the shop were long and sweltering, the pay was nonexistent…but what an experience! It was the first time I’d witnessed the power of real teamwork—within our department, throughout the stadium, and on a global scale! Folks would pass by our shop in the weeks leading up to the big day, and, seeing the magnitude of the work before us, ask if we would really be ready in time. It always made me chuckle, because how could we not, with the whole world watching?
Here are a few things to know about me:
I confidently laid down the wooden tiles and began adding up the score. The spurious word gave my Scrabble partner and I triple points—and catapulted us to victory.
We stared stone-faced across the table, bluffing our two 12-year-old opponents into accepting defeat. Even though “rebug” isn’t a word, my chubby cheeks were cute enough to convince anyone that it was.
In fifth grade, I was crowned the Indiana School Scrabble Champion, netting a comically large $500 check and an invitation to the national competition in Boston. I captained my high school Brain Game team to victory on local television and earned all-state honors for international extemporaneous speaking. I’ve spent hours developing resolutions for Model UN committees. Yes, I’m a massive nerd.
Fortunately, my approximate knowledge of many things has proven useful in my career as a public affairs and public relations consultant.
I’m an old soul. Not as in “wise beyond my years,” but more like this: I prefer a bedtime of 8pm, and I love naps. I like watching murder mysteries and 60 Minutes. When I attempt to use the self-checkout line at the grocery store I fail miserably every time. I’ll leave you five-minute voicemails of no importance, and I’m learning to knit, and, seriously, I love naps.
But when I do shed my grandmotherly exterior, you can find me exploring this beautiful world, spending time with my amazing fam-bam, taking photos (mainly of my cat, Otis,) or attending a local music show.
I wrote my first cookbook at the age of seven with the help of my grandmother. To be fair, I also wrote a compilation of loosely rhymed poetry, a hand-illustrated bunny Bildungsroman, and several short stories. That cookbook was a tour de force. It included five recipes with introductory thoughts and drawings and featured a frangipane tartlet.
Back then I didn’t know the proper path to becoming a cookbook mogul was through culinary school, restaurants, or a TV network. Instead, I pursued a career in writing, marketing, and nonprofit development. But I’ve been subjecting my husband, family, friends, and occasionally my dog to recipe testing for my second cookbook ever since. The sophomore hit really is as tough as they claim.
When I was younger, my parents converted our garage attic into an art studio for my mom. I logged many hours up there with her, drawing and listening to John Mellencamp CDs. Eventually, I recognized so much of what I found exciting in the world could be traced back to thoughtful design—and that led to my degree from the Herron School of Art + Design at IUPUI. Now, the good fight against mediocre design is simply a way of life.
If I’m not designing, you might find me tinkering around with furniture making, enjoying a drink with friends, watching The Office, or dodging the occasional Nerf dart fired at me by my roommate.