By Colton Mulligan
We're an organization made up of people I love. They are more important to me than our clients, our reputation, or even their specific role within our company. Things happen from time to time that let you step back and think about why you're in this game, and why you invite others to join. I'm flying back from a short turnaround trip and I started thinking about why we started FoxFuel, and why I love this bunch.
Rachel was my first hire ever as a professional. She will tell you that was abundantly clear in our first year together. She's kind and caring where I'm too aggressive and opinionated. She's the yin to my yang and clients love her. She's the buffer to my direct approach and our culture wouldn't be the same without her.
John Paul is getting better and better at thinking about the big picture and identifying the creative elements to tack onto something to make it even better. He has his ear to the ground for new coding technologies and toolsets to help us keep staying at the bleeding edge of innovation in the digital space. He's also the funniest FoxFueler and he's amazingly self-aware. John Paul makes meta-level jokes that keep me rolling.
Travis is unbelievably thorough. I respect this as I have to review every project before it goes to a client and catch all the improvements that have to be made. Even though he's not even a partner, he approaches his work like his own name is signed at the bottom of each website, and looks for opportunities to make each project sing. He's great at working with a team to nail the intent of the higher vision. This dude isn't just a task checker, he thinks about the client and what they need.
(Our development team gets offers every other week or so and they don't even entertain them. Offers from bigger agencies in the region to competitive shops right across the street. Our developers are unbelievably talented and thus, highly sought after once another shop see our portfolio of projects. Pretty proud to have them onboard.)
Kelsey loves all aspects of the agency life. She doesn't just want to know what you have to do to be a good designer, she wants to know what you have to do to help the agency—in everything from accounting to strategy to coding. She's made it clear that she's committed to FoxFuel and I love that she wants to help build us into something great.
Henry has twice the professional experience and he served as the COO of another Nashville agency that I respected. He led a team at Dell for 12 years, yet, he stepped into his role at FoxFuel saying "I want to learn digital and help you all create beautiful work." He's like a big brother to half of our account team, and I feel like we hit the lottery the day he asked to join the team.
Amelia moved a couple hundred miles just to work with us and I'm so glad she made the trek. I threw her in the deep end with a client who is difficult to impress (cough, Mike Kopp). She wins people over with her charm, attentiveness and follow-up on projects. She's a peach.
Charlyn is the rock that can weather any storm. She takes critiques well, and she can adapt to almost any situation you throw at her. She's competitive, which gives her this enviable drive, but she softens her interactions and layers in a reassuring confidence. Also, her son is probably my favorite three-year-old.
Andy left an independent freelancer role with some solid brands to join our team. He and I have a lot in common, although we approach things from opposite ends of the spectrum. He loves stepping up into responsibility and he's not content to sit back and wait for you to ask something of him. He hit the ground running and that's a necessity at FoxFuel.
Mary quite literally runs my life—professionally speaking. She is the most layered person at FoxFuel. You wouldn't think that the girl that loves glitter and shimmies when excited would have gotten a tattoo after a man on the streets of Nepal said "Hey, you wanna tattoo? 10 bucks." She's got a servant's heart and I wish I had more of her humble attitude.
Mary Ellen loves thinking about the end user and how creative interacts with digital. We desperately needed someone who could help bridge that gap and Mary Ellen is the woman to do it. She's got a brain in both worlds and she's going to do great things at FoxFuel.
Joe is the calm calculator behind the fury that is FoxFuel. The dude brings some level-headed logic that is very much needed to my manic energy. I could write about 5 pages on what both partners bring to the table, just know that this guy is the technical brain that makes much of our art come to life.
Michael is my foil and counterpart. This guy brings the art to the passion I throw at things. He's got the highest emotional IQ of anyone at FoxFuel and he immediately knows how to craft a story in the perspective of the person you're approaching. The dude is also sarcastic to a level that rivals his wit, and his "narration of someone else's daily thoughts" joke slays me every time.
To close, I love these folks. Thanks to this crew, I don't go to work everyday, I go to hang out with friends and enjoy a day full of new experiences. I hope your job offers the same.