What do you do?
I’m the creative director of Summit Marketing, a full-service marketing and communications firm with offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C. We create a wide variety of marketing communications for consumer, business-to-business and government-related accounts.
How did you get your job?
Previously, I was the creative director at MediaCross, another St. Louis advertising and marketing communications firm. Before that, I had done a little freelance work for Summit and when the creative director position became available, they contacted me about the possibility.
What is the best professional lesson you learned at the J-School?
Who, what, when, where, why and how is relevant to almost any assignment there is!
What advice do you have for current students?
If you want to work in the creative department of an ad agency, you need a portfolio full of campaigns with ideas so strong that they leap off the page. Spec portfolios should never be tame or lame. One thing that continues to surprise me when I see portfolios is how little interactive work they contain. For a generation that’s grown up on the computer, I would like to see more interactive thinking that makes me say, “I wish I would have thought of that.” Surprise me. Stun me. Make me think that this person has ideas so powerful, he or she almost needs to be restrained.
What is your favorite J-School memory?
The history and principles of journalism course was a tough opening class that everyone had to struggle through. George Kennedy introduced me to the AP stylebook which I still have to this day. Dale Gaston and Frank Dobyns (advertising professors) were two classics, each funny in his own way without even knowing it.