You’re probably registering total shock right now. I know. Who do you know who loves her job as much as I do?
I’ll tell you all the details, but first let me say this: If you ever get to chance to work with the good people at Ologie – as a client or a colleague – do not let it pass by. You will learn more in a few weeks with them than you will in any other creative process you participate in. They have a way of uncovering that answer that you know has been sitting there waiting for you to find it all along.
Ok, back to my story.
My life seems to be being shaped by chance encounters lately. Have you noticed? The story most of you know is about the wonderful boyfriend I met one morning on an airplane. But, there are others – the theater Board I ended up joining after sitting next to the artistic director in an unrelated meeting; the then-soon-to-be best friend brought to town by a random internet search; the house I bought in a weekend because of the people who happened to be in the restaurant on the corner.
This is just another one of those. An opportunity that will unquestionably change my career and my life that all started with a conversation at a wedding. But, enough about that for now.
I want to talk about Ologie.
I’ve never left a job I loved before. It’s an entirely different feeling. You, dear readers, probably remember one I ran gazelle-like from, happy to be free. This isn’t like that at all. It took me weeks to decide and, still, I find myself kind of mourning the place.
I’ve worked with a lot of great people here. Ologie seems to consistently attract more smart people at the top of their game than any other shop in town. But, there are three particular people here who I owe a lot to; people who in a lot of ways inspire the kind of person/citizen/employee/consultant/human I want to be.
- Bill Faust. AKA “Boss.” I’m not sure which he says more often - “people support what they help create” or “how can we framework that” or “we simplify the complex.” The first is about making sure the people who have to tell a story are part of the process of creating it. The second, about communicating with words and pictures. And, the last is about getting down to the simple ideas (lingo-free, of course) that explain the core of a brand or story. All are habits that would make anyone’s work better. And ones I got to practice here (and, of course, “iterate” here >> the nice boss word for do-over many times :) I think it’s fair to say he changed the way I communicate.
- Bev Bethge. The founder of Ologie – and, many other good things. Bev opened this agency right out of college. Her first clients were the nonprofits and service agencies that take care of this city. The clients Ologie attracts now are more likely to be national brands, top colleges or international organizations, but Bev still invests her time in this community. Through her, I’ve had a chance to help shape how Columbus will tell its story in the years to come and impact the work of a number of arts and service organizations. I’m a member of Boards and committees that are changing our community. I actually feel like I live here now. I hope I always stay this connected to Columbus.
- Kelly Ruoff. The managing creative director and, at once, the energy and glue of this place. Kelly has a fairly magical ability. When things get tense – a particularly aggressive deadline, a last minute rethinking of the work, a tough pileup of conflicting priorities – she actually gets calmer. She speaks slowly, gets everyone aligned toward a goal, and actually inspires awesome work. She somehow seems to know what’s going on in everyone’s lives (something I hear she even did that before Facebook) and makes sure we all feel welcome and appreciated. Just kind of knowing those things are all possible keeps me working to be better.
I’m grateful for the time I’ve spent here. But, as many things as I will miss about the friendly orange confines, there is one thing I am happy to leave behind...
The bathroom lighting. For some reason, the bathrooms here are lit with near-candle-light dimness while every other room is bathed in sunlight. I haven’t been able to accurately check my makeup before a meeting in years.
Was that a good transition from all the mushy stuff? Ok, now to tell you all about what’s next...