Big Kudos To New Ponies

July 31, 2015

Every other week, we gather the rapidly growing Fast Horse staff in our fourth-floor event space for an all-agency update on our projects, clients, personal growth and business expansion. We’re having a huge year, both in the quantity and quality of our work and the number of employees who call Fast Horse home. It’s an exciting time.

We’ve been doing our best on the Peepshow to keep up with new hires and introduce them a little bit through a “get-to-know-you”-type post. While our recent introductions have been excellent, but we rarely return to our new folks weeks or months after they join to see how they’re doing. And, I have to say, every single person we’ve hired in recent months has been making incredible things happen each day. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Disclaimer: What qualifies me to give these accolades? I’m the Peepshow editor, yo. I hear everything.

Kaitlyn Hilliard and Stephanie Mann
Kaitlyn and Stephanie, our interns, joined us in June, and they’ve already made huge contributions to accounts all over the agency. General Mills, Deluxe, Coca-Cola, SweeTango, Champs, Special Olympics — they’ve admirably gone from college graduation straight into some of our biggest and busiest accounts. I can speak to one firsthand: Our ongoing media program for Deluxe’s Small Business Revolution requires a lot of diligent research and contact hunting each and every week. Kaitlyn and Stephanie jumped right in and have become media-list machines. Their work has already earned some excellent results when we’re reaching out to reporters — a great example of a whole team coming together to produce big wins. Thanks, guys!

CLA LOGOPooja Shah and Michael Jouris
Typically, Fast Horse only hires interns who have graduated college and are ready to spend 40 hours a week learning the ins and outs of the industry. This year, though, we’ve started a partnership with the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts’s student-run agency, CLAgency, to give some of their stars a shot at Fast Horse for a summer. Pooja and Michael are the first two “college interns” we’ve had as part of that project, and they’ve been such a great addition to our office. They’ve been spearheading a lot of agency-marketing efforts and planning, and it’s clear that they’re going to be successful in our industry. And let’s be clear: Pooja and Michael are about to be juniors in college, and are heading into leadership positions at CLAgency. Impressive. What were you doing when you were a junior? No NSFW answers, please.

Katie Krois and Melissa Bertling
ZipliningNow, these two don’t always work on the same accounts, but I’d like to spotlight an impressive feat they collectively organized. Katie joined Fast Horse in April and jumped in on some brand-new work we were doing for General Mills’s Chex Mix brand team. Not only was Katie learning the ropes of a new agency, a new workplace and a new account — she was prepping for when the account lead, Natalie, went on maternity leave. Big shoes to fill! Melissa jumped in as the principal for our General Mills work when she came aboard in June — right in the midst of hectic final planning for our activation, the Chex Mix Deliciously Unpredictable Road Trip.

Both Katie and Melissa put in long hours and asked diligent questions to produce this road trip through the Western U.S. with Alfonso Ribeiro Vine stars The Eh Bee Family. The final results were just calculated — and the client couldn’t be happier with the astronomical success of this program. Katie and Melissa were honestly inspiring to watch throughout the process, and they have a lot of reason to celebrate this week as the final report was delivered to an enthusiastic client. Great work, guys!

Alex Stahlmann
Alex is one of our more nontraditional recent hires — with a background in everything from teaching to music blogging to content management, Alex was a working professional looking for a “reset” when he applied to be an intern with us. After just a few weeks, we knew he was heading for great things, so we brought him on full-time. In addition to being one of the funniest people in the office, his content background has been bringing some excellent results for our Modern Midwest project, which is a challenge that requires a creative mindset and willingness to experiment. Alex has been already emerged as an awesome leader for Modern Midwest — and he’s only been working on it for a few weeks! I’m excited to see where he takes it.

Hannah Dittberner
Hannah started at Fast Horse just a few months ago as our receptionist — a position that traditionally, on paper, hasn’t existed at our agency. Our front-desk staff have also doubled as account assistants and often do some of the most important day-to-day work on our projects. After all, your celebrity influencer can’t influence if she doesn’t have plane tickets, a hotel room, a car service, a briefing book and hair and makeup, you know?

So Hannah was thrown right away into a blended position, where she’d be making sure the office didn’t fall to pieces while executing some crucial pieces of our accounts. After just a few months, it became clear that she’d thrive in account work, so she was promoted to team assistant. Hannah joins longtime team assistant Tessa in keeping Fast Horse a happy, inviting, functional animal. We’re so thankful for her.

Hannah, Maggie, Rita and Kaitlyn volunteering at Cornerstone a few weeks ago.

Hannah, Maggie, Rita and Kaitlyn volunteering at Cornerstone a few weeks ago.

Maggie LaMaack
The other day, as I hit “send” on a media-outreach project for a huge national campaign, I took a look through the media list and thought, “Man, whoever made this mother is good.” That “whoever” is Maggie, who has already made waves on a bunch of projects since coming to Fast Horse one month ago. I think back to my first few weeks at Fast Horse, and I can remember taking a moment to bask in the projects and results I’d earned — and the lessons I’d learned — in one calendar month. I hope Maggie is having some of those same revelatory thoughts, because she deserves a drink or two for the big client projects she’s executed already.

Julie Anderla
As one of our two new senior directors, Julie is counted on to provide leadership and expert thought to a variety of clients — large, small, consumer-facing, B-to-B, you name it. Julie joined us after more than a decade at General Mills with a hunger to try something new and experience agency life. That’s a daunting change for anyone — and to go from one of the world’s largest companies to a little office of 40 speaks to Julie’s willingness to dive in and learn all she can. I’m impressed with Julie’s diligence: She has been spending extra time learning about each of our clients and their history, our relationship with them and the kind of successes we’ve delivered in the past — all with the aim of producing good work now and growing lasting relationships in the future. She’s been transitioning to a senior role on some of our biggest accounts — Marvin, SweeTango, The Village Company — and I’m excited to see how she’ll contribute to some of the pillars of our business.

Jen Vinson
Starting out in the industry as a young designer is tough, as I hear it — you’re proving your talent and inspiration with a portfolio of class projects and “what-if” exercises. Jen’s skills as a designer came through loud and clear, though, and her winning personality have made our office a better place to work. She’s producing work for Diet Coke, Deluxe, General Mills and more — and getting an inside look at our design department’s other projects, which are a rapidly growing part of our business. As we embrace creative work as a major part of our agency’s offerings, it’s eager people like Jen who make the prospect even more exciting. So thanks, Jen!

So, in summation, our people kick ass. That’s all there is to it. Keep it up, guys!

Want to join a dynamic team and eventually be mentioned in a post just like this someday? Check out our Careers page for information about positions at Fast Horse. We’re always looking for awesome people, so send us your materials.