2011. A Look Back

December 30, 2011

Fast Horse anniversary party signThis is the final Peepshow post for 2011. Indulge me the opportunity to join the cacophony of “Year in Review” stories and posts as I take a brief look back at the Fast Horse year that was.

Is 10 the Metal Anniversary? — Loyal Peepers will recall that 2011 marked our 10th year in business. We marked the occasion with a big celebration party highlighted by a performance by our clients and friends “Rogue Valley.” My favorite moment from the party? Had to be when the sound guy we hired plugged his personal iPod into the soundboard and serenaded our early-arriving guests with some of his metal favorites. The Fast Horse crew briefly debated whether to request something a bit more “appropriate” for the occasion. The notion quickly died. We’ve always been a “come as you are” kind of place, and if that means that one of our hired hands wants to play a little Slayer at our agency party, so be it.

Jen, Jenny and Jengii –Sounds like Bowie tune, but in reality, Jen, Jenny and Jengii are the three talented new Ponies who joined us in 2011. Jen Kreilich came aboard as a Senior Director, while two interns, Jenny Zanatta and Alexendra Jenii Weaver aka “Jengii,” converted internships into full-time associate gigs. All three are smart, energetic and optimistic, so we’re thrilled to say that 2011 was the Year of the Jen around here.

Good Fortune – This year, we were lucky enough to grow nearly 20 percent and add 13 new clients to our mix, including projects from three Fortune 500 companies. In addition, our partnerships with long-term clients, such as The Coca-Cola Company, Marvin Windows and Doors and Next Big Thing (SweeTango) continued to grow and resulted in some of the very best and most high-profile work this agency has ever done, including an 8-page feature on SweeTango in the New Yorker, a mention of Marvin Windows in a key speech by President Obama and the launch of new packaging for Diet Coke and Dasani.

Making a Little Noise — We were also proud to add a bit of hardware to our trophy case in the past year. On a national level, we won a Silver Anvil from PRSA and had two finalists in the PR Week Awards, yielding an Honorable Mention for Global Campaign of the Year with our friends at Coke. We also won a Gold Sabre for the same Global program at the Sabre Awards. Locally, we broke through with an Award of Merit at The Show, took home seven PRSA Classics and were named among the Twin Cities Business Journals “Best Places to Work” and to the “Fast 50” list of the fastest growing private companies in the metro area. Most impressive, our staff can boast Mayorship at dozens of bars and coffeeshops in the Metro area as well.

Doing Good and Making the World a Bit More Beautiful. We hope. – Our collective pro-bono efforts this year were once again significant, and we hope impactful. Our staff served on a wide variety of great non-profit Boards, including Cornerstone, ACES, the University of Minnesota Foundation, Franconia Sculpture Park and Minnesota Land Trust, to name a few. And we put more than $100K in pro-bono staff time into several projects on behalf of local and national non-profits, including the American Red Cross, the Minnesota Beatle Project, Indian Health Board and Minnesota Film Arts. We even threw a little pro-bono time behind one of Minneapolis’ best bands, Rogue Valley, who we believe deserves a wider audience. We hope our efforts on their behalf helped introduce a few more people to their brilliance.

I could go on and on. But I won’t. No doubt 2011 was a memorable, even defining, year here at Fast Horse. And we look forward to another year of personal growth and professional challenge ahead. Thanks for coming along for the ride here at the Peepshow!

Happy New Year!