While digging dirt on a construction crew, our newest copywriter, Luke Neumann, kept his eyes peeled for undiscovered words. Now he’s a full fledged writer, having mastered the brand voice of Cheez-It, Eggo and Stryker for a large digital agency elsewhere. Luke’s expertise in digital and social notwithstanding, it’s trial by fire at Fairly Painless. He’s surviving, and even enjoying the occasional red headed sunburn.
As good as our writers and designers are at managing creative, we needed to hire a grown-up to help them manage the green stuff. And that’s where Kim comes in. A graduate from Western Michigan University, and a die-hard Western Michigan Broncos fan, Kim cut her financial teeth with Michigan-based companies like the Grand Rapids Symphony, Koops, Inc. and JB Laboratories before joining FPA in 2006. Not only does Kim have her masters in management, but you’ll be happy to know she’s also one of the first people to say hello when you step off the elevator.
We’d never met a nerd of quite the same caliber as Drake, so we hired him. First as an intern while studying at Kendall College of Art and Design, and later following his graduation in 2014. Drake lends his keen eye for detail to a multitude of agency projects. Among his interests are science, history and storytelling podcasts, guitars, hockey, motorcycles, anything design-related; wait a minute—he’s sounding cool. Think instead on his miniature models, comic books and OCD tendencies. Better.
Creative Direction / Copywriting
Jeff comes to Fairly Painless from Digital Kitchen (DK) – a multi-disciplined, multi-award winning digital agency located in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. As Head of Creative, Jeff led DK’s evolution from a motion graphics production model to a content-focused digital agency that tells stories on every possible screen, surface, device and dimension a human being or machine can imagine. Before DK, Jeff was a group creative director, senior partner at Ogilvy. He has worked on numerous brands across a wide variety of categories (HBO, Budweiser, Target, Microsoft, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Nike, X-Box, Sears, McDonald’s, Starbucks etc.)
Brandon first appeared on our radar in 2008, serving as an exceptional summer intern with us while earning his advertising and marketing degree at Michigan State University. Degree in hand, Brandon excelled at Amway, then at Grand Rapids Label. At Fairly Painless, he’s balancing his time between Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, Visteon Corporation, and other manufacturing clients. Midwest born and bred, Brandon enjoys getting up to a family lake house whenever he can with his wife and goldendoodle, and doing anything outdoorsy in pure Michigan. If he had any free time, he might just be able to fit in a round of golf, a pick-up basketball game, or catch a sporting event involving the Spartans – but we’re telling him not to get his hopes up.
Strategy / Account Management
If you’ve ridden in a car with Beth, you’ll realize you can take the girl out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the girl. Beth came to Fairly Painless in 1999 after ten years with DDB Needham, Chicago and a number of subsequent consulting projects. At Needham she worked on Betty Crocker and Big G cereals (where she was instrumental in recruiting college student Tiger Woods as Wheaties’ spokesman), then as a Director of the New Products Group serving Helene Curtis, Tyson foods and several venture capital start-ups. For us, Beth manages our accounts with Herman Miller, Parnunu and A&D clients.
Steve may be the newest face at Fairly Painless, but he is far from a stranger to the communications world. He comes to us boasting a lengthy rap sheet, including spending the last decade as the COO of Michigan’s largest public and investor relations firm. He also held senior positions at various banking and financial institutions. Nowadays, he’s stepping into the role of President of Fairly Painless. A title he earned after forcing each of us into submission in an agency-wide fist fight. Steve’s already impressively well-groomed for his new position, but we think with a touch of mousse and a dab of gel, he’s going to be looking prim, proper and presidential in no time.
Principal / Creative Direction
When you consider that an estimated 60% of buying decisions are made at the point of purchase, you start to understand why we need someone like Cheryl Bell heading up our design team. As Design Director and Partner, Cheryl’s talents keep FPA and our clients in the design annuals year in and year out. Her packaging and collateral credentials include Miller Brewing, Sara Lee, Herman Miller, Spartan Stores, Whirlpool, Cherry Bay Orchards, Proven Winners and others. Second only to cheese, we consider her Wisconsin’s finest export.
What have McDonald’s, Home Depot, Owens Corning, and the largest healthcare network in West Michigan had in common? Two words: Craig Davis. Client-side experience with Home Depot, followed by agency tours of duty with Arnold Worldwide and Doner, Detroit, make Craig the perfect account director for FPA. When he isn’t working with our creative department to ensure advertising and communication are on strategy, you’ll either find him hanging with his wife and two kids, or knee deep in a river on the dry end of a fishing line.
What’s the former National Director of Greenpeace, US Congressional aide, and board member of The Antarctica Foundation doing at Fairly Painless Advertising? Well, since 1993, running it, actually. His love of politics and social movements, business and the markets, and the better side of human nature keeps Chris lucid. Quite possibly, he’s the sole exception to the rule that nice guys finish last. Time will tell.
Ever wondered what a walking dictionary/thesaurus looks like? Look no further. For more than 25 years, Beth has written intelligent and poignant copy for clients all across Michigan with respected agencies like Lawler Ballard, Earle Palmer Brown, and Traver Rohrback. And, for the past 15+ years, we’ve been fortunate enough to have her with us, writing for Armstrong International, Proven Winners Flowering Shrubs, Spectrum Health, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Center for Women in Transition, Frederick Meijer Gardens, Greenleaf Trust, and Habitat for Humanity (the list goes on). A devoted animal rights activist, it’s possible the only thing she despises more than animal cruelty is the misuse of the hyphen.
When it comes to combining strong design with attention to detail, Carrie is the resident expert. Before signing on with FP in 2003, Carrie designed for clients like Pontiac, Village Green and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with Skidmore Inc. in Detroit. Needless to say, when she made her way to this side of the state we were happy to have her. Today, as an essential part of the FP team, Carrie has helped to reshape brands and create them, working on clients like Amway, Spartan, Cherry Bay Orchards, Greenleaf Trust and Staples. Whether she is designing new packaging, baking for her family or refinishing vintage furniture, Carrie’s talents are reflected in everything she does.
Interactive Design / Development
We brought an Englishman on board for more reasons than just hearing him recite words like “lift”, “loo” and “footy.” While a successful musician at heart, David is a talented web designer and programmer, making him an integral muscle in our digital arm. He’s been designing and building websites since the mid 90’s, which is essentially the stone age of the web, so needless to say, he knows what he’s doing. Now, if only we could get him to call “footy” soccer.
Don’t let her size fool you, Angie’s as tough as they come. It figures, since she broke into this business in Detroit where she once KO’d a mugger. Okay, that last bit’s not true, but this is: before joining FP in 2007, Angie worked with Mars Advertising, Young & Rubicam, and Team Detroit where she gained experience with clients Nestlé, Conagra, KitchenAid and Ford. Currently, Angie has many irons in the fire, managing our client relationships with Greenleaf Trust, Visteon Corporation, Amway and others. Basically, when we need to dump more responsibility on someone, we dump it on Angie.
When you’re born in a refugee camp, move to the US before your first birthday, come of age in California, and see the world through a unique perspective, Fairly Painless is the place for you—and for Sang Kim. As a backend development whiz and walking TED talk on all things technology, Sang is passively competitive and aggressively agreeable when it matters most, all of the time. Clients love him, and we’re pleased to have him in our camp.
Looks alone can't tell the whole story.