Steve Stocker

How I started in this business…

My senior year in college, I got started with an internship at a small ad agency in Fox Point, Wisconsin. The owner had the agency in her home and we were working in her basement. I was doing everything from art directing photo shoots, layouts, and key-line paste-up, as they used to call it, which was production. When I graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 1982, it was almost as bad of a time business-wise as the recession in 2008. So, after they offered me a permanent job, I was there for three years.

What I like most about my job…

The variety is huge. I love being able to work with a large corporation one day and then a small manufacturer or family-run business the next. Aside from the variety of clients and companies we work with, I love that we have a small environment. It feels like a family at times in that you know what’s going on with everyone, which isn’t always the case in a larger company. As part owner, I also like to see how things can move from one stage to another and progress or evolve, including how our people and clients grow.

When I’m not at work…

I’m usually doing some form of physical activity like running, golfing or playing other sports. If I’m not doing that, I’m spending time with family, friends, traveling or dining out. I love to keep moving.

Best advice I ever received…

I really can’t say there’s one piece of advice that stands out because I’ve tried to combine the best anecdotes and stories from people I’ve learned from over the years. For example, my first boss believed any piece of business or client, no matter the size, could be a good piece of business if they knew where they wanted to go or that they needed help getting there. Others have told me the best way to manage is to find good people, let them do what they do best, and don’t get in their way.

If I weren’t doing this…

I love volunteering and have been very involved in a lot of service organizations, so I would enjoy working with a non-profit. I’d also love to coach kids’ sports – maybe a middle school or high school track or cross country team.

To me, Positively Engaging Marketing means…

That everything we do as a company involves engaging people in ways that are going to make them, including their products, services, and organizations, better. In a way, this also speaks to how we treat each other internally and what we’re looking to achieve from an outcome standpoint. It’s often easy to overlook the importance of engagement. It’s not just getting someone to react or do something, it’s getting them to do something better.

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