Fun Stuff (16)
Exercising creativity in one form often inspires creativity in other forms. That's one of the reasons for the MadAveGroup Art Show.
On Valentine's Day 2020, we opened our first in-house display of employee artwork, complete with wine and cheese. Many of the pieces are shown below.
"While none of us make our living as fine artists, many of our team members work as visual communicators," said Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory. "Others have an art background or have just wanted to experiment with painting. This is a nice opportunity to stretch a little bit and practice a different skill set."
The ongoing Art Show is open to all members of the MadAveGroup team. We hope to show new work every three to four months.
In April 2019, our CEO Jerry Brown proposed five challenges to our staff. They were encouragements on how to approach not only our work, but our lives.
Jerry urged us to be:
Curious - Inquisitive and eager to learn.
Dauntless - Fearless, bold and not easily intimidated.
Diagnostic - Willing to analyze the cause of a problem, then provide a solution.
Persistent - Capable of carrying on, especially in the face of opposition and obstacles.
Resilient - Able to recover from adversity.
To reinforce those challenges for our team, we produced a series of 20 posters featuring quotes that support the five ideas. We hang a new set of posters every couple of weeks. You can see a few of them below.
What are some of the ways you communicate important philosophies or strategies to your employees? How do you promote teamwork or new ideas? Read a few thoughts in our article “Internal Communication: Your Team is an Audience.”
One of the newer traditions at our agency is the MadAveGroup Olympics.
We close the office to spend a summer day at our CEO's home. Along with enjoying good food and plenty of cold beverages, we compete in fun games like Can Jam, bocce ball, cornhole, and even a giant version of Connect 4. There's also swimming, Frisbee and fishing. Then, we all get together for a big kickball tournament.
The pictures below are from our 2nd annual Olympics, held in August 2019.
We love our work, but complete fulfillment doesn’t often come from careers alone.
That’s why we give our team members an opportunity to pursue their other interests during the work week.
Ryan Hehr is our Digital Marketing Manager. Each July, he takes paid time off from MadAveGroup to pursue one of his other passions. Since 2014, Ryan has been involved with the Toledo YES Project. (His profile and the images below are from the organization's website.)
The program’s mission is “to teach high school students the value of volunteering and encourage them to strengthen and develop a relationship with God, bringing the love of Christ and His healing presence” to those they serve.
Working toward that end, the students and their adult leaders participate in service projects benefitting needy homeowners, shelters and non-profit organizations. Their work often includes painting, yard and garden maintenance, house cleaning, and providing minor repairs.
Ryan became a board member of the YES project in 2015. “It allows me to help improve our city, but it goes deeper than that,” said Ryan. “When high school and college students join us, they learn the importance of helping others, which can lead to a lifetime of helping others.”
Since 1983, YES Project volunteers have donated 200,000+ service hours to our community, making life better for more than 2,000 people.
“Many of my most important accomplishments are a result of someone taking a little extra time to help me. Whether it was a teacher or a coach or a friend, the extra effort those people gave to help me made a big difference in my life. I can pay that forward through volunteering.”
This year's Christmas video is a take-off on all those dad joke competitions we've been seeing online and on TV. We just replaced the bad dad jokes with bad marketing jokes.
Terry Lesniewicz has been creating memorable images and effective work for brands since the early 1970s.
And as the creative leader of d2i - our brand, design and advertising agency - Terry is still makin’ it happen today, as both an impactful designer and a mentor to the next generation.
On April 19th, 2017, Terry and a few other area designers were featured in an informal retrospective called The Poster Show. Check out the images of Terry's work below.
We’re very proud of the influence that Terry has had on advertising and design, and we’re very excited that he shares his talent, perspective and vast experience with our team and clients every day.
"It's been a pleasure working with the up-and-coming designers here at d2i, including Greg Stawicki. He was instrumental in the work for the Mad Ave Collective poster" (middle row left below).
What's the best possible way to wrap up the work week before Easter Sunday?
Sure, a turkey shoot is one possible answer, but we were looking for "an Easter egg hunt in a sometimes dimly lit 65-year-old basement," of course.
Take a look at the video above and enjoy the intensity of Mad Ave Group staff members scrounging through boxes, old files and other cellar goodies in search of more than $200 in cash, gift cards and mini peanut butter cups.
Since 2009, our annual Christmas gift to you and yours has been a video - primarily because we don't know which size riding crop you take.
This year's presentation is sure to warm your heart, and possibly leave it cramping mildly. We call it "Christmas Thoughts." Feel free to share it with those for whom you have little to no regard. Merry Christmas.
Our home - 1600 Madison Avenue in Toledo's UpTown District - is about 65 years old.
But she's not ready to retire yet.
Our building has been the site of many businesses over the years, including an architectural firm, a state license bureau, and a financial services company.
It was also the headquarters of a public relations and advertising agency called Flournoy and Gibbs, which was founded around 1938. At least some of the years they spent at 1600 Madison would have been considered the Mad Men era. And, yes, the excesses depicted in the AMC television show were consistent with what Terry Lesniewicz saw as a young designer while here in the early 1970s.
After running his own advertising and design firm for many decades, Lesniewicz is back on the fourth floor of what is now the Mad Ave Group building, leading the D2I team.
Many things have changed about our building since it opened in 1950 - from the alcohol-fueled workdays to the fins on the cars in the parking lot - but it's still a place where people come together each day to harness their skills and creativity to make great work.
("Block Card 1600 Madison Avenue 1960" image courtesy of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, obtained from http://images2.toledolibrary.org/)