Volume 18 | September 25, 2018
We Make People and Companies Happier by Bringing Them Together
I get energized by candidates who embrace the opportunities that a job search can create. We get very few chances in our working lives to think freely about our possible futures that have perhaps gone unrealized or not pursued. Don't let your search situation get you down. Rather, get up and go out and do the things that you haven't had a chance to pursue...until now.

In this issue:
  • Rick will take the water taxi
  • The thrill never gets old for Michelle
  • Artie and you can change the world
Proust Pop Quiz
This profile has a history that goes back years to a cool Christmas night at a steak house in Palm Springs. When I was living in Los Angeles, my family decided to get together in Palm Springs to celebrate Christmas that year. As we settled into our table after being seated, I looked to my left and I see an old friend who I grew up with here in Columbus at the table just across the way from us. A bit of a mind blowing experience given the distance and timing involved in this coincidence. This friend introduced me that night to Rick Wolfe, this stylish guy who was quick to smile and who couldn't have been any nicer. He would migrate back to Columbus years later, like I would, too, where I would run into him while out and about. More than a few times I've seen him at his workplace. Rick's been making Columbus great for years as the Executive Director of the North Market.

As Executive Director, Rick is responsible for leading the North Market Development Authority and developing its position within the community and beyond. His key focus is on long term strategic planning, creative direction, fund raising, community/government liaison activities and business development. Prior to joining the North Market in May 2013, Rick created and ran the independent branding consulting agency, The Wolfe Group. Along with that, he created and founded the Cheesy Truck brand as an LA style gourmet mobile food truck for the central Ohio market. Prior to moving to Columbus, Rick was based in Los Angeles, and held the position of Vice President of Brand Development at Skechers USA for many years. He also worked in Sales and management for Cole Haan, in Chicago and San Francisco‚Ķand he loves tennis.

Rick takes the quiz this month.

When and where were you happiest?
Taking the water taxi from North Eleuthera to Harbour Island

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Reinvention, personally and professionally. 

What is your current state of mind?
Restless, in the creative and productive sense.
Friends in the Biz
I love to hear about all of the good things going on with the unique people who are a part of my life. New roles, great ideas, accomplishments and whatever else that gives me a kick are celebrated and shared here. 

Michelle Garrett and I have a monthly rendezvous that's not a secret if you've ever been to a Creative Mornings Columbus event. Michelle is a top 50 Content Marketing World Influencer (I had to lead with that because it's so good!) and a Writer & PR Pro in Columbus. Check out her business, Garrett Public Relations .

She began her business in '99 to help small businesses who need a hand with writing, PR and social media projects they can't fit into their busy schedules. "Content is something more and more businesses are looking at as an effective way to market their products and services, yet many simply don't have the time they need to devote to creating it," she said. Blog posts, newsletters, customer stories, press releases and other content for social media channels that she produces all integrates to help companies get more visibility.

"I really love being able to help clients get the word out about what they're doing." The thrill of getting covered by the media never really goes away for her. She added, "What I do also helps them drive sales, which is gratifying." Helping clients uncover what makes them compelling, especially when they may just not recognize what the stories are or how to tell them, is one of the more enjoyable aspects of what she does.

The integration of PR, content and social media is picking up steam and it's what Michelle says will give a company a leg up against it's competitors who continue to silo these practices. "And, I'm SO happy to see a focus on writing because it creates more opportunities for those of us who focus on it," she said.

I love hearing how people give back to their community. Michelle has been invited to speak about the importance of writing at her (and my) alma mater, The Ohio State School of Journalism to a class of PR students next month. "I'm really looking forward to that!"

Michelle's Facebook , Twitter , and LinkedIn .

Artie Toth is a good guy who I first met when he had relocated to Columbus from Dayton. We both got involved with the American Advertising Federation's Columbus chapter and still regularly attend events. He's been a creative leader with Grange Insurance for over the last three years after having spent the bulk of his career on the marketing agency side. It's been a big change that he's come to enjoy. He said, "The problem solving is no longer transactional. Today, I live and work inside the brand. The investments in innovation, community, diversity and inclusion make it an exciting and welcoming place to be. The organization genuinely embraces and accelerates change."

I asked Artie what has him most excited about his role. "I get excited when I contribute to the change, when I find a rule that feels like it should be challenged. I sometimes wonder, though, if I'm actually producing value or just bringing people together to take advantage of the value they can produce together. Either way, the transformations are exciting," he said.

He's a strong supporter of the Columbus creative community and he sees Grange as a microcosm of the creatively-diverse, inclusive and ever-changing city of Columbus. "If we all continue to think creatively about tomorrow and work together, we'll change the world."

Artie and I are also both dads. We all have our own experiences and Artie shared a bit of his with me. "Being a dad has opened my eyes to things I'd never imagined: their determination and confidence, the curiosity and humor behind their eyes. I've learned so much about myself, too, by asking for their perspective on the world. The trust that results opens doors to some amazing connections."
Cochran Executive Search | (614) 620-9620 | chris@cochranexecutivesearch.com CochranExecutiveSearch.com