When I reflect on the organizational themes associated with 2016, there are two that stand out powerfully in my mind:
- We shed skin in a period of transition and growth
- A certain maturation of identity emerged from the chaos of day-to-day agency life
I am quite cognizant of the good fortune Salted Stone has benefitted from since its inception. We've been fortunate to attract and retain top talent and been the recipient of an endless chain of happy accidents and unintended surprises. Even a few of our larger incorrect decisions have been salvaged into net gains.
At the beginning of 2016 I made a big wager, based literally on a coin flip. Though circuitous and oftentimes turbulent, the resultant course charted by that decision—meritless and foolish, by most definitions—finds us heading into 2017 as a substantively more potent operation that is capable of truly being an agent of change for our clients.
We’ve always been a solid production-oriented shop. We’re now also an accelerant for growth.
As mentioned, we've been blessed to make our way into some happy accidents, however, we also work really, really hard, and I’d like to specifically acknowledge some of the hardest working folks at Salted Stone:
- On the front line, Cindy, Melissa and Phil are unsung heroes. Being an account manager is not an easy job and they receive none of the glory and most of the headache. Phil is a stalwart, Cindy is a savant, and Melissa may be the most naturally kind and likeable member of the team.
- On the creative front, Mitch continues to drop bombs. Ivan has been a huge addition managing process and innovation. Kathleen reliably produces some of the best UX/UI work around. Layouts are on autopilot thanks to Natalie. And Steve has developed into a globally renowned face model (#drawsteve).
- Speaking of development, Michelle has emerged as a rock star leading our Dev team. In addition, her biz dev skills are a welcome addition and nice surprise. Aaron, as the progenitor of the Salty culture and the longest tenured team member, is a font of wisdom for our Millennial team members. Stephen does magic, and has really cut down on the miscasts. Alex is the heartbeat of the agency. Except when he’s the angry righteousness of the agency. Or the disillusioned apathy of the agency. And Kevin … well, my cousin found him on the street with a sign that said “Will code for beer” and, coincidentally enough, we work above a pub. So it's working out.
- Sam is the glue that holds everything together. Salted Stone was immediately a better agency when he joined the team. Aubrey has, I believe, found her calling spearheading the Influencer Outreach offering. Jose is a rock on the technical marketing front — another unheralded all-star making a big difference in the background on countless client accounts. And Jason has, simply put, increased our capability to deliver strategic marketing solutions by degrees of magnitude.
The entire team is excited to see what Abby and Brian bring to the table in 2017. We’re expecting strong showings from both.
It’d be foolish for me to predict what lies ahead in 2017, but foolishness has been, in some very real ways, a key ingredient to Salted Stone’s growth over the past eight years. So I anticipate that 2017 will be hallmarked as the year that our investments into personnel and process yielded aggressively palpable returns for us an agency as well as our clients, both old and new.
So I'll wrap up 2016 with a big "Thank You" to the awesome clients and team members that make Salted Stone a place we're happy to call home eight hours a day.. well, at least most hours of most days. Here's to a fun and prosperous 2017!