creative marketing for good businesses and good causes

30 years of service

posted on: January 2, 2013
in: Ideas

Ruth Sterling

When I interview entry level candidates for internships I ask them “What is your dream job? What does it look like? Are you in an office? Are you in a city? Who else works with you?” My questions are intended to get people started on envisioning their career paths. If the reply is, “I’d like to work outside,” they might not be suited for the kind of work we do here. And yet, some of our most important projects do take us outside, including events management.

Looking back, I have always known I would like to own a very special ad agency where everyone cared about what they were doing and did the right things for the right reasons. I thought the environment should be well-lit, professional, comfortable, stimulating. There would be ten or twelve co-workers coming and going—all dedicated, capable and inspiring. I’d work really hard, learn difficult things continually, stay young at heart while growing wise. Stunningly beautiful work would be displayed without dominating the scene. It would all be brilliant.

If life is what happens while we’re busy making plans, my case is a good example. I settled in Keene, NH, by happenstance. The opportunity to work at a corporate communications job one hour from my hometown was enticing. Although I thought I was heading to Boston, I in fact was sent in the opposite direction to Keene, NH, where Markem Corporation was headquartered. The opportunity to “grow up” in a 5th generation multi-million dollar, international enterprise was life-directing. Markem’s mission, vision and values resonated with me and taught me how business should be conducted. The experience was more precious than ten college degrees.

I took a leave of absence from Markem to have a family and finish two degree programs. Just a few weeks into that leave, Markem hired me to design a commemorative issue of their corporate magazine. I was all ready. My co-worker at Markem, an illustrious writer, had asked me to design the MacDowell Colony annual report. And so, Sterling Design & Communications was born and grew along with a beautiful family that after a while became a single-parent household. Busy, busy times. My son and daughter kept me up to date with trends and popular culture, knew more about my office computers than I did. Helped brainstorm logos and themes. Were my priority clients. Played three varsity sports each. Excelled and went into the world.

Clearing the way for a growth spurt of projects and revealing that my dream job was the job I have. I manage a very special ad agency where superbly talented, caring, amazing co-workers, sub-contractors and clients come together in a beautifully lit, wonderful creative atmosphere. And create solutions, design magical things and work very hard.

Sterling Design & Communications: Ready to embrace change, respect tradition, and help make good things happen.