Eric Groves +
Principal + Creative Director
Lately Eric has been morphing into a cowboy. Not sure why. Probably a mid-life crisis — he’s at that age when guys like to change things up. One day he comes to the office looking all designerly and the next day it looks like he’s fixin’ to do chores on the back forty. Lots of funky western shirts with pearl buttons, occasional cowboy boots— haven’t seen a cowboy hat yet (thank goodness!), but we wouldn’t be shocked if he walked in one day sporting one. If he does, we’ll know the transformation is complete.
Ryan Parlee +
Principal + Senior Web Strategist
Ryan has a brilliant mind…..most of the time. Yes, he’s as sharp as a tack when it comes to web architecture and he’s fluent in dozens of languages that only a computer chip could appreciate, but when it comes to every day, around-the-house smarts, well……not so much. You see, he once was teaching his young kids the intricacies of building smoke bombs and by the time he was done with his mini science experiment, half the kitchen was gone and six firetrucks came to visit the Parlee household. They did end up with a completely remodeled kitchen when all was said and done, and he claims it was all part of the plan.
Scott Helms +
Principal + Creative Director
You probably recognize Scott from his performance in the movie “Whiteboyz.” No?! You’re kidding! Okay, it had a total box office draw of $33… but man, Scott really let his acting chops loose in this flick. The way he molded perfectly into the two-second background scene along with 35 other extras was impressive stuff! If they ever give an Oscar for best performance for a non-speaking, barely visible, leaning-against-a-wall, most-likely-never-to-be-noticed person in a terribly awful movie, the vote would have to go to Scott.
Caroline Altenbern +
Digital Marketing Strategist
Over one hundred popular songs contain references to her name, but if you take our word for it, Neil Diamond was spot-on when he penned ‘Sweet Caroline.’ Well, most of the time. You see, her sweetness could be up for debate, particularly on any day the “Black and Gold” are playing. Seriously, it doesn’t matter if the Hawkeyes are huddling-up or tipping-off, game day brings out a whole other side of this hippo. And, if they lose? Well, bad times never seem so bad. Lucky for us, we know how to turn this Hippo’s ‘Hmmmphs’ happy… granola, tacos and Activia. Weird? Maybe. But it’s not half as weird as the fact that this University of Iowa die-hard actually went to Iowa State! (OK. It was only one semester.)
John Anderson +
Despite having a name that Tom Cruise might use to check into a hotel – John Anderson as a person contradicts his generic moniker. John is an accomplished musician who writes and composes ditties that sound like they’re right out of the 80’s…on purpose. He also has serious acting chops and was awarded the Iowa High School All-State Actor of the Year in 2004! With those sort of accolades, John is almost famous! Come to think of it, maybe John Anderson isn’t his real name after all.
Brad Argo +
Brand + Marketing Strategist
Step into our office, and you might hear a faint jingle and the pitter patter of paws on hard floor. This is the sound of Brad’s dog, Pepper. It’s funny because Pepper is basically the dog version of Brad. They’re both friendly and will make you smile. They both have dark brown hair with a tinge of gray, and they both like to eat food out of the trash can. Just kidding, Pepper never does that! If you go anywhere with Brad, get ready to have random conversations with people, because he knows basically everyone. Oh, and don’t forget to challenge him to a game of just about anything. But, prepare to lose!
Lynn Cutshall +
Lynn lives for food. Seriously. We think the only reason he works is so that he can frequent the many fine dining establishments in the area. He’s developed a very sophisticated palette over the years and claims he can actually taste the difference between a chalupa and an enchilada from Taco John’s! Actually, he’s introduced our staff to a plethora of varied and interesting dining experiences and if he could change careers he would love to be a critic of fine eateries and write a daily column for the Des Moines Register. He even came up with a snappy name for the column —“Lynn’s Guide for Avoiding Salmonella”. Hey, a man’s gotta dream!
Jolly Green Giant +
Jolly my x#@%! Don’t cross this guy, or you’ll pay dearly. Sure, he’s an advertising icon; he’s been around forever spreading his jolly green cheer. But like most Hollywood types with a super-inflated ego, what you see on the outside is a paper-thin, fraudulent veneer. “Look at me, I’m on a can of peas!” Well, whoopty-frickin do! You can only speak one word intelligently! “Ho, ho, ho!” to you, green boy.
Ashley Edwards +
Ashley is very nice, smart and pretty, but she definitely has some quirks. For instance, she no longer wears closed-toe shoes because she says her toes were choking from “lack of oxygen” and that this in turn caused a chemical imbalance that resulted in random hiccups. I think I believe her because, until recently, she would periodically let out very loud, bark-like sounds that resonated throughout the office. They resembled hiccups, but smelled like socks. Now that the closed-toe shoes are gone, we’re all better off.
Annie Eischen +
In Annie’s own words (most of them anyway):
• I wear glasses with no prescription to make me feel smarter. (Hey, do what you need to do to up the I.Q.!)
• I don’t put the worm on the hook, but I fish. (Hint: Don’t ever take Annie fishing.)
• I adopted a beta whose name is Samari, Sammi for short. (The fish lived two days before dying of starvation – Annie wouldn’t touch the food.)
• I drank un caffe latte every day for 5 months when living in Rome, Italy. (Oops! Can I help you pick that up — you dropped something!)
• I sing conversations. As quoted by a co-worker, “Working next to you is like being in an opera. There’s drama, laughter and sometimes tragedy.” (It’s a regular Singspiel around here!)
• I show up to work every morning with a smile. (And something up your sleeve!)
Brian Fiser +
Director of Photography
Brian, aka Mr. Flip-The-Switch, graces us everyday with the biggest of smiles and most friendliest of demeanors. There’s just something about his aura when he walks in that makes you want to give him a big hug. For fear of litigation, I’ll stop there… do NOT hug this man. The only hug you’ll get from this collegiate wrestler is the air-stopping grizzly bear variety. But, if you do say ‘Uncle’ quick enough, be sure to ask him about his multiple Emmy awards and his biggest passion outside of family, the wrestling team he coaches. You should also ask to see a picture of him in his wrestling singlet. Talk about a pin-up!
Kristin Killian +
You know how sometimes you can tell what a person is like just by looking at them? Well, that is not the case with Kristin. By all appearances she’s a buttoned-up professional, but behind the petite, mild-mannered exterior lies a slightly twisted, daredevil in heels. Let me paint the picture. She once felt the need to swim with sharks (yes, sharks…with pointy teeth!) Why, you ask? No, stinkin’ clue — I told you, she’s twisted. She also loves the horror flicks. “Slash and gore, give me more!” – that’s her mantra. Her favorite movie? “Jaws” of course.
Ryan Rogness +
Digital Operations Manager
Design, programming, project management — Ryan can do it all. The dude’s got both sides of the brain going full-steam—right side, left side, right side, left side. His noggin’ is spinning away like a two-sided hamster wheel. Apparently his cerebral hamsters thrive on caffeine, because the guy drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez on a promotional tour. He claims he can solve a rubix cube in under five minutes — my guess is that the hamsters are helping him out.
Rachel Shalla +
Rachel fancies herself as being “rather crafty” and possesses a diverse set of yarn and fabric skills. She can knit, sew, cross-stitch, quilt and crochet. Give her a ball of yarn, some fabric, a couple needles and thread, and…whallah! A pot hanger! A tamborine cover! A leotard! There’s nothing she can’t do! Speaking of scarves…she has so many scarves in her closet that Steven Tyler once stopped by to shop. He picked out a nice pink number and Rachel threw in a couple of left-footed socks and a guitar pick that she had crocheted the day before – she’s just thoughtful that way.
David Woolf +
Lately David has been into a self improvement program, first with his mind – he’s been learning French (et j’en passe!). And also with his body – he’s been running like crazy and pumping iron. I’ve got to say, I do think he’s a little more buff than when he first started here, but I’m afraid it might be going to his head. I caught him the other day showing off his new and improved “guns” to one of our female co-workers. I’m not sure she was impressed though, as she replied “pas terrible!”. Surprisingly, David gave her a pleasant look, said “thank you!” and strutted back to his desk. Apparently he’s got a little way to go with his French.
Cory Witt +
Cory is a self-proclaimed music snob. His musical tastes are very eclectic and sophisticated. On his playlist you’ll find everything from classic jazz, blues, punk, new wave and alt country. What you won’t find (according to him), is anything pop or mainstream from the last 10-15 years. “Music has really gone down hill in the last several years!” he likes to say with his shiny white ear pods in. Interestingly enough though, I swear I saw him click on a Justin Beiber tune the other day when I walked by his desk. Later, when I pressed him on it, he said it was actually a little known song called “As Long As You Love New York” by Frank Sinatra when he was 10 years old…Wow! Who knew?!
Tang Xiong +
Tang is sweet. We’re not talking about the orange drink. No, human Tang is kind to all, soft spoken and super artsy. While Tang has a nice and sweet facade, she’s basically an undercover badass. She once did an illegal hike in Hawaii on a trail called the “Stairway to Heaven.” She had to wake up at 2 a.m. to leave the trail so security wouldn’t catch her. Outside of work, you can find Tang camping, hiking or kayaking. She loves scary movies, and she’s pretty much not afraid of anything…except Chucky dolls.