Stories From Simantelites
Simantel has a rich 40(ish)-year history of creating outstanding customer experiences for hardworking and quality
of life brands.
We’re proud of our roots and the hard work that’s gone into the growth and success of Simantel. What began as a
small creative boutique with a handful of employees founded by a man with the desire to bring high-level design
to Peoria, Illinois is now a full-service CX agency with over 125 Simantelites in 18 states.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment – to our people and to producing amazing work. Hiring talent is about more than just finding someone to do the job. It’s about finding people who are a good fit and people who care about the work, but perhaps more importantly, about their teammates, too. We’ve worked hard to make Simantel a more inclusive place where everyone feels welcome. A place where people are proud to work. A place where people want to stay and learn and grow.
In honor of our last 40(ish) years in business, we’re putting some of our people front and center. They’re sharing stories about work they’ve been a part of that made them proud. Listen to their stories below and be sure to check out Season 6 of the Marketing Sweats podcast to hear more.
Executive Creative Director, Chris Moehn has been pouring his heart into Simantel for 34 years. He’s our connector to Simantel’s history and has helped carry on the legacy of our founder, Jim Simantel. Hear Chris share the narrative of his Point of Pride story - a peek into Simantel’s past and how our reputation for having such a crazy talented staff was built and lives on today.Listen to the Full Story
Associate Content Director, Kelly Luttinen’s Point of Pride is about an OSF Healthcare Foundation project that became personal when it intersected with her father’s battle with ALS. Listen as Kelly shares her story about wrestling with initial feelings of panic and dread and emerging with a sense of accomplishment for not only supporting fundraising, but for speaking up for the ALS community.Listen to the Full Story
Creative Director, Jake Beyhl is passionate about his work. He believes in delivering an honest, authentic message – but in a disruptive way. And he’s not afraid to push the envelope to make it happen. Listen as Jake narrates the story of highlighting the best of the best technicians and working with Mike Rowe on Caterpillar’s Technician Recruitment campaign that won big at AdAge’s award ceremony.Listen to the Full Story
Associate Media Director, Clay Deal’s career path has been a long and interesting journey. He went back to college in his thirties and, as a non-traditional student with no true marketing experience, worked his way up, exploring new opportunities and building confidence. Hear Clay narrate his story of self-discovery and career growth at Simantel – a place he had to leave to find out it was home.Listen to the Full Story
Senior Web Developer, Alan Wilson was new to Simantel when a project landed on his desk that would be a career-defining moment. In his narrative, Alan tells the story of collaboration both inside and outside of his department at Simantel, and how the team overcame obstacles to develop a unique, engaging and interactive experience for North America’s largest construction tradeshow, CONEXPO.Listen to the Full Story
Director of Organizational Design, Gena Killion, made a decision earlier in her career at Simantel that ended up being a mistake. But when she opened up to her client about the failure, she was met with grace. She learned that nobody’s perfect, we all make mistakes and what’s important is how you handle the situation. Listen as Gena narrates the story of her own Point of Pride from start to finish.Listen to the Full Story
Jane Olson is a Marketing Automation Consultant, but it hasn’t always been that way. Jane was originally hired as an Associate Digital Experience Strategist but within a month after joining the agency an opportunity with a new client, Cisco, presented itself. Rarely backing down from a work-related challenge or the opportunity to learn, she accepted. Listen as Jane narrates the story of how it all went down.Listen to the Full Story
Jason Brown, Insights Director, tells a story about his first immersive research project at Simantel. Just as he was about to hit the road to interview dealers, he got news that a tornado destroyed a nearby town, including the homes of other Simantelites. He learned then that his coworkers are more than just that – they’re family. Hear Jason detail what a strong community means to him.Listen to the Full Story
Caterpillar is a highly matrixed organization with many different business units operating independently. Creative Director, Van Burnett, discusses how “Take a Closer Look” aligned messaging for nine product groups at Caterpillar and has spanned four years. And it all started with recognizing an opportunity for creative evergreen content.Listen to the Full Story
As a Senior Project Planner, Megan Gibbons, has worked with more than 20 clients in her time at Simantel. But when asked what makes her most proud at Simantel, she said it was our commitment to each other. And that’s why she chose her position as co-chair on the DEI committee as her Point of Pride. Megan details the challenges of starting up the committee and the positive momentum they have today.Listen to the Full Story
Associate HR Manager, Nick Knuffman-Brewer is passionate about HR. He loves people, and it shows. For Nick, HR is all about truly connecting with and serving employees. Hear how he’s leaning into his customer service background to create a positive employee experience for Simantelites – one where HR is viewed as a partner and trusted resource and employees’ needs come first.Listen to the Full Story
Senior Communication Strategist, Pam Aiello has spent 25 years in writing and communications roles at Simantel. But her most memorable moment came after Simantel rolled out Peoria’s “Don’t Shoot” campaign, and her daughter wrote a college essay detailing how the ad she saw in her mom’s office impacted her as a young girl. Hear Pam narrate a story that’s so close to her heart that it became her Point of Pride.Listen to the Full Story
Director of Experience Strategy, Sara Ingles, has been key to the success of many interesting projects in her 12 years at Simantel, but there is one in particular that stands out. Listen as Sara tells her story of the time she dreamed up Caterpillar’s Dozer Pride rap video, how she worked past the client’s initial hesitation and what happened when the video took off like wildfire.Listen to the Full Story
Several years ago, Lori Johnson, Executive Director of Service Management, recognized a need at the agency and eventually found herself leading a team focused on workflow and financial management. But it hasn’t been easy. Like so many of us, Lori found balancing work and life as a parent to be difficult. Hear Lori share the narrative of her Point of Pride story - how she found success in her career and continues to navigate being a working mom.Listen to the Full Story
While trying to select one memory as her Point of Pride, Executive Strategy Director, Erin Bowald, kept going back to one thing. The people. She realized it’s the people and the impact they’ve made on her that truly makes her proud. Listen as Erin narrates her story about all she’s learned from the strong dynamic women here and how her outlook has changed for both her and her daughter.Listen to the Full Story
Marketing and Brand Director, Alicia Ruemelin, narrates the story of her involvement in a big milestone at Simantel and an all-time favorite event for so many people tied to the agency – our 40(ish) anniversary celebration, Ish Fest. Listen as Alicia gives a peak behind the scenes of our own brand work and how Simantel’s renowned culture manifested in one big celebration.Listen to the Full Story