Wow! Is 2018 really over?

Did two of our partners, Susie and Kevin, really retire from Simantel?

Did we successfully transition full ownership to Misty, Tim and me?

Did we put a new level of leadership in place that will, no doubt, help us move forward to new and exciting places?

Yep, we sure did.

But guess what. These changes, even as big as they are, feel so natural, so comfortable — so us.

You know, back when Jim Simantel started this business in 1980, he wanted to completely change how people perceived quality design and marketing in the Peoria area. He didn’t give away ideas to win the business like some competitors did, he instead proved the value of them. He didn’t subscribe to the classic boys’ club agency structure seen in shows like Mad Men; he took a bold step and put women in place to head up accounts in heavily male-dominated industries. And he didn’t hold on to the business so tight that he kept it from thriving, he instead handed over the keys and the groundwork for future success.

Jim Simantel liked the winds of change…and they were always at his back pushing him, and the business, forward.

When Susie and Kevin took over ownership in 2004, I had been here a few years. Man, it was exciting! We were always scrappy and resourceful, but they pushed us to new levels. Haven’t done it before? We’ll figure it out. Have skills outside of your job description? You have a new role! Want to impress and win a new client? Present the concept by painting it on the walls of the entire Simantel lobby and then take the clients bowling afterwards. Huh?

Yes, that really happened. Yes, we won the work. And yes, we partied like rock stars that night.

And during Kevin and Susie’s ownership, you had to hold on to your hat! Simantel became a real strategic marketing player on a national, even global, level. We grew our staff, our capabilities and our footprint. We also grew more confident because, when embraced and managed well, change will do that to you. We lived for the challenge, we approached our work with heart and we all knew we were better together than as individuals. We rallied, day in and day out. We changed.

So in many ways, the Simantel I joined back is 2000 is nothing like the Simantel of today. And that’s by design. We aren’t, as human beings, meant to stand still. We have legs that will move us in any direction and minds that wander to endless places of possibility. We have logic that leads us to decisions, only to have emotion take over and suggest a more interesting path.

Every day, in life and in business, change is swirling around us. We have options to weigh. Decisions to make. Luckily, we also have purpose. And I believe that our purpose is to do good and leave our place in this world better than we found it.

And that very same purpose has always guided Simantel. It’s the one thing, besides the name, that has simply endured. Jim Simantel created new jobs and redefined the marketing landscape in Peoria, Ill. on which our foundation was built. Susie and Kevin evolved the business into a strategic marketing firm that now reaches across the globe, while always supporting our community back here at home. They all left this place better than they found it. Each and every one of them. I’m so very grateful for that. I’m truly inspired.

So, Tim and Misty and me? What do we have in store? Let’s just say, tie back the hair and open the windows. We’re pretty sure the winds of change are picking up, and you can bet they’re going to keep blowing – for good.