Tell us how you started in the company – what position you started in.
I started at Three Seas about 12 years ago. I joined Cerebral Lounge as an editor when the Baltimore office opened. I was a freelancer at the time and Lee [Konen, CEO] brought me on board to help grow that location. We’d encountered each other in the market because Lee, at the time, was acting as the finishing editor at Cerebral Lounge. He finished a spot that I cut with an agency and production company and he approached me and brought me into the fold. We just hit it off right away; we cared about the work with the same passion.
How has the company changed since you started?
It’s changed immensely. When I started at Cerebral Lounge it was still a relatively new thing–a newly launched brand, standing on the shoulders of Clean Cuts. I saw Cerebral Lounge grow in three locations–Baltimore, Silver Spring, and DC–and live right alongside Clean Cuts in all of those locations. And then Gigawatt Group launched as another creative boutique within the collective of Three Seas. We have more creatives than we’ve ever had size-wise but also, talent and capability-wise. So, we’ve grown our service offerings, but not growing for growth’s sake; we’ve grown because we’ve had talented people on board who could undertake new projects and take on new tasks and new challenges, and do it with aplomb. I think the thing that Three Seas really figured out was how to support creative people doing creative things so all they have to worry about is being creative. What hasn’t changed? The quality of work we’re doing for our clients.
What’s the difference between the early days of Cerebral Lounge vs. the early days of Gigawatt Group?
I think they shared a lot of similarities: Small teams building into larger groups. I think that Cerebral Lounge was sort of a scrappy upstart working alongside Clean Cuts and building its own identity. I think similarly, Gigawatt started as a very small concern and, in a lot of ways, still functions as a scrappy upstart – I think that’s in the DNA of all of our companies. Our founder, Jack Heyrman, told me when I was hired a long time ago, that every person who works here has to act as a freelancer: approaching every job like it leads to your next job. And I do think we have that sort of upstart/freelancer mentality, everybody knows they have to give it their all because good work begets good work.
How have you as President of Gigawatt Group impacted the company?
I’ve impacted the company in a way that I think any person with a particular set of talents who comes on board does – there’s an opportunity at Three Seas to be a creative person leveraging your skills and taking the position that you’re put in, and turning it into a position for your unique talents. Early on, I brought a pretty good eye for storytelling and commercial editing and visual storytelling. I developed that and I like to think that I impacted it by nurturing other creatives to find their own voice and find their own talents – talents that they’re bringing to the company every day. When I stepped into my role at Gigawatt, that was my goal: to work with the team here at Gigawatt to 1) find work that utilizes their unique talents and then 2) open doors for them to bring their talent to the table 3) deliver top notch work for our clients. I want folks to understand that their position is their position – they can define what sort of work we do here by just doing what they do best. This way of utilizing our creative resources has really brought alignment between Gigawatt and the other creative boutiques of Three Seas, and I think this ethos shows in the great work that we’re doing for our clients.
What are strategies that you use as President of Gigawatt Group?
In my time at Three Seas, I’ve learned a lot from our leadership team and I think the number one strategy that I use as president [of Gigawatt Group] is listening to my team and try to empower them to work in the ways that they are most effective. I think Lee does a really good job of that–bringing out what people are best at and empowering them to make that their job, you know, really taking people’s talents and shining a light on them. Not only internally, but also shining a light on them out in the world at large. And by aligning their passion with their day to day, we’re able to deliver top notch results for the folks who are bringing their work through our doors.
How are you going to help Three Seas succeed? Describe some of your goals of the future of Three Seas.
PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE. What am I trying to bring to the table? My people. We’re trying to do the best work for our clients by utilizing our talented people. I want Gigawatt to be recognized as the collection of talent that exists in our ranks. I want people to look at Three Seas and not say “that company that Lee Konen [CEO] runs.” I want them to see Three Seas and say “that badass sound designer, Isabella Ness, works there.” I want people to look at Three Seas and say “that place where I got a CRAZY adaptive music package from that guy Chris Kennedy.” I want people to look at Three Seas and say “that’s where we got that really thoughtful edit by JP Hertel.” I want Three Seas to be about the people and I want Gigawatt to be about the people. I want people to come to Gigawatt because Stuart Granger has the best ideas. I want people to come to Gigawatt because Shanice Jarmon is the most delightful account person they could possibly work with. I want people to come to Gigawatt because Ellis Kaler’s minimalist design aesthetic drives them crazy. Simply put, I want Gigawatt to be us, and I want to lead the charge by lifting everyone up.