I’m Josh and I love asking “why?” The joy that I find in that simple word is more than an exercise in my own curiosity, which is a bit insatiable. I love asking why because it cues up critical thinking around the important decisions that our clients make while partnering with a marketing agency. I also love the way that asking why gives us permission to think strategically about business challenges and opportunities and I’ve seen how that permission sets our team up to create more innovative solutions. At 502, I have the opportunity to be one of the first people to work with clients, so I get to ask why a lot. Why a website? Why is recruitment important? Why this product? Why that market? Why now? Perhaps most importantly, why a strategic agency?
I first worked with the 502 crew to launch a business magazine, MHK Business News. We came together to promote economic development in the greater Manhattan region and to start a different conversation in our business community. Blade, 502’s principal, had reached out after learning of my editorial background in print media. Originally from Arkansas, I had come to Kansas from Upper Michigan, where I had completed my MFA in creative writing, to work for a media company that focuses on rural and sustainable lifestyle titles. While there, I had the opportunity to partner with a number of agricultural brands, including John Deere, Kubota, Tractor Supply and Yanmar Tractors, to develop digital campaigns and live activations around sustainable and regenerative agriculture. In addition to MHK Business News, I’m most proud to have worked on 502’s brand strategy and the messaging strategy for the U.S. Wheat Associates campaign, “Reliable People. Dependable Wheat.” There’s nothing quite like seeing the way our creative team brings an idea or a phrase to life!
While there’s no typical day at the office, I spend most of my time thinking about 502’s customers. You’ll usually find me in client meetings, researching our client’s industry and competitive set, or writing something for our next presentation. In my role, I’m lucky to see the way that our entire team shapes a project from concept to launch, and to see the trust that clients place in our team. When I’m not at work, I’m usually working on my 1930 home restoration project, hacking away at my community garden plot, or out hiking with my wife, Ania, and our Great Dane, Baloo. To give back to the wonderful Manhattan community, I serve on the Friends of the Konza Prairie board, am a member of the City-County Food and Farm Council, the Riley County Solid Waste Commission, and am a ride leader with BikeWalkMHK.