Revisiting – and recommitting to – who we are

How did I get here?
I was standing in front of a good chunk of our clients. Almost all of our employees. And the person who hired me almost 18 years ago.
Jan. She was eating cake the day I came into interview. They had a birthday party that day…they mattered back then. They still do today.
But tonight she was standing next to me, trying to deal with all of the emotion of the night as we said ‘thank you’ for everything she has given us over the years. She was announcing her (semi) retirement and this was literally the only way she would let me toast her – at a client appreciation event.
Typical Jan.
But for me it was more than a chance to just say thank you. It was a chance to stand up there with her and share our new brand.
akhia communications. 21 years old. About two months young.
How did I get here?
When I started at AKHIA (then Akhia Public Relations) I was beyond thrilled to have a business card. There was my name on a card – Benjamin Brugler. Wait. Benjamin? Was my name spelled wrong? Crap. Now I have to go to my new boss and tell her my card had a typo. But my mom named me Benjamen. With an ‘e’. Not an ‘I.’ So about 20 minutes into my first job I have to decide – do I risk pissing off my mom? Or my new boss?
I went into Jan’s office, sheepishly, and told her. Her response was classic Jan:
“Don’t your parents know how to spell your name?”
Well, apparently not.
Ironic considering my dad has been a proofreader here for the past nine years.
But she got me new cards. So where was I?
Oh yea – I was beyond thrilled to have a business card (officially, three weeks later). I remember looking at the title – “Assistant Account Executive.” Yep. I was someone’s assistant. AND an executive. I had arrived.
But more important than that…I remember looking at the name and the logo. A pillar. Jan was always up front about what that meant. ‘We are the pillar upon which a business is built.’
Yep. We sure are.
Through all the late nights. Through all of the thank yous and no thanks we are there. Putting down a foundation for our clients to build and grow their business.
So what did I do? Approved a rebrand…that didn’t feature the pillar.
Huh? Well…yea, I did.
But…not without running it past Jan first. And now I’m getting to tell the story of the new brand. Why it doesn’t have a pillar. And why, even without Jan (part of the time), it will continue to stand for how we help companies build and grow their business.
How did I get here?
The company I started at as employee number eight. Loved working for. Helped grow. And will take more from than I can ever give back…I now own. And while the owner is different…and there are a few more people…the mission remains the same.
But let’s be honest – today that mission is a little harder. Serving our clients. Driving their business. It’s more than just marketing. Which is why we are more than just AKHIA.
Today we are akhia communications. Not just focused on your marketing communications goals but all of your communications goals. It’s our mission. It’s my responsibility. And it’s what Jan challenged all of us to do when she  founded this company back in 1996.
How did I get here? I don’t know. But I’m excited for where we go next.
Contact me to continue the discussion.