Her fish is not dead, she’s a wellness wizard and other things you should know about Kat Berg

By Ericka Olin, May 3, 2013

This is my co-worker Kat Berg’s office fish. His name is Kevin (after pro basketball player Kevin Love), and she keeps him at her desk.

Left to right: Kevin the fish, Kevin the basketball player.

Left to right: Kevin the fish, Kevin the basketball player.

If you walk past Kat’s desk, you’d probably think Kevin (the fish) is dead, but you’d be wrong – hopefully.

“People just assume he’s dead because he’s not moving, but he’s just lazy,” says Kat.

That’s something that Kat’s working on. As HR generalist, one of Kat’s prime jobs is researching and implementing wellness initiatives, like fitness challenges, reimbursement programs and health screenings. She also manages recruiting, interviewing and hiring processes.

From Flintern to Flinster

Kat actually started at Flint as a public relations intern from Georgetown University in summer 2011. In fact, you might remember the blog post she wrote for us about her experience. Now, she’s back at Flint Communications – this time a full-fledged Flintster.

Kat Berg

Kat Berg

Just keep swimming

Kat and Kevin (the fish) have a lot in common (except for being lazy – Kat is anything but). They’re both most at home in water. Plus, Kat has partial gills that allow her to breath underwater for long periods of time.

Just kidding.

But in all seriousness, Kat is an extremely talented swimmer. She was on the Georgetown Hoyas swim team and served as captain her senior year. Her specialty is the breaststroke, and she holds the university’s third-fastest time for the 100-yard breaststroke and the ninth-fastest time for the 200-yard breaststroke.

Kat poses with her graduating class of Hoyas swimmers

Kat poses with her graduating class of Hoyas swimmers

Kat (left) with her friend right before her last race before retirement.

Kat (left) with her friend right before her last race before retirement.

Kat right after that race – the last of her swimming career.

Kat right after that race – the last of her swimming career.

Kat showed me tons of swimming photos, but the following is by far my favorite:

Yes, that’s a three-story diving board. And yes, Kat is on the left, having just jumped off. The photo was taken in Puerto Rico, where her team went every winter for training.

Yes, that’s a three-story diving board. And yes, Kat is on the left, having just jumped off. The photo was taken in Puerto Rico, where her team went every winter for training.

With such an impressive swimming (and diving!) career, I was surprised to hear that Kat’s initial attempts at swimming were – well, unsuccessful, to put it mildly.

When she was 7 years old, she failed swimming lessons three times in a row. Her mom, determined her daughter would learn to swim, signed her up for the FMY Gators, a premier YMCA team for kids in Fargo-Moorhead.

“I probably wouldn’t have done that if I were her, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions ever,” Kat said.

Kat went on to represent the Gators at the YMCA National Swimming Championships five years in a row and was a standout swimmer at Fargo North High School.

Kat finishing her first swim meet.

Kat finishing her first swim meet.

Kat (left) as a high school sophomore.

Kat (left) as a high school sophomore.

Kat (center right) and her friends at the 2006 YMCA National Swimming Championships

Kat (center right) and her friends at the 2006 YMCA National Swimming Championships

She also lifeguarded at Fargo’s Island Park Pool for eight years, including last summer (which she says was her last. But let’s be honest, she said that the summer before, too).

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Kat and her fellow guards.

Kat and her fellow guards.

Kat says lifeguarding is really hard work.

Kat says lifeguarding is really hard work.

Though Kat retired from competitive swimming last spring, she couldn’t stay away from the water. This year, she went back to her swimming roots and started coaching for the Gators. Check out her stellar profile on the team’s website.

“I get to coach the younger kids – ages 7-11 – so they’re super funny and weird. Spending a few hours a week with them is always bananas and often frustrating, but overall extremely fun and rewarding,” she says.

Kat says she likes having something to do that’s completely different from what she does at Flint. Her favorite part is seeing the kids absorb what she says and apply it to what they’re doing in the water. And when you put it that way, coaching isn’t all that different than wellness.

Kat’s cat

When she’s not at the pool, you’ll find Kat caring for her new baby.

Meet Regulus, also known as Reggie.

Catnip is soooo last year. Reggie prefers strawberries, hummus and pasta sauce (yes, together).

Catnip is soooo last year. Reggie prefers strawberries, hummus and pasta sauce (yes, together).

Kat tells Reggie that if she stares at the TV long enough, it will come on. Hours of occupation.

Kat tells Reggie that if she stares at the TV long enough, it will come on. Hours of occupation.

The name is a Harry Potter reference; Regulus is Sirius Black’s younger brother.

Kat is a serious Harry Potter fan. We’re talking the “I have a Harry pillow – lightning bolt scar included” kind of serious.

Kat is a serious Harry Potter fan. We’re talking the “I have a Harry pillow – lightning bolt scar included” kind of serious.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Kat, it’s that she’s ambitious, full of life and eager for the future. Plus, she’s absolutely hilarious. Check out her tumblr blog, Good Pintentions. You’ll know what I mean.

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Get to know a Flintster: Q + A with Kat!

What’s your dream job?

If education and experience were not an issue, I would be an orca trainer at SeaWorld.

Which job would you not want to have?

A hot air balloon operator. I couldn’t deal with the heights.

If you were on the front page of the paper, what might the headline read?

“Recent Georgetown graduate has now watched every single thing on Netflix.”

If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…

Introverted nap enthusiast

What’s the best advice you ever got?

If you’re gonna be a bear, be a grizzly.

Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.

Do you want me to describe my whole life?

What is something you’ve learned in the last week?

Businesses CAN pay to be on Angie’s List, contrary to what Angie says on her commercials.

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

Callin’ Baton Rouge by Garth Brooks. It has nothing to do with my life. I just like it.

What is your favorite kind of sandwich?

California Panini from Wisey’s in Washington, DC—chicken, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, avocado, Havarti and honey mustard on a warm croissant.

What’s a random fact about you?

I was North Dakota’s 2010 Cherry Blossom Princess. Fun fact: I fainted in the National Museum of Women in the Arts on the first day of this event. Huge embarrassment. Another fun fact: my best friend was the ND princess this year!

What is your favorite blog?

Thought Catalog and I Love Charts.

How Nikki balances high-tech with handmade

By Elizabeth Hansen, April 19, 2013

Peek over the shoulder of Nikki Rostad in our Fargo office, and you’ll see her creating and fine-tuning projects with the latest design and other state-of-the-art software programs. Peek over her shoulder at home, and, well, you’ll see her using a good-old fashioned homemade approach to art.

“At work, I resize a lot of files for everything from billboards to product labels, and help my colleagues with all the details of big production projects. I also help our Account Managers take care of several clients and a handful of dealers for some specific clients,” Nikki explains.

(P)Interests in action

Away from the office, Nikki’s passion for creativity continues. She proudly admits: “I could spend hours on Pinterest, pinning DIY projects I’d love to do someday. I’ve always been a crafter, which I blame on my mom! Even now, I aspire to do all things Martha Stewart-style, as in her crafts line at Michael’s.

Single mom during the week

“During the week, I am a single mom to our dog, Barkley. My husband, Chris, works construction in Minot during the week,” Nikki explains.

Nikki with husband Chris on a getaway to Mexico.

Nikki with husband Chris on a getaway to Mexico.

Nikki's spoiled only child, Barkley.

Nikki's spoiled only child, Barkley.

She continues: “Besides indulging in my favorite show, New Girl, I enjoy drawing by hand the good old-fashioned way. I’ve done drawings as gifts for family members’ weddings and holidays.

When my husband is home, we are always in the midst of home-improvement projects, such as installing tile backsplash, painting and repainting everything.”

A hutch Nikki recently redid.

A hutch Nikki recently redid.

Headboard Nikki and her husband designed, built, finished and installed (patience required).

Headboard Nikki and her husband designed, built, finished and installed (patience required).

Footwork, too

Right now, Nikki is also focused on her feet, as she trains for the half-marathon event in the 2013 Fargo Marathon on May 18.

Keep running and creating: We’re behind you all the way, Nikki!

Get inspired with Nikki’s Pinterest Boards

Get to a know a Flintster

Q + A with Nikki

What’s your dream job? So far, with the risk of sound super cheesy, this job has been more than I expected, and I love it! I’d love to someday be a creative director.

Which job would you not want to have? There are several, but I’ve never had to work in the food service industry, and I don’t think I could handle that.

What was your first job? Teaching swimming lessons and lifeguarding.

What did it teach you? At first, it taught me that I never wanted a parent, but then I grew older and my view changed. I also learned how to avoid awkward swimsuit tan lines on my shoulders. But really, that job taught me how to be a leader.

What is one thing you’d be willing to practice for an hour a day? Drawing.

What’s the best advice you ever got? Be patient. I’m normally a pretty patient person, but over the past few years I’ve had to revaluate the meaning of the patience with my husband working out of town.

What sound do you love? The *NSYNC Christmas CD, which I could listen to all year long.

What scent do you love? Anything that reminds me of summer, and Warm Vanilla Sugar lotion from Bath & Body Works.

Flint Group clients take center stage at local 2013 ADDY Awards

By Ericka Olin, March 29, 2013

At Flint Group, we don’t take a huge stock in awards. But we have to admit, it’s always great to see our clients in the spotlight. And having our creative recognized by industry peers never hurts, either.

Over the past couple months, Flint Group agencies participated in the American Advertising Federation (AAF) ADDY® Awards, the world’s largest advertising competition.

The annual ADDYs begin with local competitions, where more than 200 AAF member clubs judge 50,000-plus entries. Each Flint Group office participated in its local ADDY competition, vying for recognition as the best in its market: Flint Communications and SimmonsFlint entered client work into the AAF-North Dakota ADDYs, WestmorelandFlint and Flint Interactive in the AAF Duluth/Superior ADDYs, and HatlingFlint in the AdFed of Central Minnesota ADDYs.

As a whole, Flint Group won 49 ADDYs, including 19 gold, 25 silver, one Best of Show, one Judge’s Choice and three Judge’s Row. The gold winners will move on to district competitions for the chance to compete at the national ADDYs.

Flint Group gold ADDY winners:

We’re looking forward to representing and showcasing Flint Group clients at the upcoming district competitions. We’ll keep you updated throughout the process – as long as you promise to send us positive, ADDY-winning vibes.

In the meantime, you can view a full list of ADDY winners from our agencies’ local markets:

How smart marketing helped specialty contractor Jamar celebrate its centennial

By Jessica Stauber, March 26, 2013

A 100-year birthday – It’s kind of a big deal, don’t you think?

We do too, and that’s why our Duluth office went all out to help the Jamar Company celebrate its centennial.

With a century of hard-earned experience under its belt, specialty contractor Jamar asked us for help in strategically celebrating its 100-year anniversary. The Duluth-based company wanted to enhance employee pride and generate community awareness and recognition of its strong history and bright future.

We approached this challenge by developing a series of inspirational “We Are Jamar” lines – slogans that not only illustrate Jamar’s character, but also serve as a rallying cry and source of pride for employees.

To highlight the campaign, we created a “We Are Jamar” video for the company’s internal centennial celebration.

The video was just one part of the 100-year anniversary campaign, which included everything from a logo, billboards and print ads to centennial celebration invitations, public relations and event planning.

Jamar_100yr_logo

Jamar billboard

Jamar ad 1

Jamar ad 2

Jamar ad 3

Jamar 100 year anniversary invite

Responsive design

We also wrote and designed a new Jamar site that is responsive.

Jamar website

Jamar website responsive design

Similar to the one we designed for RDO Equipment, it functions equally well on desktops, tablets and smartphones.

At Flint Group, we’re proud to have helped such an influential company in our community celebrate its 100-year anniversary. More importantly, we look forward to watching Jamar’s future growth and helping promote its positive impact on our community.

Weekday dinners at home do measure up to four weeks in India

By Elizabeth Hansen, March 22, 2013

In Mary Batcheller’s estimation, struggling to figure out what to cook for weeknight dinners at home is not all that different than the four weeks she spent in India, alongside 11 people she didn’t even know before the trip.

India4

Mary, third from the right in the back row, at the Taj Mahal with her fellow adventurers.

“It’s all about adventures,” she says with her contagious smile. “Adventures push me outside my comfort zone and allow me to meet new people and do new things. And they make for great stories!”

We figure if Mary thrives on this chaos in India, she can tame any project back home--including her feisty daughter!

We figure if Mary thrives on this chaos in an Old Delhi - Chandni Chowk market, she can tame any project back home--including her feisty daughter!

In her position as an Account Manager in our Fargo office, Mary uses her spirit of adventure to collaborate with clients, coordinate campaigns, lead her colleagues in projects and is always helping push the limits—in positive directions. As she explains: “I hate feeling comfortable. I like to push myself outside my comfort zone, which carries over into my work. I like to be challenged, and that pushes me to strive for bigger and better things for our clients and our agency.”

At home with her husband and their two young daughters, once she’s solved the dinner dilemma, Mary spending evenings “telling my daughter Felicity that she can’t watch gymnastics on the iPad all night. We also feed babies, give baths and get everyone tucked in before the next day’s adventures!”

Going to the dogs

“I’ve always been an independent person, so I like to do things on my own. I also like to try new things, meet new people and learn about different cultures and ways of doing things. There is no better way to do this than by going on adventures. I try to go on at least one adventure a year.

“My most recent adventures were learning to dogsled. I grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota, where a number of mushers live. Some of my friends have dads who were mushers. So I was always interested in it and it was on my ‘bucket list.’ I found out about the Women’s Challenge with Prairie Isle Dog Trekking. A woman in Binford, North Dakota, has a team of sled dogs and she offers weekends for individuals and kids to learn how to mush. You even get to drive your own sled! People also learn to take care of the dogs and do other outdoor activities. I tried it and loved it! So I did it again the next year,” Mary explains.

dogsled2

Musher Mary and friends.

dogsled3

Mary with another fellow adventurer. Notice their matching fur hats?

She adds: “Besides India, I also had an adventure to Europe for three weeks with 50 people I didn’t know!”

Thanks for letting us get to know you, Mary. We’re eager to hear about your next adventure—and Tuesday’s dinner menu.

Get to know a Flintster: Q + A with Mary!

What’s your dream job? Writer for the Economist

Which job would you not want to have? Anything boring

What was your first job? Gymnastics coach

What did it teach you? Patience – but I wasn’t very good at it

What is one thing you’d be willing to practice for an hour a day? Walking my dog

What’s the best advice you ever got? “You cannot slide uphill.” — A fortune cookie

What sound do you love? Crashing waves

What scent do you love? Jasmine

India1

How marketing materials and communications planning increased a bank’s trust department portfolio by 10 percent

By Mary Batcheller, March 19, 2013

At Flint Group, we’ve been working on marketing and branding materials for First International Bank & Trust for almost a year now. As manager for this account, it’s been exciting to watch the company grow and expand its services. One such new service is an innovative trust-department offering to help individuals and families with mineral rights.

A one-stop-shop for royalty owners

Through its Mineral & Land Services, First International Bank & Trust helps people manage the often-confusing realm of mineral-rights ownership. It negotiates leases with energy companies, prepares income/production history statements, simplifies tax reporting and even handles royalty payments. Plus, it’s the only company in North Dakota that provides an online portal with tools for managing mineral resources.

The problem? No one knew about this service.

That’s where we came in. First International Bank & Trust enlisted Flint Communications’ help to raise awareness about its new mineral rights offerings among existing and potential customers.

Capitalizing on a banking niche

Our team developed a strategic communication plan that helped First International Bank & Trust identify and understand opportunities to reach prospects in new ways, as well as prioritize opportunities based on a limited budget. We then created a variety of print pieces to market the new service, including a tri-fold brochure, poster displays and billboards.

Brochure cover:

First International Bank & Trust_Mineral and Land Services1

Brochure inside:

28920_2_FIB_Mineral_and_Land_Services_HR2-2

Poster:

28920_1 FIB&T_Mineral_Land_PSTR_Final_LR-1

Billboard:

First International Bank & Trust_Mineral and Land Services2

Results worth measuring

In less than a year of implementing the communications plan and creative materials, First International Bank & Trust increased its Trust Department portfolio by 10 percent. And what’s more, it extended its reach to ease the process of mineral rights ownership for more individuals and families across North Dakota.

How a dealer network uses big horsepower to drive sales

By Jodi Duncan, March 12, 2013

Some say big ticket products require bigger marketing budgets. We prefer to leverage smarter marketing with a keen eye on results.

So when AGCO Corporation wanted to leverage its sales channels to increase sales of Massey Ferguson tractors, we were ready with big ideas geared to getting results.

The ongoing goal is to leverage AGCO’s strong dealer network to carry a consistent, persuasive message to existing and new customers—mainly homeowners with acreage and people interested in purchasing a Massey Ferguson utility or compact tractor. We’re talking hobby farms, vineyards and similar operations.

Website header for the current Spring Sales Event

Website header for the current Spring Sales Event

More than just sales

We also aimed to:

- Capture quality leads

- Gather valuable information from prospects

- Further segment audiences to continue meaningful dialogue

Consistency builds trust

Instead of simply announcing a rebate program to dealers, AGCO utilized our Fargo office to create actual materials that promote a reliable, steady message and look (exactly like the actual tractors we were looking to sell!).

Customizable direct mail piece

Customizable direct mail piece

Direct direct messages

We use traditional media such as outdoor and direct mail, along with digital/interactive media and dealership point of purchase materials. Everything is integrated and uses direct messaging, which has been highly effective with this market. The messaging is very sales driven, emphasizing the time-sensitive rebates and sending prospects right to their local dealers.

Online landing page

Online landing page to capture leads

We also developed a Facebook campaign targeting people interested in hunting and a rural lifestyle; the campaign drives prospects to AGCO’s Facebook page

Tire-kicking results

The campaigns are designed so we can track sales and results to monitor how the messages resonate. AGCO is able to shift products and rebate amounts to fit customer’s needs and sales cycles. We’re able to shift mediums if needed.

Proof positive: The Fall 2012 Sales Event campaign materials generated more than 1,500 solid leads and resulted in at least 300 tractor sales. So far, the Spring Sales Event has generated more than 100 solid leads in the first three weeks.

Peek under the hood

Check out some of the other materials we created for this campaign, and notice the consistent tone, style and messaging, which helps build prospects’ confidence in a company’s brand and its products and service. We’re excited about this high horsepower campaign that’s getting real results for AGCO.

Email for the Spring Sales Event

Email for the Spring Sales Event

Hang tag on actual tractors at dealerships, part of a comprehensive point of purchase kit for dealers

Hang tag on actual tractors at dealerships, part of a comprehensive point of purchase kit for dealers

One of several customizable billboards from the Fall Sales Event

One of several customizable billboards from the Fall Sales Event

Why we ought to call Kimberly “Coach K”

By Elizabeth Hansen, March 8, 2013

Want a rush? Be part of a tight-knit team that collaborates to overcome challenges and win big. Examples: The North Dakota State University Bison Football team. Or Kimberly* Wold Janke’s teams.

The two are a lot alike. Really.

The NDSU Bison football team now has two, count ‘em, two consecutive FCS National championships. Kimberly’s teams help clients win big, week after week.

“I admire the Bison’s team spirit and winning ways,” Kimberly explains. “Not only winning in the sense of games, but seeing them ‘win in life.’ To learn tough life lessons and stay a class act. To see the passion and energy flow from the head coach, to the assistant coaches, to the players and to the fans and supporters is inspiring.”

Our Coach K, Kimberly, with her own biggest fan, husband Tom.

Our Coach K, Kimberly, with her own biggest fan, husband Tom.

Studying human nature

As Vice President of Account Planning and Brand Strategy, based in our Fargo office, Kimberly leads teams to serve several clients. I appreciate how she explains her responsibilities:  “Study human nature and behavior and apply it to teams, clients and consumers.”

If you’re lucky enough to make her squad as a Flint Group team member, you see how she inspires, challenges and drives each individual to perform at a high level—the ultimate goal is helping clients reach their championship dreams. And her leadership drives results for clients, thanks to how she can harness the power of human behavior.

The art of negotiating

Speaking of studying human nature, Kimberly and her husband spend time away from their careers with their two young girls. “We negotiate playtime and eating sweets with them,” Kimberly says. “They are very good negotiators!”

Road trips and home field fandome

And of course, Kimberly and her family spend time cheering on the Bison football team, attending every home game and at least one away game. This season, they plan to road trip to the season opener vs. Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas.

“I’ve been a Bison fan since I was a little kid, and their coaches and players have inspired me ever since,” Kimberly says.

As she explains, “The best part of Bison football season is tailgating, meeting new people, tailgating, cheering for the #1 team in the nation, meeting proud alumni, tailgating…” Ah, we get the picture, Coach K.

Connect with Kimberly on Twitter, LinkedIn and especially during the football season, on ESPN’s College Football Forum, where her handle is “Bison gal”.

Get to know a Bison fanatic (and Flintster)!

Q + A with Kimberly

What’s your dream job? I have it

Which job would you not want to have? Anything that requires coding

What was your first job? Babysitter and waitress

What did it teach you? There are a lot of personality types in the world

What is one thing you’d be willing to practice for an hour a day? The piano

What’s the best advice you ever got? Treat others as you would like someone to treat your parents.

What sound do you love? My kids’ laughter

What scent do you love? The smell of freshly baked homemade bread

How Flint Group’s Kayla Goebel saves lives (and takes names)

By Ericka Olin, March 1, 2013

As a production artist based out of our Fargo office, Flint Communications, Kayla works closely with designers and art directors to execute design and prepare projects for print. She focuses mostly on creative for Flint Group’s client AGCO, a global leader in agriculture machinery design, manufacturing and distributing.

Kayla_staff photo

“Throw in a lot of laughing at my coworker Amanda Feldman, and I would call it a typical work day,” she told me.

On nights and weekends, you’ll find Kayla at the gym doing Zumba, at church leading a small group for high school girls, or at home snuggling her baby Aurora and her husband David.

Kayla and David Goebel

Kayla calls Aurora her “little nugget,” which I think is absolutely adorable. From listening to Kayla talk about Aurora, it’s clear that this little nugget is her greatest joy in life.

“She pushes me to treat myself better, to treat others better and to really examine what I am doing because I want her to have the best chances in this life possible,” Kayla told me.

Aurora Goebel

Aurora’s cute self was featured in FM 105.1’s Oh Baby Cutest Baby Contest. The contest is over, but you can still view her entry.

Children: the best excuse to be able to play on the floor again.

Children: the best excuse to be able to play on the floor again.

Aurora tried bananas for the first time. She proceeded to go bananas.

Aurora tried bananas for the first time. She proceeded to go bananas.

Kayla’s greatest passion, aside from her new little nugget, stems from unfortunate life experiences. The 24-year-old has lost four loved ones to suicide: three family members and a friend following high school graduation.

“When my friend died by suicide, what really broke my heart was thinking about the memories I wouldn’t get to make with him,” she told me.

Since then, Kayla has become a community advocate for suicide prevention and mental health. “It’s near and dear to my heart and I think it’s something that definitely needs more attention,” she told me. “I want people to be able to make as many memories with their loved ones as possible.”

For Kayla, it’s all about saving lives

Kayla is involved in two mental health advocacy organizations: To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

You might have seen people wearing TWLOHA’s signature t-shirts and hoodies. I have, but I didn’t know what they stood for until talking with Kayla. She buys this apparel, which supports the nonprofit’s mission of offering hope resources for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and suicidal thoughts.

Kayla sports a TWLOHA shirt during a maternity shoot with her hubby.

Kayla sports a TWLOHA shirt during a maternity shoot with her hubby.

 Kayla, the one with glasses, poses with TWLOHA Founder Jamie Tworkowsk.

Kayla, the one with glasses, poses with TWLOHA Founder Jamie Tworkowsk.

As a volunteer for the AFSP North Dakota Chapter, Kayla donates design time, speaks to Concordia College resident assistants and professors, and participates in Out of the Darkness Community Walks. Plus, last summer, she helped her mom organize the chapter’s first “Ride to Silence the Stigma” Motorcycle Run in Fargo.

Official Harley girls, Kayla (right) and her mom.

Official Harley girls, Kayla (right) and her mom.

You can see more photos from the ride here.

Kayla told me her mother is her hero. In fact, she and her mother were featured in a recent article in the Inforum that highlighted mother-daughter relationships.

She told me, “With my new baby, I hope and pray that I can be half the mother that my mom is to me.”

Numbers speak louder than words

When I asked Kayla why it’s important for people to know about suicide prevention and mental health, she shared with me a shocking number: Every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide.

“These are real people – people with kids, spouses, parents, co-workers and pets. This issue needs to be addressed. If we don’t start talking about it, it’s going to continue to steal people from our lives,” she said.

A lesson for us all

I learned a lot from talking with Kayla – what a passion and knowledge she has for this issue! At the end of our interview, I asked her what she would tell people about suicide prevention and mental health if she could only say one thing. Her message was simple, but profound: It’s just like any other disease or illness.

“You wouldn’t tell someone with cancer to just ‘get over it,’ so why would you tell someone with a mental illness, like depression, anxiety, OCD or bipolar, to?” she said.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Employee Spotlight: Q&A with Kayla Goebel!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Kopi Luwak
. Yep. All I can stay is I still prefer Starbucks.

Tell me about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
According to my husband, I apparently have a specific dance or jig that I do when I am happy or excited. But I don’t know what he’s talking about.

What is something you’ve learned in the last week?
If I speak in a low voice, my daughter thinks I am hilarious.

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
All I Do Is Win
by DJ Khaled. Try not dancing to it.

What is your favorite blog?
The Pregnant Chicken
. Amy Morrison helped me survive the roller coaster ride we call pregnancy.

If you were on the front page of the paper, what might the headline read?
“New Mom Spontaneously Combusts From Trying To Do It All.”

What’s the best advice you ever got?
“It’s not what you know, but who you know.” My mom has always said that. Networking is really important and I think people don’t appreciate networking for what it is worth.

What sound do you love?
My new baby girl’s giggle – best sound in the world.

What scent do you love?
Lemons … or fresh coffee.

Why responsive design is the future of the Web – and how it can help your business

By Tara Olson, February 26, 2013

Toward the end of 2012, SlashGear projected PC sales would be lower than they were in the previous year for the first time in 11 years. Tablet sales, on the other hand, are expected to exceed 100 million this year and may even exceed laptop sales next year. And then there’s smartphones – Nielson reports that nearly half of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones.

The numbers don’t lie: More people are buying smartphones and tablets than ever before. So what does this mean for marketers and business owners?

It means that Steve Jobs’ “post-PC” era is coming – if not already here. At Flint Group, our team of digital specialists has been creating responsive sites that function equally well on phones, tablets and desktops.

We recently built a responsive site for RDO Equipment, an agriculture and construction equipment company that runs the largest network of John Deere stores in North America. Before I go into the details, let’s get a before-and-after look at the RDO website.

Old site:

RDO Equipment_old site

New site:

RDO Equipment_New Site

RDO Equipment_New Site

RDO Equipment_New Site

How it works

With responsive design, the site automatically resizes images and content to fit the device you’re using. For example, if you view RDO’s site on a desktop browser and make your browser window smaller (as if you were reading it on tablet or mobile), you’ll notice the images and content column will shrink, and then the right sidebar will disappear completely.

Pretty neat, huh?

A complete upgrade

In addition to implementing the responsive design, we also improved the navigation and overall look-and-feel of RDO’s website, integrated rich photography, created a flexible platform for adding new offerings, and established a universal content management system so multiple people throughout the organization can create and manage content.

The site successfully launched just before December 2012 and the client is thrilled with the result, especially the responsive design. Our friends at RDO say they’ve received nothing but positive feedback on the new site.

Happy clients + happy clients’ clients = happy Flintsters.