■ BY RUPAL PAREKH firstname.lastname@example.org
CULTURE GOLD Modea TIGHT-KNIT: Above at a “Mad Men” party. Standing (from l.): Julio Rivera, Brandon Hill, Mike Cox, Ben MacDonald, Brian Bimschleger, Chris Tallman. Seated (from l.): David Catalano, Aaron Herrington. Left, the company softball team. Below, work for HTC.
Want to work at this Blacksburg, Va., shop?
Be prepared to bring the whole family, do
good deeds—and, possibly, to never leave
THE GRASS IS not greener on the
other side. If you’re working at
Blacksburg, Va.-based digital
agency Modea, that is.
Since 2006, when David
Catalano and Aaron Herrington
opened Modea’s doors a stone’s
throw away from where they first
met on Virginia Tech’s campus,
only two staffers have left the 80-
person company. And both—one
who defected to AKQA and the
other to the Martin Agency—
boomeranged right back.
Given the agency’s unique
vibe, which may be best described
as frat boy meets Mother
Theresa, it’s not surprising
folks want to stay put.
While clients like Verizon
Wireless (their biggest
account), HTC Mobile
phones, Mizuno athletic
wear and Chiquita foods
keep Modea very busy, the
agency also makes sure it
leaves ample time for fun
and helping the local com-
THE JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD (JTB)
is reviewing the assignment of its advertising business worldwide, and is inviting expressions of
interest from suitably qualified advertising firms to be considered for review.
The JTB directs advertising and promotion for brand Jamaica – one of the world’s leading vacation
destinations. Advertising is primarily focused on the regions of North America, the United Kingdom and
Europe, the primary source of the overwhelming majority of Jamaica’s visitors.
Firms interested in being considered for this assignment are asked to include with their letters of
interest an Agency Profile which should provide at a minimum the following information:
• Company background, size, geographic coverage, billing, agency principals and key personnel,
• Record of experience in tourism and related industries.
Knowledge of tourism and destination marketing embracing leisure, meetings, groups and the
travel trade will be an important criterion in the review process.
• Agency capability in marketing analysis, research and media buying.
• Brief case history(ies) of successful tourism related work for any client(s) past or current.
Other outstanding current work may also be included.
• Experience with managing response to changing market conditions caused by crises
such as war, natural disasters, etc.
• Any other specialized or distinctive skills, resources or services which differentiate
• A brief list of client and media references including names, titles and contact information
parts of the country, a dozen people from the agency recently
spent a weekend helping a family
rebuild a water well. Another trip
is in the works to travel to
Guatemala City to build computer labs.
“Our work environment is
something you just won’t see at
other places,” said Mr. Catalano.
“The culture we’ve formed in this
first five years that we’ve been in
business is just awesome. People
are true friends with each other
and the environment is one of
“We’re not looking for people
who are going to bounce around,
we’re looking for people who are
going to make a commitment,
just like we are making a
commitment to them.”
This credentials presentation is the initial step in the review process. The information requested is a
pre-requisite for qualification, after which the JTB will issue a formal Request for Proposal to the
Expressions of interest should be received at JTB headquarters in Kingston by August 26, 2011 and
may be submitted in electronic format, hard copy, or both. They should be addressed to:
team motivation and team suc-
Modea—which means “mod-
ern ideas”—is becoming a mag-
net for talent nationwide. Despite
its location nestled in the small,
college town of Blacksburg, it has
recruited execs from cities like
Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago,
San Francisco, Atlanta and
As a key part of the hiring
process, the shop encourages
potential candidates to bring their
families when they come visit its
Virginia headquarters. And once
they’ve relocated, the agency will
link them up with other Modea
families in order to get informa-
tion about schools, real estate, day
care—whatever they may need to
know to settle in quickly and
comfortably. “Blacksburg is not
for everyone,” Mr. Catalano said,
“but the quality of life is one
that’s appealing to a lot of people.”
Considering Modea’s lack of
tolerance for the typical revolving
door at most industry companies,
mitment to them.”
Messrs. Catalano and
Herrington each have a 50%
stake in the shop and say they’re
committed to keeping Modea
totally independent in order to
ensure ultimate decision-making
capability over the clients they
work with, content they create,
and people they hire.
appealing to spouses and kids is a
smart tactic. Said Mr. Herrington:
“We think of everything from a
not looking for
people who are
going to bounce
looking for people who are
going to make a
just like we are
making a com-