Lehigh Valley Business announced their 2016 list of Forty Under 40 honorees in April and Liquid was represented on the list for the second year in a row. Following up Executive VP Doug Mancini’s inclusion last year, Director of Digital Marketing Bret Ludlow was recognized as a top young professional for his contributions to his company, industry and community in 2016.
Room to fly
When I think about it, it’s not all that surprising that Liquid has had a presence on the list in back-to-back years. Our culture is a perfect incubator for young professionals. Liquid is a place where every employee, no matter his or her title, has the opportunity to shine. Innovation and ideas are not only welcomed but encouraged, and senior leadership is ready to listen. President Jim Ludlow regularly reminds the team that “My door is always open.”
Something great happens when people are given the chance to think big and experiment. If it’s ok to fail as long as you learn from it and evolve, then you don’t have to be afraid to try something new because of the possibility you might fail. In this kind of culture, ideas flourish and leaders are born.
Lead Your Own Adventure
Bret latched onto the opportunities available at Liquid very quickly. He’s made it his entire career, working as an intern every summer leading up to earning his bachelor’s degree and joining the team full time in 2011. In 2013, Bret took advantage of the innovation focus at Liquid to pitch and then launch the Digital Marketing department at the agency. The new department was a combination of services we were already offering to clients as well as a collection of brand new service offerings with room to grow in the marketplace. It was an experiment that not only didn’t fail, but was a clear success – growing from a department of 1 to 8 fulltime employees in 2016 and contributing 1/3 of Liquid’s total revenue last year.
Under Bret’s leadership, the department has won national awards and has the highest job satisfaction rating of any department at Liquid. Bret is encouraging the rest of his team to innovate and take on leadership roles as well. He introduced the ‘intrepreneurial’ process of establishing product managers for new service offerings within the department.
I speak for the whole team when I say we’re truly proud of Bret’s accomplishments at Liquid and the recognition he is receiving for those achievements with the Forty Under 40 award. It’s an indication of the possibilities available for all of us and a little reminder to speak up the next time inspiration strikes. Keep your eyes open in 2017 – I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there’s another Liquid face on the Forty Under 40 list next year.