The Quirk’s West Coast Event 2017 Recap

Earlier this month, Seek went out to the west coast for the Quirk’s Event. We want to send a big thanks to everyone who visited us at our booth – it was voted “Most Appealing Booth” by conference participants! It was so much fun connecting with the people at Quirks!

See below for some photo highlights from the conference:

Meet The Team


Meet Jessup

Our new Project Manager, Jessup Smith, comes to us with a background in Psychology, where he focused on positive psych and stigmatization. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, with a degree in Psychology and Studio Art with a Concentration in Architecture.  


He comes to us with extensive experience in proposal writing & coordination, copy editing, social media, case studies, and press from an architecture and design company. Moving from that company, he coordinated staffing for project work, created project schedules,  and project management from a branding agency. He then transitioned to a copywriter role at a different branding agency where he created original content for their clients, mostly for P&G Everyday.


Jessup is a Cincinnati native who is a sports connoisseur. Soccer, tennis, squash and volleyball are his favorites (while he is also an avid ping pong player). He enjoys spending time with and training his Australian Shepherd, Kolbee, who is a stunning red-tri colored, 4-month old. He loves the Cincinnati arts scene; checking out exhibits at the CAC and CAM, catching shows at Cincinnati Shakespeare, The Know Theatre, and the Ensemble Theatre as well as visiting performances. He enjoys cooking, voraciously reading, painting, drawing and singing poorly. He is inspired by people; he loves seeing the beauty that gets created when there are questions to be answered or problems to be solved.



Meet Katie

Katie Straatsma is our new Experience Coordinator. She has a background in business management and broadcast negotiation. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University with her BA in Organizational Communications and a minor in General Business.


Her professional background has given her a wide range of skills. Her experience in business management working for a private school in Mason, OH, gained her an understanding of the billing and accounting process for student tuition, staff payroll, and school financial budget/planning/forecasting. Her time working in broadcast negotiation at an ad agency in Atlanta, GA allowed her to collect data regarding broadcast ratings & programming as well as marketplace & technology trends to create commercial air time schedules for target audiences for accounts in Miami, Nashville, West Palm Beach, FL and Birmingham, AL.


Although born in Kalamazoo, MI, Katie loves the character and charm of Cincinnati and has been here for three years now. She is a genuine “people person” and loves working with and getting to know others. In the summer, you can find her anywhere with water…whether it be up on the lake in Michigan or at a pool in Cincinnati. She is a HUGE craft and DIY enthusiast and lover of all dogs, especially her Cocker Spaniel, Lola.  She is currently engaged to her finacé and they are having a blast planning their wedding taking place in September of this year.

Celebrating Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison, born February 11, 1847, would have celebrated his 170th birthday this month. He was a visionary and a world renown inventor who brought us inventions like the phonograph, the motion-picture camera, and the light bulb. His devices changed the world around us and broke barriers of creativity and innovation.


His ability to think differently inspired us to name one of our methodologies after him. Edison is our signature ideation program anchored in empathic insights and our proprietary Creativity Principles. In our Edison workshop, we generate ideas to resolve human tensions.


“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others…”
Thomas Edison


That is a perspective we aspire to every day – to humanize innovation. We want our clients to think differently and really understand the people they are trying to serve. Stepping outside of the normal into the unknown.


Happy Birthday Thomas Edison!

Seek Holiday Initiatives

To “do good in the world” is one of the three pillars of our purpose at Seek and we do our best to live that out every day – both as a company and through our employees. Throughout the months of November and December, we teamed up with local organizations to do a little good this holiday season.


Share The Love
At Seek, we believe in people and the power of connection. Every year, we ask our clients to nominate friends or family members for Seek’s Share The Love initiative. We asked people to think of someone they knew who could use some extra love this holiday season and tell us their story. For everyone nominated this year, Seek is sending a Visa gift card on behalf of the friend or family member who nominated them and with love from us.


Thanksgiving Food Drive
Throughout the week before Thanksgiving, we participated in a local organization’s food drive. From bags of rice to jars of peanut butter, the staff collected enough food to fill 5 boxes. On Saturday, November 19,   the food collected was packaged up and dropped off to be sent to South Africa.




Seek Giving Tree
We adopted a family this holiday season in partnership with the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati (DSAGC). Our family had 6 deserving kids that we got to care for in the way of gifts. The Seek team collected enough gifts to cover each of the children’s wish lists. Once collected, the gifts were delivered to the family to wrap just in time for Christmas.


fullsizerender-1 givingtree

The Market Research Event 2016 Highlights

Seek Company attended The Market Research Event in October, the first time since 2013. The 3-day conference took place in Boca Raton, Florida at the Waldorf Astoria from October 18th-20th. We were a sponsor for the event and had our newly re-designed booth in the conference’s Exhibit Hall. At the booth, we were able to connect with attendees and The Inspiration Board was a hub to engage with them on a more personal level. Here’s what some visitors had to say about our booth:


“Your booth is so thoughtful and feels authentic to who Seek is.”

“This feels warm and inviting.”


On the second day, CEO Tim Urmston presented his highly popular talk The Science Behind Empathy & Storytelling to 100+ people. Seek Company had an amazing experience at TMRE and can’t wait for 2017!


Click through the photos below to see some highlights from the conference:


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Meet The Team

ValerieMeet Valerie

Our new Director of Client Engagement, Valerie Kraimer, comes to us with an extensive background in Market Research from P&G. She is a graduate of Wittenberg University, with a degree in Business Administration and an MBA in Brand Management from Indiana University.  


During her tenure at P&G, Valerie worked across various categories, including Beauty, Personal Health Care, Family Care and Oral Care. In her various roles, she has led insights for both upstream and delivery teams. She was charged with delivering innovation in the form of both product and commercial innovation. Valerie also has experience in the financial services industry where she worked as a commercial loan officer, a financial planner, as well as a consultant in the financial services industry helping companies re-engineer processes to realize greater efficiencies.


Valerie lives in Mason, OH with her husband, Bill, and daughter, Simone and family dog, Dixon.  In her free time, Valerie has a passion for nutrition, eating healthy and exercising.



RachelMeet Rachel

Rachel Brennan is our new Graphic Designer. She has a background in design research with a specialized understanding of design thinking methodologies. She is a graduate of the School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati.


Her time at DAAP has given her opportunities to travel and work across the greater Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Chicago areas. Rachel joins us after three years in research-led design and one year in book publishing.


Although a St. Louis native, Rachel now considers Northern Kentucky home. She currently lives here and dreams of one day owning several acres and some chickens. When she’s not designing, Rachel is usually playing sand volleyball, hosting friends, or trotting from music gig to gig with her husband as the unofficial stagehand.

Boundaries In Research

When you hear the word “boundary,” what is your immediate thought?  Personally, when I hear the word, I immediately get tense and shrink back. I begin to question why the boundary is being put into effect? Was it something I’ve done? Something I’ve said?


Merriam-Webster defines boundary as “a point or limit that indicates where two things become different.” Rather than focus on it as a bad thing, I’m beginning to understand that boundaries are respectful and connecting – not dividing or fake.


Brené Brown is a researcher, a college professor and a storyteller. More importantly, she is a human being who wants to live in a society where love and compassion are at the forefront. I came across an interview she did with entitled “Boundaries,” and it changed my viewpoint.


We live in a society where we are told to drop our walls and be open with the people in our surroundings. Brown completely turns this viewpoint on its head and shows that boundaries are not restrictive, but instead open the door for us to connect with people. They allow for us to be real, honest and upfront with people rather than getting in too deep and hurting someone in the process. “Boundaries are not fake walls, separation, or division,” Brown says. “They are respect. They are ‘here’s what’s okay with me and here’s what’s not.’”


As researchers, we need to be able to connect with our consumers on a more emotional level while also maintaining the integrity of one’s self. Moreover, we need to maintain the integrity of the brand we’re representing. The video brings into focus one major idea: Boundaries are good— like, really good. Putting boundaries in place allows us to be more generous and build relationships with people that go beyond the surface.


Boundaries create respect and an empathic connection. We can assume the best in people and actually feel for them rather than simply wanting to feel for them. Instead of saying, “that’s awful,” initializing boundaries allows for a mutual understanding that we are separate people. Yet we can connect on an emotional level and say “this must feel awful.” Brown says, “to assume the best about people is almost an inherently selfish act because the life you change first is your own.” As researchers, the inherent boundaries we put in place allows us to not only change our own lives, but perhaps also the lives of the people we serve.


See below to watch the powerful Brené Brown interview in its entirety.