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.

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.

40 Days Of Kindness

This morning, I was standing in a Starbucks just off of Michigan Avenue, in Chicago, with my friend Jamie who happens to work for Seek.  We are here for some business development meetings and we were starting our day off with coffee on a post snowstorm day with sub freezing temperatures.  Given that there is a Starbucks on every corner in Chicago, we simply walked across the street and commented on the temperature the whole way.  While this may seem like ordinary protocol for anyone starting a day of sales meetings and conference calls from the road, there was a nugget of inspiration beautifully wrapped up and waiting for me at this Starbucks.  A moment of truth, a breath of clarity.  Brilliance wrapped up in kindness and “Doing good in the world” which is a foundational staple of our purpose at Seek.


We brushed off the snow, ordered our coffee (well, Jamie ordered the coffee while I was on a phone call) and then we waited at the end of the counter with a few folks for the barista to call our names so that we could be on our way.  While waiting, I noticed that Jamie brought a cup of hot coffee with a lid on it to the table where we were waiting.  Then the barista called both of our names and Jamie proceeded to get his iced latte and I grabbed my Starbuck’s staple, a Caramel Macchiato.  Then I looked back at the table where Jamie was still standing and wondered why we had an extra cup of hot coffee in addition to our order.  I gave Jamie a puzzled look and wondered if the barista messed up, or if somehow he was going to chug down an extra coffee in the next 5 minutes before our meeting.


Without me saying a word, Jamie responded to my confused look. “So this is the lent season right?” he said. “Yeah, Why?” I said, somewhat curious toward his out of context question.  “So I grabbed this coffee for the guy standing outside shivering…I don’t understand the concept of lent and giving something up.  I am not really a religious person, so a couple of years ago, I figured I’d try to start a personal ritual for lent where I do something nice for someone each day.  One thing per day…that’s it.  Today, I got this guy outside something to warm him up.  I bought him a coffee.  It’s my way of somehow connecting to this season that people call Lent.”


Of course the man outside was grateful as we headed to our cab and went on our way.  But this got me thinking a lot about what this life is about and what we are supposed to be about in this world.  Kindness is such a powerful weapon against the hatred that is in this world.  And interestingly enough, it does a tremendous amount of good for the giver’s heart as well.  We are somehow changed by the gesture of a simple act of kindness.  As someone witnessing this act of kindness, I found myself inspired to follow suit and challenged myself to spend lent the same way my friend Jamie was spending lent.  I don’t know what it looks like for me or what opportunities will present themselves throughout the next 30 or so days, but it will be an adventure to discover these things as each day creates a new chance to try.


Our purpose at Seek is simple

To release the full potential in people

To inspire and cultivate big ideas

To do good in the world.


This doesn’t always have to be some planned corporate thing. In fact, the more beautiful and profound expressions of this always seem to happen on a personal level or in small settings.  Today was a great reminder to me of what we’re here to do.


So here’s my question for you?  Do you have a traditional or not so traditional ritual that you practice during this season?  If not, wanna try Jamie’s?  I would love to hear from you about what you’re trying, and the effect it is having on you, the people around you and the world at large.  I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.  You can email me at

What Technology Can’t Do

A few years ago, I kicked off our annual “planning retreat” at Seek by giving a talk on how things used to be. I spoke about how important innovation and embracing technology is to the growth of a company but while I believe all that to be true, I also know that there is one thing technology can’t do. It can’t replace the one thing that the Seek Company was founded on and the one thing that will always drive our growth.


Relationships:  I believe the key to success in business and more importantly in life, is knowing our clients, their kids, their struggles at work, their birthdays, their favorite things to order in restaurants, their dreams, and their fears.


Today, it is so tempting to throw in the towel and simply send clients a text, an email, a wall post, or an IM and not really get to know a person. None of this is bad, but when it takes the place of getting face to face time with someone or looking them in the eye and shaking their hand…well, I believe that’s where a lot of companies fall short today. It could even be the beginning of the end for some.


In my efforts to prepare for my presentation, I found a commercial that I remembered from when I was younger (I was a commercial junkie and still am). This commercial played a vital role in shaping my view of business and people.


It is my hope that we all learn how to love the people we serve in business and realize that success only comes through investing in relationships. Take a look at this commercial…

By: Tim Urmston, CEO