Blog Archives

 

We’re honored to win Utah Business’ Best Companies to Work for Award once again this year. This marks the sixth time we’ve won this award and the fourth year in a row. While we could list out the million reasons why working at Penna Powers is incredible, it’s easier to let our employees speak for themselves.

 

“I love the laid-back atmosphere and the fun, yet professional people I work with.” – Account Manager Melinda Macfarlane

 

“I get a great sense of fulfillment working at Penna Powers because the clients we work with are dedicated to making a difference in the world. It’s amazing to know that the work we do helps make our communities a better place.” – Associate Project Manager Aubrey Souvall

 

“Penna Powers is the perfect collaboration of great minds coming together to create meaningful work. The fun, inviting environment makes Penna Powers the best place to work!” – Receptionist Sabrina Wilhite

 

“The people. All companies are the same, but the people make Penna Powers stand out.

The arcade games, the pool table, great bosses…” – Senior Content Strategist Nick Giustino

 

“I love the flexibility this company has with its employees.” – Videographer Jordan Whitney

 

“The people are my family, the things that happen behind the scenes that clients don’t see (charades, practical jokes, parties, videos, etc.). We do such great work.” – VP of Finance & Ops Traci Houghton

 

“I have experienced a great deal of autonomy working here. Autonomy requires vertical and horizontal trust and just like any productive relationship, trust is the foundation for success. For example, apart from any of my dedicated duties, if I have an interest in contributing on any particular project, all I need to do is express that desire and I am awarded the freedom to do so. This independence and freedom allows for growth and creativity, independent of bureaucracy or other entry barriers.” – Media Planner Jennifer Beaudoin

 

“I love knowing that the work I do helps people live better lives.” – Director of New Business Brent Wilhite

 

“I love the hoodies, staff meetings, that Nerf gun wars are normal and that we get to do great, strategic and creative work every single day.” – VP of Account Planning & Management Stephanie Miller

 

“I like that no two people are the same here. You can be yourself and everyone is accepting of you for you! At the end of the day everyone is different and unique, but we all come together to create some really awesome work.” – Content Coordinator Kelsey Hess

 

“I’ve yet to have a dull day working for Penna Powers. Various clients, new campaigns, creative tactics and great people keep things lively.” – Digital Project Manager Collin Brian

 

“When I started working at Penna Powers, I was fascinated by the amount of employees who were celebrating their 10th or 20th anniversary. After working at Penna Powers for a few months, I realized why. Whether you’re in an entry-level role or a vice president, you know that your voice and your work matter at Penna Powers. The partners ensure that work-life balance is a priority and facilitate activities for the company to grow together. On a Friday night, you’ll find me on the soccer field with my coworkers because I genuinely love hanging out with them outside of work.” – Content Specialist Elyse Freeman

 

“I love that Penna Powers employees take their careers seriously. They are not just in a job. I love that everyone at Penna Powers is really smart. I love that we are not micromanaged ever. We are expected to do our jobs like the true professionals we are. I love that the company will allow you to have flexible hours if you need to take care of something outside of work. I love that we celebrate every employee’s 5, 10, 15, 20-year anniversary. I love that Penna Powers takes our family to Lagoon every summer. I love that the management keeps us informed and gives us a “State of the Agency” presentation once a year. I love that Penna Powers has such a fun, cool culture. I love the work that Penna Powers produces!” – VP of Project Management Chris Menges

 

“I like the overall vibe around the office and unlimited M&Ms.” – Account Manager Bri Binnebose

 

“The partners are so good to us!” – Account Planning Director Wendy Hansen

 

“For me it’s simple: the people and the work. Penna Powers is full of committed, smart, talented people doing work that truly matters to our communities and our future. Pretty rewarding to work at a place like that.” – VP of Client Services Justin Smart

 

“I love working with awesome people, doing awesome things.” – Senior Copywriter Bobby Brinton

 

“I love the change we make in the world, it may be on a small scale, but we are saving lives on Utah’s roads.” – Zero Fatalities Outreach Specialist and Associate Project Manager Kylie Christensen

 

“I laugh every single day. Maybe not all day, every day, but at least once a day I find myself with full on tears in my eyes and big belly laughter. Work can be busy, timelines can be tight, but I find joy and gratitude every single day in my role and I find the stressful days are few and far between because the people of this company make this place such a pleasure to be a part of.” – Traffic Manager Alex Antonino

 

“I like the fact we never get bored. Every project is always something new. And, I’ve got damn good friends here.” – Senior Project Manager Britni Brozo

 

“I love how accepting everyone is.” – Associate Project Manager Alli Blake

 

“I love that it always feels like a positive environment, even when things may not be ideal. It’s always a happy place for me, anyway.” – Receptionist Michelle Adams

 

“I love Penna Powers because it fosters an atmosphere where the best idea can come from anybody.” – VP of Channel & Content Management Marc Stryker

 

“I love how everyone will work together to get things done. It’s a family work environment. Where everyone, no matter role, works to provide the best product for our clients.” – Media Relations Specialist Allyse Christensen

 

“I love the emphasis on being one unified team despite our different projects and assignments.” – Truck Smart Outreach Specialist Alec Curtis

 

“I love the parties and the solid work ethic. Plus, everyone is super inviting and outspoken. If someone has something to say, they’ll say it!” – Zero Fatalities Outreach Specialist Aja Domingo

 

“Laughing is constant during staff meeting,” – Content Specialist Julene Thompson

 

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Alli –

Alli Blake, our basketball superstar from Westminster, brought her talents over to Penna Powers to work as an associate project manager. Alli is one tough cookie, which is appropriate since her most memorable fortune cookie quote was “toughen up, buttercup!” Of all the famous people in the world, if Alli could only choose one that she wishes to meet, it would without a doubt be Jesus. Her spirit animal? A hyena – they are resilient and the females are boss. If you ever get the chance to meet Alli, you’ll learn she is a fierce, determined and hardworking woman that we are lucky to have here at Penna Powers.

Marissa –

Marissa Liu, our newest executive assistant aka our behind-the-scenes organizer, is nothing short of perfect. A motto Marissa lives by and is sure to portray through her actions is “always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.” She is the happiest gal around unless you get between her and her diet coke! When she’s not busy in the Penna Powers office, you’ll likely find her dreaming about traveling to Dubai or Bali, or off somewhere a little bit closer like Southern Utah; (until she gets the opportunity to make her dream vacation a reality).

Alec –

Alec Curtis recently joined us as a truck smart outreach specialist for Zero Fatalities. The best way to describe Alec (as told by Alec) is through his spirit animal, which happens to be an Emperor Penguin, as they are both adorable and majestic. Remember that Klondike Bar commercial song “what would you do-oo-oo for a Klondike Bar?” Well, plan on having that line stuck in your head for the next few hours since it just so happens to be Alec’s favorite jingle. When Alec isn’t out educating Utah about driving safe around big rigs, he’s probably counting his PTO days and planning a trip to his dream location, Italy.

Max –

Max Jensen, a BYU student, joined the Penna Powers family a few months ago as our media intern. If you have been in our office lately, it’s likely that you’ve seen him! He’s our only employee that stands tall at 15 feet 3 inches. When talking to Max, chances are you will end up discussing the 1977 restored Toyota Land Cruiser that he hopes to have one day. Max enjoys spending his free time fantasizing about the Bahamas, skiing and shopping at Costco. If you plan on lying to Max, you might want to think twice. Chances are he will call your bluff since he’s a firm believer that “the truth is the truth, no matter where you lie.”

 

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Earlier this fall, Penna Powers celebrated the five-year anniversary of the day Charlotte Chen first graced the halls of our agency. Today, she’s an accomplished project manager who is loved by clients and coworkers alike. She’s the epitome of professional. She’s smart, honest, organized and disciplined—pure gold on the inside—but she’s also taught us a thing or two about looking the part on the outside.

To celebrate five awesome years of working with Charlotte, we’re sharing five of her best style secrets.

  1. It’s not how much it costs, it’s how you wear it.

Penna Powers’ clients have communication budgets that span a broad range. It’s not the size of your budget, but how you use it that matters. To maximize effectiveness, be strategic about how you showcase your brand. When the branding fits your audience well, you’ll get results.  

  1. Don’t wear something just because everyone else is wearing it. Know your own style and be true to it.

Everybody is on WhatsApp, right? You’re not sure what to do with it, but your top competitors are using it and you don’t want to be last to the party.

Hold on! Before you jump into any marketing trend, ask yourself a few questions. Does it suit your audience? Is it the best medium for the message? Can you execute it well? Most importantly, can you experiment with this new, shiny thing without sacrificing resources for proven marketing efforts that meet your objectives?

  1. Don’t mix and match patterns.

Charlotte has a great sense of style, but she is not a graphic designer. However, she is really, really good at taking clients’ ideas to our talented team of designers and coming back with great creative work. One of the perks of working with Penna Powers is that you have a team of design pros who you can always count on.

  1. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

Accessories, including shoes, are a great way to put your own personal spin on your OOTD (outfit of the day). Likewise, there’s no better way to elevate your marketing than to make sure your brand’s unique identity is evident—not overpowering, but elegantly tying your communication efforts together into a cohesive package.

  1. Blazers are total wardrobe staples. They can take your outfit from regular to classy/chic. 

A great blazer tops off an outfit like a great presentation tops off smart communication pieces. Charlotte’s clothing never has a loose thread or a stain. Likewise, when Charlotte sends an email, makes a call or a comment in a meeting, her ideas are never hasty or half-baked. Take your work from regular to chic by presenting it with polish.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Charlotte’s style secrets. Thanks, Charlotte, for five years of smart sophistication!

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On the morning of Halloween in 2012, something stirred within the agency and things would never be the same again. Citizens of The Underground, the creative team’s lair, were up to business as usual when the sultry notes of “Careless Whisper” started flowing through the basement.

Bobby Brinton, copywriter savant, sauntered into The Underground and serenaded everyone as the Sexy Sax Man. Everyone stopped what they were doing, instantly enamored by Bobby’s dance moves to George Michael. Rumor has it that Major Street’s shenanigans are attributed to the sweet, sweet music that Bobby created on that fateful day.

More than just a pretty face, Bobby also possesses the highest power of the pen at Penna Powers: senior copywriter. His nationally-recognized creative has earned awards ranging from an Emmy to multiple Addys. He strikes fear into the heart of the content team with his red pen and is the ultimate authority on AP Style. Every other copywriter pales in comparison to Bobby… except when it comes to skin color.

Intentional and articulate in everything he does, Bobby has commandeered the creative team on many occasions. Account services often refer to him as “Father Bobby” for his role in keeping everyone on track. His direction, along with partner-in-crime and fellow Kelly Osbourne fan Kenny Hammond, steers Penna Powers’ creative team toward an innovative future.

Bobby makes sure that any and all creative tactics are executed flawlessly, even if it means providing thousands of dollars in talent for free. If he had a nickel for every time he provided free voiceover, he would already own a Tesla. For now, he’ll just have to settle for being the agency rock star as the former lead singer of the Sony-signed Hudson River School band.

Thank you, Bobby for five years—minus eight days—of kickass work as our copywriter. While we appreciate your impeccable writing, we admire your sense of humor and witty personality even more. We’ll never be able to get the sight of your Sexy Sax Man costume out of our minds and we’re pretty okay with that.

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Utah Food Bank’s Summer Food and Fund Drive

Penna Powers recently participated in Utah Food Bank’s Summer Food and Fund Drive and we’re pretty proud of our employee participation.

We like a little competition here at P2—naturally—so we created a contest to finally determine whether U of U or BYU is the best school ever.

Employees could bring in cans of food or donate to a virtual store. While the Cougars showed a promising start, the Utes ultimately came out victorious. The third barrel representing other darn good schools also had a nice showing.

P2 Utah Food Bank’s Summer Food and Fund Drive Results:

U of U raised $330 in virtual donations and 37 items donated.

BYU raised $194 in virtual donations with 34 items donated.

Other darn good schools raised $94 in virtual donations with 33 items donated.

Overall, P2 employees donated $618 and 86 pounds of food. The agency matched $500 of donations to bring the grand total up to $1,118.

For every $1 donated to Utah Food Bank, the organization receives $7.81 in goods and services. That means our $1,118 donation from the Summer Food and Fund Drive actually provided $8,731.58 in goods and services to the local community. Way to go P2!

If you’re interested in hosting a food drive, learn more from Utah Food Bank.

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It’s 8:35 a.m. on a Tuesday, Penna Powers headquarters is dark and quiet as people slowly make their way into work. They walk into their offices and begin scanning through emails, easing into the relaxing morning, when out of the silence comes a sound so vulgar yet humorous that everyone jumps from fear and simultaneously laugh uncontrollably. The phone speaker system has just been fart horned by the only person in the Underground in so “early,” our resident superhero, Thor.

Known for being reliable, speedy and incredibly talented, this designer has officially celebrated five years at Penna Powers. You can catch him working on projects for UDOT, Zero Fatalities, UCAIR, Utah Cancer Control Program and many more. Usually the first person in the building every morning and one of the last to leave at night, he is perhaps the most upbeat and positive guy in the Creative department. Even after a long day staring at a screen, he’s one of the first to volunteer or join in on the staff extracurriculars, participating in our MS Ride, Summer Games and most notably as the secret weapon on the agency’s soccer team.

In his spare time, you’ll find him combing his long golden locks, heading into the mountains to climb, hike or camp, building fires with his bare hands or listening to an audio book while cuddling with his best friend… no, not Tyson… Kiki, his cat.

He’s the type of guy you can always count on and is so crafty he’ll literally build props for photo shoots to ensure the job gets done right. We’re lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Thor for these past five years and look forward to many, many more. Thanks for always putting a smile on our faces and providing such stellar work!

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We can hardly believe it’s been five years since Justin Smart, or “Trusty Justy” as some call him, joined the Penna Powers team. From his role as Director of Public Involvement to Vice President of Client Services, he has provided our agency with exceptional growth, focus and joy.

Known for his way around a white board, Justin has a knack for communicating with people (particularly those who are fired up) and explaining things clearly while keeping a positive and upbeat attitude. No mountain is too high to climb in his eyes, so long as we have the right team in place and gear to support us.

Between strategizing, planning or managing a crisis, Justin has more meetings than anyone in the agency. And in the off chance he has a break, you’ll probably catch a glimpse of him in his sweater vest at the nearest gas station indulging his craving for a hot dog, which will likely take him an average of 54 minutes to consume. Don’t even get him started on the “best” Mountain Dew in town, he’ll drive however long it takes just to enjoy the perfect ice to bubbly soda ratio.

We’re so proud to call this techie, tenor (ask him about his role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), and father of four, one of our most trustworthy and fearless leaders.

Thank you for all that you do, Justin. We’re honored to celebrate you.

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There is a sixth dimension beyond that which is understood by man. It is a dimension as vast as the universe and infinite in time. It is the space between shadow and light, between superstition and science, and it lies between the depths of man’s fears and the peaks of his knowledge. This is the dimension of fantasy. It is an area which we call the Tyson Zone.

Witness, if you will, a basement, made out of Nerf dart black holes, spews of profane expletives and soothing essential-oil blends that stretch to infinity. The basement, or as we know it, The Underground, has inmates from the Creative, Production and Content teams. One inmate stands out amongst the rest.

His name is Tyson Holtkamp. His occupation—IT/Operations Manager at Penna Powers. At present, celebrating his tenth year of techie techniques, zombie apocalypse survival tips and fighting mysterious malware. He’s a man in his mid-thirties of medium height, perhaps a little more gluten intolerant than most men. His face was once that of a baby. Now covered with hair, it is no longer. There is no horror film left that he has not seen and no server issue he cannot resolve. He is the first to quote Stephen King and the last man standing in the face of a good tumbler of whiskey.

Down below, in a heated debate of Game of Thrones theories, is but a fragment of a man’s imagination. Left to admire is the cleverness of his humor and the patience needed to teach you of your technological mistakes. Without his help and guidance, the team at Penna Powers would disintegrate from the email spam, computer viruses and mutants that act upon them. Of all of Mr. Holtkamp’s strengths…it is his commitment to excellence, paired with his jest and wit, that make him such a joy to work with. Here’s hoping this is just the eve of the beginning…in the Tyson Zone.

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Bike MS

Penna Powers recently enlisted the best damn team to participate in Harmons Best Damn Bike Ride for Bike MS. During the two-day event, our semi-amateur bike team covered 43 miles and raised $3,800. The total amount raised was 52 percent above the team’s $2,500 goal.

Bike MS

Participants included CEO and Partner Chuck Penna, Vice President of Channel & Content Management Marc Stryker, Social Change Director Brent Wilhite, IT & Operations Manager Tyson Holtkamp, Designer Ryan “Thor” Williams, Media Planner Jenny Beaudoin, Zero Fatalities Outreach Specialist Melinda Macfarlane and her spouse Brad Macfarlane.

Bike MS

Marc and Jenny decided to set the bar a little higher—in true media team fashion—and cycled 75 miles.

Bike MS

While Thor obviously did most of the work during the race, our fearless leader Chuck was able to crack the leaderboard in donations raised.

Thank you to Harmons and Bike MS for hosting the phenomenal event and our employees for pedaling their spandex covered butts all day. If only you raced as good as you look in spandex.

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Two decades. Twenty years. Penna Powers just marked another major milestone, celebrating the twentieth year that our dedicated VP of Project Management, Christine Menges, has been in the building. Not only has she been in the building, she’s been rocking the very foundation of this place with elevated account service, polished professionalism and an unmatched penchant for brand policing.

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Chris headed for the Beehive State after graduating from Portland State University’s School of Business. She arrived at Penna Powers after various gigs, from selling ads in the daily newspaper, to getting an ad agency education wearing multiple hats and kicking various asses all across town.

At Penna Powers, Chris blossomed into the plaid-hating, don’t-touch-her-lamp juggernaut she is today. Employees and clients alike have benefitted from Chris’s unique combination of Portlandia counter-culture personality and air-tight, borderline OCD commitment to organization and detail. Chris will always give you her best effort and marshal the agency’s forces in the most efficient and effective manner. And, always right on strategy and right on schedule.

So we congratulate Chris on her double decade derring-do. And welcome many more years of her grit and intelligence in taking our clients to the next level. But always remember this – at Penna Powers, dead men actually do wear plaid, if you happen to cross paths with the formidable Christine Menges.

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