At Fresh Produce, our idea cooperative is filled with individuals who’ve had a clear path to the world of marketing and individuals who were called to advertising through human development, music, and gardening.
For co-founder and account executive, Mike Hart, being a residential advisor is what inspired him to move away from the pre-med program at South Dakota State University and graduate with a master’s in human development and family studies, all while dabbling in audio creative.
I loved the idea of helping people, but as I moved through college, the thing that probably precipitated the change was that I became a residential advisor. I started learning about student development and the fact that you can get a job helping kids grow and learn and become adults, and I was fascinated by it. I thought ‘I can still help people. I can just do it in a different setting,’ so I changed my major to human development and family studies.
“I first met Ted in graduate school. I mean, I knew who he was, but it was then when we became friends through Capers. I introduced him to [Sorenson Broadcasting] and he became the intern there. When I became the program director, Ted pitched me Rock Garden Tour, which at the time was called Two Hours of Flower. It was the only show hip enough to combine gardening and rock ‘n’ roll, so I let him do it on the air.”
“So, I had the interview, but Ted got the job.”
During that time we kept talking about ‘hey, what if we did this radio deal?’ and you know, without the connections Ted made at that job, it would have been really hard to start Fresh Produce the way it started—just doing audio creative. It would have been really hard to expand on the idea cooperative and become a full-service shop had we not known the people Ted met.
Marketing is very much for me a people-centered thing. We talk about being Energy Positive at Fresh Produce, and what gives me a wealth of energy is really getting to know people and really understanding who a person is and what motivates them.