Professional. Creative. A bit odd. That’s OUR PEOPLE
Our fearless leader John - the LeDuc in LeDuc Creative - once had a bleary-eyed dream to be a professional baseball player. He could have done it too. But the siren call of creativity drew him instead to art school where he studied painting and sculpture. After graduating, he used his mad skills to land a job as a product illustrator at GM in Flint. As alluring as the city of Flint was, he soon returned to Ann Arbor where he started doing freelance artwork making T-shirts, creating signs and pioneering loft living. (He literally lived in an old mattress factory with a locker room where he could shower.)
A series of events conspired that landed him advertising work, and he took off from there. First he branded himself as J. LeDuc USA where he just did ads. Then he took on a partner. They soon became 22 strong with major clients in the shopping center and manufacturing industries. When the partnership dissolved - as they often do - John took the manufacturing clients and created the J. LeDuc Group. As things changed and morphed, he finally landed on LeDuc Creative, adding the digital side in tandem with old school traditional marketing and working with the team that exists today.
John’s main responsibility is business development on a need assessment basis. His main objective is to clearly understand what the client needs and then ask the question, “what can we do that will benefit the client?” After 40 years, he keeps coming up with good answers.
Zach is a project manager who started at LeDuc Creative at the ripe young age of 16 as a transportation specialist. (He was making deliveries and establishing street cred in his sweet green Mazda MPV van.) Though he spent his childhood in the LeDuc Creative office - not literally, just when he hung out with his dad - he took a rather circuitous and scenic route in joining the agency as an adult. Zach had his sights set on lighting design and even worked as a lighting designer in Chicago. When he decided to leave the world of theater, his father beckoned him to join the agency, where his training in the “business of theater” primed him for agency life. He plans projects, creates quotes and budgets, acquires new business and manages daily projects from the overture to the final bow, as it were. His background as a creative person allows him to also proof, art direct and deal effectively with the creative team without destroying their delicate egos.
As bookkeeper with LeDuc Creative, Lauren was once a kindergarten teacher who decided to stay home to raise her kids. These days, instead of dealing with runny noses and life lessons, she now handles filing, data entry, payroll and all the other behind-the-scenes stuff so that the “big shots can focus on the good stuff,” as she says. She’s selling herself short though. As far as the team is concerned, she’s every bit the big shot doing equally good, if not better, stuff. After all, without Lauren, the entire infrastructure of the company would collapse and no one would get paid. That’s some serious power. We hope she never abuses it.
Zach is a project manager who started at LeDuc Creative at the ripe young age of 16 as a transportation specialist. (He was making deliveries and es-tablishing street cred in his sweet green Mazda MPV van.) Though he spent his childhood in the LeDuc Creative office - not literally, just when he hung out with his dad - he took a rather circuitous and scenic route in joining the agency as an adult. Zach had his sights set on lighting design and even worked as a lighting designer in Chicago. When he decided to leave the world of theater, his father beckoned him to join the agency, where his training in the “business of theater” primed him for agency life. He plans projects, creates quotes and budgets, acquires new business and manages daily projects from the overture to the final bow, as it were. His back-ground as a creative person allows him to also proof, art direct and deal ef-fectively with the creative team without destroying their delicate egos.
Although he’s now a project manager serving as a client liaison, establishing project proposals and overseeing the creative folk, in his early days at LeDuc Creative, Tim was a writer. Before that, he was in law enforcement. But his wife worked at the agency and he enjoyed assisting her with the writing aspect of her work. So as the agency grew, John invited him on board to take on writing projects of his own. He liked how “LeDuc Creative was an energetic company in an exciting industry,” so he accepted the job and gave up patrolling the mean streets of Grand Rapids. There’s a good chance that law is not completely out of the picture though. Among his hobbies are drums and craft beer - a combination that’s bound to get him arrested.
All things print and web
Like many a designer before her, Nancy graduated from art school and then wandered aimlessly until she stumbled upon the wild and wooly world of marketing. Now she is one of the mouse-wielding, touch-pad savvy art directors on the LeDuc Creative team. A team, as she says, that “has just the right blend of age, experience, personalities and energy. As the old lady on the team,” she continues, “my goal is to impart a little wisdom while absorbing the excess energy and inspiration that the ‘kids’ have in such abundance.” Along with keeping the kids in line, she handles all facets of print and web site design. She often harkens back to those humble beginnings when she enrolled in the first class offered at the community college to learn how to make a web site. “Yeah,” she reminisces fondly, “Boy, was that first site awful.”
Kara is the LeDuc Creative team Google AdWords Expert, SEO/Website Strategist and Public Relations Maven. It’s a title that’s required her to get extra long business cards. Still, Kara’s ambitions were inclined toward horsing around. Literally. She was working as an administrative assistant at a horse farm, helping with the farm’s marketing strategy. She used her 45-minute commute to the farm to listen to the audiobook, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. “Once I started implementing the ‘new rules’, I was hooked,” she says. So she decided to reach out to John, a long time friend of the family. She wanted to get a feel for the marketing industry in Ann Arbor. After an hour-long talk, he offered her a job. She’s now a pivotal player in clients’ digital strategies. But even more importantly, she’s now John’s designated meeting buddy because she’s the only one who can keep him on task. From horse whisperer to John whisperer.
As an advertising and copywriting professional with over 25 years (dog years) experience with clients including GMAC, OnStar, Chrysler and the U.S. Navy, Bill’s expertise crosses all media formats. That amount of experience has not only given him serious writing chops, but it’s also made him a little crazy. He claims that he lives in Williamston, Michigan with a small assortment of furry domesticated animals, but the LeDuc team suspects that Williamston is code for some x-files reference. Regardless, he offers LeDuc Creative clients thoughtful strategy and solid writing to support their branding, as well as their inbound marketing efforts and fulfillment needs.
Steph drifted into advertising twenty years ago. She was four years out of college with a dusty art degree and solid experience as a coffee-slinging barista when a visionary (and possibly confused) creative director took a chance on her. She is now an experienced copywriter and blogger who has a passion for writing snappy copy and thought-provoking blogs to help LeDuc Creative clients get noticed. She also loves writing bios for the other team members at LeDuc Creative far more than she likes writing her own. Like many before her, she is a human.
Early in his life, Jake envisioned himself as a pharmacist. Since that time he attained the wisdom (or possibly something from the pharmacy) to choose a good solid career in the arts instead where he would make much less money and live out his life in quiet desperation, the way artists were intended to live. So he found his way to the LeDuc Creative team where he’s happily nesting as a graphic designer, visual communicator and self-labeled human experience designer. In Jake’s words, “I seek to build real, meaningful relationships with those I work with so that they, in turn, can build relationships with their own clients and customers.” His vast experience with print and digital design, branding, and user-experience design help him deliver effective and evocative solutions. And frankly, he’s just a nice guy.