Tag Archives: networking

Rocker Turned Strategist: Brendan Brown’s Jungle Gym Career Climb

Sometimes you zig, sometimes you zag, and Brendan Brown advises you to embrace it. From sharing a dressing room with MC Hammer at the Meadowlands, to searching the “Wanted” ads for a job that pays enough to support a family of three, Brown may be the ultimate monkey bar climber.

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder…The ability to forge a unique path, with occasional dips, detours, and even dead ends presents a better chance of fulfilment. Plus a jungle gym provides great views for many people, not just those at the top.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook  

Brown’s story inspired us, as it’s full of risk and some really awesome perks and pay-outs. His background is diverse to say the least. He’s gone from dropping out of college to headlining for Incubus to selling vacuums, with a few stops along the way. His current gig? Syncing a traditional advertising agency with new media and the digital world.

Choosing to abandon his successful music career – two full-length records and a few international tours – to settle down with his wife and newborn son was a huge risk, but Brown wanted to put his family first. Without a college degree supporting his family was a huge concern, so he took the first “customer service” job he was offered after responding to an ad in the paper. After a few days he realized he would be selling $2,000 vacuums door to door, but to this day doesn’t regret his choice. He says he learned grit, determination and developed his craft of storytelling. Not to mention, it was a vacuum sale that ultimately landed him his first salaried position at a top sales organization. A few successful years later, Brown took another leap of faith as he returned to his creative roots. Since then, he has founded a social media management company for the music industry, worked as lead strategist at a digital experience agency and is now making moves at a traditional agency, helping them reposition themselves as the industry goes digital.

On stage

Brown and son Parker on stage during a 2012 reunion show

You could argue that being in a band, selling vacuums and working at an ad agency have little in common. But Brown argues that they all thrive on connection. Whether you’re writing a song, selling a product or promoting a brand, the challenge and desire to connect with and affect the person on the other side of your art remains the same. Brown stresses this common thread can be extended to the job hunt as well, “It’s all about creating your personal narrative, weaving your experiences together and crafting a story. Once they buy in to your story, they will want to be a part of the next chapter.” No experience is wasted if it is a means to fulfill your dreams.

Are you navigating through a career jungle gym? We’d love to hear your story. Or maybe you’re stuck and need some help getting to the next bar. If you are, we’re here to help. Just ask Brown, we might have lent a little resume help his way.

CM Access is growing!

We’re excited to introduce the newest members of our growing team: Kevin Barry and David Fernandez. Joining us as Account Executives, both Kevin and David are strong believers in the CM Access philosophy that great work comes from great relationships. They’re looking forward to working with you to find the perfect fit for your creative, marketing and interactive needs.

Kevin Barry
Kevin_barryKevin is a driven sales professional whose upbeat, positive personality draws you in. Building relationships is his specialty and he’s excited to put his talent to work connecting clients with just the right candidates. Kevin is passionate about growing his clients’ businesses and has eight years of experience working with professionals at all levels. Kevin has a B.S. in Marketing.

Not just business, it’s personal… I play golf, hockey and fish, and enjoy cooking something weird I’ve never eaten before. A fun fact about me is that I’m the only person I know who has never been pulled over while driving a car. Must be luck!

 David Fernandez 
david_fernandezDavid’s rapport building and passion for the arts make him a perfect fit for the CM Access team. His interest in recruitment began in college while working in Alumni Relations, where he honed his outreach and relationship building skills. During a stint in an art gallery, David developed his eye for creativity. When David experienced the “CM Access difference” during his own job hunt, he knew that it was the perfect place to put his skills and interests to use, helping clients and talent succeed. David has a B.S. in Philosophy and History.

Not just business, it’s personal… I’m interested in many things including the arts, philosophy and sports. I’m an avid basketball and tennis player, and full time supporter of Detroit sports. Go Pistons!

Talent Spotlight! – Joan, Interactive Designer

Who is at home with all things digital, leads the web department of a freelance studio and rocks out with bands in Germany, the US and Costa Rica? Joan, the latest professional in the CM Access spotlight.

Joan, Interactive Designer

Joan is passionate about everything digital. He’s experienced helping clients’ discover their online identity, enhancing their presence and coding websites and emails. Joan is currently on assignment with CM Access as an HTML Email Coder at Constant Contact. He loves to put his creative skills to the test, starting projects from scratch, carefully creating branding for his clients. From the logo through the full range of marketing collateral – brochures, business cards, website design, coding and programming, and finally the launch of the website – he enjoys the entire process and utilizing all the talents in his creative tool box.

When Joan isn’t producing winning projects, he’s touring with his band in Europe and visiting his native home of Costa Rica. He’s made a home for himself based in Boston recently, wowing clients across the country with his creative designs. He enjoys dividing his time between design and music, and is grateful for the flexibility that contract work offers.

Joan’s ideal project would integrate WordPress and custom design. Joan believes in providing clients a simple solution for website development: a user-friendly WordPress platform paired with original custom artwork, connected to social media and mobile devices so clients can take control of their website content.

Interested in an interactive whiz like Joan? Give CM Access a call today: 800-330-4110.

Joan’s portfolio samples:

Mango Surf Shop

http://www.mangosurfshop.com: Website development – design & coding.


http://www.velvetartists.com: Website development – design & coding.


http://www.nize-agency.com: Website development – design & coding.

www.davestejna.com: Website development - design & coding.

http://www.davestejna.com: Website development – design & coding.

Talent Spotlight – Kip, Creative Strategist

With almost 20 years in graphic design, marketing and advertising under his belt, Kip is an accomplished Creative Director and Strategist. Not only is he a pro at delivering compelling content to target markets using the hottest channels and dead-on tone, he’s also worked with the full spectrum of clients, from design firms to internal corporate departments. His skills range from the ability to follow a company’s style guideline to the expertise to create a strategic marketing program from a blank slate.

Currently on assignment as a Packaging Production Artist, Kip’s creative vision has made a real contribution to each CM Access client he’s worked with. Career advocate Jason DeVito calls out Kip’s deep understanding of the creative and post-production process, enabling him to quickly jump right into solutions to creative and technical challenges.

Kip is especially eager to work on projects that involve innovative products or services that are in need of full marketing programs. He enjoys having a hand in each step of the process: evaluating the market, creating an image and launching a multi-platform campaign, giving him the opportunity to use “all the crayons in the box.” From strategy to typography, design and layout, he finds working with decision makers and sharing the satisfaction of partnership rewarding.

Kip has a strong sense of responsibility to meet clients’ objectives while keeping it fun and exciting. He never loses sight of the fact that creative plays a major role in the success of a company. Working with Kip, you know his eyes are “on the prize.” He drives profit and controls expenses by budgeting resources to align with revenue opportunity, influencing internal stakeholders and selecting the right resources to deliver cost effective solutions. Quite simply, he’s a creative who delivers results.

Could your business benefit from a creative strategist like Kip? Contact CM Access today!

Check out a few samples from Kip’s portfolio:

Meet the Team – Kristin Motta Zwickau

Kristin is passionate about people. As Director of CM Access, she loves leading her team’s success, as well as that of clients and candidates. Committed to what’s best for the people she works with, no one is treated as a commodity. Kristin is fascinated by learning about the twists and turns in people’s career paths, leading them to where they are today.

Kristin embraces a customized, personal approach to building partnerships. She began her career in sales as an account executive for a boutique graphic arts representation agency. Her dedication to providing top-notch service to clients built the company’s reputation and doubled its revenue and size during her tenure. In 1996 Kristin’s entrepreneurial drive led her to co-found CM Access with Inga Wennik (then Wennik&Motta). Kristin attributes her drive to a career in sales, which shaped her carpe diem attitude toward business. Her approach to sales, which she applies to running a business, is the belief that, “The greatest risk is not acting on your hunches and failing to follow your dreams.”

Joulé Inc., a specialized, regional staffing organization, purchased the firm in 2003, providing the resources needed for growth. Kristin was a recipient of Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Award” in 2001 and is a graduate of Bentley College with a B.S. in Marketing.

Kristin enjoys spending time skiing and hiking with her family and in a quiet moment she also enjoys a good fiction book.

Check out more of the team: Amie, Jeanine, Jason, Lisa, Adrienne, Diana,

Cyclists Unite: Become a CMA Cycler in ADA’s Tour de Cure

We need you to participate in a fun event for a great cause! CM Access is excited to sponsor the American Diabetes Association’s North Shore Tour de Cure on Sunday, May 20th in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. The one-day cycling celebration brings together cyclists of all ages and levels, and we want you to ride along too.

This is a ride, not a race, with four routes ranging from 15 to 100 miles, so there is an option for everyone.  Here at CM Access we’re not all Lance Armstrong level cyclists, but that’s not stopping us and it shouldn’t stop you. We’re hitting the trails and steppin’ up our spin to prep! Ride along with us as a CM Access Cycler, and we’re sure you’ll have the encouragement you need.

CM Access is sponsoring a rest stop stocked with beverages, snacks and plenty of cheers to fuel the riders towards a smokin’ finish.  If you’re not up for the ride but would like to join us in supporting this great cause, we’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers to man the rest stop. Whether you can volunteer a few hours or spend the entire day, it’s a great way to get involved in a worthy cause to help others.

According to the ADA, 25.8 million children and adults in theUnited States – 8.3% of the population – have diabetes, and an estimated 1.9 million cases will be diagnosed this year.  We hope you’ll join us in supporting this cause which affects so many people each year.

Contact us to learn more today! (And we welcome any training tips you can offer!)

Talent Spotlight! Meet Alissa, CM Access’s February Featured Talent

Savvy and in the know, Alissa P. may be new to the CMAccess candidate list but she has a wealth of knowledge that will help build any company’s e-commerce enterprises.

 Alissa recently ended a 10 year career as senior art director with a major clothing line’s website. Her careful attention to details helped to develop homepages, online advertising and marketing, mobile sites and social networks for the company. Managing e-commerce design teams in two locations, Alissa utilized CMAccess to fill contract positions. Seeing first hand the quality designers that CMAccess supplied and having built a relationship with their team, Alissa knew she wanted the group to help with her job search.

Her dream position would be in a smaller company where Alissa can really participate in many different areas including designing — print or online she enjoys it all. Alissa would love to bring her 20 years of experience to help take a company to the next level, while acting as a mentor to new designers.

When she’s not working, Alissa relaxes through horseback riding. Though she has been competitive in her past —she began riding at 8-years-old — Alissa enjoys the sport recreationally these days.

Her attention to details and ability to focus on the task at hand makes Alissa our top talent for the month.

2012 Predictions – Skills for 2012 and Beyond

Part Two of Our Three-Part Series…

In 2011, we saw trends emerge in regards to what hiring companies were seeking in their candidates and employees.

According to CMAccess Director Kristin Zwickau, “We were seeing requirements for not only core creative and design skills but also the need for those skills to be coupled with strong business acumen.”

This combination of “left-brain/right-brain” skills were 2011’s “nice to haves,” which we predict will become 2012’s “must haves.”

Right Brain…

  • Web Design – Graphic designers need to have a basic understanding of web design including HTML, CSS and overall web design standards.
  • Social Media Marketing – Not only is this essential to promote yourself and your brand, but also your employer’s.  Social media is here to stay and is being utilized more now than ever.  If you’re not into Tweeting, then you may be viewed as someone who isn’t willing to grow or change.
  •  Mobile – If you haven’t heard, mobile is a pretty big thing.  Whether you’re designing a website, email, or application, understanding mobile design is essential for communicating in our mobile society.
  • Print – Print isn’t dead, my friends.  Clients still have the need for creative talent who understand the print side of design and production.


  • Time Management – 2012 is the time to refine your processes to ensure you’re working in the most effective way and managing your time for greater efficiency.
  • Communication – Communication is vital to any career.  If you can’t communicate effectively, you will not be the first choice for the position.  Communication not only helps you land that dream role, but will enable you to be successful once it’s yours.  The ability to articulate your creative ideas and concepts both to peers and clients is crucial to your success.
  • Networking – In person and via social media, networking is key.  Keep in touch with industry associations and groups for upcoming networking events or take advantage of social media to create your own informal networking events with peers and colleagues.
  • Adaptability  – Some organizations have reorganized their teams and open positions may often call for someone to take on a hybrid or dual role. Employers are looking for talent who can adapt to their changing team landscape.

Take a few moments to see if your skills are 2012 market-ready, and if not, there’s still time to take action.  (You can thank us later!)

Stay Tuned for Our Final Installment – “Job Predictions for 2012”

Miss Part One?

In-House Agency Community Set to Converge at IHAF’s Annual Conference

Be inspired, educated and network.

CM Access is thrilled to partner with the In-House Agency Forum (IHAF) as one of the sponsors of their Annual Conference held in Norwood, MA October 7, 20011!

The IHAF Annual Conference, Achieving Functional Excellence will feature industry experts along with a series of break-out sessions focused on best practices across the most common in-house agency functions:  Account Service, Creative, Media, Production and Traffic.

Come out and join the 125-150 in-house agency executives, marketing managers and other creative contributors as they learn about functional excellence, the dependencies that exist across agency functions and how they can boost performance across their in-house team.

We’d love to see you there!

Friday, October 7, 2011
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EDT

Four Points Sheraton, Norwood, MA

Mobility & the Work-Life Balance: Becoming a Smartphone Worker

I look at my Blackberry as an extension of my hand.  How did I ever live without my mobile friend?  Waking up to its alarm allowing me to get an early start on the day (I can check emails even in those bleary-eyed hours of the morning), maybe a little online shopping at lunch, Tweeting on the latest jobs, leveraging social media and networking on LinkedIn and Facebook, and following me out to dinner and back home again for one last check to end the day to be sure I didn’t miss anything.

Great to have, but occasionally I’d like to throw it out the window!  Like all good things, learning how to effectively manage and leverage mobility to enhance our professional lives is key.

Recently I asked a friend who finally succumbed to purchasing her first smartphone what she loved about it.  “Being able to stay connected with work, family and clients all the time!” she replied.

Thanks to our mobile devices we have the ability to always stay connected to our professional and personal lives.  In essence, we are “mobile-workers” truly striking the work-life balance.  Genius!

A few months later, I asked her the same question. “Being able to stay connected with work, family and clients ALL THE TIME!”

So does the ability to balance turn into a precarious juggling act?   Recent studies show that many are finding it hard to turn it off or understand when and where it’s appropriate.  The downside of mobility is the abuse of it and not focusing on work while you’re at your job can be a problem.

Here are some tips on how to use mobility to become a smartphone worker – regardless of where you are in your career:

  • The Job Seeker – Mobility enables you to stay connected and gain a competitive edge in the job search with the ability to tap into networking and social media resources easily and frequently, peruse the latest job opportunities, research companies, communicate with potential employers and manage interview schedules.
  • The Employee – Once landing the job, use mobility to more effectively communicate with your employer and have real-time collaboration with your team and clients anytime, anywhere.
  •  The Manager -While managing a team, use mobility to efficiently communicate with employees, manage projects and stay in touch with clients and vendors.  The positives of mobility can be a boon for creative managers and their teams.   However, keep in mind that it’s your job to let your employees know what is expected of them and what they can and cannot do with their mobile devices in the workplace.

As long as you’re “smart” about it, mobility can enhance your job search and career while helping  you strike the perfect work-life balance.