Paulsen is proud to congratulate Sara Steever, president, on her 25th anniversary with the company.
We visited with her for a few minutes, which was all the time we could carve out of her schedule.
Q: When did you start with Paulsen? How did your first role evolve into your current position?
A: I had been freelancing for Paulsen Advertising for about a year when Thane Paulsen called and offered me a full-time position as a graphic designer. I knew I would get to work with Mike Dowling, plus I had a lot of respect for Thane and what he was building. I'm pretty sure I said yes during that first conversation! Around 1996, when the awareness about the Internet reached the agency world, I volunteered to learn the software to build websites. As the volume of digital work grew, my role changed to building out a team of developers, and eventually to bring all aspects of digital to the agency. In 2014, I took over the role as president of the agency.
Q: What do you remember about your first week at Paulsen?
A: My first project was a manure spreader brochure for Fuerst Manufacturing. As it turns out, it was a precursor to our focus on agriculture and where we were headed as an agency. The industry was transitioning to computers, so half of my work was still keylining on boards and half was done in Freehand and PageMaker. That all seems really funny now, but we had a giant stat camera and still cranked out PMTs and waxed galleys of type. We were all glad to see that replaced with computers!
Q: What do you like most about working at Paulsen?
A: That’s easy! The people, which includes my co-workers, our clients and our industry partners. I spend every day with incredibly talented people who are committed to doing their best work—the caliber of work that changes the world for our clients. People think it doesn’t matter that farmers feed the world, but it’s something we take great pride in being part of, and that purpose matters when we reflect on what we are accomplishing as a team.
Q: What is your vision for your and the agency's future?
A: Our agency will grow and have a bright future as long as we remain relevant. To clients that means we know their business, anticipate their needs and bring solutions—sifting through trends and research so they know where to focus. For our team members it means we provide a place where they can learn, grow, collaborate and do their best work. I envision the same future for myself—I love this business!