Brad Mackey isn’t a name that most people recognize when they first start at McGrath, but they soon grow to learn just how important that name is to them.
“Brad, I need a new e-mail signature. Can you help?” “Brad can you get this image created in the next 30 minutes?” “Brad, can you update my picture on the website?” “Brad” “BRAD” “BRAD!!!!!”
See where we’re going with this? Brad isn’t a salesman at McGrath, but he plays a vital role in the technological side of sales. Brad does so much that we wanted him to tell you himself. So, when we asked Brad what his title is at McGrath and what he does, this is what he responded with:
“Job titles always seem like some kinda lame brag to me. As Mr. Hosch would say, ‘call me whatever you want’. All I know is I get to do a whole lot of stuff I love doing and get paid for it. On top of my main deal, which is search engine optimization, web development and graphic design, I’ve gotten my mitts into everything from photography, to video production, email and social media marketing, web analytics and creative writing. As the company’s grown, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor a bit, and it’s fun to share some of the tricks of the trade. It feels good to see someone light up when they’ve created something they didn’t know they were capable of.”
When asked what his favorite part of working at McGrath was, he replied, “That’s an easy one, and I don’t care how corny it sounds. The feeling that I’m a valuable member of a team contributing to the success of a company and a family that share similar ideals and believe in enriching the people and community around them.”
Brad didn’t just wake up one day and realize he wanted to be a graphic designer. It was awhile before he actually realized what he wanted to. “I grew up drawing relentlessly and quickly garnered the coveted reputation as “the artistic one” in school. The chicks went wild. As long as I can remember, my dreams for the future always involved some kind of design. First I wanted to be a comic book artist, then a graffiti artist, then I wanted to design motocross gear and casual apparel.”, Brad recalled, “Then the internet came along and I pretty much spent all of my free time in high school plugged into a computer, fiddling with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and figuring out how to build web page layouts on Yahoo Geocities. I had a pretty mind-blowing site titled “BMCz Big MoFo Page” that was all the rage with my friends. Let me emphasize, I was really popular with the ladies. Since then, I just kept chopping wood and improving my skills, even though the path to my career wasn’t exactly a straight line and there were some big doubts as to whether I’d ever get a shot.” Brad is a true example of what hard word, dedication (and a little sarcasm) can do for a person.
‘If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life’ is a quote that we feel Brad really lives. “My favorite part is probably the diversity of the work, even though it can be a bit of a double-edged sword. The phrase, “jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none”, definitely rings bells, but I enjoy improving. Specific tasks I love diving into are designing logos and building web pages. Each presents it’s own little unique problems to solve and I always learn something new through the process, even if the road to completion can be a challenge.”
It’s also been cool helping to develop our marketing team, and while I hate to give them the satisfaction, people like Kellie Lasack, Ashlee Spencer and Rebecca Gardner have been a lot of fun to work with. Some days require a little extra volume in the headphones, but overall it’s good fun.
With the amount of time and effort that Brad has put into himself and into McGrath we figured there was one project he was super proud about or really excited about completing, so you can imagine our surprise with Brad’s very humble response. “Well, like I said, the road that led to my career with McGrath was a bumpy one, so I’d have to say what I’m most proud of is simply getting where I’m at. Being a self-taught web designer and web developer without a degree doesn’t exactly look great on paper, but thanks to some key opportunities, the leadership of Cory Hosch and a lot of hard work, it feels cool to say I design for a living, even to this day. I’m also very proud of just how far we’ve come as a company in regards to our online presence and the role I’ve played in pushing us forward. Crushing competition pleases me. *strokes lap cat in maniacal fashion*”
If you haven’t picked up on Brad’s humor yet, you’re missing out. He’s very funny and enjoys making people laugh! His home life is no different. When asked to tell us a little about it, he replied, “I just locked down my girlfriend of 8 years, Andrea, back in September. We’re pretty tight, so I think it was the right move, but I’m watching her closely. No kids… YET, the oven is on pre-heat. No pets either, but the squirrels in our yard live like royalty. As for hobbies, I’m a huge motocross fan and I love riding dirt bikes when I find the time. Dorky fact: I’m actually named after the 1982 MXGP 500cc champ, Brad Lackey! I also enjoy overeating, playing guitar badly, watching too much TV, tinkering with computers, listening to podcasts, reading, maintaining a crisp yard and am obsessed with death metal, grindcore and hardcore music… and Lady Gaga. She really makes me need to express myself through dance.” Don’t believe him? Watch This
See what we mean by funny? But there is a serious side to Brad. Kellie and Ashlee, two of the other members of the marketing team, look up to Brad and take his advice to heart. They refer to him as “dad” because of his logic and experience. That’s why we asked Brad to give some advice to others looking to get into web-design, graphic design, photography, and other creative industries. He nailed it.
“Contrary to popular belief, it takes more than a MacBook, a finely manicured beard and some skinny jeans. You have to work hard, study relentlessly, adapt to trends and constant technology changes, and like everything else in life, accept the fact that no matter how hard you try, you won’t please everyone. Take enjoyment in the process, in your own improvement and in the satisfaction of the client, but unanimous praise isn’t a unicorn worth chasing. Just make stuff. Draw. Paint. Design. Take pictures. Build web pages. When you’re done. Make more stuff. Even if it’s just for fun, developing the ability to put power to the ground and not cave to resistance will take you far in whatever direction you choose.”
So next time you’re on our website, seeing a graphic on the side of your Facebook news-feed, or see that little green clover, you can think of Brad–he’s the magic behind it all!
Thanks Brad for all that you do and we’re so happy to have you as an integral part of our team!