Company: Mirus Promotions, Inc., San Diego, CA USA
Category: Employer of the Year - Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations
Julie Seal-Gaustad, founder and CEO of Mirus Promotions, a national experiential marketing company, has always been a hands-on leader who understands how important it is to work collaboratively with her team — providing them with the tools they need to succeed and ensuring their work environment drives loyalty and encourages them to enjoy what they’re doing. Julie understands making her company a great place to work is the best strategy to keep enhancing the bottom line.
Opportunities for growth through education and training is one way Mirus is a great place to work. The company’s virtual training program enhances field team members’ readiness to serve clients and produces greater results in the marketplace. In 2017, Mirus launched Smarty Pints®, a brand ambassador program offering members of the team the opportunity to obtain their Cicerone® Level 1 certification – augmenting their knowledge of and supporting their passion of craft beer. Her internal team benefits from ongoing training in organizational and growth standards such as productivity, upselling, and ways to wow customers — giving them a strong sense of ownership and encouraging family spirit, a core value.
An environment of camaraderie is maintained through weekly internal team meetings, during which kudos are presented, help is provided, and specific topics are covered. The team is encouraged to participate in webinars related to the industry and present what they learn -- all with a focus of supporting the growth of team members in their work and personal lives. Every quarter, Julie hosts two all-hands meetings and a retreat to further bond her team, giving them the opportunity to help develop business strategies, offer feedback on company systems, and recruitment strategies that align with the company’s core competencies.
Julie trains her internal team to be leaders instead of managers to help them build loyalty among the field team. She encourages questions, growth and safety in decision-making. Everything she does is focused on building team members’ confidence, which supports a positive work environment, employee satisfaction and the growth of the business.
The company maintained the Mirus Marvel of the Month recognition program to encourage motivation for the field marketing team to do their very best and feel connected to the company. One field team member per month who displays the company’s core values before, during, and after marketing activations is highlighted to create loyal team members and recognize those who work hard to best represent clients, the company, and themselves. This year, Julie instituted a partial tuition reimbursement program for internal employees to encourage two core company values, lifelong learning and leadership.
In addition to letting her team members know how vital they are to Mirus’ success, Julie also educates them on the importance of giving back. She involves employees in community activities such as raising funds for cancer research and leads by example by volunteering for local non-profits. And, in partnership with Buy1Give1, a charitable giving community that allows the company to give back on a global scale, the company made over 6,000 social impacts in 2017, including education to disadvantaged children, business training for women and clean water —further demonstrating the value of altruism to team members.
Julie’s confidence in her team was tested by her maternity leave after her son was born in late 2017. She made sure they were ready to take the reins — even doing a one-week “maternity leave recon” as a test run — and she was rewarded by seeing the business not just run successfully without her, but also have a record year. Because she’s worked so hard to provide a positive environment that includes opportunities for growth and engagement, her team stepped up to the challenge of ensuring she could enjoy her time as a new mother, rather than stress about the business.
Employer of the Year Summary
· Revenue growth of more than 100% from 2016 to 2017
· Hired 6 employees (for a total of 11)
· Completed more than 7,000 field marketing activations nationwide in 2017 — a 107% increase over 2016
· Smarty Pints® launched in 2017 and featured in San Diego Magazine’s May 2018 beer issue and
Brewbound’s digital newsletter, distributed to more than 19,000 subscribers
· Represented 163 brands at 1,909 venues in 42 states, selling more than 92,000 products
· Awarded “Fastest Growing Company” at the 2018 Business Excellence Forum and Awards
· Recognized by the San Diego Business Journal in the top 100 fastest growing private companies
· Received bronze Stevie American Business Award in 2017 — Company of the Year, Marketing, Advertising &
· Received silver Steve Award for Great Employers in 2017 — Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations
· Developed and launched a virtual training and assessment onboarding system for new field team members