Company: Mirus Promotions, Inc., San Diego, CA USA
Nomination Category: Employer of the Year -Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations
Employer of the Year Essay
To mark the 10-year anniversary of Mirus Promotions, Julie Seal-Gaustad, founder and CEO of the national experiential marketing company, continued down the path that has led her to success — with a few new challenges and successes. After operating as a home-based business for nine years, she invested in office space to bring the team together and strengthen their bonds at the end of 2018. And perhaps most importantly, she relied more on her team to support her ability to spend time with her son, born in late 2017.
Julie’s team came through in a big way, something that reflects her confidence in them and her collaborative leadership style. She has always preferred to gather feedback before making big decisions and include team members in exercises that benefit the company moving forward. For instance, creating and adding new taglines to core values was done as a team — resulting in fun language that’s easy to use and understand in daily interactions — and redefining the vision statement was also done as a group.
With respect to personnel, five new positions were created within the company to better streamline operations and functions and support employees’ professional growth and passions, and two new departments — promoting two employees to coordinator positions to lead them. The company now operates with a marketing and sales department, finance department, and operations department. And, as a result of a mid-year complete overhaul of the business model to align with industry changes, Mirus Promotions now employs over 160 field workers in California.
Understanding the vital importance of the field team, Julie worked with her internal team to redevelop the recruiting, hiring and onboarding process for field workers to better align them with the company’s core values, company vision, and clients’ needs. The marketing department started The Mirus Insider — Field Worker Edition, a monthly newsletter issued to field workers to connect with them on a more personal level and highlight their successes, along with the company’s. In addition, "From the Heart" videos from Julie were provided to the field team on a monthly basis, instead of quarterly.
A couple new employee benefits were also inaugurated in 2018. Mirus Promotions started offering a partial tuition reimbursement program for employees to encourage its core values of lifelong learning and leadership. “Wellness Wednesdays” also debuted, to allow internal team members who are on call for events on the weekends to have one paid day off per month.
Employees continued to be honored for their work, with the Operations Coordinator beginning an awards program to recognize internal employees who go above and beyond and display one or more points of culture with other employees, clients, or the field team. These awards were presented at the fall company retreat, with specially designed photo frames, and team members were publicly celebrated — and they’ll take place each quarter to highlight employees’ efforts and display of core values.
The company continued to be recognized as an industry leader, with its signature Smarty Pints® program being featured in San Diego Magazine’s May 2018 beer issue and Brewbound’s digital newsletter, distributed to over 19,000 subscribers. Its unique merchandising program was offered in two new markets — Los Angeles (SoCal) and Seattle — and it acquired six new preferred or strategic partners, who trust in the company and refer business directly.
Julie is a great example of someone who’s found a way to have a healthy work-life balance — running a successful business while being a hands-on mom. While she’s certainly proud of the company's fiscal success, she’s equally honored to be providing jobs and opportunities for so many people and helping them grow as professionals, achieving the dreams they set for themselves.
Employer of the Year Summary
· Moved into first physical office space in San Diego, California
· Completed more than 6,000 field marketing activations nationwide in 2018
· Represented 127 brands at 1,766 venues in 39 states, selling close to 80,000 products
· Registered close to 6,000 global social giving impacts through its B1G1 partnership
· Completely redesigned marketing deck and tools
· Won a Gold Stevie Award for Great Employers and Bronze Stevie American Business Award — both in the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations sector
· Ranked #26 among the San Diego Business Journal’s top 100 fastest growing private companies
· Ranked #50 in the SB100 Small Business Excellence Awards
· Named Fastest Growing Company by the Business Excellence Forum and Awards
· Julie honored as a finalist for three prestigious awards: CEO of the Year by the Business Excellence Forum and Awards, San Diego Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO Awards, and San Diego Business Journal’s Women in Business Awards.