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Grill the Arsonist: Jamie
July 13, 2017 | Abby Wadeson

Jamie McFadden, Mindfire communications

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve grilled one of our Arsonists! This time, we’ve got Jamie, our Interactive Arsonist, in the hot seat. Jamie began her career as a media planner, but quickly fell in love with the web development world. Jamie tells us about her favorite MindFire memory and what it’s like working with her husband, Erik Meade, Brand Arsonist and Co-Founder. Think she can take the heat? Read on and find out…

You’re the Interactive Arsonist. Can you tell us exactly what it is you do? (Because sometimes it sounds like you’re speaking another language!)

I’m involved with all things interactive when it comes to our clients at MindFire. This includes website development, automated lead generation, email marketing, analytics, etc.

If you had to sum up the web development process in five words, what would those five words be?

Strategy. Planning. Project Management (this counts as one word). User Experience Design. Programming.

How did you end up in your line of work?

When I started at my first agency, I was a media planner. As a media planner, I focused on how individuals consumed media and developed strategic media plans to connect with consumers using various mediums effectively and as efficiently as possible. As the web began to gain more prominence in how people were consuming information, it was a natural transition to move to the web.

At the time, the ad agency I was working for wanted to offer web development as an agency service. I was asked to help develop and build their interactive department. The web was new and it was the Wild West when it came to development and there wasn’t a “set” way of doing things. Together, with another project manager, I developed a step-by-step process for web development. I have spent the last 15 years refining that process for our clients. Most web projects span months and involve numerous people. The key to success is strategy, planning and lots of project management.

Let’s imagine you stumble across a time machine after you leave work one day. What time period would you visit and why?

I would actually go back in time. I’m a history buff and love to imagine what it was like in the in the early 1800s, particular along the East Coast. I love historical architecture. Charleston and Savannah are two of my favorite areas.

If we were to sneak into your house and look at your “Continue Watching” feature on Netflix, what would we find? I promise we won’t sneak into your house; that’s creepy.

You would find the most random assortment of shows including West World (HBO), Designated Survivor (ABC), Survivor (CBS) and The Detour (TBS.)

What was Jamie like as a kid?

I am a middle child with two crazy sisters. I was a serious tomboy - I loved my Big Wheel and always wanted a Green Machine. I grew up with a huge extended family, spending summers on my grandparent’s farm.

You’re married to Erik Meade, MindFire Brand Arsonist and Co-Founder. What is it like working with your husband?

I joke and tell everyone we are married in dog years, since we spend so much time together. The truth is that we’ve worked together for so long now – almost 20 years – that I can’t imagine not working together. The agency life can be a little hectic and sometimes downright crazy, so we can relate and understand each other’s work demands. The downside can be talking about work 24/7, but we make a conscious effort not to.

Tell us about a brand you find inspiring.

Disney. I love the Disney brand. I joke that when I retire I’m going to work for Disney. Every brand experience I have had with Disney amazes me (including Disney World and seeing Disney’s Aladdin production on Broadway).

Erik and I tell a story about riding the train around Magic Kingdom at Disney World and in the middle of the woods, there were service people working on the property. As our train passed, they all put down their shovels and all the workers waved to everyone on the train. We probably pay more attention than most to these subtle touchpoints. Regardless, we were amazed.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a shot at winning the gold for?

Transporting my kids where they need to be and getting them there on time! I swear my second job is a bus driver.

Share your favorite MindFire memory.

MindFire started out down the street from our current location in a super small building that is now the Le Claire Popcorn shop. We then moved to our second location, a bigger building across the street where the Le Claire Olive Oil Company is currently located. Our third move was to our current location – 126 S Cody Rd. When we moved into our first location, we sat on the floor with our kids and ate McDonald’s. It became a tradition with each subsequent move. We have eaten McDonald’s on the floor of each new MindFire location to celebrate the success. To this day, our kids talk about those memories. They have been a part of the birth and the growth of MindFire.

Your house is on fire! Quick, you only have time to grab one thing. What is it?

My family (which includes my dog). Nothing else matters.

What would we find you drinking during Happy Hour?

Something with vodka (of course).

Visit our team page to meet the rest of the Arsonists!

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