Hart names Phipps executive creative directorWritten by Sanya Ali | | firstname.lastname@example.org
An executive creative director at an advertising company as far-reaching as Hart must possess a mix of passion, creativity and leadership.
Randy Phipps said he fills all those criteria. The former senior art director for the company took over the creative director slot June 2.
“It’s coming home, but, at the same time, it’s a fresh start,” Phipps said.
President and CEO Mike Hart said he is glad to have Phipps back at the company.
“We’ve followed Randy’s career and are pleased to have him back to lead our creative team,” Hart said in a news release. “Long ago, I learned that beneath Randy’s easygoing nature is a talented dynamo.”
Phipps grew up in Butler, Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburgh. His mother was an artist, and her creative inclination inspired him to pursue an artistic career.
“She did it because she was passionate about it and she passed that passion on to me,” Phipps said. “Ever since I was young, I did a lot of drawing, a lot of creative thinking. It naturally kind of fell into place for me when I got to college.”
Phipps attended Kent State University, where he majored in visual communication design. He found his calling when he joined Hart as a young businessman.
“There’s a competitive nature to who I am, so that fits well into the advertising world,” Phipps said.
From 1998-2006, Phipps worked at Hart as senior art director.
“It was a little more hands-on, the day-to-day of creating designs and messages (compared to his new role),” Phipps said.
In 2006, Phipps decided to transfer to Toledo-based brand agency NORTH, which sent him across the globe for assignments.
“Pretty much, you can put a dot on a map and I’ve been there,” Hart said. “There was a lot of world travel. That was intriguing.”
During his time abroad, Phipps worked on material and communications for the Sochi Olympic Games, the Australian Open and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Once he had explored the world, he decided he needed a change of pace.
“I was ready to move past that and move into a stronger role,” Phipps said. “The travel was exciting, but, once I fed that need, it was nice to be back. I can focus on doing great work and being with family.”
As executive creative director, Phipps has broader control and an overseer role.
Phipps’ goal at Hart is simple: Bring out the best in the company.
“It’s really to bring the creativity to a higher level and bring a little bit of international feel and flavor that I’ve gained through my previous job to Hart,” Phipps said. “It’s not a whole lot more difficult than that, elevating the level of work.”
Phipps said he sees a few challenges ahead of him.
He said Hart has one of the largest teams and one of the largest client bases in Northwest Ohio.
“Being on top of design, marketing and messaging trends across a vast number of clientele is probably the biggest challenge,” Phipps said.
Phipps said his positions at Hart have been ideal, because the company offered him the opportunity to do what he loves and meet quality people.
“Being in a great town where I can raise my family but at the same time do tremendous work and work with tremendous people, this would be my dream job,” Phipps said.
Phipps’ family includes his wife and son, who he said were very excited about the career move.
“They were glad that I came back,” Phipps said. “They know a lot of people here and we’ve made a lot of connections with people here at Hart over the years.”
Phipps prides himself on both his work and his ability to maintain healthy social relationships outside of the workplace.
“There’s a sense of professionalism that comes with being in the position that I’m in,” Phipps said. “To be able to be in this position and to maintain a good working relationship and friendships is what I’m most proud of. My job is what I do, but it doesn’t define who I am. The friendships I have built, that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Phipps said young professionals should consider all ideas before deciding to act in professional situations.
“Always keep an open mind,” Phipps said. “Great ideas can come from anyone, anywhere at any time. To have an open mind and always listen before you speak, that would be one of the best pieces of advice.”
Phipps said he is grateful Hart gave him such a warm welcome.
“I missed being here after I had left,” Phipps said. “Even though I had some great experiences and great professional times and I grew in those times, I always had a longing to go back.”