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When people who have known me for awhile ask me what I’m up to these days, and I tell them I’m driving marketing for an art and design firm, I’m often met with some confused looks accompanied by the requisite “Oh, that sounds cool…”. Why the perplexed responses? Because I’m a tech kid at heart. My entire career up to this point has been working for technology companies ranging from start-ups (mostly) to (most recently) a global corporation that a couple of years ago was acquired as part of the largest tech acquisition in history (at that point, at least). The industries themselves have varied wildly from music technology, to digital and mobile marketing platforms, to Enterprise storage solutions and cloud technology. All together, an art and design firm like Great American can seem like an incredibly odd gear shift into an industry that at first blush seems well outside my wheelhouse. Dig a little deeper though (but not too deep, because development being what development is) and it’s less ‘odd’ and more ‘Oh, that is cool…!’. For decades, Great American has been delivering design-as-a-service along with turn-key art solutions to organizations of all shapes and sizes across healthcare, senior living, corporate, government, and more. Thanks to our vertical integration we’re not only really good at it, but our ability to deliver projects on time and on budget is exceptional. You’d imagine that most companies would be feeling pretty good about themselves and stay the course. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, after all. Don’t rock any boats. Don’t make waves. But that’s just not Great American. When I came on, Great American was on the cusp of an incredibly exciting next-step in its evolution. It’s why we ‘clicked’. In spite of being in business for nearly 40 years, Anne Strickland (Great American’s CEO) had a vision for the company’s future that was built on technological development, design innovation, product development, and industry disruption. It was a bold, ambitious vision that would demand fundamental transformations, rapid iteration, and a ton of energy, ideas, and collaboration. For all intents and purposes, Anne wanted to steer Great American – a 40+ year old company – into start-up mode, but to do so in a way that allowed the company to build and expand on its decades of learning and success rather than wiping the slate clean and starting over. Who could say no to that? Plus, art! Art is awesome. It just is. As awesome as utilizing art to help positively impact peoples’ lives. This first blog post is being published in tandem with the launch of our brand new website, and our new art catalog search platform (more on that in my next post). Together they offer a first glimpse into where we’re going as a company, and where we want to take the partners and clients that we work with. If you’ve worked with Great American already? Strap in. It’s going to be an incredible ride. We think you’re going to love it. If you’re new to Great American? Fantastic! Hello! It’s great to meet you. That’s most of us in the photo. We are thrilled you’re here. We can’t wait to show you what we can do. Questions, comments, thoughts? Share ’em below, or feel free to drop me an email directly. Yours in great experience building, Ted tedATgreatamericanart.com