The Three Legs On Our Stool: Clients who invested early and made us who we are today.
Sometimes it’s important to stop and say thanks.
The past four years have been quite a ride. Although we began our transition from traditional publishing to digital marketing in 2012, we had our first call with Jordan Benjamin, an account representative at HubSpot, in October 2014. We were contemplating an agency partner relationship with HubSpot but weren’t quite ready to commit. After several calls putting him through the wringer I recall Jordan asking, “are all New York agencies this cynical?” or something to that effect. Yes, Jordan. We are.
Months later we signed on the dotted line and began a remarkable journey as a HubSpot partner agency, which was the single most important and transformational decision our company has ever made. Yet, no matter how great the platform, nothing matters if you don’t have clients on it. Thus, the purpose of this haiku.
This is a small thank you to our first three HubSpot clients who bet early on our ability to leverage this powerful tool. They’ve doubled down with us several times since and today we are virtually inseparable.
Tara Traina worked for our organization when she was fresh out of college. Now she is a wonderful wife, mother and leader of InteleTravel, an international online travel firm that has thousands of agents throughout the world. When Tara took the reins as marketing director for InteleTravel she took a gamble on our team to help her company grow its digital marketing assets. To a degree, she was returning the favor for employing her early in her career, but this was more than a “thank you” for an entry level job. InteleTravel was poised to explode and we were tasked with guiding this transition online.
InteleTravel is the kind of company that could’ve succumb to the pressures of an evolving industry. They were a market leader in travel for decades, and enjoyed a phenomenal reputation in the destination and hospitality arena. But instead of going the way of so many of its competitors when online travel booking disrupted the travel agent industry, InteleTravel continued to innovate and established a robust online model that has transformed their company into an Internet behemoth.
Not only has their growth been astounding but they have been patient and excellent partners along the way. The real sign of love between us is how unmercifully Tara still mocks each and every one of us. Most people would blush if they heard our conversations, but it’s the kind of dialogue that can only be heard in a deep and abiding friendship that transcends our work relationship.
Danny Pisani was a senior lending officer at Contour Mortgage Company when we first met. Contour had been around for decades but was a lean operation when our paths first crossed. This was post-financial crisis and several mortgage companies had been swallowed up or pushed out of the market. Contour’s owner, Richard Pregiato, survived the difficult years by continuing to do things the right way, thus avoiding the regulatory issues that plagued so many of their competitors. Our offices were in the same building in Garden City, NY at the time and Danny recognized our COO Beverly Fortune from local networking events. It was Danny who first suggested we meet to discuss working together, and he championed our relationship at every step.
Contour grew quickly but carefully in those days. Danny’s spirit was indefatigable. We held monthly status meetings in their conference room, which became increasingly difficult to book because there seemed to always be a home closing in progress. Then along came Arthur Most. Though his title is CFO, Arthur is more than just the “numbers” guy. A lot more. Arthur wrapped his arms around the organization and immediately began developing processes and protocols to facilitate company growth while maintaining their commitment to personal service.
In the early stages of our relationship we worked closely with a couple of key people, such as Jenny Neilsen and Brian Burger. They were instrumental in coordinating a winning strategy and we still work closely with them today. They have added serious marketing talent on their end for us to work with, such as Mary McPhail, Tiffany Chapman and Kenny Vasquez, each of whom brings depth, knowledge and the same enthusiasm for the Contour brand that Danny demonstrated on Day One. Since our initial meeting, Contour’s maturation turned into hyper growth with Arthur adding infrastructure every step of the way. Today, Contour has branches all over the country and has grown its workforce 5X since we first started with them.
MPX is a talent acquisition machine. As one of the fastest-growing merchant processing companies in the country, MPX has proven the adage that positive growth comes by hiring great people. When we first sat down with the leadership team, they were very specific that our job was to help them recruit great talent and build internal systems that enhanced employee productivity. Normally new clients are extremely focused on lead acquisition but MPX is built on the core belief that business comes when you employ the best people in the industry.
Their strategy paid off. Working for them has taught our organization a lot along the way. MPX’s growth has been nothing short of explosive and yet they still maintain a fun, energetic and positive culture that is palpable the moment you walk through the door of their newly renovated headquarters in Melville, NY. This office is the home base of MPX’s national operation, which includes satellite teams that operate with remarkable efficiency. As for our relationship, today our companies are wholly symbiotic. We communicate with MPX team members on a daily basis. As a result, an abiding friendship has developed between our team and the Long Island leaders of MPX.
Once again it was Beverly Fortune who introduced us to the MPX team and gave us the opportunity to represent their brand. Joe Doyle, one of the MPX partners, reached out to Beverly and suggested we work together. By the way, everyone needs a Joe Doyle in his/her life, but there’s probably room for only one. Joe is positivity personified, and there is no one in the world more passionate about merchant processing. Yes, that’s a bold claim, but if you meet him you’ll agree. We’re forever grateful to Joe for introducing us to MPX founder Chris Briller and co-owner and General Counsel Sean O’Neill. More than being incredible clients with great vision and enthusiasm, they’ve become friends for life.
Sadly, we let our bravado get the best of us during a meeting last year and we challenged MPX to a duel on the bowling lanes. That didn’t turn out all that well for Team Morey but we’ve made some adjustments this year and are confident we’ll be triumphant in a rematch. Most companies would think it’s poor form to beat their clients at anything but when we enter the building at Syosset Bowling, all bets are off and friendship is suspended.
So on behalf of the entire Morey team, we would just like to say thanks. You gave us a shot, stuck with us and taught us so much these past few years. We can honestly say we couldn’t have done it without you.