12 Days of FINE. Day 7: New Movers + Shakers

Posted in Insights — Dec 09, 2014

Meet some of FINE's movers and shakers who have more recently helped shape the company into what it is today.


**Sam LaRoe, Project Director, 5 years FINE![Sam](http://www.wearefine.com/mingle/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Sam.gif "")**

*Why did you decide to become FINE?
*
After a few years on the sales/client services side of the fence with a small development-focused agency, I was ready to be more deeply involved in the production of a site, rather than just handing off the SOW. That, and the first time I met Steve was at a roller derby bout. Or maybe, because the first time I met Kenn he drew me a picture of a snake eating an elephant.

What’s been a defining moment during your tenure?
There's been several. I still get excited the first time I see a working prototype of a site. Something about seeing the project go from static PSDs to a real website hasn't worn off for me. It's the defining moment of all the hard work we've put in to that point.

*To you, what characteristics make FINE what it is?
*
A desire to do great work and a willingness to invest the time to make that happen.

*How has it changed?
*
Growth! When I first started, I was one of only two project directors in a converted Victorian house in NW Portland. Now there's 7 of us, with a corresponding increase in the depth and breadth of our design and development departments.

*Anything to add?
*
That converted Victorian? Built around the turn of the century, it was freezing in the winter and roasting in the summer. Our new offices have stellar HVAC.


**Emily Griffith, Ambassador of Awesome, 4 years FINE![Em](http://www.wearefine.com/mingle/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Em.gif "")**

*Why did you decide to become FINE?
*
I was entranced by Kenn and Yonette the first time I was introduced. They are two hilarious and remarkable people with true joie de vive. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious. THEN I met the rest of the team a few weeks later. There was about 11 other folks...and everyone was warm, intelligent, and kooky. I felt welcome and at home. I couldn't imagine not becoming FINE after meeting them.

What’s been a defining moment during your tenure?
Ooooo. Man, I have a few: the first time I had the opportunity to draw up my job description as part of my role evolution was pretty amazing. I really did draw it - with crayons. The next was when I was asked to build a budget for my department that I would control and spend. I was like - what?! I get to come up with a budget - propose my own projects - and then make those happen? Why yes - I would LOVE to do this. What fun! It was empowering and exciting. And the third would have to be a little hot pink Post-it Kenn left on my desk one crazy busy day reading, "Thank you for saving my life." It's still on my desk. It's one of those little things that mean a lot.

** To you, what characteristics make FINE what it is?
**High expectations, optimism, and trust.

We’ve grown but those characteristics are still here every day. We expect excellence from each other but we are also excellent TO each other. I think the balance keeps us motivated and happy to come in every day.


Stephanie Muse, Project Director, 4 years FINEStephanie

*Why did you decide to become FINE?
*
I was looking for an agency with a solid, fun client list (what's not to love about wine?!) that works hard enough to win awards, but also has a blast while they're doing it. I accidentally stumbled upon the job posting on LinkedIn, and came in for an interview not really knowing what to expect. After sitting in a room with Lori and Kenn for an hour, I felt like I'd just made 2 friends. Getting to know them through the hiring process before I even started, I knew I was making the right decision to become FINE.

*What’s been a defining moment during your tenure?
*
The defining moment for me was when Lori went on maternity leave in 2013 and completely handed me the keys to our largest client, and told me to run the show. After some initial panic, there was a lot of, "Holy crap, I'm doing this! This is awesome!" and now I get to work with literally the COOLEST client every day. Matt Luis rocks my world. I definitely won the client lottery!

To you, what characteristics make FINE what it is?
I work with some of the most talented individuals. I mean, people blow my mind all the time - in an awesome way. But honestly, I have to give mad props to the Brothers Fine. Without them - their crazy personalities, drive, creative genius, and mad love for us all - this place wouldn't be half of what it is.

How has it changed?
It's changed a LOT since I started. The scope and scale of the projects, the super snazzy PDX office - it's all changed. But the overall vision has stayed the same: kick ass and be nice.

*Anything to add?
*
Time flies when you're having fun.


Bev Kelly, Team Playah, 3 years FINEBev

*How did you get folded into FINE?
*
Slept with the boss (Mr. Josh Kelly)

*What’s been a defining moment during your time?
*
When Allyson asked me to answer this questionnaire and said I'm one of the most important members of the staff.

To you, what characteristics make FINE what it is?
*
Everyone has character. No, scratch that. Everyone *is
a character. Besides the amazing work we produce, we can bread, we can pie, we can 'stache, we can ping AND pong...endless talent here.

*Anything to add?
*
I remember stopping by FINE's very first office and Kenn showed me this new thing called the World Wide Web on his Macintosh.

More Insights