If Wendt were a person, most of our team would be considered the muscles that make our agency nimble — while our Production Manager, Haley Thomas, could be likened to the necessary frame that creates structure and gives us form. A master orchestrator, Haley artfully navigates our projects through our internal systems with detailed precision. She is a clear innovator who goes the extra mile for clients and coworkers. And she is a sincere collaborator who makes it her priority to be helpful to others in every way possible. We recently chatted with Haley about her processes, why poor grammar can make or break customer relationships, and her passion for the oxford comma. Read on as she shares her insights into production management and proofreading.
Who is Haley?
“Depends on who you ask! I am a wife, dog-mom, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. From a more technical standpoint, Myers-Briggs calls me an ISFJ, which has been likened to the golden retriever of the human world – I’m loyal, dependable, a defender, like seeing people happy, am pleasant in demeanor, and have a great head of golden hair. In all seriousness, I have an innate desire to help others. That is at my very core. This “help” isn’t just about making someone happy – it’s about the desire to encourage others in their paths of doing better, feeling better, wanting better.”
You have a complex job; will you explain it to us?
“From a project’s start to its finish, I follow its progression throughout the agency, tracking it on our traffic sheet for all team members, and making adjustments/shifts as required to make sure that all client projects are completed on time. I have helped with the development of workflow processes and offer team members assistance with managing their time and workload. I also have proofreading/editing responsibilities and lay my eyes on every piece developed to ensure things are spelled correctly, grammatical rules are followed, and client-provided preferences are adhered to (do they use the oxford comma, what are their brand standards).”
I LOVE to help people, and one way that I do that is by being a problem solver – someone who has a genuine passion for looking at equations and finding all the ways they can be solved. We’re “building” so many things at one time – multiple projects, needing the same attention and care throughout all phases of development. A lot of what I do may be “behind-the-scenes”, but at the forefront of my mind is always, “Is this helping my team? Is this helping the agency? Is this helping our clients?”
You recently completed an in-depth management training; please tell us what that was about.
“I completed Second Wind’s Agency Operations Manager certification training. What this training provided was a dive into agency life, each aspect of it, and how all departments work/fit together. I took the course to learn how I can continue to grow in this role and how what I do affects those around me. It is important for the agency and our clients to be growing – digging in to find improvements to already very solid processes, listening to the voices of other production managers to glean from them any nugget of wisdom.”
A part of what you also do for Wendt is proofreading; why is proofreading important?
“In my opinion, proofreading is a critical component of the success of our clients – their brands, their companies, their messages. Stumbling upon typos, grammatical mistakes, oddities in graphics – any “flaw” not found is an opportunity for a shadow of doubt to be cast over a potential customer. And there is a genuine risk the customer will turn around and walk away. They’ll miss what it is that we’re hoping to convey, critical messaging, or an opportunity to experience something great.”
Are you a fan of Seth Godin’s newsletter? In one of his latest emails, he discusses the Oxford comma trap. Where do you land on this topic?
“HUGE fan of the Seth Godin newsletter! Also, HUGE fan of the Oxford comma. I recognize I’m not in the norm – I distinctly remember when the rules surrounding the Oxford comma changed and being thankful that I was a “grown-up” and I could still get away with using it. It’s a comfort thing – along with double spacing after periods.”
Congratulations! You recently became a shareholder at Wendt. What does that mean and what do you hope to accomplish?
“I am super passionate about the work that I get to do for The Wendt Agency, the agency itself, and all the people who work here. I am 100%, all in, all the time. Becoming a shareholder takes this passion to the next level. I believe in our team, I believe in our clients, and I believe that we will continue to grow, evolve, adapt, and create masterpieces together for many years to come. I am honored to be a part of The Wendt Agency, and becoming a shareholder is an outward expression of that. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity, and my hope is to continue to do everything I can to help this team keep moving forward.”