When AKHIA was founded in 1996, it had one guiding principle: Serve the client beyond their expectations. That simple vision has helped us grow from two to 62 employees— and enabled us to work with some of the biggest brands and best people in the industry.

On our anniversary this year, we issued our first Vision Awards to five employees who embody this “client-first” business model. It was difficult to choose because every employee lives the AKHIA service model, but I think our employees did a great job nominating and awarding the following individuals:

Matt Rumer
Matt Rumer, UX Lead/Senior Art Director
With an eye on all things digital, Matt delivers incredible user experiences based on listening, collaboration and respect for everyone’s ideas. His sense of TEAM and his genuine humility are demonstrated daily as he provides insight and strategic thinking to deliver really bright ideas. Matt is passionate about user experiences and will go to any length to ensure and deliver positive client experiences as well.

Beth Wladyka
Beth Wladyka, Account Executive
Beth might be the most unsung team player at AKHIA, supported by the sheer number of nominations she received. Working (and working and working) always with a quiet confidence and thoughtful approach, Beth is a can-do, go-to team member operating at the speed of AKHIA with the calmest of calm demeanors, a smile and an “I’m on it, I’ve got it, not-to-worry” attitude and approach.

Mady Etzel
Madalyn Etzel, Assistant Account Executive
Mady has gained the respect of peers, team members and agency leaders by demonstrating a sincere caring about her clients. She listens, provides feedback and is highly collaborative. Moreover, she volunteers repeatedly to manage all the little details no one else will commit to—even when that means long hours and weekend work. She is the personification of the AKHIA service model and is well appreciated by clients and internal teams alike.

Celeste Conklin
Celeste Conklin, Account Director
Celeste is a conscientious, roll-up-the-sleeves kind of hard worker who leads her teams through a multitude of daily client challenges. Celeste isn’t afraid to step outside the comfort zone to deliver solutions—all the while diving in, navigating around, thinking through, understanding and presenting some of the most complex subject matter we encounter with our clients. Her solutions-forward thinking and her can-do attitude earn her the utmost respect from clients and teams and we appreciate everything she does.

Finally, we created a special Vision Award for that one individual who truly stands out. The Founder’s Award went to:

Meredith Cordray
Meredith Cordray, Workflow Logistics Manager
Meredith has one of the most difficult jobs in the agency. She works with virtually everyone to make sure deliverables run through the agency without process hiccups. She is always working to find solutions to move forward, not dwelling on what might have gone wrong, and she fully lives the service model on which I founded this agency. Meredith, like the eye of a hurricane, is always calm. It cannot be understated how important it is to have a rudder on this boat named AKHIA that is running full speed ahead. She is always willing to find a workable solution—she never says no—and in this way, in particular, is the personification of AKHIA’s service model.

I am inordinately proud of these individuals—and all AKHIA employees. They truly believe in the values upon which this agency was established, and they give 100% of themselves toward those values each and every day.