“People say I was made for this
Nothin’ else would I trade for this
And just think I get paid for this…”

–Bobby Darin, The Curtain Falls

Tonight, AKHIA will be recognized, along with 99 other companies, as a 2014 Weatherhead 100 company. It’s our first time being recognized, and I couldn’t be more excited because it stands for everything I already know AKHIA represents. It validates that yes, we are growing and yes, we are trying to do it the right way – by staying true to who we are.

Our CEO and founder, Jan Gusich, always says, “Take care of the client. The rest will take care of itself.” I remain in awe of the simplicity of that statement. I’ve also been impressed with its accuracy. It hasn’t failed us yet as we were founded on and continue to stay dedicated to one thing: Service.

Of course, service means many things to many people. And that’s been the fun part as we’ve learned to appreciate that service, like leadership, takes many different forms. For us, it’s never been about growth itself. It’s about what growth means for our clients. We want them to see us changing and evolving in the sense that we’re bringing more opportunities to them – more ways to support their business and more ways to help them grow.

As we’ve grown, we have worked hard to bring on people who are selfless and realize at the end of the day, it’s not about them. Their reputation. Their ego. Their resumé. It’s about what the client needs – sometimes, before they even know they need it.

I love what I do. I love this profession. I love marketing and working at an agency. For me, it’s never been a job as much as it’s been a way of life. But I never realized what could be accomplished when you have an entire company of people who think the same exact way. And that might be the most humbling part of the last year – seeing how far people are willing to go to take care of our clients, protect them and serve them no matter what. (And always have each other’s backs in the process.)

I have never said ‘thank you’ more than I have in 2014. Because to succeed and grow, it really has nothing to do with the individual but everything to do with the individuals. So on behalf of everyone at AKHIA, thank you. Thank you to our clients, to our partners and to everyone who has supported us. We are extremely grateful for the opportunities you’ve given us and allowed us to be a part of.

Now… back to work. Only 27 more days until 2015.