Pioneering The Chicago Market

Ty Bartholomew
June 30, 2020

This year, fjorge officially put boots on the ground in Chicago. Ty Bartholomew joined our team as our Chicago-based Director of Account Services. He has taken the charge with pioneering the Chicago Market. We asked him to write about his experiences below:

Meet Ty:

My name is Ty Bartholomew. My job is to oversee our existing partnerships with Illinois agencies. I’m responsible for building new client relationships. I have been with fjorge since January of 2020. 

I grew up in a small town in Southeastern Iowa and graduated with 54 others in my senior year of high school. After completing my undergrad at Bradley University in Peoria, IL, I moved to New York. I lived there for 4.5 years before moving to Chicago. Currently, I am living in the West Loop with my wife, Molly, and my dog, Douglas. 

Finding the Perfect Fit:

Most of my career has been in Software Development, Resiliency, and Emerging Technologies on the marketing side. Therefore, I am able to understand the strains certain projects put on digital agencies. Additionally, I am aware of the crunch it takes to get those projects done when capacity is an issue or certain capabilities aren’t second nature. My experience with technology, working with digital/creative agencies, and marketing gives me a very unique perspective. It ended up being one that fit very well with fjorge. 

It’s Okay to be the “New Guy”:

I knew coming into this role would have some challenges. One is that it was one of the two full-time remote roles (pre-COVID) at fjorge. Going into it, I knew everyone else I would be working with one a daily basis went to the same office and maintained a strong in-person culture. Being the “new guy” was also a bit scary. However, I quickly realized I had nothing to worry about. I felt included from the start and everyone was eager to help me get my feet under me and hit the ground running. 

Learning on the Job:

So far, I’ve learned that it’s important to drive home the fact that we AREN’T trying to replace people. Whether that be departments, freelancers/contractors, etc.- we are trying to work alongside them. We want to provide them with our end-to-end solutions, or a deeper bench to win those larger projects or keep a difficult one from falling off the rails. It is really rewarding to have them understand that we are there to build a relationship and produce something great. 

Feet On The Ground:

My favorite part of being Chicago-based is providing our Chicago-partners with the attention they need face-to-face. In the past, I’ve worked with technology partners who sit back with a transactional mentality. At fjorge, we have a different, more collaborative mentality, encompassed by their slogan: “Let’s build something great together.” I get to form more genuine relationships and get to know a lot of great teams both internal and external. I enjoy being able to meet with people directly to discuss ideas or brainstorm ways to elevate a project from OK to amazing! 

We are excited about growing our Chicago team in the future and get more boots on the ground to join Ty and our Solutions Designer, Brian. Our team loves meeting new folks in Chicago. If you have any advice, insight, or just wanna chat with our Windy City team, please reach out to ty.bartholomew@fjorgedigital.com.

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