‘Stay patient, stay humble.’ – D.J. Allen

My first official graphic request for the purposes of marketing came from D.J. Allen 13 years ago when he worked as marketing director for HBC Publications. I’d worked for them as a freelance editorial cartoonist, so they gave me a shot at doing a graphic depicting a man leaping over a huge pile of pennies to reach a dollar bill. It was a telling graphic now that I look back on it.

D.J. left that position to start this experiment he called Imagine Marketing. I was lucky enough to be the first person he asked to join him on this journey. In those early years, Imagine Marketing made its name by being a quality-conscious boutique marketing firm that understood the value of hard work and humility. We focused on those pennies, maximized them and always gave our best. We were committed to doing things a bit differently because we wanted to build something we could be proud of. Our strategy was based on long-term thinking instead of short-term gain. D.J. set the standards early on; those standards guided this company and, along with the commitment of a loyal and talented team, we’ve been able to grow into the respected firm we are today.

My professional relationship and personal friendship with D.J. are both very important to me. His belief in me showed me that you can’t just tell people you trust them and believe in their talent. You also need to prove it to them. This requires more courage and commitment than you might think. But the proof is in the results. Time and time again, we have found that if you identify talent and create an environment that respects them and trusts them, it will yield results.

D.J. taught me to always remember to trust the capability of good people. Identify their talents and strengths – especially those that are not teachable – and strive to fill in the rest with strong work ethic and impeccable credibility. This philosophy has built the amazing team of people that inhabit our offices today.

Now that Imagine Communications has officially purchased D.J.’s shares in the firm and our professional association has come to a close, our company will always endeavor to stay focused on the foundation he put into place. D.J.’s drive and passion is mirrored in every person employed by Imagine. And we will to continue those standards as we go forward, grow and IMAGINE the possibilities.

Alex Raffi is the senior partner and creative director at Imagine Communications.

Contact Alex at araffi@weareimagine.com.

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