Employee Spotlight – Bill

Bill Ervin
Principal and Creative Director

Omaha, Nebraska

How did you get into the marketing business?
My dad was an art director and creative director at an agency here in Omaha. He used to bring some of his work home to show to us and I thought that he had the coolest job in the world. Other family members followed in his footsteps too. 

What’s the favorite/toughest part of your job?
My favorite part is working with our team and clients to invent, or revitalize their brands. It’s such a rewarding process to see how the messaging and visuals play out in the market and to see positive reactions from the public.

The toughest is keeping up with my inbox! Seriously. It’s out of hand and belongs in some kind of record book for most messages. 

What was your first job?
Bath House attendant at Peony Park’s pool. Later became a lifeguard. If you don’t know Peony Park, look it up. It was an amusement park in Omaha with a very unique zero entry, cement bottom pool, a sandy beach and was fed by an artesian well. Our seasons started off by loading fresh sand on the beach (I got to drive the tractor) and patching cement on the empty pool floor. I found an old receipt from the cement/sand contractor the other day for a delivery of 31,300 (pounds?) of plaster sand. Not the usual lifeguard experience.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’m a perfectionist, but I learned (from someone) that perfection can get in the way of getting really good work done. Something I always need to remind myself of.

Tell us about your family.
I’m in the middle of a pack of 6 brothers and 3 sisters. We were blessed to have grown up in the Elmwood and Dundee areas with lots of beautiful old homes, trees and parks. My dad worked at Bozell for over 40 years. My mom worked at the phone company and then raised the clan and now has something like 36 grandkids and around 12 great grandkids (and counting). Holidays together are cozy.

My wife, Diane loves crafting and home decor and is an amazing mom to our three kids (now adults). Cody does corporate multimedia for a living and is an avid storm chaser, nature photographer and weather guru. Laura currently lives in Denver, works remotely as an UI/UX designer, and she loves to travel. Hope is a cosmetologist and lives the downtown lifestyle. She’s moving into a cool historic building that used to house the original Barnhart Press where I spent many-a-night doing press checks. I wonder if her room will smell of ink and perfectionist art directors.

What’s something you would like to accomplish?
Learn to play guitar. Like Mark Knopfler. Or the guy in Black Keys.

What’s something no one knows about you?
I collect typewriter ribbon tins. The illustrations, colors, graphics and typography are so varied and cool.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Going on walks with Diane. Been watching lots of streaming shows with her as well. There are too many good shows out there not to miss. And listening to music has become an adventure now that we can get about anything. I do enjoy discovering new artists, but I am really enjoying discovering old artists and genres that I’d missed out on back in the day when I couldn’t afford to buy tons of analog music. 

What are your pet peeves?
Food-related stickiness. Sticky floors. Sticky hands. Yuck.

And what’s the deal with coconut? How can anyone like that vile fruit. It’s not even a nut.

Sticky coconut residue? Don’t get me started.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Colorado, in the mountains. So far…

Maui was pretty amazing too.

What’s your favorite movie/book/TV show?
In the last couple weeks – Jury Duty. Hilarious.

Older Classics: 2001 A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Twin Peaks, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Stop Making Sense, Powaqqatsi, Alien.

For books, I love the Hitchhiker’s Guide series.

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