Lance Peroutka
Principal / Agency Director
Lance Peroutka Principal / Agency Director
What do you think is one of the most undervalued professions right now?

Hot wings delivery guy. Soooo valuable. Where do they even come from?

Would you rather be the guy in a movie who gets the girl or the bad guy with all the good lines?

Acting is not my strength. But, when I do, I prefer to be the bad boy!

Most absurd thing you believed as a child

I'm not saying my friends and I actually tried to beam anyone up, but we researched what it would take.

Worst date memory

Forgetting my wallet. It was like Fast Times At Ridgemont High, but worse (I was wearing a corduroy suit.)

Aldis Strazdins
Principal / Creative Director
Aldis Strazdins Principal / Creative Director
One sentence to sum up your life ... go!

I learned Latvian from my parents, English from a television, rolled a wagon over a Saint Bernard's broken leg, got bit by a Saint Bernard, stopped eating meat, was called "boisterous" by an arresting officer, drew a comic strip featuring a monkey named "Mook," started eating meat, bought a cool metal detector, spent $23,000 at a single pub, bought a 10-acre farm for no real reason, got some alpacas, went on a bigfoot expedition, stopped eating meat, tore my Achilles, rebuilt a 1973 BMW toaster motorbike, and was asked to sum up my life, in that order.

TV show loved as a child but now look back and think, "WTF?!"

Sid and Marty Krofft shows. Land of the Lost was the most ridiculous, but my favorite was H.R. Pufnstuf because it didn't try to be serious.

Nikki Peroutka
Director of Account Services
Nikki Peroutka Director of Account Services
What's something most people don't know about you?

I'm 6'7" with the afro.

What's your favorite outdoor activity?

Shark fishing. Unfortunately, I don't often do it here in Wisconsin.

What is one of the strangest things you've ever done?

I ate sheep tongue soup in the Bahamas.

What is the most absurd thing you believed as a child?

That I could scrub off my freckles with a washcloth

What is your favorite lunchmeat?

Venison sausage (served with lettuce, Miracle Whip, and fresh white bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth ... mmmm).

Derek Blaszak
Director of Digital Marketing
Derek Blaszak Director of Digital Marketing
If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn?

Not exactly a random skill, but I would really like to be more mechanically inclined. Incredibly awesome ninja skills are cool but not as practical.

On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are?

I consider myself a 7 on the funny scale. My wife would probably rate me a 3. She doesn't see situational humor the same way I do. But, on the bright side, I now know never to make fun of anything to do with her getting ready to go out, driving, clothes, paint color selections, cleanliness, handwriting, decision making, friends and family, favorite movies, childhood, the newly acquainted "yooper" accent, wait ... she's not going to see this, is she?

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?

George Washington ... well, him or Jimmy Buffett. Wide spectrum, I know. If you would've asked me two years ago, I would have said the cast of Jersey Shore. I think I better just stop talking now.

Danielle Papineau
Account Executive
Danielle Papineau Account Executive
What was one of the best parties you've ever been to?

Danielleaplooza, a.k.a., my birthday. This week-long celebration involves laughter, shenanigans, and a few other surprises I am not at liberty to discuss due to national security.

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet?

Jane Austen. As a world-renowned literary master and a woman paving her own path, her advice would be better than the current method I use to gather feedback ... the unreliable fortune cookie.

Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best?

Being hit by a deer (yes, you read that right, hit by a deer) while driving my car. It was for the best because then I got a new car.

Do you like scary movies or happy endings?

I like scary movies with happy endings. I get the thrill of being terrified, but I'm not questioning whether or not the monster/serial killer/ghost is standing outside my door.

Tara Brzozowski
Director of Public Relations
Tara Brzozowski Director of Public Relations
What is your favorite pizza?

Margarita—brick oven style with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

What is your idea of heaven?

Speaking of food, heaven to me is a place where I could eat all of the delicious food I want and never gain a pound. Oh, and in heaven there’s no housework. And, no alarm clocks!

What is the funniest thing you've heard a child say?

My 1-year-old daughter is just starting to talk. Lately her favorite thing is to make animal sounds. At random moments she’ll look at you and yell, “Moo!” “Quack!” or “Baa!”

What TV show would you like to be trapped in for a week?

As a PR girl, it’ s got to be “Scandal.” I’d love to hang out with Olivia Pope for a week, go shopping, drink fine wine, and go behind the scenes at the White House.

Brad Schwei
Brad Schwei Sales
What’s the next planned event you’re looking forward to in your life?

Sesame Street On Ice. It seems unlikely that this new production could ever top Little Mermaid On Ice or Breaking Bad On Ice, but I'm still quite excited. Snuffaluffagus on skates? Inconceivable!

Reading or writing any good books lately?

I'm finishing up my three-part biography, "Club Sandwiches (Not Seals)." It's an epic tale about the year I spent living in Alaska, making sandwiches at a local deli.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

"Good Bye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John. My childhood obsession with The Wizard of Oz stretches well beyond music though, into pets (terrier), snacks (lollipops), flowers (poppy), footwear (slippers), and favorite animal (flying monkey).

What is your favorite dessert?

Scotch. Neat. Coincidentally, that's my favorite lunch and dinner. Oh, and breakfast.

Mike Tessmer
Art Director
Mike Tessmer Art Director
Do you love or hate roller coasters? Any tales to tell?

My relationship with roller coasters has been kind of up and down over the years.

What is your favorite month of the year?

March, because the weather is like a roller coaster.

Who is your favorite superhero?

Coaster-Man! (protector of fine table surfaces)

Worst date memory

Pulled into the girl's driveway and remembered that my car didn't have reverse. After nervously going to the door, meeting her dad, etc., we leave. I start the car, put it in neutral, leave the driver's door open, grab the front bumper and start to push. This is a big car, so it takes a bit of rocking. As I slowly push it down the drive, I look up and see her dad watching from the picture window, arms crossed, very unhappy. Great way to impress the old man.

Kevin Hamilton
Director of Technology
Kevin Hamilton Director of Technology
If someone were to make a movie about your life, who would you hope would play you?

I'm thinking Bill Hader. He's intelligent, really likable, kinda nerdy, and never takes himself too seriously. It would certainly take someone with his caliber of creativity to turn the story of my life into something people could actually sit through for 90 minutes.

If you were a criminal mastermind, what would be your criminal racket?

The legal term on my rap sheet would be something like "unauthorized access to computer networks." Yeah, that means "computer hacking."

What is the biggest obstacle preventing you from starting your own business?

Negotiating contracts+billing+finding new business+building relationships, etc. = Too many distractions taking time from doing what I love.

Eric Severstad
Copywriter / Asst. Creative Director
Eric Severstad Copywriter / Asst. Creative Director
What's the best prank you've ever pulled?

My friend and I call it the "Cemetery Prank." On a dark night, I drive my girlfriend to the cemetery and park the car. After a few uncomfortable minutes, my buddy, wearing a spooky mask and trench coat, sits up from a gravesite and walks toward the car. Obviously, much hilarity ensues, as well as looking for a new girlfriend.

What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

"Hot Rocks" double album by The Rolling Stones. The first of many vinyl purchases, and I still have the record. Paper route money well spent.

What's the most money you've ever given away?

A coworker and group of friends were hitting my favorite bar because it had a great offering of craft beers. Although I couldn't meet them out, I did buy the group of 12 their first round, which I had already pre-paid with the bartender earlier in the week.

Ann Behling
Director of Publications
Ann Behling Director of Publications
What traits in others are you attracted to?

Sense of humor, adventurousness, and loyalty. You'd think only a dog could have all three. But, I found the man who possesses the trifecta!

If you could have any pet in the world, illegal or not, what would you get?

A black jaguar. And, I would walk it everyday. Why? Because it's bad-ass, that's why.

When was the first time you saw the ocean?

1994 during Spring Break, Daytona Beach, Florida. I'm not at liberty to discuss any other events that transpired that week.

What's your favorite sound?

The sounds I hear walking through the woods up north on a breezy fall day.

If you could be given any gift, what would it be?

A singing voice. Ask me to sing, and you'll wish I had that gift, too.

Jeremy Hanson
Web Developer
Jeremy Hanson Web Developer
What kind of vacations do you like?

Ones without a schedule. It's not a vacation if you don't relax.

Have you ever needed stitches?

Not that I can remember. I had to get staples in my head once after a collision with a bed post. I must have been about 10 years old.

What's your least favorite mode of transportation?

Motorcycle. But, it's been awhile since I had one.

What is your favorite cereal?

Captain Crunch ... because pirates eat it, too.

What music do you and your father have in common?

None. Is that even possible? Who makes these questions?

Ryan Hebl
Web Developer
Ryan Hebl Web Developer
Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

Growing a beard is not only a way to camouflage yourself better in the woods, scare small children, and keep food scraps for later. It's also a competition of which I'm the reigning champion 3 years running.

What's the stupidest thing you've ever done?

Skipping the details to protect the names of the families and fellow accomplices, let's just say that the age-old phrase was uttered: "Hold my beer. Watch this!"

What is the best dish you can cook?

Venison tenderloin and potatoes is my specialty. Unless there's a mess of panfish ready for the deep fryer. These dishes are always complemented nicely with an ice-cold beverage of choice.

Complete this sentence: When I think of clowns, I think ...

I think of Red Skelton on old VHS tapes from the '60s that I used to watch at my grandparents' house when I was a kid. They were old comedy movies and were actually pretty hilarious.

Sue Barrett
Business Manager
Sue Barrett Business Manager
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A hawk. They're one of my favorite animals to watch. I always feel like good luck is around when I see one (I'm very superstitious). I want to be high above the ground with the resources to quickly head south without relying on airlines.

What is something you learned in the last week?

Way too much. Apparently I need to watch Dumb & Dumber because I'm missing out on something; you should always trust your instincts (I relearn that one weekly); the character of Woodstock was going to be a girl but was changed at the last minute to male.

What's your favorite cartoon character, actor, and band beginning with the letter W?

"W," huh? Maybe an easier letter next time? Cartoon: Woodstock, Snoopy's little bird buddy. Actor: Denzel Washington. He's nice to watch if you know what I mean. Band: little from which to choose. Wham? Not going there.

Lori Schwartz
Senior Graphic Designer
Lori Schwartz Senior Graphic Designer
If you didn't need the money, what would you do for work?

It would definitely have to involve beer and sailing around the world. I would sail to new lands and learn as much as I could about different beer and brewing styles from brewmasters. Then, steal their secrets for my own beer.

What is the most spectacular place you have been?

The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. The bay completely empties out every day leaving fishing boats "dry docked." It was crazy to see huge boats resting on land. One day, we rented kayaks and paddled in caves and stuff. We left when the tide was coming in but stayed out too long, and the bay started to empty. We ended up having to hike the kayaks though a foot of muck to shore, it was worth it though.

Kevan Schwitzer
Web Developer
Kevan Schwitzer Web Developer
What is your favorite word?

“Later” My least favorite? “Now.”

If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go?

Switzerland. Just feel obligated for some reason.

What are you afraid of?

Typos. And bugs.

What’s the best decision you’ve made?

Getting up this morning to go to work

List someone you know, and describe him/her in only 5 words.

Eric Severstad—nice, most of the time

Mike Thornton
Senior Graphic/Web Designer
Mike Thornton Senior Graphic/Web Designer
If you could retire tomorrow, what would you do?

I'd take my Harley for a cross-country ride; maybe see a few "world's largest ball of yarn" road-side museums.

What is your all-time favorite joke?

What do you call a psychic midget that escapes from prison? A small medium at large.

What cheers you up?

Listening to good music, playing frisbee, and looking through my telescope. Yes, in that exact order.

Plane, train, or car?

I really like driving, so I would say car. Road trips are a lot of fun. You learn a lot about people when you're crammed in a car with them for a couple days. Also, planes are very high and very heavy. Those two things should never be put together.

Joel Haase
Art Director/Designer
Joel Haase Art Director/Designer
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I would have to choose Rancho Cucamonga because it's ridiculously fun to say out loud.

What's your favorite zoo animal?

The hiphop-opotamus. Because his lyrics are bottomless.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

May contain nuts.

What's your favorite family recipe?

Live Well. Laugh Often. Love Much. (with a hint of paprika)

What are three things that you are most afraid of?

I am terrified of overexuberant clowns, dead-eyed great white sharks, and ice cream truck calliope music. And to boot, I am especially afraid of shark-riding clowns who love to whistle ice cream truck calliope music. I don't want to talk about this anymore.

Horny J. Moose
Horny J. Moose
What is your favorite movie of all time?

Without a doubt, it's The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Sure this 2000 film lacked the charm of the TV series, and Rocky got all the glory. But, what a magician that moose was! Presto!

What is your greatest regret?

Ahhh, there was a young cow (that's a female moose, you star-spangled sissy) named Poutine. Her coat was softer than a Saskatoon sunset. Her eyes were more lovely than a Thunder Bay lake. Her hoofs were ... well, you get the idea. Anyway, I never did ask her to the Moose Lodge Ball. I was painfully shy back then.

Heard any good jokes?

Years ago, founders of the great country up north decided to name it. Every letter of the alphabet was put into a hat, drawn at random, and announced aloud. First letter: "C, aye?" Second letter was selected: "N, aye?" And, the third: "D, aye?"

Have you had any recent bad days?

Ohhhh, yeah. The northern Canadian wilderness was peaceful and magnificent; a typical day up in those parts. Then, BOOM! A shot rang out, and everything changed. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my current surroundings. But, I didn't even have a chance to use Canada's legendary health care system.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?


cheers to you!

Advertising should be as crisp and refreshing as a tall, cold pint. At Element, you can always find a fine Wisconsin craft brew on tap, plus numerous bottles in our dedicated beer fridge. What should we pour next? Let us know! Then c’mon over for one.

Porte Des Morte Imperial Maple Porter
Badger State Brewing

The Beverage Tasting Institute says it best: "Dark brown color. Aromas of circus peanuts and maple candy with a supple, bright, effervescent, dry medium body and a peppery, buoyant roasted grain, roasted chestnut, and cedar finish. A pleasant, slightly flavored porter."



news flash:

It IS possible to stay serious about our clients’ performance and enjoy the process. Element believes in working hard, implementing a true team approach, and focusing on marketing executions that coordinate with a client’s sales efforts. If that includes some laughs, ping pong, and Wisconsin craft beer, so much the better.