Lance Peroutka
Lance Peroutka Principal / Agency Director
Lance Peroutka casual
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
Aldis Strazdins
Principal / Creative Director
Aldis Strazdins Principal / Creative Director
Aldis Strazdins casual
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
Nikki Peroutka
Director of Account Services
Nikki Peroutka Director of Account Services
Nikki Peroutka casual
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
Derek Blaszak
Director of Digital Marketing
Derek Blaszak Director of Digital Marketing
Derek Blaszak casual
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.

Tara Brzozowski
Tara Brzozowski
Director of Public Relations
Tara Brzozowski Director of Public Relations
Tara Brzozowski casual
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.

Kate Shropshire
Kate Shropshire
Digital Marketing Specialist
Kate Shropshire Digital Marketing Specialist
Kate Shropshire casual
What was your favorite subject in school?

Geography, especially 5th grade. It sparked my desire to travel to all five Great Lakes, 50 states (and their capitals), seven continents, and 200+ countries. So far, I've ventured to a couple countries and most of the states, but I have a long way to go. Mr. Ford would be proud.

What is your favorite grab-and-go meal?

Chipotle burrito bowl with a side of chips and guacamole. According to the seats of my car, they aren't as grab-and-go as I thought.

What do you like to do in the snow?

I like to look at snow. From inside a warm home. Wrapped up on a cozy couch. While drinking a Cabernet Sauvignon. I call it "Winter Winebernation."

Are you creative? In what way?

Cooking. Recipes are a great start, but I love to get creative and make them my own. Right now, I'm on a Brussels spouts kick. Seriously! Sauté some with bacon, garlic, and shallots. Drool, drool.

Mike Tessmer
Mike Tessmer
Art Director
Mike Tessmer Art Director
Mike Tessmer casual
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
Kevin Hamilton
Director of Technology
Kevin Hamilton Director of Technology
Kevin Hamilton casual
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
Eric Severstad
Copywriter / Asst. Creative Director
Eric Severstad Copywriter / Asst. Creative Director
Eric Severstad casual
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
Ann Behling
Director of Publications
Ann Behling Director of Publications
Ann Behling casual
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.

Ryan Hebl
Ryan Hebl
Sr. Web Developer
Ryan Hebl Sr. Web Developer
Ryan Hebl casual
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
Sue Barrett
Business Manager
Sue Barrett Business Manager
Sue Barrett casual
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
Lori Schwartz
Senior Graphic Designer
Lori Schwartz Senior Graphic Designer
Lori Schwartz casual
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.

Joel Haase
Joel Haase
Art Director/Designer
Joel Haase Art Director/Designer
Joel Haase casual
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.

Molly Wentworth
Molly Wentworth
Receptionist/Account Assistant
Molly Wentworth Receptionist/Account Assistant
Molly Wentworth casual
What is your favorite word?

Serendipity. It is "the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way." I love the idea of a happy accident. Also, "Serendipity" is one of my favorite movies. Now, I have to try that New Glarus fruit beer.

What words of wisdom would you pass onto your childhood self?

Spiders, clowns, and people in mascot costumes are NOT terrifying. Please face these fears now so your adult self doesn’t have to be tortured.

If you could change one event from history, what would it be?

Now, that sounds dangerous! If there’s one thing I’ve learned from time travel films, it’s that you should not change how anything happened in history. Just one simple change—the bagel I choose for breakfast—could have huge repercussions on the future! I’ll keep my life the way it is, thank you.

Aaron Graff
Aaron Graff
Art Director
Aaron Graff Art Director
Aaron Graff casual
Would you rather enjoy a houseboat or speedboat?

Definitely a houseboat … with a paddle wheel … and a hammock. However, I don't swim well, so can I put it on wheels and tour the country that way?

What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already?

How to take responsibility for your actions. Wow. Writing that made me feel really old.

What are your three favorite albums? Why?

Always a painful question, but here they are in no particular order: Weezer, "Blue Album"—Released the year I spent every possible hour snowboarding, this album never fails to put a smile on my face. Death Cab for Cutie, "Plans"—This one has the song we played at our wedding, so it’ll always hold a special place for me. Fugazi, "13 Songs"—These days I actually gravitate toward their later albums, but I can't deny the record that got me started.

Kasey Steinbrinck
Kasey Steinbrinck
Content Marketing Specialist
Kasey Steinbrinck Content Marketing Specialist
Kasey Steinbrinck  casual
What's the best concert you've ever attended?

It was Ben Folds at Summerfest. His plane was delayed, and a huge crowd was waiting and waiting after the opening act ended. It was so packed people were standing sideways on bleachers. Then just before I started throwing elbows as claustrophobia got the best of me - Ben hit the stage and put on a really fun show.

For what are you most grateful?

The opportunity to be a dad to my sons, because it allows me to keep playing with squirt guns, action figures and Legos.

What book has influenced you the most?

Cognitive Surplus, by Clay Shirky. It's about how technology is helping people create things and change the world in collaboration with each other. I also can't neglect to mention the impact Where the Wild Things Are has had on my life.

What was one of the best parties you've ever been to?

The best parties you forget the next morning. My son had a pretty sweet 6th birthday party though. He got a metal detector. Now I have a metal detector too.

If you could get away with any crime, what would it be?

Bank robbery - so I could put together a crew of unsavory characters.

Jamie Weidman
Jamie Weidman
Traffic Manager
Jamie Weidman Traffic Manager
Jamie Weidman casual
What does your perfect day look like?

Lounging around binge watching an entire series on Netflix while someone cooks all of my meals. Grapes and a palm leaf optional.

Would you rather go to a comedy club or a dance club?

A dance club where the DJ desperately wants to be a comedian. So, he plays good music and does his set in-between songs. Weddings are his highest paid gigs, but he does clubs for the thrill. I think I just accidentally pitched an Adam Sandler movie...

University or life experience, which better prepares you for life?

University IS a life experience, so I say both. I learned time-management and how to best avoid creepy, dark alleys at 2am.

What should be taught in school that currently isn't?

I can't even begin to guess what kids are learning in school these days. By the time my daughter gets to kindergarten, kids will be doing Google internships.

Katie Braun
Katie Braun
Account Executive
Katie Braun Account Executive
Katie Braun casual
Do you collect anything?

I wouldn't call it a collection, but I do keep every greeting card I receive (birthday, Christmas, etc). There is something about the handwriting of your loved ones that I can't part with.

What are your top two pet peeves?

People who eat and breathe. Okay I should probably clarify, when I can hear people chewing or hear them breathing.

What is your favorite zoo animal?

Penguins, they show up to every occasion over dressed.

Who is the most intelligent person you know?

My Dad. He has an answer or explanation for every question. Is he always correct or do I just believe him because he is my Dad? Well, that is open for conversation.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how funny are you?

I feel like I should under promise over deliver on this one, so I am going to say 5.

Lisa Gaupp
Lisa Gaupp
Director of Business Development
Lisa Gaupp Director of Business Development
Lisa Gaupp casual
What Olympic sport would you like to try?

Soccer. In 2nd grade my team won the Little Kickers Championship, so I feel qualified to play at the Olympic level for sure! And yes, I still have my trophy!

What is the best costume you have worn?

Princess Leia…it’s my go-to costume since my two boys are obsessed with Star Wars and are dressed as a different character each Halloween. I must clarify, it’s pre-Jabba Leia, not slave Leia from Return of the Jedi. Uh, did I say that out loud? Maybe I am just a little into Star Wars too...

What is the best decision you've ever made?

In college I was offered an internship in Wisconsin, and one in Hawaii. I would have to say that although it was not a hard one to make, choosing Hawaii is up there in my Top 5 best decisions.

What traits in others are you most attracted to?

I am drawn to fun-loving people who don’t mind being pranked once in a while. I wouldn’t let me have access to your office. Just sayin’

If you were a ghost, where would you haunt?

Being at outdoor venues is the best, so I would have to say haunting Alpine Valley and being able to see live music all the time would be pretty fantastic. Lambeau Field and seeing all the games would be amazing I could maybe use my haunting powers to help the Packers win.

Bill Miston
Bill Miston
Content Marketing Specialist
Bill Miston Content Marketing Specialist
Bill Miston casual
What one skill do you wish you could master?

I am an avid water skier -- I've been skiing since I was 7-years-old. For the last seven years I have performed with several show ski teams, including the Wrightstown Waterboard Warriors. When it comes to acts or ski disciplines, I can pretty much do them all. But if there was one skill I wish I could master...well, it would be two: inverted freestyle jumping and longline backwards barefoot deep up/slalom. If you want to know what all that means, meet me at the Bomier boat launch in De Pere at 6:00 a.m. and bring coffee. There's always a need for a third.

What's the name of the movie about your life?


What's your go-to dance move?

I am a phenomenal dancer, I have pictures as evidence for those who need proof. I have even considered freelancing for parties and weddings for those who need guests asking, "who's the guy with the sweet moves?" I'm a little unseasoned with the Schuhplattler, but I've got polkas down pat. Waltz, jazz and swing -- stupendous! As for more contemporary dancing, well I'm working on it (seriously). One of my reliable moves is both hands up in the air with fingers pointed and knees slightly bent, rocking from side to side. (I said I was working on it). What I might lack in execution, I make up with enthusiasm.

What's the best burger you've eaten?

I have to admit that hamburgers are one of my biggest weaknesses. I always try to make a concerted effort to eat as healthy as possible in order to safely indulge in them. I've had some great ones in my nearly 30 years on this earth, from Springfield, Ill. to Redondo Beach, Calif. The burger from Joe Rouer's in Duvall hasn't won awards for nothing. If you're in Springfield, you can only go to D'Arcy's Pint for a 'horseshoe' (don't worry about the calories). Closer to Green Bay, The Cannery Public Market's burger fare is definitely worth a try as is Red's 'G.W.’s Lamb Burger', a delicious and a much more refined take on a Nyro's gyro burger that I would frequent during my time on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus (mostly after the 2:00 a.m. hour). Chicago's Acadia has one of the best burgers I have ever had and comes in a very close second. But when it comes down to the best burger, I have to say it's from California's In-N-Out Burger: Double-Double, animal style. It has that 'umami' taste you can't find around here...a certain 'je ne sais quoi'. Unfortunately, the closest location is in Allen, Texas, a 16 hour and 50 minute drive away (don't ask me how I know). Maybe it's the distance that makes my love for it even stronger. So, until I can get my hands on one of these, the burger I make myself will have to be the best.

Kara Lichtenberg
Kara Lichtenberg
AE/Brand Strategist
Kara Lichtenberg AE/Brand Strategist
Kara Lichtenberg casual
What is the most fun you've had this week?

Anyone that knows me knows that I love to laugh and love making others laugh as well. Perhaps the people I enjoy making laugh the most are my children. This week both of my kids were sick and not feeling too great. Despite being under the weather, my son Owen was able to crank out some belly laughs for me. I don’t know why making weird faces at him always gets a giggle, maybe I’m odd looking to him… Whatever the reason, their laughter is the best sound in the world and laughing with my kids is always a fun time for me.

What's the sweetest present you've ever received?

The sweetest gift I ever received? I have a few that come to mind, but a trip to Chicago, a ticket to the band Muse and a marriage proposal take the cake!

If you could have drinks with anyone, who would it be?

The person I would want to get drinks with always changes. Currently, I would love to sip a drink with Sir Ken Robinson. I recently watched his Ted talk on how the educational system is stifling creativity. Given he is a leader in the development of innovation and creativity, I would love to pick his brain on how I can best foster the talents my children have and how I can stay on my A-game as it relates to developing creative solutions for work and home.

What song were you obsessed with as a teenager?

ONE song? I love all, OK most, kinds of music so I really can’t narrow it down to one. If I think back to my tapes and Walkman… yes, I’m aging myself… I was listening to Bobby Brown, Alice in Chains, Queen, Madonna, Fine Young Cannibals, Van Halen, Sting… So, to pick one song I will go to the song I’m currently obsessed with which is Reapers by Muse. Check back with me in a week or two. It will be different!

Shawn Williams
Shawn Williams
Art Director
Shawn Williams Art Director
Shawn Williams casual
What makes you wildly happy?

When folks share and talk positively with genuine passion about anything. Oh, and popcorn.

What sound do you love?

I’ve had a longstanding crush on the bubbly bark of the under-appreciated dogfish (it’s two pets in one.)

If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

"Cool." But, I'll actually answer to anything.

What is something you learned this past week?

Now, the right now, this very moment ... is all there is. NOW! It doesn't mean you don't make plans nor reflect on the past, but setting goals and looking back is still done in the right now!

Jess Brisson
Jess Brisson
Web Developer
Jess Brisson Web Developer
Jess Brisson casual
Who was your favorite celebrity as a child?

When I was a child, my ideas of celebrities were a bit different than now. With that being said, I would have to say Mega Man. What isn't there to like about a power hijacking super cyborg that fights in the name of justice?

What is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment is my constant drive for knowledge and continual learning. No, I wouldn't say putting 500+ hours into Fallout is an accomplishment over an obsession.

If you could live in any period of history, when would it be?

The 1940s - 1950s; To be part of the early modern computer discovery and to live in a time where music, food, and American culture was really booming.

Why did you choose your profession?

I am not sure if I chose it or it chose me. My family was a bunch of geeky artists that loved art and technology. I just fell right in, and web development is the best of both worlds.

Three words

Optimism - Technology - Coffee

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.
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What's On Tap

by Bell's Brewery, Comstock, MI

This annual favorite is Element's attempt to force Mother Nature into improving our outdoor environment. Our on-tap brew is rarely a non-Wisconsin product, but we make an exception for this wheat ale and its mildly fruit aroma/spicy hop kick. Let's tip one together and bring on the warmer weather.




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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.