Cathy Hamilton, President
It’s hard to find someone who’s equally proficient with strategic planning, art direction, campaign conception, copywriting and client service. But clients find all of that—plus a healthy dose of humor—in President Cathy Hamilton.
Cathy’s worked in the PR and marketing field in an official capacity for 20 years, but truth be told she’s been playing at it a lot longer. (She first proved her mettle when at age 10 she captured a Chamber of Commerce gold medal for her essay “Why I Love Ft. Benton” — a central Montanan town she really didn’t love much at all.)
Her experience encompasses the private and public sectors. Before starting Verb in 2003 she worked for a Portland financial publishing company, and then for Eugene Water & Electric Board, where she handled the communications for everything from windpower to telecommunications and conservation.
She took the leap to entrepreneurship after experiencing the need for a firm that integrated public relations, marketing communications and business operations. As a professional who hired firms, and as a manager within a firm, she routinely witnessed missed opportunities, weakened brands and inefficiencies that a truly integrated communications firm could address.
Naming her fledgling firm was simple: The verb is the single word that’s responsible for making things happen. Some of her favorites are: listen, consider, read, think, solve, act and deliver.
Over the years, Cathy’s contributed time to a number of groups, including University of Oregon Alumni Association Board of Directors, Oak Hill School Board, Oregon Quarterly Magazine Editorial Board, Mount Pisgah Arboretum Board and Relief Nursery Leadership Board. She also provides pro bono consulting to a number of non-profit organizations and volunteers at her neighborhood school. The Register-Guard named her one of the community’s “20 Under 40″ rising stars in 2009. She has one husband and two children.
Doug Ferguson, Creative Director
Hand the design challenge over to Doug, aka Dr. D., and get ready to be impressed. Although he has 20 years of experience in the field, he’s by no means old school. He learned the trade when it was more about composition and pure design, and less about computer programs and viral this-and-that. Today, he’s pushing the envelope when it comes to digital designs and traditional print alike. His solid foundation in the print field means that he’s able to get the most out of the print technology and papers for our clients. Yet he can parlay a brand into digital dimensions with ease.
Before joining Verb, he owned Ferguson Design and Production. Simply closing the firm would have brought an outcry from his clients but they were thrilled to have the chance to continue working with Doug while accessing the copy and strategic offerings at Verb.
Doug’s an avid bike commuter, and his “ride” is plastered with all sorts of slogans. “Positive” appears a number of times, and for good reason. Besides his precise designs, and insightful creative, Doug brings to the office an upbeat attitude even while he takes his work extremely seriously.
When he needs a break, Doug hits the bike trails along the river – just a few blocks from our office. He finds that fresh air gives fresh ideas, and that energy definitely transfers to his work.
Doug and his wife have two children.
Michelle Mikkelsen, Client Support
She didn’t know it then, but we pegged Michelle for the Verb team five years ago when Cathy watched her adeptly calm, organize and inspire a gymnasium full of elementary school kids and families. Michelle comes to us with 20 years of experience in customer service and as a buyer for retail stores. Her role at Verb is to keep everyone on our team organized and to assure clients’ needs are met and exceeded.
When she’s not at Verb, Michelle is an active community volunteer and plays a critical role fundraising for Edison Elementary and helping out at Roosevelt Middle School. She looks to yoga and Nia classes for a bit of calm, and couldn’t be happier than when she’s outdoors playing with her family.
The rest of the team
As you work with Verb, you’re bound to meet Scott Kinney, our go-to for all-things web. Scott’s been with Verb since 2006. When he’s not cracking code for Verb, he can be found on a riverbank, flyfishing with his furchild, CJ.
Scott is joined by our mystery programmer (let’s call him Mr. X) who slaves away on our toughest web jobs, veiled (albeit sometimes thinly) in the secrecy his day job requires. We call him in for database-heavy projects, as well as for specialty programming.
We have several copywriters who jump in to help. Each is selected with the client and the brand in mind and then assigned to that account. This approach allows Verb to provide a broad variety of voices while maintaining continuity and enabling the writer to get to know the client and products deeply.
And when things get really busy, we have a circle of design support folks who can augment Doug’s work and take his art direction from concept to delivery.
We appreciate them all, and so do our clients. Just ask them.