January 21, 2008 – The day Moxie, now GRIT, opened its doors for the first time. 12 years later, we celebrate the company and the leader who without much thought, decided to start a company all those years ago.
When our president, Julie Lando-Cross, started GRIT, a full-service marketing, communications, digital, design and advertising agency in 2008, she did not have a vision in mind. Sounds crazy, right? But, because her decision to start a company practically happened over night, Julie just knew she wanted to deliver a better experience and more innovative ideas to marketing and public relations than what was currently being offered in the market – especially in York. Fast forward to today, and Julie has surpassed her goal by providing countless clients with new brands, websites, marketing campaigns and public relations strategies, which have helped their businesses stand out in the market place!
To celebrate 12 years of GRIT, we put Julie on the hot seat to learn more about her favorite projects, where she sees the future of GRIT heading and her life outside of the office.
Today we are celebrating GRIT’s 12-year anniversary. What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about that?
Julie: Wow – I can’t believe it’s been 12 years! While portions of it have seemed long, others have gone by so fast. A sense of pride and disbelief are the feelings I have when I think about it. Especially pride and appreciation for the team members who helped me achieve this goal – both past and present. I couldn’t have done it without every single one of them.
What is your favorite part about your job? What excites you the most?
Julie: My favorite part about my job is the people – both the team and the clients we get to work with. What excites me the most is when creative ideas pop into my head at the most ridiculous moments, like when I am on a run, in the car or even the shower. It also excites me to see the team collaborating to come up with creative and innovative ideas.
What is the best piece of leadership advice you have received?
Julie: The best leadership advice I received that I remember was before I created GRIT. Joe Eskola (my first boss) said to me “slower and better” and I can still hear his voice today over 20 years later. The other was from a mentor of mine and they said, “surround yourself with people smarter than you in areas where you are weak and get out of their way.” If you want to grow, you can’t have an ego and you need to let people who know better do their jobs.
Over the last 12 years, which project has been your most memorable? Which has been your favorite?
Julie: The most memorable project would probably be the York Revolution website (not the current one, the one before that). We had 3 months to create and develop it prior to the season starting. It was a crazy timeline and an almost impossible feat, but the team pulled together and did it.
It is hard to pick a favorite project – there are so many! More recently, I love the ACNB Bank “Okay, here we go” campaign and being able to connect on that emotional level. They took a chance on something different than what was in the market, which was great. Obviously, I also have a personal connection to the brand work we did for Mowery and that was a lot of fun to help transition the company into new leadership. Another favorite would be the work we did with WITF on their branding project many years ago and the collaboration amongst our team and their team.
As a child, what did you want to become when you grew up?
Julie: When I was little, I wanted to be a vet. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a pediatrician and my first two years in college were actually focused on that path. However, I realized I would not be able to turn off my emotions and would be too personally attached, so I decided it would not be the right career path for me.
What would your perfect vacation entail?
Julie: I have two! The first would be my husband and I on a beach somewhere with our core group of friends just hanging out and having a good time. The second would be on an island with the kids doing tons of “activities” (yes, that was a reference to Step Brothers).
If you could meet one person from history, who would it be?
Julie: Alexander Hamilton. Who knew his life was so interesting – what a brilliant mind and complex individual!
What is one food you refuse to eat? Why?
Julie: I am not sure there is one. Okay – maybe anything that deals with brains or other parts of the anatomy that I will not mention!
What personality trait has made you successful and which trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
Julie: I am the most competitive person you will meet (trust me, I will even compete with you to prove I’m more competitive), and that drive has kept me going when I think others may have given up. Failure is not an option to me and when I do fail, I choose to look at it as a lesson instead of a failure and do better the next time. As for trouble, I have no poker face and my “severe bluntness syndrome” has probably gotten me into the most in trouble.
What is your favorite hobby?
Julie: Working out or reading. I like to lose myself in both.
Where do you see yourself and GRIT in the next 12 years?
Julie: Great question. I’ve always said marketing is a young person’s business and while I’m still young, I’m not as young as I was 12 years ago when I started the company. Currently we are going through strategic planning to help answer that question. Stay tuned!
If you are interested in learning more about GRIT, our services and team, reach out to us today to start a conversation!