Our Brand Development Director, Jeremy believes that a more appropriate title for his role at MarketPlace is Making Connections Guy, branding being, at heart, the discipline of making connections among business needs, cultural movements, consumer worldview, and language (verbal and visual alike).

Which partly justifies his background, a potluck of undergraduate degrees in English and in pedagogical studies, a Master of Divinity (to be transparent, he has largely forgotten Greek and Hebrew), and a terminal degree in Creative Nonfiction, all of which contributed to his teaching over 100 university-level courses in creative writing, grammar, rhetoric, and composition, to his writing over 50 published essays and music and movie reviews, and to his creative work for national brands like AT&T, the University of Oregon, Merck, and Buffalo Wild Wings, all of which he brought to his desk at MarketPlace in 2011.

Since then, Jeremy has used his dexterity with words, his delight in popular culture, and his dots-connecting drive to develop food brands, to build and rebuild pet brands, and to interpret and anticipate cultural trends for the benefit of both MarketPlace and our partners.

Also, out of curiosity and an inexplicable compulsion, he took up previously unfamiliar tools one year and helped design our office space. While formulating a dog food.

“As human beings, we have a natural compulsion to fill empty spaces.”

– Will Shortz, New York Times crossword editor

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chair design

Lately, in the living rooms of friends; in coffee shops and restaurants; and in certain business spaces (I list only those examples which I’ve eye-witnessed), I notice furniture. Specifically, I’m drawn to chairs. And I’m heartened by what I see: real wood, conscious design, homage and innovation, and a gaining, ultimately, of form on function.

I’m not a student of architecture or design theory, but I trust that I can apply to others the principle that I recognize in my life, the idea that the aesthetic choices we make reveal not so much who we currently are as what we hope for, form giving outward shape to our inward needs.

Perhaps this is a choice available only to those with the luxury to choose, but the culture in which I live typically has that choice, and what emotional longings it expresses are no less meaningful for that luxury.

These chairs, as I read them, express hope and desire: for the thoughtful use of our resources, for the valuing of individual craftsmanship over mass fabrication, for the stripping away of veneer.