SPOTLIGHT: Pathfinders Advertising Awarded Small Business of the Year

Posted by: SBR Chamber on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 4:00:00 pm


Celebrating 40 years in business in 2020, it’s only fitting that Pathfinders Advertising receives recognition as Small Business of the Year. Founded by CEO/Owner Stephen Ball, the strategic marketing communications firm has succeeded over the years by delivering the “Pathfinder Way.” This means to build relationships and partnerships, start with strategy, work with urgency, be resourceful, exceed expectations, and eliminate surprises through transparency.

Five years ago, the agency employed 36. Today, the firm employs 67, an 86% increase, while also elevating sales by more than 60% between 2015 and 2019. Many of their team members are seasoned veterans with 15-30 years’ experience in the industry. The firm has been successfully hiring local talent, as well as bringing new talent into the market from Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, California, Ohio, Texas and Tennessee.

In 2016, the agency transformed the dormant Frank’s Wholesale Florist warehouse at 1250 Park Place in Mishawaka into a creative office space, relocating from its Edison Lakes Parkway, Mishawaka, office. The 15,500-square-foot building, which had been vacant for nearly a decade, features an open environment to bolster creativity, collaboration and employee productivity. The new space, which
saw both internal and external renovations, now includes a 2,500-square-foot, full-service photo/video studio to accommodate this growing client requirement. Since its move to the new space four years ago, the firm has continually made property improvements to keep up with their growing staff and capabilities.

Client partners include PayPal (California), EcoShell (California), Kasasa Financial (Texas), Whirlpool (Michigan), Stryker (Michigan), Amway (Michigan), PNC Bank (Pennsylvania), Fifth Third Bank (Ohio) and First Student (Ohio). Core segments of experience include financial products and services, consumer package goods, business-to-business, durables and health care.
In order to move their clients’ business forward, Pathfinders puts innovation first. Their proprietary archetypal branding process helps get to the heart of customer and consumer motivations. Other tools such as consumer benefit road mapping and post-purchase journey exploration help clients streamline their messaging and grow their business year over year.

“As an organization, our goal is to be the first partner our clients think of when a communication challenge or opportunity comes across their desk,” said Vicky Holland, president of Pathfinders Advertising.

Awarded “Best Places to Work” in Indiana two years in a row, Pathfinders supports the community through their engagement with Girls on the Run Michiana, Junior League, La Casa de Amistad, Center for the Homeless, South Bend Museum of Art,
St. Joseph County FOP and WNIT Public Television.


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