Vermont Business Magazine One of Vermont’s Rising Stars is about to start marketing one of Vermont’s rising regions. Mondo Mediaworks, headed by Luke Stafford, a 2016 Vermont Business Magazine Rising Star, has been selected from a field of nearly two dozen bidders to create regional marketing campaigns aimed at rebranding the greater-Rutland region, putting to bed myths about a lack of local jobs, and reversing downward population trends.
Luke Stafford, Mondo Mediaworks.
“We received bids from across the country, but in Mondo found a Vermont company with a keen focus on creativity, a love for the state, and an infectious energy,” said Mary Ann Goulette, who co-chairs the committee leading the marketing initiative. “After a painstaking process that included review of 18 proposals, interviews with four semi-finalists and a second round with two finalists, the committee unanimously selected Mondo.”
“Mondo’s creativity, demonstrated through their portfolio, interviews and an assignment given to the two finalists, made the final decision clear,” committee co-chair Steve Costello said. “We devoted hundreds of man-hours to the selection, and in the end found ourselves selecting not just a marketer, but a company that demonstrated a remarkable ability to collaborate, inspire and excite.”
Stafford has long been an advocate for economic and creative development in southern Vermont. Mondo’s mission is dedicated to supporting the region, and outlines Stafford’s team’s plan for strategic, long-term economic growth of Mondo’s hometown of Brattleboro and the state of Vermont.
“When I saw the Rutland request for proposals, I thought ‘My entire career has led to this project,’” Stafford said. “For Mondo and for me, this is more than a job. It’s what we have striven to do since day one: build community through economic development, create opportunities for young Vermonters, and help others discover the magic that is Vermont. I have never been so excited about a project.”
The campaigns will have three key focuses – population growth; improved tourism marketing; and an intensive effort to retain more local students and young professionals. Stafford promised some unique campaigns using various forms of media, with a focus on digital media.
The marketing initiative sprang from collaboration between Rutland Economic Development Corp., Rutland Redevelopment Authority, Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, I Love Rutland, the Downtown Rutland Partnership, Killington-Pico Association, Killington Resort and Green Mountain Power.
More than $200,000, including $100,000 from the City of Rutland, has been pledged and donated to support the first year of the initiative. In addition to the city, key donors include Carpenter and Costin, Casella’s, Foley Family of Businesses, Green Mountain Power, Heritage Family Credit Union, Mountain Times, REDC, RRCC, Rutland Regional Medical Center, Castleton University, Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO), the Town of West Rutland, the Town of Pittsford, and Town of Fair Haven. Rutland Town, Mendon, Killington, Middletown Springs, and Clarendon are voting on funding requests on Town Meeting Day.
Stopping and reversing Rutland County’s population decline is critical to the economic health of the state and the Rutland/Killington region, and is at the heart of the effort. While Rutland City and the region have made significant strides toward revitalization, growing our population and visitation are vital to the region’s future, organizers said.
REDC Executive Director Lyle Jepson and RRCC Executive Director Mary Cohen said they were thrilled with the decision to hire Mondo, and expected fresh, creative and surprising campaigns.
“Mondo specializes in creating the unexpected,” Jepson said. “They demonstrated an ability to think and create quickly. Luke has created a team of bright, active minds that will produce campaigns that are new and different and capture the imagination. I can’t wait to see what they can help us achieve.”
“Mondo will help us think differently about our region and our strengths, and how we talk about the region,” RRCC Executive Director Mary Cohen said. “They have produced fantastic results for their clients in cost-effective, innovative campaigns. And most importantly, the company is filled with sharp, young Vermonters who chose to come here or chose to stay here – our primary audience as we seek to recreate a strong regional future.”
Source: Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce 2.17.2017