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Sparking Innovation

Author: perkinsk

*Meet four creative thinkers who credit their success in media and communication to an entrepreneurial approach.*

Sometimes the road to success isn’t walking a well-worn path but blazing a new trail.

For [Drew Harden](/2018/04/17/sparking-innovation-the-marketer/) (‘03 advertising, graphic design), the emerging and rapidly evolving field of web design, development and digital marketing provided an opportunity to launch a new company 10 years ago. Today, his Des Moines-based Blue Compass helps clients across the country improve their web presence and reach consumers with “surgical precision.”

[Kelly Howard](/2018/04/17/sparking-innovation-the-strategist/) (‘08 journalism) took a chance when she journeyed to Los Angeles to start her career in public relations during a recession. Hard work and an unexpected event put her in the driver’s seat of the agency she once worked for. Howard is now the CEO of EightSixtySouth, a strategic communications agency focused on strategy, PR and influencer marketing.

[Ron Schara](/2018/04/17/sparking-innovation-the-storyteller/) (‘66 journalism) proves it’s never too late to switch gears. After a fateful phone call, the long-time outdoor columnist for the Minneapolis StarTribune altered course to tell stories in a different way—on television through shows like Minnesota Bound. The production company he founded in the 1990s continues to produce outdoors shows for major networks.

And at the Greenlee School, faculty member [Jan Lauren Boyles](/2018/04/17/sparking-innovation-the-scholar/) helps today’s students become tomorrow’s media entrepreneurs by exploring opportunities in data journalism and digital innovation. With new Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen identifying entrepreneurship as a key initiative, it’s an exciting time to think about possibilities. Get to know these innovators who are making their mark with an entrepreneurial focus.