Q&A With Beverly Virkler, Estland’s New Creative Director.
Get To Know Beverly Virkler, The New Creative Director At Estland.
Meet Beverly Virkler, Estland’s new Creative Director.
Beverly will play a pivotal role in providing creative direction, vision and leadership to our team in web design, content marketing, photography, videography and digital advertising.
Her expertise and strategic thinking will be crucial in driving the success of our projects and exceeding our clients’ expectations.
During her first week in the new role, Kaitlin Pomerleau, Estland’s Content Marketing Director, sat down and got up close and personal in a Q&A session with Beverly.
Get to know her better through the full transcript below.
I will start with the hardest-hitting questions on everyone’s mind…
What is your favorite time of day?
I love mornings, but specifically later mornings on the weekends — when you’re having a lazy morning, reading some news on your iPad, drinking coffee and relaxing before getting your day started.
That’s a great time of day. Where do you call home?
This is a tough one because I’ve bounced around a good bit. To me, home is Lewisburg, West Virginia; that’s where I grew up and spent most of my childhood. We moved to Houston, Texas, for high school, but I’m an East Coast gal, and that’s how I ended up back at JMU. My parents have been in Alabama for years now, but West Virginia still feels like home to me.
That’s awesome. And where do you currently live?
I live in King George, Virginia, about 20 miles east of Fredericksburg.
If you weren’t living in King George, where would you be living?
I would live in Maine.
I love snow. The people are outdoorsy. There are so many great breweries, skiing and a lot of things to do. It’s just a different state of mind.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
My gosh. This is kind of a joke, but I’d like to be a morning person.
I’m a slow riser, and I’m always amazed by people who can just get up and get after it every day. I know it’s not a true superpower, but that would be it for me.
What did you want to do when you were 12?
When I was 12, I wanted to be a veterinarian. When I was really little, I was actually afraid of dogs, but then my parents got us a fluffy golden retriever when I was five, and that was like a game changer for me. I just became a huge dog lover.
Who is someone you look up to, and why?
Probably my dad. He has been a CEO and President of energy companies for most of my life, and he’s just a great leader. He uses a lot of empathy in directing teams, and everyone respects him and enjoys having him as their leader. I’ve always admired his ability to lead teams and be respected.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
This is actually from one of my creative directors. Early in my career, I used to get really frazzled when work would pile up and things would get really busy. He told me that if I skipped over worrying about how I was going to get it all done and just got started, I would be halfway through the work in the time that I spent worrying. So, I started to apply that “get it done” mentality to things and not let the stress or the busyness faze me as much.
That’s good advice. Switching gears to your role at Estland and joining our team…
What initially attracted you to Estland?
Estland has a variety of clients in different industries compared to my previous experience in real estate marketing and advertising. So that was attractive. The thing that really drew me in was the lack of turnover that Estland has seen over the years. As new team members are brought on, everyone has stayed and really seems to love their job.
What will your role at Estland consist of as Creative Director?
I’ll be there to mentor and guide the team, both on the design and writing side of things. Most of all, I’ll make sure that we’re being good brand stewards for our clients, thinking strategically on their behalf and making sure we’re doing the best work that we possibly can.
But there’s also a huge mentoring aspect of the role, making sure that the team has the support and knowledge that they need to do their job.
What aspect of your job are you most passionate about?
I’m definitely passionate about branding and storytelling. I love all of the thought and detail that goes into crafting a brand. How selecting a certain color has a particular purpose and meaning. How a certain font can evoke different feelings. How photography that is unified in style can elevate a brand. How words and phrases can have multiple meanings. It’s all really fun and exciting to me.
What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
I love working with and mentoring others. I always thought if I didn’t work in an agency setting, I’d want to be a college professor. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than collaborating with and coaching other creatives and watching them rise in their careers. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to do this throughout my career.
How will your experience benefit our clients?
I bring the experience of working on a lot of multi-channel advertising campaigns that are inclusive of all sides of marketing. From starting with brand creation and strategy all the way through drip advertising and social media and even into creating branded environmental spaces. I have 360-degree experience in advertising, marketing and branding and understand how it all ties together, which will benefit the clients.
So I understand that you are creative at heart—Where do you get your inspiration from?
It comes from things that I see in everyday life. Working in the real estate industry for a long time, it was always fun to look at the architecture and see if it could inspire a certain style or feeling. The location or environmental setting of a community was always really informative too. Looking at things from a bunch of different angles and perspectives can definitely be influential.
Is there anything in particular that’s inspiring you right now?
Being outside. I like to get out and go for a hike or a walk and just be in nature. It always provides a lot of good inspiration and clarity.
I like that a lot. Now, I’d like to ask a few more personal questions if that’s OK.
What is something surprising that not many people know about you?
I’ve lived in two of the largest states in the country. Both Texas and Alaska for a little bit. When people find out my family lived in Alaska, it’s always fun to talk about because most people go there to vacation but rarely actually live there.
That’s so cool. How old were you when you lived there?
It was my senior year of high school and into when I started college at JMU.
Oh my gosh! That is surprising.
Yeah, when I came to JMU as a freshman, I flew from Fairbanks, Alaska.
What makes you feel the most like yourself?
That’s tough. I’m a little introverted, so having some quiet space built into the day is really important for me — like having time just to sit and read , reflect or go on a walk with the dogs. I’m someone who really values that quiet time — time to rest, relax, and come back fresh the next day.
That might lead to my next question, but what would your perfect weekend look like?
We’ve been getting out and doing some camping recently. We have a little vintage camper, so we take that out for long weekends and enjoy being out in nature, taking some hikes or riding bikes. We love to go to regional breweries and wineries. I just like being outside, being away from the screens and enjoying some time with my husband, our dogs and friends if they’re able to join us.
My final question is—Do you consider a hot dog a sandwich?
I do not consider a hot dog sandwich. It’s in a bun, but it’s not stacked. Just because there’s meat and there’s bread, that doesn’t make it a sandwich.
Okay, those were all my questions! Thanks for taking the time to chat and enjoy your first week at Estland!
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