Lessiter Link-Ups: Luke Weigel & Christopher Nielsen

Moderated by Jonny Salinas, Sales Department Representative

From the Lessiter Link-Up column in the September 2019 Lessiter Link newsletter

Marketing Manager Luke Weigel and Manager of Print and Magazine Production Christopher Nielsen talk about their first jobs, finding their way to LM, job responsibilities and favorite pastimes.

Christopher Neilen

Job Title: Manager of Print and Magazine Production

Years of Experience: 30 (19 at LM)

Revealed Fact: Avid reader of historical fiction and connoisseur of beer and local festivals

Luke Weigel

Job Title: Marketing Manager

Years of Experience: 10 (1.5 at LM)

Revealed Fact: St. Louis Cardinals fan since he was a boy

Luke Weigel: My first job out of college was in an advertising department at a large company, and after that I worked in the marketing department at the Batteries Plus Bulbs corporate office. I have about 10 years experience in marketing and advertising. I came across LM through a random job posting. My initial meeting with Patrick Sharpe went well. I also met with Mike Lessiter and things seemed promising.

After the interview, Patrick contacted me to say that the race for the position had been close, but they decided to go with somebody else. About a year later, I got an email from Patrick saying "Hey, let's grab lunch sometime. I want to talk to you about something." Another position opened and it took off from there.

Christopher Nielsen: My first job was driving a truck and it just wrecked my back. I knew I couldn't drive a truck for the rest of my life. At the same time, I was working nights at a restaurant bussing parties and bartending. I decided to go to school for restaurant/business management. I eventually switched to the Commercial Art Program at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC).

I got a job in the industry working at a few different prepress houses and then moved to BVK.McDonald Ad Agency in Milwaukee where I was in the production department for three years. Like Luke, I came across an LM job posting, applied, got the job and have been here since 2000.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

CN: Monday mornings is when we have our Art Department meetings. We recap the previous week and look at what is on the agenda for the current week. One of the things I'm in charge of is making sure everything gets out the door to where it needs to go and to whom it needs to go. For our overall Art and Production Department meetings, we get all of the editors, marketing personnel and digital media staff involved and go over the week's expectations.

I deal with every department here and have a hand in every Art Department job. I'm on my email quite a lot, seeing if there are any fires that need to be put out. I touch base with the team to check on projects they are working on, making sure everything is moving along.

LW: My responsibilities include anything related to audience development (getting newly acquired names into our system, generating revenue, etc.) This means sending out informative emails to our subscribers as well as introductory emails to prospects. We also use social media as well as telemarketing as our tools.

We have touch points in every department; whether it's house ads, graphics for the website, digital media getting the websites laid out, pages being set up for us, Brad Hemze making sure forms and related items are wok correctly or working closely with the editors to make sure we have accurate information.

Behind the Scenes Tasks

CN: One of my lesser known jobs is keeping the servers clean and organized. I organize the files, making sure everything is easily accessible through proper labeling. Marketing will come to me and say they need something from a piece two years ago, and I'll know exactly where it is. I do the archiving as well.

LW: Not many people realize the amount of production work Marketing does on our end. We use a lot of programs like Bee Pro, which lets us drag and drop information and images into an email to make it visually appealing, so we don't have to bother the Art Department.

Outside the Office Walls

CN: I like music and naps. On the weekends, you can usually find me at a beer garden or festival, anywhere where there is live music. I love being outside during the spring and summer, especially during festival season. Friday after work, I grab the newspaper to see what bands are playing where. I follow a lot of local bands and have been frequenting the Wauwatosa beer garden, where they play my kind of music. I am an avid reader, particularly historical fiction, so after the beer garden, I usually go home, get comfortable and stay up until 2 a.m. reading.

LW: Baseball! I have a three-year-old son, Leo, so my weekends are usually filled with zoo and playground trips. We like to get together with friends who also have young kids. Unlike Christopher, reading is not a passion of mine. But my wife, Maria, likes to read, so maybe one of these days I will finally get past the front cover of the book she wants me to read.