The Value of Having Values

by: Amy Watson

Loyalty, integrity, innovation, enthusiasm, strategy, and commitment. They’re flashy words, but to us, they’re much more than that.

Everything we do at Verdin can be traced back to these six core values. They have carried us in the past, they guide us in the present, and they will dictate us in the future.

Why these six specifically? Randomly selected out of the dictionary? Not exactly. A few of our team members are here to explain why they’re so important and what they mean to our agency:

  • Adam Verdin, Principal: Innovation is born from a spirit of looking at something first for what it is – imagining its highestaspiration – and then working hard against any barriers to change, both personally and as an organization. In seeing something for what it is, do we understand the demographics, the history, the data, the trend? Grounded in the facts, can we connect it with the big thinking, big dreaming side of our hearts and brains to that high and special place? When we blend hard facts with bold imagination, we have an idea – sometimes a clear one, but more often, it’s murky. Do we have the personal courage to work hard to better define it, to breathe life into it, to be its voice? The cold hard definition of innovation is “a new idea, method, device.” But I think it’s something a little more than that.

  • Mary Verdin, President and Chief Strategy Officer:Integrity: We believe in honesty, have strong moral principles and follow a strict code of ethics. What seems like such a simple thing, really is not. It’s something many espouse, but what do they really do when no one is looking? For us at Verdin, integrity is a guiding principle. Something we talk about and promote with our employees, and something we confer with our clients about when they feel the path isn’t so clear. As PR professionals, it is key to maintaining relationships with the media, with the public and with our clients. Doing the right thing isn’t always the easy thing. But at the end of the day, the only way you’ll feel good about your contributions and accomplishments is if they are all guided by that one simple word: integrity.

  • Ashlee Akers, Vice President of Client Service: Loyalty is key in everything we do at Verdin, starting with our clients. When we build partnerships we commit to being brand ambassadors and we believe in their business and the promise they make to their customers. We show this type of loyalty through more than just the work we are assigned to do, but through our personal connection to each and every client. We are also loyal to our Verdin team and strive to support everyone’s passion when it comes to the community we serve.

  • Michelle Starnes, Operations Manager: Enthusiasm is valuable because it speaks to the passion that makes our work so successful. It breeds inspiration that creates unique and successful work for our clients. It might seem like a given, but loving what you do is an amazing thing that can’t be forced. Our team is enthusiastic about what we do, and it shows in our work and our relationships.

  • Megan Condict, Art Director: It’s our practice to embed strategy into every aspect of the work we do here at Verdin. From the beginning of every project, we assess the client goals, do the research and create a strategic plan, resulting in work that not only achieves the client’s goals, but also gets the most benefit to the client. There is no project or task that isn’t considered in this light. It’s our personal philosophy that good-looking creative without strategy is simply that — good-looking. We strive for work that is good-looking and smart. Our work is multi-layered, multi-beneficial and well-considered.

And yes, there’s one more. One of our biggest priorities at Verdin is commitment to our clients and our community… so we though we’d ask one of our clients to speak on this value directly. Verdin works closely with nonprofit Jack’s Helping Hand. Here’s what Executive Director Karen Borges has to say about what commitment means to her and her organization:

  • Karen Borges, Executive Director of Jack’s Helping Hand: Commitment is defined as “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.” For me, that’s something very personal. Six years ago, I was told that my son had a cancerous tumor the size of a football in his abdomen. I researched and found that his best chance at making it through a necessary 9-hour surgery was to find the most qualified surgeon to remove the tumor, which happened to be in New York. I didn’t see a way to make that happen until a friend told me about Jack’s Helping Hand. The unwavering commitment of that nonprofit allowed my son to have the surgery that made him cancer-free. Today, I am the Executive Director of Jack’s Helping Hand and I am committed to helping others, just as my family was helped years ago. The commitment to helping real families facing real challenges is what enables Jack’s Helping Hand to do the life-saving work that we do, and I feel so lucky to be part of it.


These six carefully selected core values inform everything we dream and accomplish at Verdin. What values are most important to your organization? We’d love to hear from you!

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