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Spotlight: Steve Marikos

Spotlight: Steve Marikos

We recently met with Steve Marikos to learn about his experience partnering with Causewave:

Can you talk a little bit about what you do?

When you boil it down, I’m a small business owner. I’m an insurance agent, though I like to say I’m in the protection business. We protect personal property, and offer life insurance, retirement assets, and voluntary workplace benefits.

In November, I celebrated my 40th anniversary with Allstate. I’ve worked since I was 9 years old and I’ve only had 2 employers: my dad’s restaurant and Allstate.  

How did you first get involved with Causewave?  

A few years ago, when the Allstate Foundation first considered sponsoring the local Distracted Driving Initiative, they asked me if I wanted to get involved with the steering committee. Since then, I’ve remained involved with the committee and secured funding through the Allstate Foundation each year. 

You support our work in a lot of ways – as a Potter Society member, corporate supporter, and even as a Summer Smash bartender. Is there a project that has been most rewarding? 

I like the Distracted Driving committee's effort to raise awareness and change behaviors with high schoolers. Getting schools to require distracted driving education before they can get a parking pass is great. I hope this can eventually become universal. 

What causes are you most passionate about?

Recently, the causes I’m focused on are domestic violence (physical and financial), distracted driving, and veterans. Before I bought the insurance business, I volunteered regularly at the art gallery at Otto’s House, a part of the Veteran’s Outreach Center. I’m not a veteran, but I appreciate everything they’ve done. I’m really looking forward to getting more involved when I retire. 

Do you have any thoughts or advice for other people who volunteer or support our work?  

Rochester has a lot of challenges. The best thing to get engaged in is a cause you have a real passion for. If you’ve got a passion for it, it won’t feel like a burden, it will actually fuel you. Rather than spread yourself thin across a lot of causes, I’d say find a few and stick with them until you make a difference.

How do you take your coffee? 

I’ll drink just about any kind of coffee (or beer). I’m not high maintenance when it comes to that.

Spotlight: John Myers

Spotlight: John Myers

Can you tell us a little bit about Myers Creative Imaging?

We’re a full service imaging company, doing both stills and motion. Having been around for close to 30 years now, we can help people who come to us with an idea develop it into a fully fleshed creative concept.

How did you get involved in volunteering with Causewave?

I think my first project was the Austin Putters Golf Tournament sometime in the late 1990s. Back then, many agencies would bring me in directly so I didn’t necessarily know the staff at The Ad Council or the details of what they were working on. I then helped with creative for events many years, including the Mad Magazine concept in 2003, Golf to the Xtreme in 2004, and this year’s inaugural Summer Smash.

You’ve partnered with us on a long list of projects. It there one that’s been most rewarding?

The videos I’ve been working on for the Join the Organ Donor Registry initiative the last few months have been really impactful. It’s been great to have the opportunity to share stories of local people whose lives have been saved by receiving an organ transplant. And the team at Finger Lakes Donor Recovery are so passionate about expanding the registry to save more lives– they’ve been wonderful to work with.

We notice you’ve got a special knack for making people feel comfortable in front of a camera. How do you do it?

It’s always been important to me that the studio is a welcoming place that people actually look forward to coming to. We try to keep that consistent in everything we do, from having an inviting space, to how we make everyone who comes to the studio feel at home. Even people who’ve been in front of the camera many times can get stiff and need help letting their authentic self come through.

How do you take your coffee?  

I like to say I’m naturally caffeinated so I don’t drink coffee to keep me going during the day. That said, I’m Italian and enjoy a nice espresso with dinner. When I do drink coffee, I like a quality brew. I even bought a Royal Dutch Coffee maker on a trip to Belgium once. It’s amazing – look it up on YouTube.

Do you have any advice for other people who volunteer with us?

I’ve been tremendously fortunate in this life. As I get further into my career, what’s important to me is giving back to the community that has been so generous to me. As creatives we have a special opportunity to make a difference in our community because we have the ability to move people. We have to use our talents to give back.