Maple in Full Bloom
Subtitle: "Don't Drink the Water at Maple Creative"
We recently enjoyed a colorful, full-page feature article on Maple Creative in The Charelston Daily Mail. It ran during the week of Mother's Day on May 9, 2007. Thanks to staff reporter Mary Childress we were able to share a very special story.
The Daily Mail article told the wonderful news of a growing company and its growing families. You see, since our founding in 2001, there have been eight children born to Mapleonians--and there are two more coming in September of this year. All told the extended Maple family includes 14 children. As one of the owners and founders, there is nothing more gratifying to me than seeing young professionals settle down, attaining security and stability, while getting married, buying homes for the first time and starting families. That's what it's all about!
WHEN the Charleston marketing firm Maple Creative says it's a family friendly place to work, it means it. There's a baby boom of sorts going on there. Since the firm was established in 2001, eight children have been born to partners and staff members. "We also have two expectant mothers on staff, both vice presidents of the company," said Skip Lineberg, chief creative office and a partner in the firm.
"They are both due on the same date in September and that will swell our numbers to 10 children under 5 years old."
Employees Thomas White and Marc Lewis already had two children each when they joined the company. White's children are Luke, 10, and Sydney, 7. Lewis's sons are 5-year old Xavier and 3-year-old Gavin.
When Maple Creative was founded, the partners wanted the company to be a great place to work. "We started the firm to be family-friendly," said Lineberg. "We felt it was the right thing to do. We wanted to attract the best and the brightest young people and to keep them here," he said. "That meant we had to create family friendly policies and procedures that would allow our staff plenty of flexibility in their work time and environment."
The firm specializes in marketing, advertising, public relations, lobbying and e-business expertise. It is headquartered in the Sun Trust Building at 300 Capitol St. The Mapleonians, as they call themselves, are co-workers and friends. They have a lunch bunch that eats together every day and they know that bringing their children to work will not be an issue.
Chloe Lineberg and Katie Nester, both 5, were the first children born in the firm. "We had a year there, in 2002 where babies were part of our staff," said Lineberg. "We had campaigns to run and spent a lot of late nights working and tending babies."
Tracey Davis, vice president of operations, brought her 2-year old daughter, Zoey, to work with her every day during her first year. "We all work together to take care of each other," she said. "We've rocked many a kid to sleep when we were here on late nights.
"They call me 'Mom' around here," Davis said. "I'm the keeper of the toys and books. They're all in my office.
"In addition to Zoey, I'm expecting our second daughter, Addison, in September," she said. "All total, that will make 14 kids for us. We're all pretty good multi-taskers.
"We've talked about having a daycare center here and we hope someday that can become reality," Davis said.
For the families and staff at Maple, the company offers flexible work hours, personal leave time; an opportunity to work from home occasionally when needed; extended leave for employees for family illness; and a maternity leave policy where new moms can take the time they need before coming back to work.
Emily Bennington Tugwell, marketing director, started at Maple right out of college. Her son Liam was born four weeks ago. "When I began here, it was like everyone was having babies," she said. "It's such a supportive environment for families and kids here.
"When I was out of the office a couple of months back to meet a client, they said, 'Oh, not you, too,' when they saw I was pregnant," Tugwell said.
For Lora Franco, client services administer, being able to bring her 9-month-old son Samuel to work with her is a plus. "If I have an issue with my baby sitter I can just bring (my son) to work and know it's OK," she said.
Katie Nester, the 5-year-old daughter of Jim Nester, vice president for client services and, 2-year-old Sherman Lineberg, son of Skip Lineberg, also are familiar faces in the office.
Kim Gayton, vice president of creative services, is expecting her first
child Sept. 8. "With the supportive family here at Maple, it's good to know
that when my baby arrives, I can take the time I need," she said.
Contact writer Mary Childress at firstname.lastname@example.org or 348-4886.