Phil Davidson

PARTNER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR

All it took was one graphic design class in 8th grade and I was hooked. Now, after having a career that has expanded over 17 years, I still can’t imagine doing anything else. I love my work because it’s been anything but boring. From providing design for an international seafood company, to creating work for a Big 12 University, I’ve had the chance to work in a variety of different industries and settings. My career has also granted me once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like watching a brain surgery and starting a beer soap company (don’t ask). But the best part? Having the opportunity to meet and work with countless creative minds over the years.

What made you interested in starting a business?
I’ve always had the desire to work with clients who genuinely enjoy the marketing process—rather than have people dread “another meeting with marketing.” Maybe it was about changing a stigma, or maybe it was an “entrepreneurial spirit.” Call it what you will, but our goal was to turn the marketing world on its head. We wanted to make the creative process fun and engaging. So, that’s what we set out to build: a creative agency where people can come to us, regardless of their creative problem.

What’s your Power of Play?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what my Power of Play is, because I’m interested in so many different things. But I also think that’s what Power of Play is—having the opportunity to bring our team’s different passions, hobbies, and ideas into our work and coming up with ways to pursue projects that align with those interests. Outside of work, I love spending quality time with my wife and kids, coaching baseball, and weekends at the cabin.

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Jeff Ruprecht

PARTNER/INTERACTIVE DIRECTOR

I was always into drawing, painting, and everything art-related. I thought it would be great to make a career out of my passion—but I also didn’t want to be a “starving artist.” So, when I was in high school, I brushed off my parent’s old Encyclopedia Britannica and found this thing called “commercial art.” I went to college, majored in design, and never looked back. I’ve been working in the marketing world for over 22 years now, in a variety of industries that include retail, healthcare, government, higher education, hospitality, and more. Every day, I feel like I’m doing what I was intended to be doing. Helping people solve their problems in a creative way, caring about what they care about, and seeing that they achieve their goals.

What made you interested in starting a business?
I always thought it would be cool to start an agency—even though I didn’t set out to do it. But, having so many great experiences with a variety of agencies under my belt, I was ready for a new challenge and opportunity. I thought, why not? The stars aligned and Phil and I started Creative Arcade.

What’s your Power of Play?
If I have an idea, I check it out. It’s that drive to create something from nothing—starting with an idea and working to make it grow into something that will impact people. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids, fishing, catching a game, and scratching that creative “itch” by making some pretty cool stuff.

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Kate Rod

COPY/CONTENT WRITER

I consider myself to be an editing enthusiast and copy critic. As a writer, I like to push myself and others to write “gooder” (as my colleagues like to say). My favorite part? Writing stories and copy that impact people. My experience includes work with higher education, news, and healthcare. Prior to Creative Arcade, I managed communications for HealthPartners and Essentia Health’s employee wellness program here in Duluth.

What gets me out of bed in the morning? Opportunity and tea of course.

What’s your Power of Play?
Other than correcting my colleagues’ grammar, I love helping people share their stories. For me, finding enjoyment in the little things is a huge part of Power of Play—from coming up with the perfect tagline, to working with a client to find their central messaging. As for what I enjoy doing outside of work, anything outdoors. Camping, fishing, hunting, snowshoeing, skiing, running, reading… I could go on and on.

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Jan Christenson

DIGITAL/WEB DEVELOPER

As a self-proclaimed “geek” I was always drawn to the tech stuff.  When I was younger, my dad bought a Commodore 64 computer and I would spend hours tinkering with it. However, funnily enough, after college I didn’t set out for a career in development. I started in tech support back in the good old days of dial-up internet. One day at work, my boss told me a client needed a website. He asked, “Do you think you could do it?” Always up for a challenge I said, “Sure, why not?” I ended up loving it.

For me, there’s something exciting about combining art and technology and coming up with a working solution. And if I’ve learned anything in my past 22 years of web development, it’s that there’s always a solution.

What’s your Power of Play?
I love taking the things I’m passionate about and applying them to the work I do every day. At work, I get to play around with cool gadgets, like our drones for the video work we provide. Outside of work, I have way too many hobbies. I love spending time with my wife and daughter, being involved in my church, woodworking, and martial arts.

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Stephen Pestalozzi

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

I was that kid who was always tinkering with things. Whether it was sketching up designs or playing with Lincoln Logs, I enjoyed solving problems. So, when it came time for me to choose a career, I knew I liked to draw, I liked to tinker with things, and I liked to solve problems. Boil it down and graphic design is what you get.

Having previous experience in the skateboard, snowboard, and restaurant industries, I’ve also learned to channel my creative juices into photography and videography. I love the entire design process—from concepting with clients, to making a product both you and I can be proud of.

What’s your Power of Play?
I’ve really enjoyed incorporating my love of videography and photography into my work because it opens the door for endless opportunities and creative projects. Outside of work, I’m a serious skateboarder, coffee connoisseur, and definite doodler. I also love spending time with my wife, Robin, and our dog, Gordita.

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