PF Peeps: Acquaint Yourself With Marla

By Pathfind, July 18, 2019 // Inside PF

[About a 4 MIN read]

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but the copy team has been laughing more since Marla joined Pathfinders as a copywriter. Her background at The Second City has not gone unnoticed, and her collaborative nature has led to more interaction on writing projects.

Marla’s sparkle is ever-present. Her expression is always on the verge of a smile, and even when she is concentrating or researching her energy is palpable. A jewel like this merits a longer introduction, so read on for more about Marla!

Marla’s Motto: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” -Mother Teresa

At Work

What is/was the most fun activity or project with your Pathfinders team?
Working on Naturally Fresh rebranding! It’s been fascinating and fun to learn so much about walnut shell kitty litter and find a creative angle that will attract a new audience. See a clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMWz581uobA 

What is special about working in an Advertising and Marketing agency in Mishawaka?
I like that it’s in an unexpected place—it’s not in a giant city, and it’s been working with interesting clients from a variety of backgrounds for 40 years. It’s a cohesive team with strengths and talents that blend seamlessly. 

What do you like best about your occupation?
I love being able to tap into my performance background by getting into different headspaces and characters depending on the voice of the copy. I like that balance of focus and fun.

What location in the office do you find the most conducive to do your best?
I love working in the Ballroom. The natural light and open space sparks inspiration and relaxes me. I feel like I do my best thinking out there.

What is your favorite part of your job at Pathfinders?
I love being able to write for a living at such a close-knit company.

At Play

Talents?
I’ve been singing most of my life and was the lead singer in a band in Chicago, which was a ton of fun. I’m an actor and comedian and have performed sketch comedy, storytelling, and standup around the country, and written, produced, and performed two one-woman shows. I also teach standup at The Second City Training Center. Plus, I do an uncanny impersonation of my mom.

Most important virtue?
Compassion!

Other favorites to share?

  • Movie – “Dead Poets Society”
  • Food –Middle Eastern cuisine
  • Color – Green
  • Animal – Human beings
  • Book – “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn. It’s wildly original and made me think about humanity and the world in a completely different way.
  • Series – “Monk” This show is cheerfully dark and has an old-fashioned crime caper feel to it. I’m obsessed with it.
  • Weather – Blizzards, melancholy overcast days, and that temperature somewhere in the mid-70s that’s so perfect you don’t even notice it
  • Dance – Whatever my body does when C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” comes on
  • Awards – I won two first-place awards for poetry in college

Family life?
After living in Chicago for 11.5 years, I moved to the woods of southwest Michigan so my husband Rusty could be closer to his manufacturing shop (he’s in the brewing and distilling industries), and I could fulfill my dream of writing books in a log cabin. I’m a Helicopter Pet Parent to one dog (Katy) and 4 cats (Little Mama, Benjamin Button, Domino, and Nancy Purrlosi).

Things you may not know

What is something that not many people know about you?
I’ve never seen any of the “Star Wars” films.

What is your favorite lunch spot and after-work activity?
If the weather’s warm-ish I love eating at a table outside, or grabbing something at Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, or somewhere else mildly healthy and close by. After work you can sometimes find me reading a book in the hammock in my backyard, or writing on the couch while petting a cat, or watching something either mindless and fun or dark and thrilling on TV.

Which living persons do you most admire?
Jimmy Carter for his commitment to peace, social justice, and ending violence against women. He embodies kindness and compassion and I wish everyone was more like him.

Sinead O’Connor for her tireless calling out of abusive social structures, her vulnerability, and her otherworldly voice.

What is your most treasured accomplishment?
Serving in AmeriCorps for two years in Minneapolis. I taught English to elementary school students who were refugees, worked in the Creative Solutions (behavior) room, and coordinated body image curriculum for girls at the YWCA.

Where would you like to take your Pathfinder travel mug?
On a train trip across Europe, or a train trip anywhere at all. I love the train— it fills me with this palpable melancholy and I can’t get enough of that feeling.

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