BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week

    Andy Narrai, president/partner at Trefoil Group in Milwaukee

    Company address: 735 North Water St., Suite 200, Milwaukee
    Web site:
    Industry: public relations and marketing
    Family: Wife, Nancy Hernandez, and daughter, Delia

    What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
    “We applied our brand positioning process to ourselves. TrueCenterTM is an approach we’ve used to help many companies bring complex issues into sharp focus, and it proved to be invigorating for us, as well. As a result, after more than 20 years as a strategic marketing communications firm, we now have a new name – Trefoil Group (previously Scheibel Halaska) – and a renewed determination to advance our clients’ vision with decisive actions and crucial results.”

    What’s new at your company?
    “In addition to our new name, we’re also adding new capabilities and staff to meet our clients’ evolving needs. Critical areas include talent acquisition, research, content marketing, social media, video production and global communications.”

    Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
    “Like any dynamic, growing firm, we’re always on the lookout for talent. The most valuable ‘capital’ in our industry is human capital. There has been tremendous growth in the digital domains of our business, so those are the areas most likely to see expansion in the next 12 months.”

    What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
    “Over the years, our firm has developed a strong reputation in specific business to business arenas – often in markets outside of metro-Milwaukee. In the past five years, we have expanded to serve a broader range of sectors and now need to extend our reputation for uniquely strategic partnerships to a much wider audience – particularly here in our home market.”

    What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
    “The integration of original, branded content into strategic marketing campaigns – especially in the form of video and other multimedia content distributed via channels ‘owned’ by the clients themselves, such as targeted microsites and e-communications.” 
    Do you have a business mantra?
    “There is no such thing as ‘B-level’ work or clients. Every client, every project, every task deserves the same level of care, attention and excellence. You are only as good as your weakest work.”

    From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
    “People like Sheldon Lubar, Dave Werner from Park Bank and my partner Mary Scheibel here at Trefoil Group – all of whom demonstrate that doing the right thing by people and giving back to the community whenever and however you can is just plain good business.”

    What was the best advice you ever received?
    “Hire the smartest people you can afford and stay out of their way as much as possible.”

    What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
    “I once missed a flight back from a conference the night before a big pitch and had to rent a car and drive through the night to get home. I arrived just in time to slug down a pot of coffee and change clothes. Everything went fine until my portion was over and my partner started to speak, at which point I promptly fell asleep – which was no reflection on her, by the way.  Somehow, we still landed the account. I guess they felt sorry for me.”

    What do you like to do in your free time?
    “I’m a big fan of reading, although these days the authors veer more toward Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak since my four-year-old is partial to them. I also volunteer on a number of local and national boards.”

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