Meet the BB&P team – today we say hello to Ben.
Every so often we sit down with a different BB&P team member to find out more about them. This time, it’s Ben Leftwich, Account Director.
Who are you and what do you do at BB&P?
My name is Ben Leftwich and I’m an Account Director. That covers a wide range in a boutique agency, but basically, I’m the lead point of contact for nearly all of BB&P’s clients.
I also head up all the research done by BB&P in the Cayman market, and since my background is in digital I jump in and help the digital team on planning and execution when required.
Lastly, I help organise all the business development initiatives for the organisation, working with the principals to set the strategic direction for the company and executing the business development plan.
How did you end up in Cayman?
A Caymanian girl of course. I met my now-wife when we were still in college at Haverford College outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We dated long-distance for a number of years after college until eventually she moved to Portland, Oregon, where I grew up.
After living in Portland for about three and a half years we decided to make the move down to Cayman to be closer to my wife’s family. We’ve been here since early 2012.
What’s your favourite thing about living in Cayman?
Having grown up in the rainy, grey Pacific northwest, the sun is definitely a big plus. The best thing though, is being close to my wife’s family. They are all very close, and growing up as an only child with most of my cousins living far away from Portland, having a big, extended family nearby is wonderful.
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Probably from my parents on going to college: take classes you know nothing about and you don’t think you would like and you never know what you might learn. Some of the best moments in my university and professional life have been trying the unexpected, something that seems completely counterintuitive, but which opens up a whole new world of understanding and experience.
What are the three tools you use in your job you couldn’t live without?
Workflowy – I’ve tried lots of different task management tools (Wunderlist, Trello, Asana, etc.), but Workflowy is by far my favourite. The simplicity of the tool is what makes it great for me. When I think of something I need to do I have to get it out of my head otherwise I forget, and Workflowy allows me to do that quickly and easily.
JIRA – given that BB&P has gone completely SCRUM now across the agency, JIRA is critical for us to track project status and to get visibility into the work of each staff member. Although it’s still better for digital projects than non-digital, the same SCRUM techniques, managed through JIRA, help us to all stay on task.
Dropbox – managing huge creative files and sharing them with clients has always been problematic. We used to do it all on our own FTP, but have since simplified the process and instead do everything on Dropbox now. The version control, commenting features, and security makes it amazing and easy to share files with clients.
What’s your favourite band at the moment?
That’s a tough one because I’m always looking for new music. Really into the 1975 at the moment, especially with the release of their latest album, but ask me again in two weeks time and you’ll get another answer.
What’s the best book you read recently?
I try to mix it up between fiction and nonfiction in my personal reading list. Quite honestly I probably read too many business books, so to take a break recently I read Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. Really good if you like science fiction, and are ready for a long read. Essentially the book chronicles what would happen if the moon blew apart, and how humanity would survive the end of the world. Sounds depressing, but it’s actually really interesting and fun reading.
What TV show are you hooked on at the moment?
Loving American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson right now. I was aware of the OJ Simpson case when I was growing up, but I’m realising I was way too young to understand all of the intricacies of the case, and obviously how race factored into the overarching narrative of the entire event. Plus, the acting and cinematography are great.
What 3 sites do you check regularly to keep up to date with the industry?
Reddit – subreddits on marketing aren’t the most active on Reddit, but do tend to bubble up some good news from time to time. I like r/marketing r/adporn r/web_design.
eMarketer – the paid subscription is great if you can afford it, but even the free charts and data they provide are really interesting and a way to keep tabs on the latest trends.
Search Engine Land – really more for digital news, and originally focused more on SEO and paid search, but if you need to keep up with the latest in digital it’s a great place to go for a quick catch up.
What’s your go-to order at the bar at Friday happy hour?