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September 2006

Alma Matters

Page 9

anything for a fair price,” Jeff writes. “The name stuck. Cut the lawn, paint the house, shovel the walk, repair a patio, or eliminate that huge hornet’s nest over behind the barn (I still have nightmares about that one)...but we did it!”

From these experiences, Jeff learned about customer service, quality control, tracking time, collections, and working with family. By the time the brothers hit high school, they were tired of the physical labor and bee stings and started doing some graphic design work and through high school and their college years they maintained a reasonable but steady stream of work, learning more about managing time, staying disciplined, assessing client’s needs, managing client expectations, and controlling implementation. “It was a challenge at times, but always educational,” Jeff says.

have thunk it. I can’t wait to see what comes next!”

Jeff may be reached at jeff@esbgdesign.com. Pete Land started a business in Burlington,

Vermont

called

Tamarack

Media

(http://www.

tamarackmedia.org) with Bill Finnegan ‘00. “We actually met not at Dartmouth but at Yale, where we were classmates at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies,” Pete writes. “Bill and I share a belief that a number of otherwise great environmental organizations are underachieving as a result of ineffective communication. Some organizations lack the in-house capacity to produce websites, videos, or other powerful media tools; others employ messages that

ignore or even alienate potential audiences.”

After college, Jeff and his brother went their separate ways and Tasks Unlimited dissolved. Upon graduation, Jeff got pulled into a Founder/Product Development role at a disease management startup, designing and managing the development of a web- based application and service to translate traditional off- line cholesterol management protocols into new online methodologies.

“Commuting between Connecticut and Boston, negotiating with pharmas, and managing multi-million dollar development contracts, it was definitely trial by fire,” Jeff reflects. “Unfortunatel , I was born in 1977 and not 1972, and as such, despite having what I still believe was a compelling idea which would have saved lives, we got sucked under by what became the dotcom crash of 2000 and beyond. Not fun, but again, educational.”

For a brief two-year period, Jeff went out and got a job, which he says turned out to be refreshing because he no longer had all of the weight for business success on his own shoulders. “Not surprisingl , even while working under someone else’s roof, I found myself being tossed internal projects no one else wanted, rejuvenating fallen divisions, etc. Starting businesses inside business. I couldn’t escape it,” Jeff says.

Now in its third year, Tamarack Media is a firm that provides a range of communication products and strategies to environmental organizations that share its mission of diversifying and strengthening the movement to sustain the earth.

“It took us a while to build a steady stream of work, which we expected, but it frustrated us nonetheless,” Pete writes. “I live very much in the moment, so I don’t think I would have endured the slow start without Bill as a teammate. Together we decided that we wouldn’t give up on the business until we had reached our second birthday and could look back at our progress.”

By the company’s second birthda , the pair was bus , and now are nearly overwhelmed. Current challenges include “managing the chaos we’ve created and identifying projects that reward us both financially and intellectuall ,” Pete reflects. To combat chaos, the team has dedicated one wall of their office to a giant calendar that displays all current and pending projects with their start and end dates. They also developed a list of criteria that a potential project must meet so they didn’t let enthusiasm for new work trump their ability to selectively take on work that is personally meaningful and serves the mission of the organization.

Fast forward a few years and you will find Jeff back at the helm(s), working towards that “right blend of passion and work.” His current day-to-day is consumed by two businesses: ESBG Design (www.esbgdesign.com), a graphic design firm specializing in motorsports liver , identit , and packaging design, and Scintus Images (www.scintus. com), a fine art publisher and gallery. “To date, Scintus has proven an uphill battle, seemingly a bit ahead of the curve, while ESBG has shot through the roof and has garnered us worldwide acclaim,” Jeff writes. “Race cars and art, who’d

According to Pete, it can be hard to measure success in the environmental field, especially as a consultant. “Through our work, we have had the good fortune of working with some amazing individuals and organizations around the country and we are able to share their success thanks to the relationships we’ve built,” Pete says.

However, the most important relationship he has at Tamarack is with Bill. “I have learned,” writes Pete, “that it is far easier to start a business when you have a partner whom you trust, admire, and enjoy working and playing with every day.”

Pete may be reached at pete@tamarackmedia.org.

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