“Two Minutes With” is Weber Shandwick Seattle’s employee spotlight series that provides professional and personal insight into our rockstar team. Today, we’re highlighting Account Director Jason Maier. Enjoy!
Tell us about life before Weber Shandwick.
Aside from a brief stint in politics, I’ve spent the last eight years supporting the Gates Foundation and Mr. Gates’ private office in various capacities. Most recently, I was in-house with Intellectual Ventures to manage communications for their humanitarian work with Mr. Gates. Prior to that, I spent several years on the agency side with GMMB and Edelman.
What brought you here?
I’ve had my eye on Weber Shandwick’s social impact practice for a while because it offers the chance to focus on the type of work and clients that I’m passionate about. I’m also excited to work with other communications professionals again, which is something I’ve missed during much of my time in-house.
When not saving the world during your day job, what do you do on the weekends?
You can usually find me playing with my 21-month-old daughter or doing schoolwork for my master’s degree. Those keep me busy, but I also enjoy home improvement projects or anything that lets me work with my hands. It’s a nice change of pace after a long week in the office.
Is it true that Rose Berg hired you 6 years ago at Edelman? What is something you learned from working with her in that chapter of you career?
That’s true, although it feels like an eternity ago. I always enjoyed working with Rose because she takes a broad view of communications and how it can help an organization. As PR professionals, it’s easy to get boxed into a particular tactic, but Rose taught me how important it is to stay focused on your client’s goals and think creatively about different ways to help them succeed.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
People are usually surprised to learn that I intentionally don’t live in Seattle. I love the city, but appreciate being able to disconnect and spend my downtime somewhere a little quieter. That’s why my wife and I live in Des Moines, which is about 15 miles south of Seattle.
If you could only listen to music from one band or artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Probably Tom Waits, but Led Zeppelin comes in as a close second. I love both, but I feel like the diversity of Waits’ catalog would keep things interesting.
What’s one talent or skill that you wish you had?
I’ve learned (and mostly forgotten) how to play several instruments over the years, but I’ve never been able to master the guitar. About once a year I dig out an acoustic guitar gathering dust in my closet, but I rarely make it past the sore fingertips.
Do you have any personal mottos that you live by?
I’m a big fan of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, so “Don’t Panic” always resonates with me. It’s just simple, sound advice that will never steer you wrong.