I Am In-House: Mike Dorval

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Mike Dorval is Senior Manager of Creative for the in-house group at Isagenix International. A good part of his career has been focused on building in-house creative teams and advancing the cause of design professionalism in the corporate setting. Mike has worked in the retail sector as lead Creative for a Fortune 500 company, and since 2005 has been working in the health and wellness/direct sales space. Originally a New England boy, Mike moved to Phoenix in 2003 with his future wife Evelyn to escape the snow. Evelyn and Mike are co-owners of Evelyn Ford Shoes, an innovative luxury startup that Evelyn founded in 2014. They currently reside in Phoenix, along with their 2 furry felines, where they have adapted nicely to the warm winters and really warm summers.

  1. Where do you work? What does your company do?

    I work at Isagenix International, headquartered in Gilbert, Arizona. Isagenix is an amazing company offering health and wellness products and business solutions for people all over the world.

  2. What types of services does your team specialize in?

    The Isagenix Creative group uses graphic and digital media design to strategically support our internal partners with print, online and social media, packaging, signage, environmental and events branding, livestream broadcasting and corporate programs. We create compelling promotional and informational campaigns with fun, targeted social pushes and award-winning videos. Our group works in partnership with our International markets to support and build brand consistency in our markets in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas.

  3. How many people make up your team?

    We have 9 graphic designers and 11 video members in our group.

  4. Your title/role within the company:

    I am officially “Senior Manager of Creative Services.”

  5. What was your very first job in this field?

    My very first design job started as an internship at an agency owned by one of my professors at Mass. Art. It was a great opportunity to put my classes to practical use. I remember learning a lot about being creative on very tight deadlines, which taught me to trust my gut – but also to be open to constructive criticism and change.

  6. Share a best-practice leadership experience:

    When I was asked to lead our Video team over a year ago, it was not because of any production experience I had. It was because of my track record with other Creative teams – designers, writers and project managers – where the keys to success were hiring the best people, spotting talent in the people I already had, and working together with them to accomplish more than I could on my own. Because of the amazing growth and support of Isagenix, the Video team and the Creative group as a whole has the opportunity to evolve, be better structured for growth, and be more flexibility to handle increasing and variable workloads. We continue on this path every day, working together to constantly improve our organization.

  7. What are you working on now that you’re excited about?

    Isagenix is not a company to rest on its laurels. We’re constantly looking for new ways to help people improve their lives and finances. In the time I have been here, I’ve seen a lot of change. As we approach our goal of a billion dollars in annual sales, the Creative group has been a key partner in driving innovation and growth. I am excited by how far we have come and how technology is driving our growth internally and as a brand.

  8. If you could share one piece of advice for an up-and-coming creative leader what would it be?

    I would have to say that creativity is super important, but the ability to talk to internal partners and understand what they need is one of the most important skills to develop and the basis for success in creative leadership. Be open to ideas and don’t let ego get in the way. In my experience, in-house requires you to work with many different levels of people in a company Being calm and open helps one to get through the change and reactionary aspects of a corporate environment.

  9. What inspires you?

    Working with really talented people inspires and amazes me. I believe the energy you get from working in a truly creative environment multiplies your own creativity. That is why I love being challenged by new situations, learning things from my design and video teams, and working with accomplished professionals from any discipline. I am grateful for people who can show me new ways to focus my vision and challenge me to up my game.

  10. What is the first thing you do each day to organize yourself?

    In the mornings, before anything else inevitably starts to complicate the day, I open up a note and free associate ideas for projects I am working on, or things I’d like to do at the office. I don’t worry about sorting or validating at that point. I just save them to organize and prioritize around other appointments after I get to the office.

  11. Have you noticed any changes or trends for in-house creatives in the past year?

    I definitely feel like in-house is getting more respect among all our creative colleagues than it has in the past. In this time where advertising budgets are stretched to the max and agencies have to be leaner, in-house provides the stability needed to experiment and evolve a brand.

  12. What has been your greatest challenge as a creative leader?

    One of the greatest challenges I face is growing trust and confidence for our in-house teams with our internal partners. But, most important to me is keeping the work interesting when growth and change challenges the group to stretch beyond their comfort zones.

  13. Describe the career path you have taken and where you see yourself next.

    I have always gravitated toward the structure an in-house career provides, so I’d like to stay focused in that direction. I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing people, and travel to amazing places, all because of my choice to work in-house. I hope to continue this journey for a long time to come, and wherever I am, I want to continue to be “a Creative” and help others find their direction.

  14. Parting words:

    Always push the boundaries, be proud of your work, and love what you do. Be driven to excellence.

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