Upshot earns top ranking in best places to work

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MARKETING AGENCY UPSHOT, INC was ranked as No. 10 in the Chicago Tribune’s annual Top Places to Work compilation, as much for its traditional benefits and congenial working environment as its quirky employee perks, that include free yogo and on-site bike repair for its many cyclists. 

The 18-year old agency, headed by president/CEO Brian Kristofek, is located in the Apparel Center across from the Merchandise Mart, and serves clients that include P&G, Disney, Subway, Kraft and New Balance.

This is the second year in a row the 175-employee company was included in the listing.  It was cited as Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Best Small Businesses to Work For.”

MATTHEW JACOBSON, design director for singer Jack White’s Third Man Records label, has the newly-created job of VP/group director of design for Digitas’ Chicago and San Francisco offices.  He reports to Digitas/Chicago’s ECD Kevin Davis.  Jacobson had been SVP/CD at Team Detroit, and CD at Bagby + Co. and art director at Cramer/Krasselt.

“CHICAGO FIRE” WILL CONTINUE to shoot here for an additional three months following NBC Universal’s order to add nine new episodes to give fans a full first season of 22 episodes.  So instead of “Fire” ending its Chicago stay in December, as the network originally announced, the Wednesday night drama will be shooting here through March. 

An uptick in the ratings over the last several weeks cinched the deal. Ratings now average 8 million viewers and a 2.4 in the 18-49 demographics.  The network will decide in May whether or not it will renew the show.

NAMES & NEWS.  When director Scott McCullough recently rejoined STORY for exclusive representation, his first assignment was helming a five-spot package for Boston-based Digitas. He’d been on STORY’s staff from 2005 to 2008.  McCullough becomes the 14th director on STORY’s current roster, which includes feature director George Tillman, Jr.

Sidebar: A lovely story about the 22-year happy marriage of STORY executive director Mark Androw and Kim Androw appeared in the Tribune’s “Sunday” section’s well-read “Love Notes” column, written by Kim.  Great photo of the couple, too.

*Producer Megan Guerrant departed Foundation Content after 18 months and can be reached at 773/501-3383. She holds the treasurer’s position on the Women in Film board.

*Top automotive execs Douglas Ekman and Jeff Chardell head a new automotive ad group at Noble Communications/Chicago, bringing with them the suburban Max Madsen Mitsubishi dealerships.

* Televersions account exec John Galkowski has moved over to DKP Image and Media, replication and subtitling services, in the same position, in  anticipation of DKP expanding its service offerings and “doubling the size” of its West Loop facility in 2013.

FINAL JUDGING FOR “30 SECONDS OVER CHICAGO,” called by founder Rich Seng as the “first ever crowd-sourced commercial contest” takes place in front of a live online audience and Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Double Door at 8 p.m.

Three agency judges — O&M CD Brendan Gately, Leo Burnett VP/strategy director Kevin Richey, and digital Doejo cofounder/CD Darren Marshall — will critique the ads, but the public’s votes will decide the winners.

Top three vote getters receive money and prizes, and their spots will appear in future broadcasts on gigity.tv, which will carry the event live online.

FIRST HOLIDAY PARTY to be announced is the Chicago Acting in Film Meetup’s fourth annual networking and fundraising party Dec. 10 at the Hard Rock Hotel, 7 to 11 p.m.  Drinks, dessert treats from Cake Bite Girl, jazz music from the band Eastern Blok, raffle prizes, a photo booth for souvenir pictures. 

This and more for a $45 ticket www.chicagoactinginfilm.org  says Grace McPhillips, CAFM founder and codirector with Steve Scholz.  While CAFM’s monthly meetings are for members only, the party is open to everyone.

CHICPUG’S NOV. 14 MEETING features speakers editor Steve Hullfish, on pro workflows in Avid Media Composer; John Ladle from AJA telling what’s new from the recent International Broadcasters Convention and Skip Levens of Active Storage on how high-speed, redundant storage impacts workflows.

At Future Media Concepts Chicago, 200 S. Michigan, starting at 6:15 p.m.

The year may be winding down, not your news.  Send it to Ruth@reelchicago.com.

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