Our Creative Operations Team at The Martin Group is the reason we’re able to produce as much great work as we do every day across three offices and over 80 employees. This has never been more important than during our COVID-dictated work-from-home status. So here’s a shoutout to one of the team members behind the scenes: Project Supervisor Steve Soroka.
What was your first-ever job?
I worked in the kitchen at a local pizzeria. My duties included making the dough, assembling the pizzas, as well as manning the ovens while trying not to burn the pizzas or my arms. I absolutely loved the job as I worked with a bunch of friends and we had a blast working together. The only downside was smelling like onions and grease at the end of a shift.
What brought you into the world of marketing?
After moving back to Buffalo from Los Angeles, I picked up a copy of a local publication (Block Club Magazine). The design, layout, and storytelling appealed to me and I knew I wanted to get involved. I started out as a freelance photographer, but then evolved into a web designer, project manager, and studio manager.
What’s the biggest difference between working at The Martin Group and your previous gig?
The biggest difference here at The Martin Group is the resources available in terms of manpower. I’ve been blown away on several occasions by how fast a team can come together here to tackle a time-sensitive request.
What traits do you have personally that make you a good fit for the Creative Operations/Traffic Department?
I’m always looking to be as efficient as possible in everything that I do. That applies to creating a perfect workback schedule for a client job as well as unloading the dishwasher at home in the least amount of time possible.
What do you like most about The Martin Group?
The culture is really amazing. Coming from a smaller agency that had a great culture, I was wondering how a larger office and more people would play into the culture. I’m happy to report that the size aspect hasn’t had any negative effects. If anything, it adds to the positive culture here as there are more personal and professional milestones to celebrate. I know that the management and executive teams place a high priority on culture and it shows.
What’s the best professional advice you would give to someone else interested in pursuing your career path or something similar?
A longtime friend once told me to always go with my initial instinct no matter how big or small the choice is. It took me a long time to finally adhere to this, but once I finally started following this, I’ve not had a single regret. My advice to someone pursuing a similar career path would be to take the time to slow down. I used to think that an immediate response was the best one. While clients appreciate you being attentive, they’d rather you take some time to think about a request and provide the best recommendation possible.
What are you passionate about?
My family, the Bills, and trying to do the right thing at all times.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I love spending time with my wife and kids. Getting down to the mindset of a kid is a very healthy thing to do in my opinion. There’s no worrying about paying the bills or figuring out what to make for dinner. All you have to worry about is what to play with next and who’s going to give me my next meal. I also enjoy getting immersed in a great film as well as playing frolf (frisbee golf) with a bunch of friends at Emery Park.
What is one thing that people may not know about you, but that you’re proud of? Why?
I’ve been a proud coach of my son and daughter’s soccer team for the past three years. I absolutely love coaching young kiddos (four- to eight-years-old) as we can do fun drills during practice like “hit the coach with a ball and he’ll make whatever animal noise you’d like.” There’s also nothing like seeing a child make a personal breakthrough in his or her game and then celebrate with you afterward.
What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
Ghostbusters. The combination of humor, special effects (that still hold up to a certain point), and containing the paranormal was a recipe that had me hooked after my first viewing when I was five or six years-old. I’m really looking forward to the next installment, Ghostbusters Afterlife, which comes out this summer. I dress up as a Ghostbuster every year for Halloween. I can’t wait to see how many kids will join me next Halloween after the movie this summer.
If there’s a quote that, in one way or another, sums up the way you view and live your life, what would it be?
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.” This is something I remind my kids about often and when they stop and think about it, I see the light bulb go on over their heads.