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The Business First Roundtable Features Tod Martin

6 min read
October 8, 2015

The recent resurgence of Buffalo continues to amaze, from the transformation of downtown to the thriving startup community to the growth of our medical campuses and international companies like New Era Cap, Delaware North and Rich’s Products.

We’re honored to be a part of this evolution, and we were thrilled to have our Principal/Chief Creative Officer Tod Martin recently appear on Buffalo Business First’s Fast-Growing Companies Industry Roundtable.

Throughout the year, Business First journalists moderate high-level decision-makers from diverse industries who meet for a panel discussion, focused on a specific topic. Later, excerpts are published in the weekly newspaper. These discussions are sponsored by Hodgson Russ LLP and are held at the firm’s office on Pearl Street in Buffalo.

This fall, 10 top-level executives, who were among Buffalo’s 2015 fastest-growing companies Fast Track list (The Martin Group was No. 6 this year) convened to discuss strategies they use to promote expansion in industries such as real estate, logistics, insurance, entertainment, IT consulting and a variety of others.

Throughout the discussion, Martin highlighted why TMG is able to deliver top-of-the-line creative and strategic marketing ideas.

When the moderator asked a question about home-brewed talent affecting business, the answers varied. Some in the roundtable focused on company acquisitions and mergers as a major reason for their growth, others mentioned their strong strategic plans, and a few discussed their company’s ability to hire good people. Martin set the tone and Robert Rich III, president of ROAR Logistics, and Kevin McMullen, owner/CEO of Oogie Games LLC, agreed. Martin said, “You know, the better talent you have, the better talent you can attract and the better work you’re going to do. At the end of the day, the work that we do from a marketing/advertising standpoint is very visible, and if we’re delivering for our clients, the referrals happen.”

Martin also focused on how employees come first because there is a positive work environment and company culture, fostering positive employee morale, creating excitement to come to work every day and perform the best work.

Tom McManus, CEO of Kegworks, said, “A dollar is a dollar, but the environment that people work with and the people they work with is really what changes it.”

Proving TMG’s positive company culture, Martin built off of McManus and expressed that The Martin Group employees work on deadlines and can have multiple projects in the air at once. Therefore, it’s important that employees are recognized for their hard work and that they take well-deserved breaks. He said, “The management team works hard to make sure that once every couple weeks we’re doing something. Yesterday, we had a chicken wing challenge, someone ran out and we picked up wings from four different places around town and just had a competition.”

Last year, The Martin Group acquired Travers Collins, and then later AMDG Public Affairs. Since that time, TMG has had serious client and employee growth, which has both positively benefited the company and the greater Buffalo community.

Responding to a question about how necessary growth is to the company, Martin set the ground for other’s responses and said, “If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking, and it scares the daylights out of me.” McMullen agreed with Martin’s philosophy and added that while growth is vital, it is also important to step back and polish up on the internals of a company to ensure profitability.

McMullen’s response tied back to Martin’s comment about treating employees with the utmost respect and recognizing and rewarding them for their hard work. The Martin Group wouldn’t be The Martin Group without its diligent employees, thanks to the positive office culture.

Rich made another great point on growth, saying, “I think the successful companies grow with people who are looking in the stars while there are other people in more concrete aspects of the business: controlling the cost, maintaining the standard of service provision that you provide.” There must be a balance between go-getter employees who reel in the business and accounting, checkbook-balancing minded people; otherwise there may be a recipe for disaster.

The Business First Roundtable helps to foster the growth of the economic resurgence in the Buffalo area. It allows for the relaying of information between executives, allowing employees at each company to benefit from these discussions.

We couldn’t be more excited that our founder Tod Martin was among the 10 panelists and we look forward to the upcoming Industry Roundtable discussions.



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