Meet an Ambassador: Wade Franks

When you think about the variety of member types that comprise the IHAF community, my guess is that terms like corporate member, supplier member, and Board member are familiar to you. Well, there is another group among us of which I suspect you may be less aware—the IHAF Ambassador Network.

The Ambassador Network is comprised of a dozen or so business leaders from various companies, industries, geographies and team sizes who are actively engaged in spreading the word about IHAF—promoting upcoming events, answering questions on our LinkedIn group, and generally sharing content and generating enthusiasm for IHAF.

As one of our best kept (though unintentional) secrets, we thought it was high time to bring these folks out of the shadows so you can get to know them—who they are, what they do, and what makes them interesting, intriguing, inspirational advocates for the in-house model.

So we’ve added a segment to our weekly blog—a feature that introduces you to a new Ambassador each month, starting with Wade Franks. Wade is Senior Vice President of Torque Creative, the internal agency for TTI Group, a global designer, manufacturer and provider of power tools and household appliances including familiar brands like Ryobi, Craftsman, Hoover, and Orrick.

I caught up with Wade recently to find out what his team is up to, what he likes best about being an IHAF Ambassador, and what other little-known facts he might be willing to share.

“I’m excited to announce, I recently promoted two people on my team—a group we refer to as ‘Torquesters’,” he began. “We’re also in the process of converting three contractors to salaried positions, which makes us very happy.” Sounds like more than just the products are humming along at TTI. Wade went on to say there’s a good possibility his company may be building “new office digs,” as he called it, within the next couple years, which is something his Torquesters are looking forward to as well.

Earlier this year, Wade and his team were similarly excited by a new product launch they worked on for a next-generation garage door opener from Ryobi. Now you may be wondering, what’s so exciting about a garage door opener? Well, as Wade put it, “We took a boring product and made it exciting…” sending a link for us to take a peek. “And the best part of all,” beamed Wade, “is that sales have been phenomenal.” Well done, team Torque!

As an Ambassador for over three years, Wade gets a kick out of telling people about IHAF. “They act so surprised that there is an organization like the AAF (American Advertising Federation) for in-house creatives. Then I name drop companies like Discovery, Lego, Coca Cola, Fidelity, Timberland—and it’s a mic drop at that point.”

Wade’s enthusiasm for IHAF is certainly contagious! In fact, his positivity and zest for the business is evident at the office too. “This is my snow globe owl,” Wade chuckled. “He’s super wise so I commonly say ‘Let’s ask Mr. Owl’ because I love that old. Tootsie Pop commercial.” (The real question is, does the owl answer back?)

Speaking of Tootsie Pops, here’s another throwback—a photo of Wade at his first job (ever). He was a “flagman” for his dad. “My father was a crop duster,” Wade explained, “and I stood on the side of the field, waving a huge white flag like I was surrendering to a kamikaze pilot so he would know where to spray next. I would do this as he flew straight for me and then, with seconds to spare, I would step out of the way.” Lucky for us, the flag Wade waves these days is for IHAF! 

Thanks for letting all of us get to know you a little better, Wade—and for your dedication as an IHAF Ambassador. Keep your eyes peeled for next month’s Ambassador spotlight featuring Andrew Dawson from Timberland Company.

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