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Author: Cory Johnson

All in a Day’s Work: Elizabeth Leon-Guerrero

Elizabeth Leon-Guerrero joins Strateligent as graphic designer   Elizabeth Leon-Guerrero has joined the Strateligent ad agency team as a graphic designer. Being based on the West Coast and attracted to working remotely, she was mainly drawn to the position due to Strateligent’s client base, which includes healthcare, education, and government—areas she naturally enjoys working with. “It was very fulfilling to learn about the clients we have at Strateligent. Every day, I am excited to work with them,” said Leon-Guerrero. “By helping to present their messages through high-quality graphic design, I can help make a positive impact for them and their communities.” Leon-Guerrero found early inspiration in mid-century design—from typography...

All in a Day’s Work: Aaron Hautala

Making the impossible possible (within reason). Aaron Hautala, co-founder, CEO, and creative director of Strateligent, specializes in making it happen for our clients, our communities, and ourselves. With 25 years of experience, he’s a master of cultivating strategic growth through intelligent design across a multitude of industries, including healthcare, destination tourism, government, education, and manufacturing. [caption id="attachment_14536" align="alignright" width="371"] Aaron presents the keynote at QBP’s Frostbike, a national cycling conference for bicycle shops.[/caption] Leading by listening The Strateligent magic starts with Aaron. His initial consultation with a new client begins with a 30,000-foot view of the organization and its known communication goals. From there, he uses his decades of...

How Winter Outdoor Recreation Aids Economic Development

Aaron Hautala talks winter fat biking and economic growth on the Trail Eaffect podcast The January 5 episode of the Trail Eaffect, a podcast devoted to telling the stories of trails, trail communities, and the leaders who make it happen, featured Strateligent and Cuyuna Adventure Town USA CEO Aaron Hautala. In this bonus episode, Aaron talks about his role advocating for developing winter outdoor recreation as a way of boosting economic development in the Cuyuna region. Aaron knew that for businesses to invest in the region, economic opportunity couldn’t be seasonal, relying on a few months of summer mountain bicycling and mine lake paddling alone. For businesses...

Strateligent CEO appears on Active Towns podcast

Aaron shares how he helped transform the Cuyuna region through outdoor recreation BRAINERD –Strateligent CEO Aaron Hautala recently appeared as a guest on John Simmerman’s Active Towns YouTube podcast. The December 2, 2022, episode, “How to create community and economic vibrancy through bikes,” features an in-depth conversation about Aaron’s role in creating economic development through outdoor recreation in the Cuyuna region. John Simmerman is a health promotion professional who specializes on how the build environment influences human behavior, active living, and active mobility. With more than 4,000 subscribers at the time of this writing, the Active Towns podcast documents established and emerging Active Towns “to inspire the...

Aaron Hautala, Strateligent CEO, Presents Keynote at 2022 Iowa Trails Summit

BRAINERD – Aaron Hautala, CEO and Creative Director of Strateligent and destination development consultant, recently delivered the keynote address to a captive audience at the Iowa Trails Summit, an annual event that focuses on trail development topics including land acquisition, engineering, funding, maintenance, and marketing. “Aaron has a remarkable ability to connect with trail advocates through shared challenges and visions,” said Andrea Boulton, Trails and Greenways Director at INHF statewide trails coordinator. “In a matter of moments, he created a relationship with everyone in the audience and inspired them to not only consider what could be for their own communities, but also provided them with action...

Beth Hautala

All in a Day’s Work: Beth Hautala

Behind the Scenes (literally) with Beth Hautala When it comes to coworkers at Strateligent, Beth Hautala may often be out of sight, but she is never out of mind. As cofounder of the company, her roles are sometimes unseen, but in many ways, she always impacts our day-to-day operations. Many years ago, in her role as visionary, Beth had a discussion with Aaron. She suggested that the wise choice for the couple—who was beginning their advertising/marketing business in their red house—was to purchase a computer, instead of a woodstove, for the front room. And the rest, as they say, is history. In the beginning, the couple also...

All in a Day’s Work: Cory Johnson

Turning the “How” into “Wow” Chances are, if you’ve worked with us, you’ve worked with Cory Johnson—graphic designer, video production specialist, licensed drone pilot, Harley enthusiast, Disney+ aficionado, artist, and collaborator extraordinaire. ‘Graphic designer’ can mean anything. For Cory, it means everything. He does it all. He does digital—display ads, social media graphics, websites. He does traditional—newspaper ads, billboards, and sales collateral. His diverse design experience spans many industries—healthcare, manufacturing, destination tourism, government agencies—and many different media—web, TV, social, you name it. And he’s our resident video expert. A precise narrative that aligns with your brand and business goals. Strategic, intelligently designed video production starts with collaboration between our creative director, Aaron,...

Aaron Hautala, Strateligent CEO, becomes Certified Executive Coach

BRAINERD – Aaron Hautala, CEO and Creative Director of Strateligent, recently attended the Center for Executive Coaching in northern California, where he fulfilled the requirements of the program and is now a Certified Executive Coach. The certification seminar was led by Michael Neuendorff who has been coaching since 2008 and is a professional certified coach with the International Coach Federation, as well as a faculty member of the Center for Executive Coaching. Neuendorff specializes in communication, achieving success in a new role, and building high-performance teams. “I chose to become a certified executive coach to ‘learn another language,’” said Hautala. “At Strateligent, we continually consult and advise...

What’s “The One Thing” that makes a leader worth following?

Strateligent’s CEO and Creative Director Aaron Hautala recently presented during the local lunch segment of Leadercast, a nationally broadcast leadership seminar hosted locally by Sourcewell at Timbers Event Center in Staples, Minnesota. Approximately 70 local and regional leaders in education, non-profit, manufacturing, and healthcare, attended.   This year’s Leadercast invited ten of the world’s most influential leaders to give a talk on “The One Thing” that makes a leader worth following. Each host site also invited a respected community leader in the community to share their perspectives to local attendees. For Hautala, that one thing is building relationships.   “Good leadership starts with building relationships—and those relationships make the...

Collaboration is a three-legged stool.

In our work, collaboration is one of our Strateligent values and we collaborate daily within our team. However, before we ever begin a client project, there is an even more crucial collaboration—when Aaron Hautala, Strateligent’s president and creative director, meets with a client and their stakeholders in a project’s initial planning phase.   Purpose. The first leg of the three-legged collaboration stool occurs when Aaron brings the various stakeholders together to determine the purpose of the project and to discern their goals. Whether it’s consulting with a new client or an existing client with a new project, the people involved come from different backgrounds and viewpoints or they...