Vision and mission Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2007

Nineteen years ago, Tim McCarthy was working in the marketing department of a large restaurant chain when he thought up the idea of marketing the restaurants to consumers through their workplace. The company was not impressed with his brainstorm and sent him packing.

What could have spelled professional disaster for McCarthy turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it gave him time to develop his business concept, which he called “contract marketing.” Through hard work and credit-card debt, McCarthy founded Mentor-based WorkPlace Media, a marketing agency focused on the at-work consumer.

Using the WorkPlace® print media program that McCarthy created, WorkPlace Media has grown from one employee to more than 70. Its client list includes Subway, Goodyear, Denny’s, Arby’s, Ruby Tuesday and other national retail chains.

McCarthy believes in having a “cool” corporate culture and says there is nothing cooler than showing respect for your employees. Understanding that his staff members work hard, he gives them time to “play” — which often translates to food-for-thought meetings, summer barbecues and movie days.

The average length of employee service is seven years, which McCarthy attributes to the company’s fun corporate culture, encouragement of professional development, internal promotions, and offers of tuition reimbursement to full- and part-time employees. Three of the company’s five top executives have risen through the ranks.

McCarthy also established a charitable foundation, Free Hand Inc., with his wife, Alice. The foundation aids charities in need of executive resources, money and management, like St. Philip Neri Ministry Center and International Partners in Mission.

McCarthy’s belief in giving back to the community has greatly influenced his employees. They have donated numerous service hours and dollars to Free Hand Inc. and many other charitable organizations.

HOW TO REACH: WorkPlace Media, (440) 639-9100 or