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