Mikey Lemieux – Creative Director, Boire Benner Group

Mikey Lemieux was the drummer, the guy that set the tone, kept the beat, got the chicks (oh wait, that’s the lead singer!). The once aspiring rock star who gave the rhythm to bands like Hello Control, Perfect Salesmen and Resonator, Mikey found a home and passion in his work at Boire Benner. Tapping in to his often “not normal optimism”, demonstrated in his younger years’ ward- robe of ball chain necklace, JNCO jeans, spiky hair and a briefcase (in lieu of traditional backpack), Mikey’s creativity is noted in great projects like Livingoods Restaurant & Brewery logo, the rebranding of the Strand Center for the Arts and the new logo for the City of Plattsburgh.

Hometown: Plattsburgh Age: 35
Education: Associate Degree in Business from Clinton Community College

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I think we live in a time where those things aren’t that separate anymore. I don’t think that’s a bad thing but at the same time I need time in my day to disconnect. It’s like anything, if you do too much of something it stops being good. I feel lucky because the things I do for my job are also my interests and hobbies, so the lines of work and life outside of work blur together in a way that works for me.

What’s most exciting trend happening in the community right now?
I think we all grow up feeling that the place we live is holding us back. I was lucky enough to travel a lot through music and I saw those things everywhere from New York City to California. It’s a part of life and growing up. I’m at an age where I can have prospective, take a step back and see the good things over the bad. I now can see the passion that people have to create the Adirondack Coast into something magical. There’s a theme of working together to build this into a place we all want and love. #believe

What’s your biggest professional success?
There is this really great quote that says “we don’t need to have just one favorite, we keep adding favorites.”

My first important project was working with Matt and Jess at Livingood’s Restaurant & Brewery to help them create a new logo. Their passion let us explore and develop the logo until we knew it was right. It always feels really great walk in and see them use the logo in all the right ways, plus the food and beer are my absolute favorite!

The rebranding of the Strand Center for the Arts was a project where I had a group of people with me working towards the same goal. It was something I really fell in love with about Boire Benner Group. The Strand Center Theatre means so much to Plattsburgh. Anyone I ask about the Strand always seems to have a story. Right?  There are endless amounts of stories from so many different eras. It was fun exploring the relationship between the past and the present, where so many people have been working so hard to bring it back to life for a new era.

My newest favorite is when Boire Benner Group was asked to develop a new logo for the City of Plattsburgh. The end results are something I couldn’t be more proud of.

All of these projects were important to me because they are important to my home and my community. My wife Carly and son Scout love it here in Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast. To be a small part of something that affects the area feels really good.

What important lessons have you learned in your career?
I’ve learned that it’s important to be willing to try something new, take chances and have passion for what you do. I like to ask people what their passionate about and it’s a question most people have a hard time answering. Setting aside time to think about and develop your passions will only help you do better and more meaningful work.

Collaborate with people. Ask for advice and suggestions. It has been one of the most rewarding aspects working at Boire Benner Group. When we all have our hand in a project, the end results are always beyond my expectations.

What’s your dream job?
If you were talking to me in high school I would have said “rock star”. Through the journey of music I was able to discover a love for design and marketing. The really cool thing about Boire Benner Group is that it’s a place that I can apply a lot of my skills and interests together. We all share similar values and encourage creativity. So…I think I’m dreaming.

What would make the North Country a more enjoyable place to live and work?
A longer summer, a longer fall and way less mosquitoes.

Who is your mentor and what have you learned from him/her?
There are several people that have helped shape my career path. When I would fresh out of high school I started working at Peacock Music. Gary Peacock was someone who cared about his employees and his customers. It was something I had never seen before. He cared about people having music and whole heartedly loved every minute of it. At the same time he encourages us to learn and think about our future. He was fundamental in helping develop leadership skills and value the importance of hard work.

My time at Peacock Music allowed me to go to Clinton Community College. I was never someone who cared about school and really had one goal in mind, making music my career. Terry Cummings was my guidance counselor and teacher. She cared about me as I know she does for every student. It’s who she is and it’s amazing. Her guidance helped me learn the value of education and even more so selflessness.  She was the reason I graduated and she pushed me to do better and be better.

To answer the question of who my mentor is now, it is my father-in-law Rick Smith. He works for Gerber Gear. They are an industry leader in knives and outdoor gear. He is someone that has such deep knowledge and passion about whatever he does. He cares about doing good work and always strives to be better. I know that regardless of what the question is, he will have an incredible answer that will make me think and inspire me.

How do contribute to the culture of your company?
We all have different traits and views of the world which offer up an unlimited number of ways to live your life. The way I choose to live is to see life as an opportunity. Different moments might be an opportunity to smile or feel loved, to learn something new or to grow as a person. When I apply this to a work setting and to my co-workers it retains the same principals. Where are the opportunities for us to success, what will it take to make something an opportunity and how we can use our knowledge and skills to accomplish these goals?

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Taking the job with Boire Benner Group was a decision that my wife and I had to consider with a heavy heart. We had to make sure it was the right time. We had just bought a house and just had a child, so taking on a new career was a scary thought. It all comes back to taking chances and surrounding yourself with good people. Everything about the job was the perfect fit and the natural progression to my career. Have a new child and a new home made the decision the biggest risk I have taken yet. Now I can’t wait to see what’s next.

What is something that no one would guess about you?
I ️ love rom-coms.

Write a note to your younger self…

Hey Mikey, go talk to people and take more chances. Don’t worry about what other people think, you might be surprised how much you have in common. We are all in this together and everyone has their own struggles. Learning isn’t a burden; it’s an incredible gift we all share. Find your way of learning because growing as a person feels incredible. Also, stop wearing a ball chain necklace and JNCO jeans. It’s not a good look.