FRCH 50 | Mike Otto

FRCH 50 | Mike Otto

What is FRCH 50?  Simply put, a company is only as good as its people. Which is why it’s safe to say we’re a pretty remarkable company. Our passion for our work and creativity is echoed in how we celebrate – unexpected, dramatic, but always fun! We’ve transformed our back lot into a farmyard (complete with animals), created a music festival pop-up in OTR, and hosted a karaoke happy hour in our lobby (it was for a good cause). We have employees that have met their spouses, raised their children and started a lifelong career here. Our mantra ‘See Something New’ is embedded in our culture – we don’t always get along, but we challenge each other with differing perspectives and celebrate originality.

Which is why, as we turn 50 this year, it only seems appropriate to celebrate our people. The people who have not only made their mark on FRCH, but those who have been transformed by FRCH in the process. Happy Anniversary FRCH! 

Name: Mike Otto

Title: Director, Human Resources

1. How long have you been at FRCH? 15 Years!

2. What has been your favorite FRCH project you’ve been involved in, and why? In my role, I’m fortunate to be exposed to projects throughout the firm. Although we don’t work directly on the projects themselves (well, I have done a few surveys in my day!), Human Resources plays a big role in ensuring we have the proper staff and creative firepower to achieve our goals for our clients. One of the most exciting projects to have been involved in was the Tropicana in Las Vegas, which we were awarded in 2006. Upon completion, this massive project would have been the world’s largest hotel. In an extremely short period of time, we created and led a nationwide recruiting strategy, were successful in assembling a large team of extremely talented individuals, and opened an office in Las Vegas. Unfortunately the recession in ’08 / ’09 would eventually derail the client’s plans for this project, but we were extremely proud of what we accomplished in order to support the firm and deliver for the client, in a short time frame.

3. What was your favorite FRCH Social Event and why? We’ve had SO MANY great events through the years, it’s really difficult to choose just one! Most people know that our annual trip to Keeneland is probably my favorite…but I’d say one that really stands out was our Summer Fair at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park several years ago. It was such a great family event – a celebration of the Arts in an amazing location, great food and drinks, and the grand finale was a professional fireworks display complete with the UC Marching Band…unbelievable! And one that my family will never forget.

4. What is your funniest FRCH Memory?  Without a doubt, the time we brought farm animals into the backlot before our trip to Keeneland. It’s difficult to explain how unexpected and crazy this experience was but at least we have the pictures to prove it! The contrast of all these farm animals grazing on straw in a downtown parking lot surrounded by all these tall buildings makes me laugh to this day. Of course we also had live music and giant pictures of our employees in the windows – this was all a surprise for everyone arriving to work first thing in the morning, and employees of the other companies around us were heading to work, walking by going “huh?!” and wishing they could have as much fun as us. The local news even showed up, and we wound up on the front page of the business section!

5. What is your biggest hope for the future of FRCH? Our creativity, collaboration and respect for each other’s individuality and contributions – this is at the core of our culture and what makes us so unique. Through the years I have loved to watch the folks that joined FRCH early in their careers learn and grow to become our current leaders and recognized throughout the industry. I can only hope that this continues; that together we will never stop learning new things, creating and seizing new opportunities, pushing the envelope, accomplishing our goals, living our dreams…and having fun along the way.

FRCH Holiday Party

About mikeotto
I'm the Director of Human Resources for FRCH Design Worldwide. Fulltime Dad, part-time rocker and occasional blogger, I believe that Human Resources professionals in the design industry need to be as creative as the designers they work for.

2 Responses to FRCH 50 | Mike Otto

  1. Jim F. says:

    This is great, Mike. You have been such a critical asset to FRCH over the past 15 years. Cannot believe the firm would be as successful — and fun — without you. Beautiful picture of Julie and your daughters. Thanks for all you do.

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