We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.
Next up in our Getting to Know CIFT blog series is our Strategic Marketing Manager, Todd Underwood. Todd will soon be celebrating his third year with CIFT and oversees the marketing activities. We asked him some questions to get a glimpse into his role and what makes him excited to go to work everyday.
What do you do at CIFT?
I oversee and manage all the marketing efforts from digital to events.
What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
I enjoy solving problems. Because CIFT is such a unique organization, we face different types of challenges when it comes to outreach and branding. Finding ways to overcome them is what motivates me.
What has been your favorite project/initiative so far? Or what do you like the most about CIFT?
Two things come to mind. We have a particularly important annual event called the Ohio Food Industry Summit. Last year, due to COVID, we were unable to have it in-person. There was a lot of worry and angst around holding it virtually, but working with the marketing team, we looked at it as an opportunity rather than a setback and pulled off a successful event with some of the most well received speakers we’ve had and tremendous positive feedback. It was truly a “have lemons, make lemonade” achievement.
The second thing, and I know we are sick of talking about COVID, but early on in the pandemic, we realized the importance of listening to food companies as they faced never even imagined problems that had to be solved quickly. We ran virtual roundtables where they could come and share with each other. Which they did, large and small. Meeting these leaders from around the state sharing solutions and ideas was inspirational. In fact, it lead to a documentary short that we created to tell these stories called #essential.
I think that is what I like most about marketing at CIFT. We have an unbelievable amount of great stories that are unique and crucial we get to tell. I look forward to telling many more as I continue on.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT?
I think people don’t think as much about where all the food they eat comes from or how it is even made. I know before I joined CIFT I rarely did it myself.
But the technology and innovation that allows us to feed so many people really is fascinating (historically, most people faced food shortages and now the norm is food excess). And where we do struggle in places has to do more with logistics than production.
Helping promote something I see as one of the most important advances in human history is exciting and important. And CIFT supports and helps us continue to do that.
For example this is one of my favorite memes and it shows what I am talking about-
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
That’s a funny question as my wife often tells me I talk too much, so that might be tough. I’m kind of an open book.
I guess sometimes people are surprised that I love to play video games when I have free time. I’m closer to 50 than 40, so many people assume at my age I wouldn’t do that anymore. But the technology we have today just blows me away from when I was a kid. Also I enjoy playing games with my two daughters as it gives us something we share.