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Turning passions into business: Part one

Posted by Cerniglia, Courtney M - August 13, 2013 - Courtney C., Featured, Students


This summer I had the opportunity to work for Motto Inc., a company focused on marketing active lifestyles and assisting with branding products necessary for many of today’s popular recreational and competitive sports. I was brought in to assist with product development and draft content related to the industries Motto serves. Motto is a fast-paced company with a highly creative team. There’s a strong push for progress day to day, however nothing is done at a pace that sacrifices quality. It’s a fun place to be, especially if you enjoy sports and marketing; we’re constantly researching and learning about new sports or events where we can serve sponsors in getting their name out in a creative way.

courtneyvans201308Motto Inc. was founded in 2003 by Rob Riley in Appleton, Wis. Rob began his college career in recording technology. His aspirations were to be a singer/songwriter, however he tells me, “I did not actually do much singing or songwriting.” Turns out his passion lied in business. Through his recording technology major he was required to take businesses courses where he fell in love with marketing.

Rob graduated with a business degree and went on to pursue his MBA in marketing. When I asked Rob what one of the most beneficial things he did while in college was, he reflected on his internship with a printing company. His internship led to his first job out of college at the same company, going from intern to marketing coordinator. Here he learned the ropes of the printing business. After 13 years he decided to branch out on his own and went into business for himself, developing Motto Inc.

While he may not be a famous singer/songwriter, Rob is still successful. Able to combine his love for marketing and leading an active lifestyle, Motto Inc. has served as a representation of what he stands for and values. Healthy living, youth development and passion for new and exciting sports are values of both Motto and Rob. The idea of starting a corporate band that plays all originals is not in the works yet, however, we do hear the music of the gong ring from Rob’s office every once in awhile.

Like I’ve posted before, where you start is not always where you’ll end. Staying true to your values, understanding where your passion lies, and discovering how to best combine them to have the career you love is the true guide to where your career will prosper to one day.


Courtney Cerniglia is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in business administration and Spanish.

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