Culture

Get to know us

We Are Vala

Creativity, growth, and profound ideas converge from diversity of thought and experience. It’s the combination of our passions for obscure subcultures and the willingness to explore the unknown and unpopular that continuously allow us to innovate. We take pride in our uniqueness. In our offices, you’re just as likely to overhear a League of Legends bad-beat story as you are likely to hear the strategic implementation action plan for a digital marketing campaign. We are who we are, and we are excited to share our lives with you. We are Vala.

Grant Mielke

Meme Curator

The way of the Grant may seem mysterious – but peer within the towering cloud of vape – and what you get is a man with an unstoppable macro game. Grant conducts business like a true maestro, each section of his orchestra working together in complete harmony. Search Engine Optimization, Google AdWords, Web Development, Facebook Analytics – these are all just chess pieces in the game of total world domination for Grant. He is, without a doubt, the last true multitasker – making unique digital content, designing logos, managing social media – all while burning through seven seasons of Battlestar Gallactica and listening to EDM on full blast and reading through the entire Shannara series. Grant is a jack-of-all-trades, and if you have a marketing issue, chances are he can knock it out with the power and efficiency of a bulldozer.

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Tyrell Nye

Beer Taster

If Tyrell had been born sometime in the late 10th century, you would have found him aboard a Viking longship, navigating treacherous waters on route to burn and pillage unsuspecting English villages. As fate would have it, he missed his calling by a few hundred years, yet he still channels that fiery tenacity and grit into executing bold marketing strategies with the precision and strength of a seasoned warrior. With the loyalty (and beer tolerance) of a Mountain Dwarf, Tyrell is an excellent ally to have when charging into war – or when you need to devise a digital marketing plan that will blow your competitors out of the water.

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Heidi Mielke

The Smart One

As gamers go, some mistake Heidi to be a support or healer. That is usually the last mistake they ever make. The only thing better than her DPS is her WPM, and her love of the written word is matched only by her love for sad bastard music, video games, and coffee. Outside of blogging, her writing style can be best described as sarcastic, cynical, and vaguely self-deprecating, with just enough dark humor to make you wonder how normal her upbringing was. She’s the type of recluse that makes the old man from UP look like a social butterfly, but can be reluctantly baited into social interaction with tacos, a well placed Hunter S. Thompson reference, or a conversation devised entirely of Quentin Tarantino movie quotes and Tom Waits lyrics.

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Jake Neece

Kitchen Crate Holster

You had one job Allan.

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Alec Sanderson

Renaissance Man

Have you ever loved something so intensely, so completely, that you believe your love for that thing could engulf the sun? Have you ever felt your soul catch on fire? Have you ever been consumed with something, so utterly and completely, that it keeps you awake at night? Some are lucky enough to experience this feeling once in their lifetime – but Alec experiences this feeling about once a week. His passion is rivaled only by his focus and precision. Give this man three months, and there is nothing that he cannot master. He doesn’t just “pick up a hobby”. He learns it, masters it, perfects it, profits from it, and then teaches others. He enjoys being the smartest person in the room – and he’s actually pretty damn good at it.

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Nolan Reiter

Mountain Man

If a typical day at Vala was turned into an episode of The Office, Nolan would be our Jim Halpert. There’s no challenge you could present him with that would stop him, and no setback that would dull his unwaveringly optimistic and positive spirit. He’s a giant, both literally (we’re pretty sure he’s about 8’ tall) and at Vala, bringing to life the most abstract concepts and turning them into crisp, clean, elegant designs. What sets him apart from other web designers is his enthusiasm and passion, and when he starts running low, he gets out into nature and recharges. He is exactly the kind of person you would want in your corner when it’s time to organize some chaos, or when you need someone to help you get your head back in a positive place.

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Natasha Kauffman

House Prefect

Natasha is a community involvement titan. Sure, we can all get behind “eat local”, but some of us are particularly more fond of the “eat” part of that slogan (we won’t mention names). Natasha is the real deal. Her genuine care and concern for growing the success of our community is refreshing and inspiring. Millennials often get labeled as “whiney” or “lazy”, and Natasha’s purpose, drive, and compassion are all living testaments to the contrary. If love is an action, then most people are all hat and no cattle – but Natasha is out there changing the world and putting love into everything she does – and upon meeting her, you’ll see that it’s pretty contagious.

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