The SMZ Q&A: Jim Michelson

January 27, 2020
January 27, 2020 Jim Michelson

The SMZ Q&A: Jim Michelson

What better way to kick off our new Q&A series than sitting down with second generation president Jim Michelson! Jim joined the family business in 1963 and almost 60 years later his steady presence and quick wit continues to connect our history with our future.


  1. What was your first job? And what did you learn from it?

Worked a summer job in investment banking in NYC while in college. Learned I didn’t want to live or work in New York, and I didn’t want to work in investment banking.

  1. How do you stay inspired?

As much as I didn’t like the banking industry, is as much as I love the advertising business. If you truly love what you do, inspiration comes easy.

  1. What’s a brand you can’t live without and why?

Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper. As the advertising says, “Enjoy the Go”.

  1. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?

When in doubt, do the right thing.

  1. What word or phrase do you most overuse?

“You know”.

  1. What new skill or capability have you developed recently?

Light housekeeping

  1. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

  1. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?


  1. Who’s your favorite noisemaker*?

Rachel Maddow