Peek into the windows of The Foundry at Block22 on any given workday, and you’ll see the LimeLight Marketing team at work. People sitting or standing at desks with headphones on. A few creatives huddled around a computer screen. Colleagues discussing big ideas in what used to be a bank vault.
To most people it looks like any modern workspace. People doing jobs to make a living.
For business partners Brandee Johnson and John Kuefler, it’s proof of the possible. It’s a daily reminder of what can happen in Pittsburg when you have a dream and the drive to make it a reality.
Discussing big ideas in what used to be a bank vault.
“I realized in my late 20’s or early 30’s that I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” said Brandee Johnson, owner and founder of LimeLight, “but I always thought I needed to invent something to make that happen, and I didn’t have an invention.”
Johnson launched LimeLight Marketing in 2015 after leaving LEGO Education North America upon the company’s move from Pittsburg to Boston. At the start, it was a team of two. Today, LimeLight employs more than 20, including a team of web developers Kuefler and Caleb Smith assembled as co-owners of DevSquared.
Kuefler and Smith formed DevSquared in 2017. A few years later, after working closely together on several projects, the DevSquared owners agreed to a merger with LimeLight Marketing.
Local entrepreneurs are helping transform the Pittsburg economy.
Kuefler said becoming official business partners with Johnson was a natural fit, as they both know what it takes to grow successful businesses.
“The shared experience of working for an established company and then taking a risk to start our own thing, and both doing it in Pittsburg, was definitely one aspect,” he said. “Sharing that experience means we see a lot of things in a similar way. It also helped shape part of my value system around how to run a business the right way, and Brandee shares those values, which made joining forces a frictionless experience.”
Together, they have become the latest example of how local entrepreneurs are helping transform the Pittsburg economy.
“Entrepreneurs are important to communities for many reasons,” Johnson said. “They create jobs that allow people to make money so that they can buy things, and that fuels economic growth. These jobs help attract and retain residents within a community. Local jobs also attract money from outside of the community, whether that be businesses in other cities buying from local vendors, or people from out of town visiting for pleasure.
“Entrepreneurs who live and work in their communities also tend to have a passion for making that place better, so you often see entrepreneurs giving back to the communities they live in a variety of ways.”
Kuefler said entrepreneurs reflect the “spirit” of communities like Pittsburg.
“We’re not a dying small rural town,” he said. “Pittsburg is a vibrant community with lots of cool things happening. A backbone of entrepreneurship keeps that going.”