20 Years and Counting at PRISM! Michelle Reminisces and Shares Her Gratitude

When President and Founder Michelle Adams launched PRISM Marketing in 1995, she knew her business was up against a market of long-established giants.

But bigger doesn’t always mean better. Adams thought a team of talented people with a different, creative approach to marketing and advertising could succeed. She was right. During the past 20 years, PRISM has grown tremendously to become one of central Ohio’s 25 top agencies.

Today PRISM boasts a powerful client list ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. We remain true to our philosophy established on day one: from concept to conclusion, as marketers we measurably influence how companies and their brands are viewed. Combined with exceptional customer service, this makes the way we work and what we produce different from any other agency out there.

PRISM’s 20th anniversary is a major milestone. And it’s a fitting time to thank the wonderful folks who’ve played memorable, advisory and supportive roles in our development and growth. These amazing connections have made my entrepreneurial journey worthwhile.


It Started with Two Men

Yes, 20 years ago, two men encouraged me, at just 26 years old, to start my business. I wasn’t interested. But they persisted. It took them quite a bit of convincing, but eventually they won and I founded PRISM. The first champion was my former boss and dear friend, Don Fovel. Don believed in me from the very beginning. He was definitely hard on me, although looking back I realize it was all those tough lessons that helped shaped the person I am today.

Don gave me such great counsel around work, but perhaps his greatest advice was this: Marry the right person, this decision will determine your happiness in life. Gosh, I miss him so. His advice was so right!

And there he was in Business First

I remember the day clearly still today. I was sitting in my living room reading the People on the Move section of Business First. I read it religiously, always hoping to find a new prospect to call on. There he was: Jim Martin, recently hired as vice president of marketing at Cardinal Health.

I decided to send him a clever promotion. Shockingly, he then took my call in the winter of 1996. It was a cordial conversation and he seemed interested in doing business. Months went by and I continued to follow up, knowing that sales is often all about timing. Wow, timing really got me!