Published in TB Business Magazine by Luis Arjona photos by Dustin Ashcraft
It’s the statement greeting those who step into MDR Advertising’s office: “THIS COULD BE BIG.” This mantra sets the tone for the organization, and the way Stephen Rybak and his team approach their work.
Founded in 1974 under the ownership of Fred Dotts and Mo Morehead, MDR Advertising is a full-service marketing company based out of Corpus Christi. After more than four decades of serving up catchy, buzzworthy ad campaigns for local clients, this well-established name is bringing a new kind of buzz to our region.
Today, the agency’s 18 full-time team members occupy an immaculate office overlooking Corpus Christi Bay. Though small in comparison to many national firms, its minor quantity produces exceptional quality. MDR is staffed with talent from diverse professional backgrounds, including media experts, strategists, copywriters, designers and illustrators.
The organization is led by Rybak, a born-and-raised Corpus Christi local who graduated from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi with a degree in marketing. He began his career at MDR as an account executive, and his potential was recognized as a Corpus Christi 40 Under 40 honoree. Rybak cites drive, compassion and conviction as he discusses his development as a professional. In choosing to stay local, Rybak has been committing his time to the future of the Coastal Bend.
Now serving as principal and chief creative officer at MDR, Rybak amplifies talent in the Coastal Bend through the work done at the firm. Over the past 10 years, MDR has been retaining and attracting talent, and strategically setting itself up for regional success—while making strides to secure campaigns throughout Texas and compete with the traditional juggernauts of Houston and Austin.
The company’s work has been honored with many, many awards and recognitions; projects like interactive installations for CITGO at the Boston Marathon and “Discover Puerto Rico,” for which the firm was a top finalist among dozens of international companies.
Illustrating a fervent dedication to his roots, Rybak remains driven to elevate the presence of organizations—such as Elizabeth’s, WaterStreet, NavyArmy Community Credit Union, Champs Meat Market, NEC Co-op Energy, Downtown Corpus Christi and many more—seeking to build on their local foundations. These opportunities lend themselves to ambitious and mutually beneficial collaborations, and, as Rybak explained, genuine relationships.
“Our team has gotten so close to our clients, to the point where we attend their birthdays or weddings,” said Rybak. That kind of rare client connection weaves itself into the company’s culture, which is part of its charm and attracts talent from beyond our South Texas borders.
And with an average client retention time of 10 years, MDR illustrates its core belief of providing excellent customer service. It’s clear that this team isn’t settling for one-off transactions; brit’s driving for long-term success. MDR is poised to represent the Coastal Bend and its businesses regionally, nationally and internationally for years to come. To put it another way, this could be big.
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