The company mascot, Pladook (Thai for "catfish") was the inspiration for the company name. Pladook goes to the office every day with Dan and Be, where he holds court from his dog bed, enjoys begging for treats in the lunch room, and provides inspiration for Ugly Dog Media's ever-growing group of talented staff writers and marketing specialists.
Dan Blacharski, Founder and Top Dog
A veteran of the dotcom boom, Dan's history dates back to those heady days when 19-year-old Stanford dropouts with $10 million in venture money were creating great (and sometimes not-so-great) things. His deep experience in helping companies create their messaging strategies, combined with his years as an industry observer and pundit, has led him to create Ugly Dog Media. From the beginning, his strategy has been to surround himself with incredibly talented people, and this strategy has enabled him to build Ugly Dog Media from nothing into the international marketing firm it is today. Dan has been in the industry long enough to know what works . . . what doesn't work . . . and most importantly, what shouldn't work but still does. Dan received his B.A. in Literature from University of California, Santa Cruz.
Charoenkwan Blacharski, Vice President and dog-feeder
Charoenkwan (also known as "Be") is an award-winning writer, poet and journalist in her native Thailand, and most recently won second place in the country's prestigious Parliamentary Literary Award. Her work as poet, feature writer and journalist has appeared in several prominent Thai publications, and she has published six very well-received and acclaimed books. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Thammasat University, and Masters in Environmental Education from Mahidol University. She also serves as Ugly Dog Media's staff photographer.
Laureen is a Cleveland native who brings nearly 15 years of journalism experience to Ugly Dog – but she lived for years on the East Coast, and still misses the ocean as well as her friends and former colleagues in public safety. She is an avid reader of lots o’ stuff, which came in handy as she completed her master’s degree at Northwestern University and additional theology studies at University of Notre Dame. When she’s not working, Laureen is a gardener, bicyclist, sky and weather geek, terminal Cleveland Indians fan and helpless adorer of two dogs. Not in that order.
Art McCormick, Senior Writer
A native of South Bend, Art strives to strike a balance between the humorous, the poetic and the academic in his writing. He’s always appreciated a solid, nuanced, old-fashioned sales pitch, and has spent many late evenings obsessing over the persuasive power of infomercials. Art studied Folklore and Mythology at Harvard, and specialized in Medieval History at Indiana University.
Chris McKim, PR Specialist
Chris is a graduate of Ball State University, where he studied Journalism and Advertising. As a staff writer he brings his love for snazzy word combinations to Ugly Dog Media, meanwhile suppressing the continuous urge to generate puns. In his free time, Chris is likely reading, accepting food challenges, performing Spartan exercise maneuvers, or crafting new music on guitar.
Christina Clark,Staff Writer
Christina is an Indiana native who brings to the Techie office her impressive writing skills, her sense of humor, her hula hoop – and lots of brownies and treats. Her interests range from the local performing arts scene to her frequent river walks, as well as the sense of beauty she brings to us from her “other life” as an esthetician. Christina is lead writer for our Techie Ten Cities, and is completing a degree in communications and media arts at IU South Bend. Yeah, we love her.
Kelsey McClure, Transcriber
Kelsey comes to us from Saint Mary’s College, where she studies Mass Communication and Spanish. She is originally from Osceola, Indiana, though spent one semester of college studying abroad in Seville, Spain. Along with writing, her hobbies include hiking, swimming, and listening to all kinds of music.
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