Meet Your Team

Leadership Team

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Rod Anderson

President

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What is something people do not know about you?

I grew up in the lower mainland of B.C. where we built and owned the first Hydroponic Lettuce Farm in Canada using revolutionary technology from Holland. I was lucky/unlucky enough to have a job right in my backyard and I worked there with a lot of my friends (including my future wife) from the age of 13 to 17.

What is one of your greatest accomplishments?

It would probably be moving to Calgary in 1995 to work in the Shoppers Drug Mart Prairie Office. We did this the same month our daughter Nina was born. New position in a company, first child, new province, moved away from our friends and family but yet we kept it all together. It turned out to be a great decision for a young, growing family with all the opportunities Calgary has offered us over the years.

How do you define leadership? How do you rate yourself as a leader?

I honestly feel that being a great leader requires you to provide the best culture you can, built on what you value in a rewarding career and life. Then it comes down to finding key people to continue to develop that culture and create a dynamic environment that we dream of. While you are creating this, as it is never ending, you need to understand when to lead and when to let others step in front. From a leadership perspective, I would call myself  ‘a work-in-progress’. Leadership is something that in some ways comes naturally to me, and in other ways I continue to evolve and learn over time.

What is your long-term vision for Sandbox?

To be a Brand Strategy Firm with a reputation that allows us to attract and maintain clients that love working with us and we are passionate to work with. Overall I know that if we continue to focus on achieving our BHAG we will continue to retain and attract the best people that will result in our clients receiving remarkable and inspired brand strategy and development.

What Sandbox core value do you embody the most?

It would probably be 'Be Accountable', in that I need to be accountable to my family, our friends, our team and their families, our clients and our alliances. One of the things we do at Sandbox is try to provide work for other family members of our team, where we can. For example we have our kids clean the office every week versus hiring a cleaning service. This allows Sandbox to provide our families with additional income, the pride of having a job, as well as some visibility on what a parent does for a living. As we all know it is a great learning experience and perspective for teenagers that they might not otherwise be exposed to.

stephan

Stephan Wilhelm

Creative Director

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What is something people do not know about you?

Most people would not know that I played 2nd violin for several years in the Junior Youth Orchestra here in Calgary. Having started violin lessons when I was about 5 years old, it was something that I generally hid from my peers due to the "uncool" factor of that instrument. In my early teens I lamented over the fact of not choosing something cooler when I was 5. As much as I heard and dismissed the "you'll appreciate having taken violin lessons when you're older!" speeches, I have to admit that - kids listen up - "I appreciate having taken violin lessons when I was younger."

What is one of your greatest accomplishments?

Although it's a cliché, I have to say that becoming a father ranks as one of my greatest accomplishments. Each time at the presence of the birth of my daughters, I have been overwhelmed by what I can only describe as a sense of reverence. As it was quite suddenly the first day of a new universe. This thought hit me as I stepped out of the hospital that morning of my oldest daughter's birth and was blinded by a brilliant morning sunrise. It was a moment when I took a first step into a brand new world.

What are you passionate about?

Right now I'm very passionate about the challenges and process of building a great company. Most of my career has been spent working "for" a company. The last couple years I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to work "on" a business. The change of just that one word has made all the difference to me.

How do you stay on top of the latest industry trends and happenings?

Honestly, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about "industry trends". Of course I do have RSS news reader apps on my iPhone that aggregate a lot of information along with various iPad apps like Flipboard that pipe a constant stream of content in my direction daily. Getting a quiet moment in the day to read through the vast wealth of knowledge is another matter entirely!

What Sandbox core value do you embody the most?

I would have to say that 'Always be Learning' hits the closest to home for me. When faced with a problem I find it's so important to embrace the Zen concept of "beginner's mind" in order to not fall into common mental traps that limits one's thinking. Sometimes the worst thing you can do is be an expert - "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."