Noble’s East Coast Swing: Part 1

Noble Studios CEO Jarrod Lopiccolo and CMO Michael Thomas are currently on a multi-city trip to visit several Noble clients and partners. After landing in Chicago, Michael checks in from the first leg of the trip here.

Flying the Friendly Skies

At Noble, we have continually expanded our client base across the country, so it was high time for an East Coast swing to visit our partners. We decided on a three-leg journey to Chicago, Toronto and New York, which began late last week.

The trip got off to a rocky start for both Noble CEO Jarrod Lopiccolo and me. After more than 700 flights were canceled in Chicago, we were worried if we would actually land there as planned. After a 30-minute dizziness-inducing circling holding pattern, we touched down only an hour late.



Michael Thomas waiting for his next flight.

Michael Thomas waiting for his next flight.

On the way, we enjoyed great views of the abundant winter snowpack in the Rockies. After five years of drought was broken in the Sierra this winter, it’s really nice to enjoy a spring without snow envy.

Off To Work We Go

When we visit a city, it’s a good opportunity pop in and meet our partners and their regional office leadership. BrightEdge allows Noble to provide enterprise SEO services to our clients. It’s great to get some intel on how the industry is responding to Google’s latest change to replace right side ad units. As we’ve seen, thanks to that change, SEO suddenly got a lot more competitive.

The main focus of the Chicago visit was an innovation session with the DuPuis Group. Their COO Jeff Pickett and Noble go way back. I was the first person that Jeff met with when contemplating a move from Southern California back to Nevada. After a lot of mutual admiration over the years, we wanted to explore what it would be like to work more collaboratively in the future.


Michael Thomas at work on an East Coast swing in February and March 2016.

Michael Thomas at work on an East Coast swing in February and March 2016.


DuPuis is renowned for brand strategy and package design. Their office is located in a multi-level brick building on Chicago’s north side. DuPuis is the perfect space to think about what innovation means to both our firms. Jarrod and I left with some great ideas on how to harness the unique elements of our respective approaches. It’s great to compare notes with like-minded companies. Jarrod and I agreed how important it is to bring divergent thoughts together especially with our peers. Both teams left excited about what a combined approach could do to improve the work we do for our clients. Expect to hear more about that in the near future.

The Windy City

Chicago earns the title Windy City. To say it’s cold in Chicago during winter doesn’t exactly do it justice. Even the smallest exposed body part immediately knows you’re in a very, very cold place. Brr.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois


Chicago’s cityscape is dotted with architectural eye-candy, including lots of modern mixed in with historic character. Abundant public art gives you the opportunity to smile a lot as you get from Point A to B. In our view, we note the pace is busy and not quite as frantic as stops further east like New York.

The city is stunning at night, and it’s interesting to note that the overpriced cramped Bay Area real estate market has not quite spilled over to this region. Also, in talking to folks, the talent pool, while deep, has not reached the predatory rate of Silicon Valley.

Michael Thomas in the Windy City.

Michael in the Windy City.



Everyone who has ever been out to Reno-Tahoe talks about how much they love it. Let’s get those non-stop flights back RSCVA and Reno-Tahoe International Airport. I sense they will be used.

Good Eats and Goodbye, Chicago

The food here is pretty amazeballs. It’s truly hard to seek out vegetables with this much good BBQ and deep dish on offer, and the drinks definitely make travel easier in the short-run (though you usually pay for it the next day.)

Chicago style pizza

Chicago style pizza


We barely had time to digest our food before the alarm clock went off for an “O’god early out of O’Hare” flight.

The Great White North here we come! Look for notes from our second leg soon!