Some Help, Please

Ian Lurie

I’ve just had to let 4 employees go. We’ve lost four clients in 2 weeks thanks to the economy. While we may replace that business fast and get everyone back on board, I’m listing their qualifications here. If you know a Puget Sound-area position for them, or of contract work they can do, please contact me via e-mail (ian AT portent DOT com) or on Twitter.
Jann VanOver is a top-notch developer with over 10 years’ experience in ColdFusion, SQL Server, Java, PERL, PHP, javascript, AJAX and a list longer than my arm. If she doesn’t know it, she figures it out.
Kazue Otsuki is a graphic designer with a huge amount of experience in e-mail marketing, motion graphics and web site design. She’s excellent with Photoshop, Fireworks, HTML, XHTML and generally creating designs that make people take action.
Miles Grover is a CSS and XHTML 2 champion who can solve any XHTML problem imaginable. He also knows a lot about creating SEO-friendly code.
Mack Reider-Johnson is a Google Adwords and Yahoo certified PPC specialist. He’s an excellent ad writer and builder of productive campaigns. He also knows Google Analytics inside-out.
Again, if you know of available positions for these folks, please contact me via e-mail (ian AT portent DOT com) or on Twitter.

I am trying to keep my own emotion out of this. These people are my colleagues and friends. My company, I should assure everyone, is still healthy and can do great work. But right now my main concern is trying to get these folks placed.

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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  1. While, unfortunately, I can’t help, I do think it’s amazingly impressive that you’re doing this. I can’t think of many employers who would go out of their way to try and help place employees that they’ve been forced to layoff. This’ll make for some good karma eventually, Ian.

  2. You’re a good man Ian. The economy is affecting everyone, even industries like our that are supposed to sustain good growth through the economic downturn. If companies keep filing bankruptcy and skipping out on bills it still hits our industry.
    Sounds like these are extremely talented people. I only wish I could steal them away right now.

  3. As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.”
    Thanks for sharing the bad news…and the hopefully good news that will come by listing their names and qualifications.

  4. Ian,
    Sorry to hear about your struggles. We went through the same thing about six months ago. It really sucks that in order to stay healthy as a company, we have to break out the axe.
    What you’re doing for your ex-employees, though, is commendable. I wish you, and them, luck. If I hear of anything, I’ll check back.

  5. By staying lean when necessary, you’re enabling yourself to continue to provide opportunity for others in the future. Recession is tough on everyone of course. From the stats you mentioned, I can’t imagine the professionals having a terribly difficult time finding work. Best of luck to you all.

  6. Sorry to hear about the layoffs, give my regards to Kazue. Have you tried Larry St. Pierre? I know he is recruiting for several companies locally.

  7. Ian – as one of your clients I think what you are doing for your ex-employees is very thoughtful. I had the pleasure of working with Jann, Kazue, Miles and Mack-Reider and they are all exceptional people. I wish them the best of luck.

  8. Wow, that’s very thoughtful of you, Ian. I am sure the economy will pick up pretty quicker than everyone is expecting and things can get back to normal. Wishing you and them the best (which is sure to come, given the good Karma you are spreading around, 🙂 )

  9. Kudos to you Ian for being a boss who actually cares. Times are definitely hard right now. Hope these qualified (ex)employees found some great opportunities!

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