Attributing much of her success to being a good listener and putting her clients’ needs first, Samantha Culbertson was inspired to a career in advertising and marketing through the support and encouragement of her mentors, including Keith Guinn, as well as her own passion for creative work. She first earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art and graphic design from East Tennessee University in 2012 before embarking on her career as the art director for Cumberland Marketing in 2013. Working with Cumberland Marketing for five years, she left the firm and co-founded ARO Creative Inc. in 2018.
Now the art director of ARO Creative Inc., a full service marketing and advertising agency, Ms. Culbertson’s duties include managing the production and development of creative projects, art direction, and doing graphic design. She works on projects as varied as graphics for branding campaigns, digital and print media advertisements, and website development. Constantly motivated by a desire to learn new skills and techniques and then implement them into various projects for her clients, she also enjoys the variety of projects brought on by her company’s wide range of clients, which includes everything from health care and pharmaceutical companies, to municipalities, to small businesses and start-ups.
Ms. Culbertson notes that starting her own company has allowed her to become familiar with the more technical and financial aspects of running a business as well, and she enjoys the freedom that being her own boss gives her to meet new people and control her own work schedule. Furthermore, she stands out in her field for her particular focus on her clients’ goals and being flexible in helping them reach those goals. Looking toward the future, she plans to continue to push herself and keep growing the company nationally and internationally.
For excellence in her career, Ms. Culbertson was presented with the Cosby Award in 2019. However, the biggest highlight of her career came during the COVID-19 pandemic, when she brought her company to the aid of numerous small businesses in order to help them set up effective online presences through new or updated websites and a variety of social media campaigns. Ms. Culbertson is incredibly grateful for all the support she has received from friends and family over the years, and feels strongly that she would not have gotten very far without them. She emphasizes that through hard work and working together with others many great things can be accomplished.