For our most recent installment of our “Meet the RocketBuilder” series, we bring you Nathan Zarse, Senior Director of Marketing. Nathan is a critical thinker and problem solver with extensive experience working at creative and technology services companies. His background includes branding, strategizing user experiences, and designing interfaces. He manages RocketBuild’s marketing and sales operations while lending his expertise in strategy and design to our clients.
Q & A with Nathan Zarse
Q: What is your role at RocketBuild, and what does it entail?
A: As Senior Director of Marketing, I leverage the knowledge and experience I’ve gained in my career about both sales and marketing to help drive company growth. I listen to our potential clients’ needs and support my team in defining custom solutions to solve their challenges. In addition, I’m constantly playing and having fun with our marketing efforts and trying to best represent and capture the essence of our amazing team and culture through our brand.
Q: What three words might people use to describe you?
A: Creative, thoughtful, and easy-going teamplayer
Q: What got you into your career?
A: The main thread has always been art and creativity. As a youth, I was always creating — laying out the school yearbook, writing newspaper articles, taking photos, producing videos, painting, making ceramics, and turning in hand-drawn comic books for assignments. I never really knew what that meant or how that might translate into a profession. It turned out going to a university for graphic design was the perfect thing. It opened my eyes to the business of creativity and using design to help people communicate and solve complex challenges. Being a designer has kept my curiosity fulfilled, while allowing me to always explore projects across a range of mediums in a variety of industries. Over time, I’ve leaned into and really enjoyed applying my creative capacity to the business side of things.
Q: Describe your educational experience?
A: At the Herron School of Art & Design at IUPUI, I continued to explore art and also got into art history, sociology, and website planning and development. I even coded a few websites, though I would never venture to call myself a developer. During college and after, I’ve continued to educate myself on branding, marketing, and user experience design.
Q: Describe your professional experience?
A: All of my professional experience has been at services agencies that offer branding, marketing, websites, and software — where the majority of my time has been spent designing or leading design teams. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial edge and for a few years I focused my efforts working alongside founders to create several new services companies, build their brands, and devise go-to-market strategies — one of those companies being RocketBuild. After a number of years serving in various capacities across a small handful of companies, I stepped into a full-time spot at RocketBuild, and it’s been the most fun and rewarding role yet.
Q: What is your current favorite coding language or framework?
A: I’m the least technical person at RocketBuild that’s lucky enough to get to work for and support a team of expert engineers. My favorite thing is to marvel at all the brilliant solutions our team can design and build.
Q: What’s your favorite type of project or client to work with?
A: The best clients are ones that we have a very collaborative partnership with, where we trust and rely on each others’ area of expertise, and can learn and grow together over multiple years and many projects.
Q: What are you super passionate about?
A: Enjoying and appreciating nature and trying to be a good steward of the environment.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I read, watch movies, play card games or board games, and go on bike rides and hikes with my family.
Q: If you had to stay up all night for a hackathon, what drinks and snacks would you need to keep you going?
A: Drinks = green tea and kombucha. Snacks = veggies & hummus and trail mix.
Q: Favorite local lunch spot?
A: In Fountain Square where our office is located and where I used to live, it would be a 5-way tie between Turchetti’s, La Margarita, Wildwood Market, Siam Square, and Bluebeard. In Bloomington, IN where I currently live, it would be Hive, Doner Kebab, Laughing Planet Cafe, Social Cantina, and The Butcher’s Block.
Q: Favorite band or artist?
A: I enjoy and appreciate so many. It’s hard to single out favorites.
Q: Favorite place you’ve ever visited?
A: I’m inspired by anywhere I’ve visited that has an epic landscape like the Grand Canyon or the mountains of Colorado.
Q: A fun fact about yourself?
A: My useless talent is an ability to commit song lyrics to memory. My wife laughs, or pokes fun at me, every time I recite the lyrics to an obscure song that pops up on a playlist or the radio.
Q: A random fun fact?
A: Humans are just one of the estimated 8.7 million species on Earth.