I regret to inform you that your trendy friend has a secret. More than likely, they were simply copying whatever our Associate Creative Director and Content Strategist Stephen Fairbanks, was into at the time.
He was listening to The Roots before Jimmy Fallon was even a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Prior to the onslaught of tapas bars and the nationwide proliferation of winos, he was what we now call, a foodie. And before Ryan Gosling “saved Jazz,” he was unironically spinning records of that genre.
Beyond his knowledge of pop culture, his insatiable desire to learn, and a laudable work ethic is a man rich in wisdom. When deadlines are at their tightest and the collective workload seems insurmountable, Stephen appears unshaken. He acts as the anchor for the creative team. A voice sought out by others, providing direction when needed and sometimes, a healthy dose of sanity in the midst of chaos.
This ability to deal with stress he claims, comes from years working in the restaurant industry. Name a chef, cafe, bistro, or restaurant in Saint Louis and odds are, he crossed paths with them. His gift of gab forged while working tables at some of the finest restaurants in the city, is often on full display while presenting work to clients. Like persuading you to try the latest vintage, he will compel you to go on a journey with him—trying his damndest to create a memorable experience for you. Whether for the dining crowd or the brand manager, it’s all the same to Fairbanks.
At his core, Stephen is a teacher. Whether in the traditional university setting as an English professor, through his writing, or in normal everyday conversation. He often has a piece of wisdom, an anecdote, or a pop culture reference to share with you. And like any great instructor, this is not done in a downward looking manner. He seeks to do more than share information but envelop you with enthusiasm for the subject matter.
The title of writer is often overused these days. Anyone who bangs their fingers into a keyboard can take on the name and to some extent, this is justified. But in the most classic sense, Stephen Fairbanks is a writer. He can give a passionate explanation for the oxford comma, appreciates the nuance between similar words like “preserve” or “conserve,” and enjoys a wide variety of literature. From Hemingway to the sports page, all great writing is welcome. Stephen embodies the essence of a wordsmith, a true apprentice of the craft. And this love for language is not limited to English either, Stephen is fluent in French and read Dangerous Liaisons in its original form without the aide of translation.
After years of working with clients in the agriculture space, Stephen has incurred a sizable knowledge in agronomy, plant science, biotechnology, and more. If a new piece of technology is being created, a new report issued by the USDA, or a study on soil taxonomy is released, chances are, Stephen knows about it, read it, and already shared it with everyone. Perhaps his next professional evolution will involve tending to a few acres of corn, soy, or alfalfa.
As Associate Creative Director and Content Strategist, Stephen plays many roles —upholding the part of pitchman, writer, editor and subject matter expert at any given moment. But outside the professional sphere he is a dedicated father, son, and husband.
A constant champion of his daughter Jazzy, when he speaks of her you see the promise, value, and potential of his teenage offspring. When he refers to his wife Kristy, you get a strong sense that he is still, very much enamored with his bride. This is a man’s man, a crossfiter, a tough mudder with a deep and enduring respect for the women in his life.
But the whole of Stephen does not end there. He is a man of constant growth always seeking more from this life. Even the most rigid of us, little by little, change over time. But some are willing to explore a bit further, go a bit deeper, and ask a bit more.