Meet the characters in our story

Steve Ballantyne hiking in mountains NZ

Steve

To say I was raised in an environment rich in stories would be the understatement of my life. From biblical roots, Sunday School, sermons and parables through to the wonderful faraway lands of Narnia and Beatrix Potter, stories – and storytelling – is part of my fibre. In adulthood, a love of hiking has taken me on many journeys and adventures. I’ve garnered tales from strangers met along the way as well as from my own hair-raising, soul-searching and death-defying experiences.

For the last 25 years I have been working within Australasia’s B2B marketing industry as a Strategic Advisor for the likes of OfficeMax, Canon, ColorCote, Speedy Signs and Lockwood.

With the art of business storytelling tucked under my arm, I have gone about my career proving and testing my ideas in this field, involving myself in 8 business start-ups… some worked brilliantly, others not so well. And this is precisely where my own personal brand of value lies – in the great sense of commercial reality I bring to everything I do. And I wouldn’t change a thing, because all roads have led me to this point – the point at which I can spread and share my skills with companies and leaders who so desperately need to compete. Are you one of them?

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Nicqui Redman riding horse on Orewa Beach Auckland NZ

Nicqui

A multi-talented advertising superhero of 30 years… a writer, editor, project manager, media manager, grammar Nazi, estimator and nit-picker extraordinaire.  And clearly an inflated sense of greatness. But it’s true, I’ve spent more than half my life labouring in both small and multi-national agencies, video production and direct marketing, while at the same time co-founding NZ’s first 0900 surf reporting company (WaveTrack), Surf.co.nz and NZ’s first mobile car audio & security business.

Oh, and somewhere in the middle I brought two wee daughters into the world, now in their 20s. My personal passion is horses – training, riding or simply sitting on a bean bag in the paddock, observing them.  It’s blissful downtime – time out from the busy-ness of business, because they’re really not interested in anyone’s stories but their own.  They have a fun, easy life – racing on the beach, charging through the forest, picnics by the stream. Things that give them their own tales to tell each other – because even animals love stories.
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Marilyn

Marilyn

Aside from my soft spot for dogs, my interests and experience lie in bringing the Yin and Yang to digital marketing. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, as the MD of Austin Digital, Story IQ’s sister company which specialises in building websites and digital marketing, it’s my job to deliver the best of both worlds to my clients – that being, a deep understanding of the technical aspects of building stand-out websites with supporting digital marketing campaigns, balanced with an innate ability to…

make sure that the numbers side of things stack up, to generate a decent ROI. I’ve been in the digital marketing space for over 15 years, after starting out as an accountant – hence my unique blend of skills… the Yin and Yang. And as part of Story IQ, I’ll be ensuring our far-reaching creativity matches our clients’ business outcomes. For digital marketing to work well, you can’t have one without the other.

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Kern Hoffman

Kern

Gamer, husband, father, Star Wars fan, hero of Azeroth and fantasy fan. I am a tireless seeker of knowledge, occasional reader and also, coincidentally, a graphic designer/web designer. Operating at the junction of simplicity and function to answer design problems with honest solutions. I got my BA Degree in Graphic Design and Multimedia, and since then I have been working in the industry both locally and abroad for over 10 years and on this creative journey, I’ve handled various projects ranging from…

importing point of sale from China, creating social media campaigns on Facebook, to designing and building conversion optimised websites.
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Ashton Hoffman

Ashton

Having a more-than-slight addiction to being highly organized and keeping everyone on their toes is only a small part of what makes me tick. A digital marketing guru with 9 years in the marketing industry, and marketing strategies coming out of my ears, I’ve been told I’m a force to be reckoned with. With my South African heritage, I like to bring the “Howzit” to all things marketing.

It’s fair to say that most of my free time is spent drinking large almond milk mochas at the local café with my one year old boy Jethro, and our Schnauzer Pippa. Being super-organised myself, there are a couple of things that ruffle my feathers – when people don’t meet deadlines and when “the Husband” doesn’t put the rubbish out in time. In my down time I fantasize about being on a beach in Mauritius with my adoring husband and baby, and a cocktail in hand *insert heart emoji*. What a happy ending to the story!

P.S. “Stay human, stay compassionate and don’t forget the little guys.” – Captain America

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Lizzie

Lizzie

What is life without stories to tell? Over the last four years as a Creative Copywriter (+ free spirit + serial remote worker) I’ve made it my own personal mission to make memories that will last a lifetime, and stories that will last generations – for start-ups, B2B brands, entrepreneurs and… myself.
You see, in my eyes, brands shouldn’t strive for anything less than a real and genuine connection with their audiences

– after all, those who tell the best stories win the best business. As Story IQ’s Senior Copywriter and Creative, it’s up to me to bring the magic of your brand to life – even if that brand is you.
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Mindi 1

Mindi

It all started with story. A fascination with imaginary worlds and endless possibility was fueled by the gift of a typewriter at age 8. My creativity was sidetracked while earning a master’s degree in Nutrition Science, publishing three papers and realising the best days were the ones spent researching and writing. Done with the degree and at loose ends, I managed a restaurant for a Kiwi chef where I developed a love of wine,

Kiwi accents and a knack for taking brash chances. I sold everything I owned and moved to NZ. After several years working retail and a stint on Stewart Island, I took a leap. With life as my experience and passion for words as my training, I applied for my dream job: freelance content writer.

From the U.P. of Michigan to the mountains of Montana and now beautiful sunny Nelson, I’ve tumbled down a rabbit hole and ended up in Wonderland. Today I write, read, am spoiled by my partner’s cooking, and indulge in whims, wine and conversations with my cat (Alice, of course) – while looking forward to the next challenge.

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