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Company executives trade their jobs for a new perspective

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 17. 2012 11:29PM
Travis York, President of Griffin, York and Krause, left, plays ping pong against ping pong champ Ron Abisi, who works in sales at Dyn. York spent Monday at Dyn as part of an Exec Exchange program in which he switched places with long time friend and Dyn CEO, Jeremy Hitchcock. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER - The creative force behind Griffin York & Krause marketing firm and the techie who co-founded and now runs Dyn Inc. ran each other's companies for the day Monday to gain insights on meeting challenges ahead.

The two executives hope this right-brain, left-brain job swap will produce pragmatic results, including how to continue to retain and attract high-caliber, innovative employees and gain insight into where both companies should be heading.

Dyn and GY&K, whose president is Travis York, have undergone rapid growth and 'are in an interesting transitional time as far as the thinking 'where do we want to go from here,' ' Dyn Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Hitchcock said.

Founded in 2001, Dyn translates Internet domain names into numerical Internet protocol addresses. It also does email receipt and account deliveries. Its clients include Twitter and Netflix. It has about 150 employees and is based at 150 Dow St.

GY&K calls itself a marketing innovation company. Based in the former Amoskeag schoolhouse at 121 River Front Drive, the company works mostly with consumer brands, including Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Bauer Hockey, the New Hampshire and Tri-State Lottery, Sweet Baby Ray's and Peoples Bank.

Trading places for the day was the next best thing to hiring a consultant knowledgeable enough about company operations and goals to step in for the day and review operations, Hitchcock said of the experiment dubbed 'Exec Exchange.'

'It was a professional development opportunity to walk in each other's shoes,' added Hitchcock, whose company is a client of GY&K.

'I'm looking forward to sharing my reflections of my day here. ... I hope I get some refreshing points of view from Travis,' Hitchcock said as the day neared an end and he prepared to join York and their respective employees at Dyn's Millyard company.

Dyn and GY&K both have experience on the national and international scale and 'ambitious talent' that they want to attract and retain, York said.

'We call ourselves an innovation company,' York explained.

'We're hoping to make it a hub for innovative thinkers and talented professionals who want to work here, who want to live here, who want to play here,' York said.

York said he was impressed by Dyn employees' preparedness and eagerness to pose questions about how to position, package and promote their products and services.

'I learned a lot about how people think and market and advertise, about how they are organized and structured and operate, and how a culture is built and maintained,' he said.

York already imagines replicating Exec Exchange with other clients.

'You learn a lot by getting the perspective on the other side,' he said.

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Kathryn Marchocki may be reached at

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