- James Buck
- Joe Gaetani and Seth Neary of Driven Studio
The mouth-watering grilled cheese video on Cabot Creamery’s Instagram? Driven made that. The blog post about racial justice Ben & Jerry’s shared with its 8.7 million fans on Facebook? Yep, that too.
Driven partners Joe Gaetani and Seth Neary are as hard-working and determined as their company name suggests. The pair met in 2007 while freelancing for Cabot: Neary as a graphic designer; Gaetani as a videographer. United by their work ethic — and an interest in adventurous recreation — the two soon began sharing office space.
Social media was in its infancy then; the iPhone had just been introduced. As the technology evolved, so did Neary and Gaetani’s partnership. They realized that together, they could help brands produce compelling content online, so in 2016, they merged their businesses under the Driven Studio name.
It’s about more than boosting web traffic and sales.
“We wanted to create a place where we wanted to work,” Neary says. Today, their 24 employees get four weeks of paid vacation and a fitness stipend for expenses such as running shoes and snowboard passes; sometimes they pause work on a powder day so everyone can head to the mountain.
To demonstrate their commitment to an employee-centric culture, Driven applied to become a certified B Corporation, legally required to consider the long-term effects of business decisions on employees and on the environment. Putting people before profits, basically. They were inspired by several of their clients — Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot, Seventh Generation, Vermont Creamery, Image Relay and Mamava are all B Corps, too.
In the summer of 2020, Neary noticed the B Corp logo on a Mascoma Bank ad. He liked the thought of banking with a like-minded company. “They’re valuing their employees the same way we value ours,” he says.
The partners agree that changing banks was well worth the effort. Because Driven is also a B Corp, its business checking account earns a higher interest rate. But Gaetani’s been most impressed by Mascoma’s customer service. “That’s something I’ve never experienced in a bank, at least not at that level.”
Neary points out that when he calls Mascoma, “I’m talking to somebody I know is in the Pine Street branch,” he says. That local connection is important, even to a company that works with global brands. “It really feels like a local bank,” he says.