fall 2011-summer 2012 019In our recent efforts to introduce our blog readers to the faces behind Kirvin Doak, I was lucky enough to pull one of my favorites for my assignment, Mr. Jeff Merkle.

Jeff works with our marketing division, and I have teamed up with him on several clients in the past. We were even in a near-death experience on a flight back from a client in Sonoma once where our little plane with propellers skidded across the runway… (Ok that could be a dramatic interpretation but seriously – we bonded.)

In addition, Merkle and I have a common tie in that we both love Notre Dame football. This makes sense considering his parents moved from South Bend, Indiana, to Florida, where he was born, but brought their Fighting Irish pride with them. His favorite ND moment was the 1993 1-vs-2 matchup with Florida State in South Bend. Notre Dame ended up winning that game by a TD, but in bittersweet fashion, lost the very next week in the last game of the year to Boston College. Even though the Irish only had one loss, FSU went on to win the national championship.

“That title’s more tainted than a Barry Bonds urine sample,” said Merkle.

The ’93 game is something no Irish fan will forget. My own father proudly displayed a bumper sticker reading, “Notre Dame: 20; National Champions Florida State: 13” for years to come.

Beyond the Fighting Irish, Jeff has a passion for sports and playing golf. You won’t find him at a roller rink however, as one of his most embarrassing moments as a kid was the first and only time he threw on skates, he fell 10 seconds in, breaking and dislocating his ankle.

“A perfect day on a summer weekend would consist of 18 holes, a large piece of red meat on the grill, watching the Mets sweep a double-header with the Braves to take 1st place in the NL East on their way to the World Series, then capping it off by getting my butt kicked by my 2 year old daughter in a game of Candy Land,” said Merkle.

He has been married to his wife Monica for five years, and they have a two year old daughter, Hannah.

When it comes to the job, he says there is no typical work day at KDC, which is what keeps him on track.

“Every day is different with its own unique challenges, and it really forces you to always be thinking and prepared.“