Alumni-Founded Podcast Production Company Adds Another L&C Alumnus
by Amelia Eichel BA ’20
Annie Fassler BA ’11 and Jonah Geil-Neufeld BA ’11 met at Lewis & Clark and began working together with the emerging medium of podcasting right after graduation. In September 2017, they were married by Coordinator of Vocal Studies Susan McBerry, and founded Puddle Creative LLC three months later. This past fall, they hired recent graduate Sam Peers Nitzberg BA ’19.
computer science and psychology double major, was very involved on campus. As a student worker for both Information Technology and Public Affairs and Communications, he filmed training videos for new student hires and produced marketing videos about the campus. He also produced videos for KLC Radio. He realized that instead of becoming a computer programmer, he wanted to find a job in media production and editing.Sam, a
“I went to the Career Center as one of my many avenues for networking,” Sam said. “Adonica De Vault just happened to know Jonah because he had done a lot of similar media projects when he was in school, so she put us in touch. Later down the line when Puddle was looking to hire someone, they called me.”
After a successful summer internship, Jonah and Annie decided to hire Sam full time.
“It worked out really well, Sam took quickly to the editing process because he had editing experience in a different medium, but it translated very easily to podcasting,” Annie said.
The three-person team produces around 10 podcasts at once. Their clients include REI, the Bank of Montreal, and other businesses.
“Most of our clients start podcasts in order to build a community and connect with their clients, potential clients, or their fans,” Jonah said. “It’s a really personal medium. You’re getting 30–45-minutes of listening in on a conversation with someone.”
The team also emphasized the accessibility of podcasts for different types of businesses.
“Podcasting is a neutral space,” Annie said. “Companies who have a huge marketing budget and individuals who have a small business can both get their name out there and establish a community and brand identity through their podcast.”
Puddle Creative is one of only a few podcast production companies in Portland, although there is a small community of podcast producers in the area.
“I love Portland’s collaborative nature,” Jonah said. “If you find out that you and someone else in Portland are doing the same thing, people are excited about that rather than like, ‘Oh, you’re my competitor.’ Lewis & Clark has that same feeling of collaboration.”
Annie and Jonah are taking a business development class at Portland Community College since they are learning how to run a business as they go.
“We’re in this really flexible state right now where everyone in the company is doing everything, but now we get to decide, if and when we grow, what we want that to look like and what our goals will be.” Annie said.