“We really care, and we are excited about what’s happening here,” said Justin Garvey, who co-owns Metre, an advertising agency located in downtown La Crosse.

“Working with some of the best brands throughout La Crosse and the region,” Garvey said in describing what he does, “brands that I believe in and brands that represent the best that the area has to offer. As the director of brand strategy for a La Crosse-based advertising agency, I have the opportunity to work with the leadership of a large variety of organizations. Working for and with these business leaders, I have the opportunity to find solutions for and learn from some of the best business minds in the region.”

During the past four years, Garvey said he and his coworkers have watched the city they care about grow into a vibrant downtown area, populated by groups of residents, professionals and clients who have aligned in just the right way to show off all La Crosse has to offer.

“When they’re involved,” he said, “they get things done.”

Garvey is no stranger to getting things done. He was the founding president of the Rotary Club of La Crosse After Hours, and a Rotarian for the past seven years; he’s also served on the board for the club, as well as Rotary District 6250 as assistant governor for three years. Garvey regularly donates his time to service projects such as the Ugly Sweater 5K, Rotary Lights, Adopt-A-Highway, Salvation Army bell ringing and more.

“As a business,” he said, “Metre makes contributions of time, money and partial or complete pro-bono services to many local nonprofit organizations, including Mid West Music Fest, United Fund for the Arts and Humanities, Artspire La Crosse, Rotary Brain Game, Downtown Mainstreet Inc., La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce, La Crosse SOUP, La Crosse Synergy, Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin and more.”

It’s that kind of generosity, ingenuity and innovation that got Garvey singled out.

Kerstin Boudreau, who nominated Garvey for Rising Stars Under 40, said his coworkers, clients and friends love his analytical mind, quiet but thoughtful ways and excellent sense of humor.

“Justin Garvey should be recognized for all that he has accomplished, and the mark that he has left on the city of La Crosse,” Boudreau said. “In 2011, he helped to found the La Crosse Rotary After Hours Club, serving as the club’s first president and working tirelessly to establish its long-term vision and processes. The club today thrives as a result of many of these efforts and continues to grow, with over 80 members.”

In 2013, she said, at the age of 29, Garvey co-founded Metre, a full-service advertising agency in downtown La Crosse.

“In 2015,” Garvey said, “Metre expanded, adding a second location in Minneapolis. And, through the years, he and the Metre team have quietly donated hundreds of hours of marketing service to many of the region’s nonprofit organizations.”

Garvey said the road to success isn’t a straight trajectory up, and although some days can be tough, it’s all been worth it. The key is keep at it, taking everything in stride, and giving as much or more than you’re getting. Especially if you care about the people and place you’re doing it in.

“I’m motivated by finding new ways to push brands and businesses forward,” Garvey said. “I take pride in both sharing my industry knowledge with less experienced and collaborating with and learning from those with more experience. The brand work Metre has done for clients has had a strong and visible impact in the community.”

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