Ferndale Ad Exec, Garden Fresh COO Among 'Elite 40 Under 40'
Ferndale resident Rick Van House, president of Know Advertising in Royal Oak, and John Latella of Garden Fresh Salsa Gourmet in Ferndale, are among 40 individuals honored in Oakland County.
Ferndale resident Rick Van House, president and founder of Know Advertising in Royal Oak, and Garden Fresh Gourmet COO John Latella were named part of L. Brooks Patterson's "Elite 40 Under 40" list at last week's State of the County Address.
The Elite 40 represents the Oakland County executive's vision for the county. Those named on the list are “individuals who are excelling in their fields and are working to improve the quality of life in their communities by giving back,” Patterson said.
More than 400 nominations were received representing all areas of the county.
Van House, a Michigan State University grad, left his college apartment in East Lansing and moved to the Ferndale/Royal Oak area because he wanted to be in the center of everything, he said. After working for a few ad agencies around town, he quit to start his own business.
The 32-year-old Van House started Know Advertising out of his basement in Ferndale.
“I had a lot of friends who were entrepreneurs who needed help,” he said. Unmarried and with few expenses at the time, he took a risk. “I was 25 or 26 years old and I referred to my back deck as world headquarters,” he said.
Then one day Van House decided to cold call Tom Violante, the owner of Holiday Market.
“Tom said, ‘I’ve got somebody already. Call me back in a year.’ So I waited but I kept sending him updates,” Van House said.
After a year, Violante called him back and gave Van House a shot. “I give Tom and his family a lot of credit for helping us,” he said.
With the Holiday account under his belt, Van House was finally able to move out of his basement. He purchased the former Land Pharmacy building on 11 Mile Road, which was designed by Minoru Yamasaki in 1955. The space is now home to seven employees. An additional 15-20 people freelance for the ad agency.
‘We love being in Royal Oak,” Van House said. “It’s a very creative city. It’s like a mini Madison Avenue.”
Know Advertising’s clients include Yaldo Eye Center, Holiday Market, LaBelle Electrical Contractors, MST Seamless Tube and Pipe and Brooklyn Pizza.
Van House has plenty of energy. In 2011, along with wife Nicole, he started The Van House Foundation to focus on helping health-related foundations and organizations with marketing and branding.
“Our goal is to help other foundations attract younger audiences to their causes and events,” Van House said.
For more Know Advertising visit knowad.com.
John Latella, chief operating officer of Garden Fresh Salsa Gourmet in Ferndale, could not be reached for comment.
Latella, 37, has a criminal justice degree from Wayne State University, a master's in finance from Walsh College in Troy and a law degree from Michigan State University.
Elite 40 Under 40
- Mayor Bryan Barnett, Mayor, Rochester Hills
- Richard Bernstein, Senior Partner/Public Service litigator/Pro Bono Attorney, The Sam Bernstein Law Firm
- Kerrie Binno, Senior Medical Imaging Sales Specialist, Lantheus Medical Imaging
- Dr. Amanda Boltwood, Dentist, Dr. Komendera & Associates
- Scott Brills, 29, President, mSeven Media, Inc.
- Phil Castonia, 33, Business Development Representative for Internal Services, Oakland County Parks and Recreation
- Aaron Cozadd, Executive Chef, Union Woodshop
- Charles DeVries, Senior Director/Director of Business Development, Automation Alley
- Lena Epstein Koretzky, General Manager and Co-Owner, Vesco Oil Corporation
- Justin Fischer, Accounting Analyst, Ford Motor Corporation
- Hajj Flemings, Founder and CEO, Brand Camp University
- Milan Gandhi, Vice President, Med-Share Inc.
- John Garcia, President, Benjamin Hunter & Harmony Group
- Peter Ginopolis, Partner, Heritage Private Wealth
- Tatiana Grant, President, Infused PR & Events, LLC
- Jeffrey Imerman, Owner/Founder, Imerman Cake Company, LLC
- John Latella, Chief Operating Officer, Garden Fresh Salsa Gourmet
- Dr. Johnny Leung, President/Chief Optometrist, Accent Eyecare
- Laura Loughridge, State Director, March of Dimes
- Ryan Maibach, President, Barton Malow
- Rebecca McGovern, Assistant Vice President, Clarkston State Bank
- Andrea McNinch, Owner, Regeneration Raw/Heal Yourself Institute
- Steve Minella, President/Special Operations & Marine Division Director, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324
- Dr. Chris Niedzinski, Doctor of Chiropractic, Innerlink Chiropractic
- Mike Palmer, Owner, Premier Pet Supply
- Shane Pliska, President, Planterra
- Bill Pulte, Managing Director, Pulte Capital Partners
- Silvano Restiotto, Global Director Corporate Quality, TI Automotive
- Jim Santilli, Executive Director, Traffic Improvement Association (TIA)
- Kevin Schnieders, Chief Executive Officer, Educational Data Systems, Inc. (EDSI)
- Jeff Schostak, Director of Corporate Real Estate, Schostak Brothers Real Estate Company
- Cassie Sobelton, System Executive Director, Detroit Medical Center
- Jaclyn Trop, Business Reporter, The Detroit News
- Rick Van House, President, Know Advertising
- Salina Washington, President/CEO, Miyan Media LLC
- Daniel Wisniewski Jr., Branch Manager/Vice President Investments, Raymond James
- Karen Workman, Community Engagement Editor, The Oakland Press
- Norman Yatooma, Founder and Attorney, Norman Yatooma & Associates
- Chris Ygay, Owner, Revitalize Day Spa
- Colby Zemmin, Vice President of Business Development, US Medical Management