Animal Profiles: Nick & Noah

It’s time to suit up for a dive into the animal world once again. For this installment we have Noah Bakst, our Digital Strategist & Analyst, who chose everyone’s favorite orca (killer) whale from the 90’s classic film Free Willy. Nick Van Huis, our Senior Web Optimization Manager, went with the dapper bird from the Arctic, the penguin. Spring in the Arctic is still freezing cold, so let’s warm up to these two digital savants and see what made them choose these cool creatures.

Nick, it seems you’ve got a case of Happy Feet. What was behind your penguin decision?

First, I’m the best dancer when no one’s looking [laughs]. Second, penguins look cool and have gigantic families. My family’s reunions are legendary when it comes to attendance, but somehow there’s always food left over.

Quite a mystery indeed. Looking cool isn’t all penguins have to offer though. They are masters of land and sea as well. How does that fit into your dance routine?

That’s true. I admire their versatility and that’s something I’ve channeled throughout my life as a musician and in my career, especially here at Rebuild. The SEO world is a fickle thing. Trust me.

I’ll take your word for it. So, the running joke about penguins is that they’re born wearing tuxedos. Tell me, are you a fan of fancy threads?

I’ve only worn a tux one time for my wedding. I tried to convince my wife that a t-shirt and jeans was my tuxedo. You can imagine how well that went over [laughs].

Noah, I can’t help but think your orca whale choice was because of Free Willy. Am I right?

I hadn’t thought of that. In a way, yes, since I’m a fan of whales in general. I also think it’s cool orcas are referred to as the “wolves of the sea.”

Giving a new meaning to “wolf pack,” no doubt. Orcas are some of the most resourceful and intelligent mammals on Earth. Any thoughts about that?

I doubt orcas knew flipping a shark on its back would completely disable them until they tried. As a strategist, there’s a lot of trial and error involved when getting to the goal of efficiency. Although, harassing sharks seems so much more fun. And dangerous.

That’s how you live life on the edge, right? Persistence gets results though. I can’t argue with that. How do you stay motivated to solve the problems you come across?

Orcas and whales have been around for millions of years, so I’m inspired by their resilience. What keeps me going is seeing our success reflected in happy clients. Discovering solutions never gets old.


That does it for our adventure in the Arctic! We’re going back to where it’s a lot warmer next month with Vanessa Moon, our Digital Producer, who chose the pig as her favorite and Stephanie Bahnmiller, our Web Optimization Strategist, who chose the lion. There will be lots of oinks and roars on the horizon folks, so prepare yourselves!