“Wow. I had no idea!” The reaction of first-time visitors to Mills James corporate headquarters is almost always the same.
Established in 1984, Mills James is one of the largest independent creative media production companies in the nation, and the range of its services and the diversity of its blue chip clients are truly astounding. P&G, Victoria’s Secret, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Safelite Auto Glass, NetJets and the Ohio Lottery are just some of the many companies and organizations who regularly benefit from the talents of Mills James – a firm now owned 100 percent by the employees as part of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
A tour of the company’s Columbus Teleproduction Center helps explain the firm’s success. It’s a vast complex of soundstages, audio studios, editing and visual effects suites, engineering and control facilities – more than an acre of production resources, all under one roof, backed by a seasoned staff of producers, directors, writers, designers, directors of photography and much more.
The company’s fiber optic connections allow it to provide breaking news services to cable networks such as CNN, Fox and MSNBC, and it’s not unusual for Mills James to play host to network correspondents, presidential candidates, sports celebrities and a variety of other newsmakers.
Mills James is also home to “Cash Explosion,” the Ohio Lottery’s weekly game show, a TV program with a live studio audience that has awarded millions of dollars in prizes to contestants. The firm is also responsible for the broadcast of the daily Ohio Lottery drawings.
Another source of pride for the company is the Mills James Experience Group, MJx, which creates engaging experiences that motivate, inform, persuade, unite and delight audiences of all sizes – providing an unmatched array of creative design and technical execution services – from theme development and scenic/lighting design to video production and comprehensive staging support. The Mills James events teams have staged functions at the most popular venues in top destination cities throughout the U.S. and beyond, and its 25,000 square foot office/warehouse complex houses some of the most sophisticated audiovisual technology in the industry.
But there’s even more going on at Mills James. The company provides audiovisual services for a wide range of area hotels and conferences centers, designs and installs advanced audiovisual technology for corporations, provides a variety of digital signage services, and is widely acknowledged as a leading authority for complex videoconferencing and virtual meetings, coordinating hundreds of meetings each year. In addition to Columbus, Mills James has operations in Cincinnati and Cleveland.
“If there’s one thing that ties it all together, it’s the fact that we specialize in the art and science of modern storytelling,” said CEO Cameron James. “Today’s communication environment requires increasing sophistication to break through the clutter and ensure your message is heard.”
“It not about technology; it’s about the thought process,” adds President and co-founder Ken Mills. “The technology can be bought by anyone who can afford it, but few can match the combined creative problem-solving experience of our 160 employee owners. That’s what makes the difference. That’s what creates the magic. ”