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Nashua 20/20 Emerging: Bill Schick, making global marketing connections through home base in Nashua

Bill Schick had a mentor in the late 1990s who pushed him to start his own marketing agency. But it would take some half a dozen years, and several jobs, before he was ready to take the plunge.

“It was 2005 when I decided to go alone,” Schick said. “I knew there was tremendous opportunity.”

Schick was right.

In the first year, he turned a profit and was able to hire his first employee. Today, MESH Interactive Agency is a 15-person shop based in downtown Nashua with clients across the world. The agency recently opened a New York City office, and it was selected to manage the city of Nashua’s rebranding campaign.

Schick, 41, has become a familiar face in Nashua. He serves on the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He’s been active in iUGO, the city’s young professionals network. He’s also on the board for Nashua High School North’s graphic design and printing program. Meanwhile, Schick and his wife are raising a young family in Merrimack.

Originally from Vermont, Schick is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston. Before MESH, he worked for a family-owned printing business for a year or so, then a consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass.

He freelanced for a while, then became creative director of a medical device company in 2003.

It was around that time that Schick relocated to Nashua. He was looking for a location that was convenient to Boston, the New Hampshire Seacoast and Vermont.

Schick’s transition from employee to company owner was strategic. He didn’t leave the medical device company until he had a client that would bring in 50 percent of his annual salary. Within the first year, he gained enough business to make 150 percent of that salary. Since then, company sales have doubled four of the eight years.

Today, MESH is full-service marketing and creating agency that offers multichannel branding, Web development, social media marketing, graphic design and more. About one-third of the company’s business is international, another third comes from the Boston to New York corridor, and the remaining third is made up of small businesses in New Hampshire, Schick said. Clients range from tech startups to product manufacturers to an Olympic ski brand.

Within the next few years, Schick hopes to expand MESH by opening a Chicago office and an international office in France or Amsterdam. He hopes to do bigger work for more national brands. But he doesn’t see MESH’s home base as anywhere but Nashua, he said.

“I like how connected business and government and the chamber are. I like that interaction. I don’t think you see that in a lot of cities,” Schick said. “I like how close-knit it is.”