The1stMovement Bucks Traditional LA Image - Blazes Own Trail

Agency's Decision to Remain in Pasadena a “No Brainer”
By: Gretchen Kihm-Stegall, The1stMovement
Ming Chan, CEO, The1stMovement leads his business off beaten path in Pasadena
Ming Chan, CEO, The1stMovement leads his business off beaten path in Pasadena
May 13, 2010 - PRLog -- Pasadena, CA –  When faced with an opportunity to move his award-winning digital agency due to increased demand and corresponding growth trends, did this CEO choose to follow the path of West LA agencies?

Absolutely not, because for Ming Chan, CEO of Pasadena’s The1stMovement, innovation means setting oneself apart from the ordinary in most every aspect of business.

The1stMovement (T1M) award winning digital agency announced that its headquarters office will remain in Pasadena, CA, bucking the trend of advertising agencies’ locale in West Los Angeles. For Ming Chan, founder and CEO of T1M, it was an easy decision to remain in Pasadena.  The decision to stay east of Downtown Los Angeles represents T1M’s innovative culture and unconventional approach to business, setting itself apart from the competitive agency environment, both literally and figuratively. Several other factors were considered in the search for the right fit for T1M’s office, such as general location and amenities, access to the brightest creative and technical protégés, even the specific building style and office environment.  The T1M office has moved from the more commercialized old town Pasadena, to its new “digs” at 1010 E. Union Street, #120, Pasadena, CA, 91106, where things are a little less “congested."

Since Day One, T1M purposefully set out to build a physical presence on the East side of Los Angeles as one way to distinguish itself from the traditional West Los Angeles agency landscape.  “There are very few creative institutions having multiple offices that call Pasadena “home,” stated Chan. “The1stMovement is one of the few marquee agencies on this side of town, breaking away from the West LA agency stereotype.  We embrace a culture of risk taking and standard setting versus following the trends.”  As the agency name suggests, Chan and his team, “strive to be the first AND the best.” [Photo: Ming Chan, CEO of The1stMovement - leading his business off the beaten path in Pasadena]

Recognized for its mix of creative and technological accomplishments, T1M has earned a variety of prestigious awards including multiple Webby Awards, Stevie Award, ADDY Award, Horizon Interactive Award, Communications Arts Award and many more. The proximity to talent incubators from such top institutions as the Art Center College of Design and the California Institute of Technology is important in the agency’s ability to continue its leading-edge innovations.

Nearby Occidental College – known as Oxy to locals -- where Chan and two of his agency’s key associates were classmates for all four years, also played a role in the decision.  “Oxy offered a very tightly bonded, small but diverse community where friends in my youth grew into my trusted colleagues.  I fell in love with the vibe and the people of Pasadena during our college years and ever since... so when it came time to choose a city to live and work in, it was a no brainer.”

While Pasadena itself is not widely recognized as a “tech or creative corridor,” many aspects of the city offered additional benefits that the four-year old digital agency found attractive for its headquarters, supporting the opportunity for T1M to continue to distinguish itself from other agencies.  The locale’s unique mix of traditional culture, progressive design and technology, with easy access to Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport and close proximity to Hollywood appealed to the agency and its talent.          

Even the building in which T1M chose to makes its new home is atypical of a creative agency.  Tucked away in a quiet residential area surrounded by a surprising abundance of restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, and services, the agency’s space in the two-story building was gutted and redesigned by Chan’s “new office committee.”

The initiative resulted in a modern, open free-flowing space with individual offices, generous sunlight throughout, a full kitchen, a lounge area for clients and staff, and a large, one-of-a-kind patio for private parties/events.

As one might expect, the digital agency incorporated some of the most advanced technology available in support of its Pasadena and Denver offices, to include a VoIP telephony system that manages both offices’ communication needs. Utilizing services such as WebEx video conference and Web 2.0 tools like Yammer, the conference room is designed to support a variety of “meetings” with such global clients as Adobe, AT&T and Cisco.  In addition, the more "traditional" instant messaging and email are used to further enhance real-time collaboration with clients and colleagues.

To contact Ming Chan or for more information on The1stMovement,email –, phone - 626.689.4993x611, or visit

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About The1stMovement
A full-service digital agency with offices in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO, The1stMovement (T1M) uses emerging technology to push the boundaries of digital media. Founded in 2006, T1M has since gained recognition for its digital accomplishments within a wide range of well-established brands including Adobe, AT&T, CH2M HILL, Cisco, Gulfstream, E! Online, G4 and Xcel Energy.
The firm thrives on its ongoing pursuit of new ideas, taking clients on an interactive journey beyond their imaginations deep into the digital frontier where they engage, learn, and play. For more information, visit
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