About EKR

We destroy confusion, craft stories and create beauty to build brands that shape human engagement. And yes, we do most things marketing, design the crap out of stuff and build incredible websites and apps that sing ROI and make you tear up a little. But we never limit ourselves. We’re innovators and strategists first, with a team who can make anything.

EKR History 101

EKR (Eli Kirk Riser) is a combination of 3 seasoned agencies. The first, Eli Kirk, was founded in 2001 by Lance Black and Jarid Love, both with a strong background in technology and business. In 2010, Eli Kirk acquired M2 Results, a brand strategy agency co-founded in 1999 by marketing veteran Bill Brady. The final piece of the puzzle was added in 2015 when Eli Kirk acquired Riser, a creative agency established by Michael Janda in 2002. The combined agency boasts a team of more than 65 employees spread across three capable teams: Marketing, Design and Development.


We are systematic, process-minded and—at times—obsessive compulsive. And we take just the right number of breaks to keep the creative juices flowing. This mode of operation yields consistent results and predictable experiences for our clients. We balance service, collaboration and expertise in a way that focuses everyone involved on the business objectives. Every team member at EKR understands the client-partner relationship and treats each project as if they were part of the client’s internal team. That’s what makes EKR stand out from the crowd: We treat you like family and your bottom line like our own.

We put your business objectives smack-dab in the middle of every endeavor, and everything we do is about accomplishing your goals on time and on budget. Tracking is a big deal to us, which is why we hone metrics during the strategy phase of every project. We build brands and businesses. We save sleep for every second Tuesday. Seriously, we geek out on this stuff. The EKR culture is designed to attract talented people who love their craft and live to solve business problems. The truth of the matter is, if we didn’t have to feed our kids, we’d probably work on your stuff for free.


Lance Black, Partner/CEO

Lance graduated from Brigham Young University with an undergraduate degree in computer science and an MBA. As CEO, he oversees the company’s operational performance, is heavily engaged in business development and works with the executive team to establish vision and culture. He is a charismatic leader and consummate problem solver.


Jarid Love, Partner/CTO

Jarid received a computer science degree from Utah Valley University before co-founding Eli Kirk with Lance in 2001. He is an accomplished programmer and effective leader who has personally built Eli Kirk Riser’s 20-person development team and directs the programming of all websites and mobile apps produced by the company.


Bill Brady, Partner/CMO

Prior to his arrival at Eli Kirk in 2010, Bill owned a Salt Lake City brand strategy firm for 11 years, guided Wall Street PR for a billion-dollar publicly traded company and directed global PR for an international software company. Bill graduated with a degree in PR from BYU, where he served as student body president. At Eli Kirk Riser, Bill shares oversight of the company’s day-to-day operations, oversees business development and guides the work of the agency’s marketing services team.


Michael Janda, Partner/CCO

Michael founded the creative agency Riser in 2002 following his service as a senior creative director at Fox Studios. In 2015, Eli Kirk brought Riser onto the team to round out our creative and development teams. Michael now serves as chief creative officer, guiding the company’s creative vision and overseeing the design team. He is a studio art graduate from Indiana University and author of the book, Burn Your Portfolio (Peachpit Press, 2013), a top-selling book in the design industry.


Awards & Accolades

  • 2015 – Best of State Award (Graphic Design)
  • 2015 – Best of State Award (Interactive Multimedia)
  • 2014 – Best of State Award (Graphic Design)
  • 2014 – Best of State Award (Web Design)
  • 2014 – Best of State Award (Interactive Multimedia)
  • 2013 – Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing #1657
  • 2013 – Best of State Award (Graphic Design)
  • 2013 – Best of State Award (Web Design)
  • 2013 – Best of State Award (Interactive Multimedia)
  • 2013 – AIGA 100 Award of Merit (Nat Geo Genographic Site)
  • 2012 – Bill Brady: BusinessQ Magazine’s “40 Under 40”
  • 2012 – UV50 14th Fastest Growing Company in Utah Valley
  • 2012 – Best of State Award (Graphic Design)
  • 2012 – Best of State Award (Web Design)
  • 2012 – Best of State Award (Interactive Multimedia)
  • 2011 – Michael Janda: BusinessQ Magazine Cover
  • 2011 – Awwwards Site of the Day
  • 2011 – Best of State Statue (BOSS) Science and Technology
  • 2011 – Best of State Award (Graphic Design)
  • 2011 – Best of State Award (Web Design)
  • 2011 – Best of State Award (Interactive Multimedia)
  • 2011 – FWA Award for Tropicana Tropolis
  • 2010 – Michael Janda: BusinessQ Magazine’s “40 Under 40”
  • 2010 – Art-Spire 100 Best Digital Agencies in the World
  • 2010 – BusinessQ Magazine “Best Website” in Utah Valley
  • 2010 – Best of State Award (Graphic Design)
  • 2009 – Best of State Award (Graphic Design)
  • 2009 – Fast 50, 25th Fastest Growing Company in Utah
  • 2009 – MWCN, 36th Fastest Growing Company in Utah
  • 2009 – UV50, 23rd Fastest Growing Company in Utah Valley
  • 2009 – Gold Addy for Warner Bros. Lego Batman Website
  • 2009 – Addy Judge’s Choice, Lego Batman Website
  • 2008 – CSS Hive Top 10 List
  • 2008 – MWCN, 43rd Fastest Growing Company in Utah
  • 2008 – UV50, 17th Fastest Growing Company in Utah Valley
  • 2007 – CSS Mania Top 10 Best Designed Sites of the Year
  • 2007 – viaVerio Outstanding New Partner Award
  • 2006 – Promax/BDA Gold, ABC Family “Beautiful People”


Board game Friday lunches. Hootenany—a yearly excuse to wear cowboy hats and hang with each other. Slash Bash: we have a vendetta against pumpkins. We’ve painstakingly asked ourselves, “What is EKR culture?” At times it feels like a moving target. And we’re okay with that. Every time we add a new face to the team—it’s like a dose of personality is injected into the collective. We can all agree on one thing though: The world can and should be taken over one bobblehead at a time.

Join our team.

Calling all masterminds, artists, creators and wordsmiths. We’re looking for talented peeps that have the makings of EKR greatness. And if you don’t see an opening but think you’re a piece of the EKR pie, we want to meet with you.

View Openings