Julie Mueller

My day job is founder and partner of jamGD, a marketing and design firm. We like to say the “GD” stands for “Great Design” (or, alternatively, “Gorgeous Dames”).

The company has been in operation for 26 years and my business partner, Jennifer Weitzman, has been a co-owner for 15 of those. We’ve worked with companies of every size—from “mom and pop” businesses and start-ups to corporate clients. We focus on building long-term relationships and our clients know they can rely on us to be true partners who take the time to learn about their industry and their business and become a strategic resource for them.

We’re only doing our job if our clients are succeeding in a measure-driven way. We like to position ourselves as strategic designers who deliver creative marketing. A lot of our current work is, no surprise, in websites and social media. Logo work used to be the door opener in our industry, but websites seem to play this role today.

My most memorable caffeine is the caffeinated Gu Energy Gels I used when I was training for triathlons. That extra burst of caffeine made a difference.

My current caffeine of choice is none! I’ve never been a coffee drinker—at one time Mountain Dew was my caffeine of choice—but I didn’t grow up in a coffee drinking family and really just never acquired the taste for it.

My favorite place for caffeine is Java Cat on Monona Drive. Although I’m not a coffee drinker, I do like the social aspect of going to a coffee place and like to support local businesses. I connected with the owner, Renee Raspiller, of Java Cat at a meeting for small business owners and like to support their business. I also frequent Crema Café.

The people I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is Lance Armstrong. As a fellow athlete I’d love the chance to ask him, “Dude, what were you thinking???” I was very big on cycling when Lance was gaining attention and he held a certain fascination for me. After all, he was instrumental to the resurgence of cycling in the U.S. and gave a lot of hope to people who were struggling against long odds (as he was with his testicular cancer). I’d love to know why he felt he needed drugs to compete and what happened to so skew his moral compass. I’d also love to know if he’s learned anything and whether he has regrets.

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine:  the sheer level of divisiveness in everything from politics to how we treat each other every day. I fear that it’s going to get worse before it gets better and I’d challenge people to start small; to think of one daily act of kindness you could do to make a difference. I’ve been challenging myself to follow this mantra, which I got from a life coach I know in town named Darcy Luoma, Pause, think, act. If we each took the time to do that every second, minute and day it would give us the perspective we need to avoid a lot of trouble.