Introducing the Mara Foundation
e3creative (part of Dept) is proud to launch The Mara Foundation, an initiative to invest in professional growth, nurture talent and ignite opportunities that unleash creative potential. Inspired by Mike Mara and established in his name, the foundation recognises his achievements, celebrates his strengths and echoes his legendary spirit of generosity.
Mike joined e3creative (part of Dept) in a junior position. He had designed in graphics for many years, yet never worked in digital products. With his natural eye for aesthetics, Mike was driven to ensure his vision matched his output, he found a sense of self-fulfilment in advancing his personal skill-set. He acquired books and studied in his own time, as well as participated in online tutorial sessions and training guides. Mike demonstrated a clear dedication to his craft and massively improved his creative output, quickly rising through the ranks to become a recognised and respected designer within the agency. He was a truly infectious character, someone who could brighten any moment. He breathed agency culture, always being one of the first in the studio and the first to offer help or stay late. People were everything to Mike.
Leading up to Easter 2014, Mike had been feeling poorly and was taken to hospital for emergency treatment and on Monday morning, Mike’s sister called to notify the agency that he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer and was seriously ill. Mike was determined never to give his adversary too much respect and refused to bow down to defeat. He underwent extensive chemotherapy which initially gave positive results in controlling his cancer. In between sessions and appointments, Mike was adamant to continue working in the agency, walking in most days armed with a box of Krispy Kremes and characteristic ball of energy.
In August 2015, Mike’s fight with cancer became too much; he had done everything he could in the bravest and courageous way. Two weeks before Mike passed away, he ventured out to personally say goodbye to those who had become such an important part of his work and life.
On the morning of October 20th, 2015, Mike passed away surrounded by his mother, father, and sister. The news of Mike’s passing affected our team in an unprecedented way. It was almost too much to handle, but together we vowed to channel our sadness into a positive, as Mike did during his most difficult times.
Mike played a pivotal role in establishing e3creative (part of Dept) – now we pull from his legacy as a source of encouragement to others, through The Mara Foundation. To take a page from Mike’s own self-styled development plan for improving his ability, the foundation has developed an internship programme with The University of Salford.
Manchester digital agency e3creative is now part of Dept. The experience-led design team joins 1300 specialists at the forefront of technology, data, digital marketing, and commerce.