“You can get everything in life you want, if you help other people get what they want.” This quote by Zig Ziglar is not only something that exemplifies the way Mudd Advertising does business, but it also personifies the type of leader that Jim Mudd Jr. is. James Mudd II was born in Monmouth, IL in 1965, and was the first child of Jim and Cecelia Mudd. He grew up in Cedar Falls, IA after his family moved to the Cedar Valley in 1973. Jim grew up active in sports, and when his father, Jim Sr., decided to open an advertising business in 1981, Jim was eager to help. His father, Jim Mudd Sr., opened Jim Mudd Advertising in July of 1981 in the basement of the family’s home. They had only a phone and a desk that was purchased from a garage sale, but business soon began to grow and in November of 1981, the business moved out of the family home into a rented space on West 1st street in Cedar Falls. Jim Jr. began working at the family business as an errand boy in high school and continued to help out while he pursued his degree from the University of Northern Iowa, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1989. After graduation, Jim Jr. decided to go work for Jim Mudd Advertising, but at his father’s suggestion, he first went to sell cars for Brooks Hanna in Grand Rapids, South Dakota. Jim Sr. wanted Jim Jr. to really understand the automotive sales business, so Jim, Jr. sold cars in South Dakota for one year before returning to Cedar Falls to work in the family business.
Upon returning to Jim Mudd Advertising, Jim Jr. worked nearly every job in the agency, including account manager, new business manager, senior vice president, and general manager of the agency. Jim became the President and CEO of Mudd Advertising in 2001 and has seen the company through major growth initiatives, both in terms of their facility and in personnel. Mudd Advertising currently employs over 160 people and has offices in Cedar Falls as well as downtown Chicago and Nashville. Today, Mudd Advertising is the largest privately owned and operated automotive advertising agency in the United States. Mudd Advertising currently provides successful advertising services to over 3,000 dealerships in every state across the country. By using proven advertising strategies and analytics, Mudd Advertising’s goal is to help their customer’s succeed, and to provide them with the best ROI possible. Their extensive list of customer testimonials is a demonstration of the success their direct mail and other marketing provides. Jim is directly involved with these initiatives, and because of his background in automotive sales, Jim truly understands his customers and their needs.
Jim leads by empowering others, and giving them the tools they need to be successful and then getting out of the way. He has a passion for seeing others succeed, and leads by building others up. Jim Jr. has seen the company through their best period of strength, and even in challenging times has maintained a level head and come out even stronger. However, according to Jim, none of this would have been possible without the great team of employees at Mudd Advertising, and without his siblings, all five of whom are or have been extensively involved with the business.
Jim is also a dedicated family man, and he and his wife Becky are raising their five children in Cedar Falls. He is a loyal supporter of the University of Northern Iowa, a Knight and member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, board member of Hawkeye Community College Foundation, and is a host/advisor for the Covenant Foundations’ Emergency Department Expansion.