Missing bagel shop results in new career

2021 Women of Distinction – Business & Business Services

Vallene Kailburn – Old Town Media, Inc.

FORT COLLINS — Vallene Kailburn’s path to becoming founder and chief creative officer at Old Town Media in Fort Collins is, as she described in her LinkedIn profile, “a funny story, really.

“In 2004,” she wrote, “Miles Kailburn and I, though not married at the time, threw everything we owned into the back of a slammed S-10 Chevy and headed out West. Once we got to the promised land, I began studying interactive media and web design at the Art Institute of Colorado.

“Fast forward a few months, and you have the first website that we ever designed and developed together. At the time, we hadn’t realized that this was ultimately going to be our destiny. In fact, my next adventure was managing a Big Lots and toasting delicious bagels at an unnamed bagel shop. The idea of starting a web company didn’t dawn on me until I drove my blue scooter to my first day on the job at said unnamed bagel shop to find out that they had closed their doors and forgot to tell me. I still don’t really know what Miles was doing, but he was game for a new plan.”

That new business originally was named Old Town Web Design, then rebranded Old Town Media. Since 2007, the business has evolved from a small web shop into a full-service creative agency, and its client list has grown to include some of Fort Collins’ most prominent local businesses.

“Now here we are,” she wrote, “and our team has grown and is better than ever. We love what we do, and we do it with pride.”

Her main responsibility is to communicate and coordinate with designers and provide direction, critique and inspiration. As a business owner, she’s also responsible for the development and growth of the team.

Clients have praised her as a “clever web designer” with a “deep and detailed knowledge of design,” business integrity and ethics. “She works comprehensively with all of her clients to tailor websites to their needs,” one wrote on LinkedIn, hailing her “very reasonable prices as well as excellent customer support.”

Old Town Media was named ColoradoBiz magazine’s 2020 Top Company for Advertising, Marketing and Digital Marketing.

Kailburn also has been active in the community, serving as board president of the Poudre School District Foundation and Project Smile, a board member for the Fort Collins Museum of Art, a member of the Kiwanis Club and Fort Collins Breakfast Rotary, and on the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce’s Local Legislative Affairs Committee. She is a marketing consultant for the Larimer Small Business Development Center.

Old Town Media is sponsoring Aspire3D’s first annual Loveland Kite Festival on Aug. 22. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Old Town in 2020 contributed to organizations including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, The Arc of Larimer County, International Mosaic Down System Association, United Way of Larimer County, Project Self-Sufficiency of Loveland-Fort Collins, the Alzheimer’s Association, Realities for Children and the Food Bank for Larimer County.