Leaving the Midwest for the Big City: Ranae Heuer, Huge's MD of Detroit

I run my office well and I take good care of our team, while being a great wife to my husband and great mom to my kids.

Ranae Heuer
Managing Director Huge

Tell us about yourself and your current role.

Managing Director of the Huge Detroit office. I run the day-to-day operations of our office and oversee our client relationships at the most senior level.

What is the culture like at your agency?

Thankfully, as the MD of my office I get to set the tone of the culture. Having grown up in my career at some pretty great places where culture was authentic and made a priority (and not something the execs fed to people), I know what kind of environment I work best in – one that puts people first.

How does that culture mesh with the juggling act that is being a working mother?

If the culture wasn’t supportive of parents, I honestly don’t know how I would do it. A supportive company makes all the difference. I knew Huge would be supportive when they called me about the MD role in Detroit. I told them I was 6 months pregnant with my 4th boy and that now probably wasn’t the time, and they couldn’t have cared less. They welcomed me as I was and the respect I received from early on in the interview process to the respect I still receive today, makes Huge a game changer.

In what ways has being a mother changed how you approach certain aspects of your job?

I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. I simply don’t have the time. There were times in my career pre-kids that I would replay the dumb thing I said in a meeting over and over in my head. Now my head is filled with to dos: work and personal. Did I respond to that email? Did I sign my kid’s permission slip? How am I going to approach tomorrow’s conversation with my client? Did I order diapers? There’s no time to worry about the insignificant things.

What would you say are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a working mother?

My sons being proud of the work I do. When our Super Bowl spot for Quicken Loan’s Rocket Mortgage went on air in February 2018, seeing my sons’ beaming faces made all the missed bedtimes, hugs and kisses worth it.

What are the biggest challenges that you’ve dealt with?

My husband travels a ton and that has been the biggest challenge. Getting four kids fed, dressed and out the door can be challenging in itself and even more so when you’re doing it alone.

What steps do you take to ensure you achieve a healthy work-life balance?

I wish I had a good answer for this. Honestly, I just get by every single day. Maybe once my kids are bigger I’ll have more space to focus on balance. I have a demanding role that I juggle along with being a mom to twin 7 year olds, a 5 year old and a 3 year old (all boys). It’s busy.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? Tell us a bit about it.

Leaving the Midwest for the Big City. My time in New York was so valuable in every way. The exposure to the variety of work and clients was so amazing. Being wrapped up in the pulse of a city like New York is intoxicating and pushes you to up your game every day. I am an overachiever and not only balanced a big job in NYC, but also had my first 3 sons while living there. As sad as I was to leave a city I loved so much, the Midwest is much more conducive to a family like mine but damn, I’m proud of what I achieved in those 9 years in NYC.

Where do you see the possibility for change for future working parents

I run my office well and I take good care of our team, while being a great wife to my husband and great mom to my kids. When the needs of my team and family overlap into the evening, I do what I have to do – the kids come to the office. They immerse themselves in an activity book or some screen time while I continue my meetings with my team. It’s not ideal, but it works. And the kids get to see me in action which I think gives them respect for what mom does when she’s not with them. I’d like to see more companies be prepared to help parents overcome those challenges when they arise.

Who are some working mothers that you admire/look up to?

Colleen DeCourcy, Co-President, Chief Creative Officer at Wieden + Kennedy. She did it alone and raised a truly amazing human being. Also, my own mother. She was also a single mom and she busted her butt to afford me the opportunities that got me where I am today.

What is your favorite Mother’s Day campaign of all time?

C’mon. It has to be the tear-jerking P&G “Proud Sponsor of Moms” campaign that coincided with the 2012 Summer Olympics.