As we gathered the assets to rebuild our website, I was constantly reminded of all of the people that contributed in very meaningful ways to all of this work. People that not only helped with the strategic direction and the creativity, but also had a profound influence on our company and on our lives.
We have been a bit lucky over the years. We’ve managed to work with and for many truly remarkable people. Some of them for more than 20 years. Some came to us already friends, and others became friends over time.
We are in the communications business. This means that things work better when we communicate well with everyone involved with the project or the account. And when people feel free to give us their best opinions, observations and creative input. We have been fortunate to receive a lot of this from a lot of great people.
Most of the time, these people bring their vast experience and knowledge to the team. As a team we solve the problem at hand, sometimes many problems. We brainstorm, we discuss. We write and rewrite. We draw. We redraw. A lot of ideas get dismissed with a shrug or a polite “no.” We try. We fail. In the end, we succeed because, we are a team of like-minded people who respect and like each other. It makes working feel less like work.
I would be remiss in not naming some of the incredible friends/clients/partners right here, right now. We will surely forget some people so our apologies in advance.
The first is Sandy Wade of Security Management Magazine. We’ve learned an awful lot from her for the past twenty years. She taught us how to be really buttoned up, disciplined and professional. We learned how valuable patience and perseverance are when doing business under pressure. She taught us why a precise strategy is important before pen hits paper. She taught us how to do our homework. And she taught us the power of a positive attitude.
Francis Sullivan is a very amazing human being. He is a massively gifted copywriter. He knows the English language and all of its nuances better than anyone I’ve ever known. He taught us how to integrate emotion and humor into our work. He showed us how to take the mundane and make it meaningful, witty and memorable. He gives you all that talent and intelligence combined with unshakable ethics, generosity and heart. He is that good. He will deny all of this.
Anita Mooy, our client at Momentive Performance Products (formerly GE) and DeWalt Power Tools, has demonstrated extraordinary vision in the face of convention time and time again. She has the strength, toughness and intelligence to convince companies to take risks. For nearly two decades, Anita has been more than a client, she’s been a friend and an innovator. She taught us to have courage and conviction.
Lynn McCann, formerly our client at both Avanade and SAP America, rose to the top of these organizations via her incredible work ethic and keen insights, gained from being in the trenches with marketing peers, sales professionals and the C-suite. She succeeds because she has great ideas and the energy to make them realities. Lynn taught us how intelligence, hard work and a great spirit can take you places.
Norman Rich, is a frequent partner with us. He is our digital professor or, should I say, evangelist. He takes in information like a vacuum and imparts it as a well thought-out strategic vision. Norm has given us his vision and is a tireless hard worker.
Craig Coughlin has been at our side for many engagements. He is the consummate modern day art director, designer and communicator. He spins gold on too many levels to mention here. His approach and discipline has enabled us to learn how to listen and strip away the artifice to get to simple and elegant solutions.
There are many other great people that have helped to mold and inspire us since the earliest days of our journey. As a very young account person in highly creative shops, Lisa Baldwin learned valuable lessons from people like modern day madman Jay Chiat and creative powerhouse Pat Fallon. While surrounded by some of the best creative talent in the business, she quickly learned the importance of creating powerful, memorable work that supported a clear and relevant strategy. Perhaps Chiat’s mantra, “Good enough is not enough” sums it up best. Just “phoning it in” was not an option. Truly, words to live by in all aspects of life.
In the end, I just want to thank all of the great folks that have helped us along the way, and in so many ways. We won’t remember to name everyone, but here are a quick few: Nick Gisonde, Andrew Payton, Klaus Gensheimer, Bernie Vangrin, Bill Garrison, Chris Pratt, Dave Sokolik, Adam Portzel, Mick Sutter, Sissy Estes, Don Corrigan, Jim Kingsley, Chuck Husak, Greg Johnston, Fred Burgos, Rita Carey, Jason Carey, Dan Stoner, Joe Easton, Dana Cole, Michelle Faust, Casey Mooney, Narina Sippy, Jay Osgood, April Reitman, Ken Simpson, Jim Vecchione, Duane Reider, Janet Gilbert, Frank Walsh and so many more.
— Tom Hrabal