A tale of two Susans: good will hunting … and abiding

Thank you, Goodwill Industries International, Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana, Inc. , Bill Warriner, and Lori McCutcheon! Susan is remarkable!

Original post: https://www.facebook.com/525651807446116/posts/5555854667759113/?d=n

There’s a bit more to all of this and I didn’t want to overdo my comment, but we were really struggling with a lot of this purging, and, as we pulled things off the truck, Susan was so complimentary about my mother’s taste and how well received her collection would be. It was such a relief and an encouragement.

And then we found out that Susan shares the same name … as my mother Susie Sexton. And there’s more: Goodwill Susan‘s mother was a professor at Ball State University in the speech department, and was one of my mother’s professors when she was there. My mother studied speech at Ball State. My mother wrote a couple of books, speaking at length about how much she loved her years there.

It all felt like fate, to be honest. And did our hearts a world of good!

#bekind

#Pride … meaningful media: Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 and Madonna’s I’m Breathless

Clark Hill assembled a list of “meaningful media” to honor Pride month, with contributions and (most importantly) heartfelt stories from all across our great firm. Thank you to my colleagues Hannah Reisdorff who organized the list’s development and Ray Koenig and Tobias Smith who are leading our overall Pride recognition activities. Here is my contribution to the list …

For me, there were two albums that helped me as a young high school man living in a small town in Indiana still trying to figure out what his sexuality might mean. Might be surprising to hear but in the late 80s there wasn’t a lot of good guidance for people like me. Lol. But I found a voice in two records that weren’t overtly LGBTQ but were recorded by artists who have always been allies to our community.

In 1989, I wandered into our mall’s Musicland and bought a cassette of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. It was all the money I had in my pocket, and that album with its day-glo, percolating inclusivity gave me a summer soundtrack that made me feel like the world could be a better place.

The following summer, I was chosen by the US Senate as a youth ambassador to Japan. A bit homesick, I bought another cassette, this time of Madonna’s I’m Breathless, a pastiche of songs from Dick Tracy and songs inspired by the film. Problematic as the song “Vogue” has become as we are increasingly sensitized to cultural appropriation, nonetheless its thundering pulse and message of liberation – as well as the fizzy camp with which the queen of pop delivered the album’s other show tunes – spoke to my soul and gave me a sense of self.

I still listen to both of these albums often, now streaming, and they transport me to a time of discovery and give me a sense of great gratitude that these artists were willing to push the envelope of popular entertainment and acceptance.

Happy birthday, John Mola!

Happy birthday to my sweet husband John! Proud of you, John, for your kind and generous heart and grateful for all you do for all of us. Love you! ❤️

Part one of John’s birthday haul! He is over the moon – such fun when gifts speak to the heart!

And thank you, Aaron and Rob, for the Tanqueray and Seva Ann Arbor gift certificate and (most of all) the gift of your beautiful friendship. We love you!

Part two of John’s birthday haul. Thank you, Connor Trinneer and Cameo, for making this day so special. We love you!

Part three of John’s birthday haul. Felicia Day, your message was so heartfelt and fun and kind. You brought us both happy tears! We love you so!

Perhaps the best gift of all… This beautiful message from our niece Gabby. Family matters. ❤️

“The inspiration to do more than just law” – Pinnacle’s Tim Kenney interviews yours truly

Thank you, Tim Kenney and Pinnacle! I thoroughly enjoyed our chat, and I am so honored by this piece: https://www.pinnacle-oa.com/the-inspiration-to-do-more-than-just-law-roy-sexton/https://www.pinnacle-oa.com/the-inspiration-to-do-more-than-just-law-roy-sexton/

Grateful for the opportunity to discuss organizations I love like Clark Hill Law, Legal Marketing Association – LMA International, Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor, and Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. And I want to frame this intro you wrote! 🙌

“When I picture the sort of person who would be heading up marketing for a law firm like Clark Hill, Roy Sexton wasn’t who I had in mind. But I’ll be totally honest: I’m glad.

“After nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, and business development Roy has risen to the top of his game and now sits as President-Elect of the LMA for 2022. An impressive feat for sure, but what really draws me in is his character.

“Roy is a warm, charming iconoclast, pushing his lawyers to bring more to the table than, well, just law. There’s an air about him that he deliberately chooses to be different, almost as if he’s smiled in the face of corporate law and said ‘let’s try this another way, shall we?’

“We spoke about his team, his philosophy, and why a master’s degree in theatre beats an MBA.”

Cybersecurity isn’t a tech problem, but a people one: Fortress SRM’s Peter Cavrell and Chuck Mackey on Legal Marketing Coffee Talk

Rob (“Guy Fawkes”) and I had such a great and informative chat today on cybersecurity with Fortress SRM’s Peter Cavrell and Chuck Mackey. A timely topic for sure.

Thank you also to Richard Levick who joined us for the show opening to salute legendary Michael O’Horo, who will be so deeply missed. We discussed Mike’s candor, heart, authenticity, leadership, and … Porsche-buying negotiation skills, among other things. ❤️

Facebook: https://fb.watch/bxjbv1glyU/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/kates-media_legalmarketingcoffeetalk-legalmarketing-lmct-activity-6904171292271226880-0WAI

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMfkgcReb08

Shout outs during the show to Denise Zdena Pouza, Timothy Corcoran, Mark T Greene, Kimberly Bell Schultheis, Patrick Fuller, Deborah Farone, Amy Payton Verhulst, Gail Porter Lamarche, Dianne Rychlewski, Don Sexton, Susie Sexton, V For Vendetta, and Phyllis Diller.

The conversation with Peter and Chuck dives into the risks and opportunities for lawyers (and consultants) to help their clients map processes, policies, and rules to anticipate, avoid, and mitigate risk. Cybersecurity isn’t a tech problem, but a people one.

We discuss how bad actors avail themselves of human weakness, and talk about the importance of table top exercises to increase agility in one’s organization. We cover how legal marketers and business development professionals can frame their firms’ messages on this topic and help keep their firms safe in a digital landscape. And the essential role of crisis communications, public relations, and media relations.

EmpoweredWomen2022

Join us on June 2nd from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm CT at The Chicago Athletic Association.

Registration and networking breakfast, welcome by event producer Susan Freeman [she/her] 🗣, opening remarks by Joel Stern, Esq., a word about Dress for Success Worldwide by Natalie Altonia Borneo, morning keynote by Michelle Wimes (she, her, hers), Esq., luncheon keynote by Wendy Doyle, closing remarks by #EWE Committee Chair Joni Wickham & Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr., and TED-style talks throughout the day by the many remarkable women seen below and the event emcee, Roy Sexton.

The event will be followed by an on-site networking cocktail reception!

Sponsor and/or register today:
https://lnkd.in/ggZX2BvD

Thank you, E.J. 🙌🎭❤️

“Why don’t y’all go play with those li’l figures out there.” Gabriel’s Wannabees, Mattel’s Hub Bubs, and Kenner’s Strawberry Shortcake … Gen X vintage toys

Me.

Scenes from a crazy room – judgment free zone. In this pandemic, and honestly with the loss of my mom, I have felt increasingly nostalgic. I suppose some of us silly humans are plagued with an instinct to gather up trivial objects in an effort to nest during difficult times.

Tigger and Bo (or maybe Doodle) and little Roy

There were three toy lines when I was a child that I knew at the time the world believed I was either the wrong age or gender to enjoy as much as I did. Such a shame we do that to kids. What I discovered in pandemic is that all three lines were much more finite than I had realized back then. Due to the magic of eBay, I was able to re-gather playthings I thought lost to the ether. The joys of acquisition and completion and display have been a strange comfort to me.

My beloved parents Don and Susie with yours truly

Gabriel’s Wannabees were a failed attempt to compete with Playmobil figures and Fisher-Price’s Little People. My grandma Edna must have scooped them all up at a clearance table in the 70s to keep her beloved grandkids/great-grandkids happy and occupied AND safely out of her Mamie Eisenhower-esque coiffure. She kept the Wannabees all in a wicker, wood-lidded picnic basket on her temperature controlled, enclosed back porch. You could tell you had overstayed your welcome in her kitchen when she said in her lilting North Carolina accent, “Why don’t y’all go play with those li’l figures out there.” (Not as much a query as a directive.)

Wannabees

An odd collection of “professions“ was represented by the figures, which I didn’t realize then was by toy maker design. A cowboy, a football player, a gymnast, a nurse, the Lone Ranger, firemen, a helicopter pilot. Sounds like a casting call for the Village People. Anyway, having these little creatures in my hands again 40+ years later is as surreal as it is transporting, evoking what seemed like a happier, safer time.

Mattel’s Hub Bubs where a similarly unsuccessful toy line, likely intended to compete with Richard Scarry‘s ubiquitous (at the time) Busytown. A series of little anthropomorphic animal figures – attired in various uniforms like policeman, fireman, postal worker, teacher (apparently career inspiration was key back then) – could be placed in little plastic buildings. When you hooked the structures together, and turned a little crank, they all moved and interacted.

Hub Bubs

Again, I have visions of my mother Susie, who always was a sucker for anything animal related, seeing all of these on a sale table, grabbing them all in the feverish way she always shopped, and bringing them home. And likely wanting to play with them even more than I did. Further, I always assumed there were more characters and buildings than we once had. It was just a few months ago that I realized we basically had the complete set, which I then replicated in the feverish online way I tend to shop. That apple (iPhone) doesn’t fall very far from the tree.

And this last toy confession is likely where I will get the most critique, but I loved Kenner’s Strawberry Shortcake dolls. I’ll say it! The smell, the world building, the fact that character conflict existed but was always quickly resolved with minimal harm to any involved. My parents grudgingly bought me a couple of the dolls when I was a kid, but it was an era when that made everyone far more uncomfortable than it should have.

Strawberry Shortcake

Ironically, I learned recently that I had a couple of relatives who thought having dolls in my crib when I was a baby made me gay. I also had another grandmother who thought having a brass bed (which I did) would make me gay. Irony of ironies. If only it were that easy, the gay mafia would be a lot larger. Of course, all that really tells you is how Dr. Freud effed up generations of nosy, well-meaning, lightly toxic kin who failed at job one: live and let live, love and let love.

Thank goodness I had good friends in elementary school – Hope, Missy, Pam – who shared sans judgment their Strawberry Shortcake toys with me, exemplifying from an early age what acceptance, kindness, and inclusion actually looked like. And now as a *slightly* unusual 50-year-old man I have my own set. All still smell great BTW. Lord knows with what kind of chemicals they were doused for their respective aromas to linger so!

And I’m still gay. And proud of it. And not because of any toys I had. And not because of parental-driven decor. But I’m comfortable being me – and thriving – because I have been blessed with parents who loved and supported and celebrated me unconditionally.

Me with neighbor dog Muffy

I also love superheroes which didn’t turn me Kryptonian. And GI Joe which didn’t make me a Marine. And He-Man which didn’t make me a bodybuilder. And Star Wars which didn’t make me a Jedi.

What all these Gen X materialistic influences DID make me was a creative soul who continues to be energized by flights of fancy and imagination. And all led me to a happy, successful, stable loving life. I’ll take that all day long.

My mom always had me dapper

“The importance of connecting with others” – yours truly guests on Market My Market’s Legal Mastermind Podcast

Thank you, Market My Market and fab hosts Chase Williams and Ryan Klein, for having me on your show!

Listen to the episode here: https://legalmastermindpodcast.com/ep-143-roy-sexton-the-importance-of-connecting-with-others/

Roy Sexton is the Marketing Director at Clark Hill Law and the President-Elect of the Legal Marketing Association – LMA International. Roy has held the Marketing Director position since 2019 at Clark Hill and has begun his journey on LMA’s board as Treasurer before being chosen as the 2022 President-Elect.

Clark Hill is an international team of legal advisors focused on delivering exceptional growth for your business.

LMA supports the legal marketing community through thought leadership, professional advocacy and personal enrichment.

On This Episode, We Discuss…

Shifting Your Firm’s Culture to Digital
What is the Legal Marketing Association?
Benefits of Joining an Association

Connect with Roy: https://www.linkedin.com/in/royesexton/

Clark Hill: https://www.clarkhill.com/

LMA: https://legalmarketing.org/

Love this very sweet Valentine that arrived in the mail from my dad Don Sexton.

And I spoiled John a bit today because he’s been working so hard as family caregiver for the past two pandemic years. He’s given so much of his heart and his time and his energy to all of us. ❤️

AND Valentine cookies/ rumballs from our talented, sweet neighbor Rachel Ure … check out her bake shop at https://instagram.com/rachels.rum.balls

“Show up every day and keep moving forward, my friends!” – Heather Reid, Carolyn Manning, and Dominic Ayres on Legal Marketing Coffee Talk #lmamkt

View …

On Facebook: https://fb.watch/aYr3Z5UVcC/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/robkates_legalmarketingcoffeetalk-legalmarketing-lmct-activity-6894074900764852224-5Ydl

YouTube: https://youtu.be/MmIBKvvbl9E

“Show up every day and keep moving forward, my friends!” – Heather Reid. And indeed she and Carolyn Manning and Dominic Ayres did today on Legal Marketing Coffee Talk with Rob Kates and yours truly! There may have also been appearances by Cher, Elvis, Britney Spears, Homer Simpson, a blue cow, Baby Yoda, and Mr. Ed. 🙌

Mostly we had a warm, substantive, candid, joy-filled, inclusive chat about culture and communications and (to swipe the title of Dominic’s fab new book) “How to Advance Your Career in Professional Services Marketing: Be More Purposeful and Strategic with Your Career Direction.” (Which you can order … right here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PLR7322/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_7AW38R2HCE6Y2CKBZQWH.)

Along the way, we talked about the Legal Marketing Association – LMA International’s fab #LMA22 conference this March in Las Vegas, tiny dogs who don’t like snowmaggedon, failed guitar lessons, creative heirloom family quilt displays (thank you again, Shoppopdisplays!), the rogue habits of grooms and their wedding registries, and more!

Thanks to these viewers for the love, support, and engagement today: James Barclay, Amy Payton Verhulst, Tahisha Fugate, Nancy Leyes Myrland, Marcia Delgadillo, Don Sexton, Rich Bracken, Gail Porter Lamarche, Jay Linder, and Susan Hunt – with shout outs in the show to Susie Sexton, Heather Morse-Geller, Deborah Farone, Jessica Aries, Laura Toledo, and more.

Dominic Ayres, Carolyn Manning, and Heather Reid with yours truly on this week’s Legal Marketing Coffee Talk, Thursday at 3 pm ET – #lmamkt

Legal Marketing Coffee Talk is back this Thursday for a very special, jam-packed episode.

Roy Sexton has a guest co-host, Dominic Ayres, Senior Client Development Manager (Industrials Sector) at Eversheds. Roy and Dominic will be joined by Carolyn Manning, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer at Mintz, and Heather Reid, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at Miles & Stockbridge P.C.

Ayres just published his book How to Advance Your Career in Professional Services Marketing: Be More Purposeful and Strategic with Your Career Direction, which includes contributions from Carolyn, Heather, and Roy.

This week’s show will feature a spirited discussion around career progression, their unique journeys, and how others can chart their career paths in this industry.

You don’t want to miss this one. Join us Thursday, February 3rd at 3 PM ET …

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/155057871244919/posts/4889054787845180/?d=n

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/robkates_legalmarketingcoffeetalk-legalmarketing-lmct-activity-6894074900764852224-5Ydl

YouTube: https://youtu.be/MmIBKvvbl9E

Legal Marketing Coffee Talk is brought to you by: By Aries and Kates Media: Video Production.

This book is essential reading at any stage of one’s career. Consummately researched yet accessibly written, the book is chock full of actionable advice, presented in an accessible and entertaining fashion. It’s a breezy yet informative read, peppered with pop culture bon mots illustrative of Dominic’s varied interests.

Given the moment in which we are all living, this book presents a helpful, at times provocative career roadmap. A bit of self-reflection is good for the soul, and Dominic has assembled a powerful array of well-informed voices (including his own) to help the reader on that journey.

Loved this passage from Dominic on “going beyond support” – noting that in all other industries the marketing team is naturally seen as a key strategic revenue driver without question.
From yours truly
From Carolyn (above) and Heather (below) – I loved the pragmatic and resourceful guidance they provided around the necessity of repurposing and reinvention and around making inroads through “small consistent daily actions.”

Kat Kelly-Heinzelman on my mom Susie Sexton: “Every now and then someone special comes into our lives, and we don’t always know they are going to be special until we have known them for a while.”

Read Kat’s full post here: https://lighthousekat.wordpress.com/2022/01/30/susie-sexton/

Kat Kelly-Heinzelman on my mom Susie Sexton: “Every now and then someone special comes into our lives, and we don’t always know they are going to be special until we have known them for a while. Susie was like that for me. I first met her late one night on Facebook when I came home from work – when I was working second shift and I was relaxing and catching up on the things that had happened while I had been working. We got to talking and I found out that I knew her son and didn’t even know it. Not well yet but that too would come. I found that Susie and I had a lot in common and that we liked a lot of the same things. She lived in the house she grew up in which I found very cool. I used to tell her I would come a paint her porch and then we would sit in a rocking chair and gossip while we drank coffee in the morning or wine in the early evening. But life got too busy for both of us to do that and now we won’t ever get to that.”

Love you, Kat – thank you for this. Your friendship was a lifeline to her, and she truly felt “seen” by you in all the best ways. I’ll always be grateful to you for that. ❤️

Rambling Thoughts

Every now and then someone special comes into our lives, we don’t always know they are going to be special until we have known them for a while. Susie was like that for me. I first met her late night on Facebook when I came home from work when I was working second shift and I was relaxing and catching up on the things that had happened while I had been working. We got to talking and I found out that I knew her son and didn’t even know it. Not well yet but that too would come. I found that Susie and I had a lot in common and that we liked a lot of the same things. She lived in the house she grew up in which I found very cool. I used to tell her I would come a paint her porch and then we would sit…

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