Thank you, Pass The Time Players and Debbie DeCeco Lannen, for letting me play a benevolent wizard in quarantine! If anyone’s ever desired to see me do Zoom-enabled children’s theatre, here’s your chance! It’s a sweet little story, and an unlikely parable for these fraught times in which we are currently living. A little bit of kindness is magic and can overcome the worst bullies in our midst.
The Witch and the Wizard! Narrator: Debbie Lannen Atlas: Roy Sexton Magnus: Michael Micheletti Dante: Joe Lannen
“Our better angels.” Been thinking this morning about why and how Joe Biden‘s speech last night resonated as much as it did.
Personally, he reminded me a lot of my late, beloved grandfather Roy Duncan for whom I was named and of my mother Susie Sexton who has been such a guiding light and motivating force in my life to be good, to do good, to be ever in the moment, and to abhor bullies. Much like they, Joe has also lived through a lot of pain and a lot of disappointment and more than a few closed doors.
You see it in his eyes, which are etched with heartache yet still glint with awe and a bit of good-natured mischief. You hear it in his voice, which is earnest, forceful, and unadorned. You sense it in his words and the way he collects his thoughts, which are direct, thoughtful, broad, and inclusive. You see it in the labor he is bringing to the speech itself, energized to say what he feels deep in his bones and perhaps a bit uncertain of how a mercurial audience may be receiving his intent.
I admit I cried happy tears – more than a few – listening to him last night. And I woke up with hope and excitement for the future for the first time in what feels like a long while. To me, at least, it was a speech for the ages. Apolitical, genuine, fiery, yet gracious. A little boy from Scranton was clearly honored to have made it through the gauntlet, to have his voice validated, and to reach the pinnacle of a long and difficult life. We all can take inspiration from that.
Meet Roy Sexton — Roy and his husband, John Mola are two of the most multi-talented, community-minded, and kindest professionals I have ever met!
Roy is the Director of Marketing at Clark Hill Law, a 650-attorney #lawfirm with 25 offices across the US, Mexico, and Europe. He also serves as a board member for the Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, and Legal Marketing Association – LMA International.
Roy is a non-stop giver who regularly uses his social media platforms and reach to raise awareness and money for the various charities and causes he supports.
He holds a degree in Theatre from Wabash College, a Master’s Degree in Theatre from The Ohio State University, and an MBA from University of Michigan-Flint. Roy continues to entertain audiences with his acting and singing, and applies those skills as an emcee for various charity events across the Midwest.
LMA’s Got SKILLS! What fun tonight, and, for those who missed the Legal Marketing Association – LMA International annual conference talent show, the performances from #legalmarketing luminaries Jason Klika, Heather Layfield McCullough, Jim Jarrell, Jim Durham, Lauren McNee, Richard Hefner, Brenda Pontiff, Matt Parfitt, and Renee Branson were divine! Congrats to our winner – voted on by the audience – Jason! Highlights included glorious vocals, evocative poetry, whimsical interpretive dance routines, soothing instrumentals, grand comedy, soothing bedtime stories, a sh*t-ton of Sondheim, ridiculous costumes, and some very cute dogs. Heaven!
Thank you to an incredibly patient team, including Kristy Perkins, Malaika Palmer, Christina Abes (and my fearless engineer husband John Mola) who worked through my various and sundry tech issues and general hysteria earlier in the afternoon. Such grace, calm, and talent! Thanks to our conference co-chairs Kristen Bateman and Jonathan Mattson and LMA president Jill Mason Huse for their faith in me, for their encouragement, and for allowing me to let my freak flag fly (photographic evidence aplenty).
This is a helluva community! I am grateful to have been embraced by such kind and talented humans, and, as we noted tonight, our personal “brands” should celebrate every aspect of our personalities, talents, and interests. Thank you to HQ’s Danielle Holland , Kat Seiffert , Kristin Frankiewicz and team for their tireless support and promotion.
Congrats to friends Nathalie M. Daum, Adam Severson, and Despina Kartson who were inducted into LMA’s Hall of Fame tonight. So well-deserved! (VIDEO HERE.) Sally Feldman noted, “Congratulations to all of the inductees on this recognition, to Jennifer Manton and Jeanne Burger Hammerstrom for being such gracious co-hosts and Rob Kates for a great production.” Truth!
The LMA Hall of Fame recognizes lifetime achievement of individuals in the legal marketing industry and their outstanding contributions to the association. Members of the Hall of Fame have a demonstrated history of career achievement, sustained commitment to the advancement of the profession, and significant contributions to LMA, as well as conduct themselves with professionalism among their peers.
Thanks, Melanie Kirkland Trudeau and Jaffe, for the opportunity! And I’m beyond flattered by their description of me. Not remotely true! But I’ll take it! 🤣
“Find out more about the launch of #LinkedIn Stories. Melanie Trudeau explains how professional services firms can use this new feature to showcase their creativity and build brand awareness. As an added bonus, social media genius [wait?! what?!] Roy Sexton shares his thoughts on how Stories will be a positive disruption in the legal industry and advises everyone to ‘lean into the visual.’”
Stories provide a way for professionals to shape their social media images in a clever and authentic way, positioning themselves as approachable and relatable to people who might otherwise think of them as distant and inaccessible.
Scanning my LinkedIn feed for marketing professionals using Stories, I quickly realized that the adoption level is still somewhat limited. In true form, though, legal marketing guru Roy Sexton has already started sharing Stories. I asked for his thoughts about where Stories will take us.
It is interesting how these different platforms borrow concepts from one another. I do think we will be in a bit of a trial-and-error phase with how Stories are used on LinkedIn. That said, I predict they will be as positively disruptive here as they have been on other platforms. Currently, I am using it to drive people to content I have pinned to my profile. I think the ability to include images, and particularly video, will be powerful. The cut and paste doesn’t work at all, which is frustrating. And there’s no way to include links in the Story. That said, I would encourage people — as I do in all things social media — not to be afraid to experiment and benchmark what other people are doing that you like. I would lean into the visual, and if you can pull an image or a screen grab from an article and direct people to the content, use it as a form of advertisement for material you want people to see.
A key point here is the visual component of Stories. Images and videos are the foundation of a good Story, so get ready to use your phone camera in unique ways.
Enjoy this fun chat with my buddies Jon, Kristen, Gia, Rob, Renee, Jennifer as we discuss all of the amazing things in store for next week’s Legal Marketing Association – LMA International annual conference. There are also rich conversations about the importance of diversity and inclusion, a renewed focus on mental health and resilience, the challenges of managing workflow and engagement in pandemic, and the details of our fantastic talent show. I also may stumble through #StevieWonder’s classic “As.” Also, shout outs in the show to Sheenika Shah Gandhi, Jill Mason Huse, Brook Weeks Redmond, Jasmine C. Trillos-Decarie, and … The Ohio State University. Go Bucks!
Episode description: “Are you ready for #LMA20? On Wednesday, October 14th, Legal Marketing Coffee Talk brings you a very special episode. Hosted by the Conference Co-Chairs Kristen Bateman Leis, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP & Jonathan Mattson, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer Stinson LLP. They are joined by Gia Altreche, Director of Business Development & Marketing, Newmeyer Dillion; Renee Branson Founder | Principal Consultant, RB Consulting: Resilience. Bounty; Jennifer A. Manton, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; & Roy Sexton, Clark Hill, Director of Marketing, who will all tell you about what they are presenting at this year’s conference.”
Hey, Legal Marketing Association – LMA International! Show us your talent! Otherwise you will be subjected to an hour of me singing things like this … to various #StarWars characters. And nobody wants that! First prize is free registration to next year’s annual conference!
Introducing LMA’s Got Skills – taking place on Tuesday, October 20th at 7:30pm (EDT) – which will shine a spotlight on the dynamic talent within our community. With a complimentary registration for the 2021 Annual Conference as the Grand Prize, we can’t wait to see your talents on the #LMA20 main stage! If you’re attending and want to share your skills, submit your entry before October 14, 2020.
What a delightful hour to spend. I love talking about movies, but don’t get as many opportunities these days as I used to. I had a ball with Nick and Luna and Brandy Joe tonight chatting for The Ibis. We are even garbed in various stages of costumery!
We talk about what gives us chills in film and theater and literature and sometimes politics. It’s a free ranging conversation that touches on everything from #fairytales to #slasher films, #Hitchcock to #HumanCentipede, #RayBradbury to #SweeneyTodd, #Disney to #TheYellowWallpaper, #Joker to #BrianDePalma, #IdinaMenzel to #Watchmen.
Shout-outs to local artists abound, including Krista Schafer Ewbank, Open Book Theatre Company, Bailey Boudreau, Slipstream, The Ringwald Theatre, Susie Sexton, and more. We hope you enjoy our chat – recorded below for posterity and for our proud mothers (click the image to view video).
[Thank you to Debbie Pecis for recommending I capture these thoughts in blog form.]
When I was in high school one million years ago, I was part of something called Academic Super Bowl. (Make your own jokes.) We were among the first non-sports teams, as I was aware, to win a number of state championships. The tradition at the time was to place photos of state award-winning students outside the walls of our gymnasium. I suspect our wonderful coaches Tom Lough and Jan Hammer, among others, had to work minor miracles (and call in some favors) to allow those of us not holding a ball or a javelin to be placed alongside those accomplished student athletes.
For years, these pictures remained up, and egotistically I admit that fact was a source of pride for me. A few years back, the athletic director inexplicably decided they all needed to come down. My intrepid parents Don and Susie Sexton tried to snag these to no avail. Now, in 2020, my hometown has built a new high school, and they are tearing down our old one. An auction was held for all of the contents of the old school, and these resurfaced.
Thanks to dear friend and always free-thinking Tina Honaker Houser for spotting them and alerting me. I am happy to report I won them in the auction – thank you to wonderful Phil Wolfe of Schrader Auction and delightful Q Qureshi of Columbia City Goin’ Postal for helping me nab them and for getting them safely to my home. Now I have to figure out what the hell to do with them! Lucy isn’t quite sure what to think. Something tells me I can’t hang them up in the living room. LOL.
I admit that I think it’s a shame that the high school was willing to trade in all of its history for a quick buck. Perhaps that is overly cynical. Nonetheless, regarding the moments captured in these photos, I will always be grateful for the encouragement and confidence that this seminal experience provided me in high school. The support I received from my parents and from these teachers to be my own unique and authentic self placed me on an incredible life path.
I sensed at the time that teacher-coaches Jan Hammer and Tom Lough and their compatriots were doing something unusual and (surprisingly for an academic environment) seemingly rebellious. I don’t know whether or not school administrators – both those at the time and the ones that follow – realize the inadvertently negative messages they send with decisions and positioning like what I’ve described above. However, I will always be grateful for those willing to challenge them. THAT is ultimately what these images represent for me, I suspect. I will treasure these photos always.