“Staying true to myself. I’m odd. Some have called me quirky.” Q&A with Detroit Legal News #lmamkt

Thank you, Sheila Pursglove, Joel K. Epstein, Brian Cox, Brad Thompson, and crew! Front page above the fold TWO WEEKS in a row? It’s the hair, isn’t it? Tell me it’s the hair. In all seriousness, thank you for the kindness, friendship, and support – it means the world.

Link to full Q&A: https://legalnews.com/detroit/1519502/

Roy Sexton leads Clark Hill Law’s marketing, branding, and communications efforts in collaboration with the firm’s team of marketing and business development professionals. He has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, business development, and strategic planning.

Sexton is passionate about problem solving, facilitating business growth, crafting communications strategy, and enhancing law firm culture. He works closely with the marketing team to advance the firm’s digital and social media presence and external engagement, using multi-channel distribution and data collection. This enables the team to quantify results and use those results to produce thoughtfully and strategically organized content for clients and prospects. He also advises attorneys on marketing and business development strategy by curating relationships among external publications and media outlets and creating the appropriate platforms and opportunities for attorneys to promote their knowledge and practice.

A resident of Saline, Sexton has been heavily involved regionally and nationally in the Legal Marketing Association – LMA International (LMA) as a board member, content expert, and presenter. He will serve as the LMA’s president in 2023. In addition, Sexton is a published author of two books: “ReelRoyReviews,” Volumes 1 and 2.

What would surprise people about your job?

People still seem pleasantly surprised that I have a global focus. Clark Hill is a huge firm with an international footprint, and, while Michigan will always be home, my responsibilities span the U.S., Mexico, and Ireland. And my fab boss Susan Ahern, our CMBDO, is based in Dublin. I’ve learned to become quite savvy about time zones!

What’s your favorite law-related TV show?

I always say “The Good Wife.” The trials and tribulations of Alan Cumming’s character in particular. In a law firm, no two days are the same when you hold a marketing role. It’s thrilling and sometimes comical how your work runs the gamut from the sublime to, well, I won’t finish that sentence.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?

Weird as this is to type, I’d trade places with my mom Susie Sexton (who recently passed) so she could have a good chance to say goodbye. She left this world rather abruptly (heart attack), and, having sheltered away for months and months because of COVID, I don’t know that she got a chance to reconnect with people she loved before she vanished. I don’t mean all that to seem as dour as it reads, but I wish she’d had one truly happy day before she was gone.

What do you do to relax?

My inner introvert shines on days off. Admittedly, I have to get through any and all chores first. I also eat the things I don’t much like on my plate first too. But once I’m free and clear, it’s pajamas, comic books, bad pop music, playing with our fur baby Hudson, having a quiet dinner with my husband, and watching some escapist TV.

What other career path might you have chosen?

I have a master’s degree in theatre and thought for a while that I would get a Ph.D. and go into academia. But I wanted to eat. I still wonder what would have happened if I’d tried the “chuck it all and audition for Broadway/Hollywood” route also. But I have such a happy and fulfilling life that I have zero regrets.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?

Enjoy the moments with people you might not know you will see again. We are always all so enmeshed in petty dramas or accomplishing some task or rushing off to the next event that we miss the moments that matter. I wish I’d curbed my rampant collecting habits (books, movies, music, toys) early on and put more energy into collecting experiences. And I wish I’d enjoyed being skinny! I was so self-conscious back then about not looking like a Men’s Health model, and I should have just appreciated being me!

Favorite local hangouts?

Seva Ann Arbor has become our “Cheers.” We are vegetarians and still a bit cautious about getting out and about too many places. The food is glorious but it’s the staff who have made us feel so welcome and loved. Every Saturday night – and sometimes Fridays too. I also am a bit obsessed with Target, and I love Vault of Midnight (comic book shop). I really need to get a life!

Favorite websites?

http://www.cbr.com (Comic Book Resources), http://www.ew.com (Entertainment Weekly), http://www.micechat.com (Disney news), http://www.actionfigureinsider.com (what it sounds like!), and http://www.cnn.com

Favorite app?

Oh, I’m such a menace on all social media apps. And I still love iTunes/Apple Music (lord, I’m a dinosaur). And Layout is a great little app for simple photo collages.

Favorite music?

I’m a gay man raised in the ’80s: Madonna, Janet Jackson, Tori Amos, Cher, Whitney Houston, George Michael, New Order, Kylie Minogue, Annie Lennox, k.d. lang … basically any and all dance pop with a slight edge to it. And that sensibility continues: Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry … well, you get the gist.

What is your happiest childhood memory?

I didn’t have many birthday parties. I am an only child, but it just wasn’t something we did. My birthday is December 28, which coincided with my parents’ wedding anniversary. Smack dab in the middle of the holidays, not super conducive to adding another gathering to the mix. But I remember one (of two) childhood parties where my parents, grandparents, and a couple of friends all gathered in our dining room for cake and ice cream. And it was all just quiet and loving and warm. I had a wonderful childhood, and have so many memories but that one sticks out right now as I just turned 50!

What is your most treasured material possession?

When he died, my grandfather Roy Duncan left me his mother’s college ring with “1900” (her graduation year) emblazoned across it. He wore it every day of his life, and I’ve worn it every day of my life since he passed in 1983. In fact, my fingers are so fat now I can’t remove it even if I wanted to. And I don’t! I just think it’s a beautiful reminder of legacy.

What do you wish someone would invent?

Something that makes everyone less reactionary and adversarial over the smallest things. As I age, I just find it harder and harder to understand why people point out flaws, undercut others, argue to prove a point … it’s just so much time wasted. And when I’m being ugly or receiving ugliness, I just feel it as tension in my chest, and I don’t know why people want to walk around like that.

What has been your favorite year so far and why?

2000 – the year I met my husband. It was also a very tough year – I came out to my parents (didn’t go well … like spectacularly so) and John ended up getting a foreign assignment in Japan just months after we met. But it was a year that brought him into my life, it was a year that taught me resilience, and it was a year that set me on a path to genuine happiness.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been?

Tokyo, Japan when I was in high school. The U.S. Senate had a program in the ‘80s with Youth for Understanding where they sent two “youth ambassadors” from each state to Japan for the summer. I’d never been anywhere. To be immersed in such a vibrant, dynamic, bustling environment with so much to see and try and do, it was overwhelming in all the best ways. A transformative summer. I still feel electricity in my bones when I’m in big city like that.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Help everyone be a bit kinder. It’s easy and lazy to be mean. It takes a little effort to show appreciation. But is so much more rewarding.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?

Play the piano. Not ever gonna happen. I’ve tried a few times. I don’t have the discipline. But I wish I could accompany myself as a singer. Would save money!

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I wrote a column for our hometown paper in high school. It was called “AdoleSENSE” and was about my experience in small town America. I also wrote the occasional feature story, and the longer they were, the more money I got. I could write a LOT … which bought me more comic books. I also won the national PTA Reflections writing contest three (or four?) years in a row in elementary school.

If you could have dinner with three people, past or present, who would they be?

Jennifer Garner, Wanda Sykes, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Mindy Kaling, Kelly Ripa, Parker Posey, Aidy Bryant, and Jane Fonda. Yes, I know that is triple the requested number. This answer has evolved for me over the years. Now I just want to have dinner with nice people who will make me laugh or inspire me.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

From my boss Susan Ahern: “Take the pause. Not everything has to be rushed. Pick up the phone before the e-mails escalate. You don’t need to feel pressured to entertain or make everyone laugh. Just be.” It’s a paraphrased compilation of thoughts, but her advice has been transformative.

Favorite place to spend money?

Seva Ann Arbor, Target, Vault of Midnight … and Amazon.com! Heaven help me.

What is your motto?

“It’s okay to not be okay.” Something more recent, but I have a lapel pin with that thought and I wear it frequently. As much to remind myself as anyone else!

Which living person do you most admire?

My dad Don Sexton has been through a lot the past couple of years. He retired, lost my mom, began a new relationship with a wonderful soul, transformed his home (still working on that), travels, and has remained buoyant and resilient throughout. I admire how he has embraced life when others might have crumbled. It’s kept me from crumbling myself just to observe!

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Staying true to myself. I’m odd. Some have called me quirky. But (mostly) I’ve not twisted myself into some unrecognizable version of Roy to get ahead or to be liked. At least I hope that’s the case!

What is the most unusual thing you have done?

I don’t know if this qualifies, but my husband John Mola is a fan of the singing group 98 Degrees. Over the years, we’ve seen them multiple times as they’ve devolved into a career of casino performing. Consequently, their meet and greets are pretty affordable, and we’ve gotten to the point of affirmative facial recognition from them when we show up! Jeff Timmons even follows me on Twitter. Ah, we’ve arrived!

“Come over here. Who are you?” Feeling grateful for kindness and friendship … Passle CMO Series Podcast #Thanksgiving Special … #lmamkt

Thank you, Will Eke and Passle, for including my thoughts alongside those of so many fab legal marketing leaders in this lovely Thanksgiving special. LISTEN HERE: https://blog.passle.net/post/102i21h/cmo-series-thanksgiving-special

We are all grateful for YOU and for all you are doing for our profession and industry. EXCERPT:

“I’m Roy Sexton, Director of Marketing for Clark Hill Law and I am also the 2023 international President of the Legal Marketing Association – LMA International. I am thankful for a group of humans I met early on when I joined the Legal Marketing Association. Gina Furia Rubel, Nancy Leyes Myrland, Heather Morse-Geller, Gail Porter Lamarche, Lindsay Griffiths, and Laura Toledo

“We’ve all kind of now moved on and gone our separate ways in some respects, but that was the core group. I tell this story quite a bit. I was at the Orlando LMA annual conference and shy and nervous, which nobody believes, and feeling very insecure and I was lurking around the pool. Nothing good usually comes from that. And they were all there as a social media special interest group, having a meetup.

“And Gina saw me and she said, ‘Come over here. Who are you?’ And sometimes I cry when I say this because she just wrapped me in love and got to know me during the course of that afternoon. And they became my mentors and my friends, and they have been with me ever since, supporting me, giving me hard truth, and helping show me the way through this profession.

“And I had always had a fairly serendipitous career until I met them. And it really locked in that I like what I do, I like who I support, and I will always credit them for the mentoring they provided me early on, the way they adopted me and the way they’ve looked out for me ever since.”

LISTEN HERE: https://blog.passle.net/post/102i21h/cmo-series-thanksgiving-special 🍁

#keepingfamiliesclose – my 2022 birthday fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor – #niftyfifty

Want to join me in supporting a good cause? In honor of my 50th (!!) birthday (December 28!), I’m raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor, and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. This will be my sixth year of doing this birthday fundraiser for RMHCAA: I’m honored to be an RHMCAA board member but I’m even more honored to help support this incredible mission.

Donate here: https://givebutter.com/RMHCAApayforwardthekindness/roysexton

The mission of the Ann Arbor Ronald McDonald Houses is to provide families of children experiencing a serious illness or injury requiring hospitalization or treatment on an outpatient basis, a “home away from home” that assists in alleviating the families’ emotional and financial stress.

An authentic soul with a keen eye toward story-telling and culture building: DeFur Voran LLP’s Elizabeth Bell joins us on Legal Marketing Coffee Talk … #lmamkt

FACEBOOK: https://fb.watch/f_-KbsfOiR/

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/video/event/urn:li:ugcPost:6982723896588259328/

YOUTUBE: https://youtu.be/MtyT8DOgniM

Thank you, Beth Little Bell, for joining Rob and me today! You are such an authentic soul with a keen eye toward story-telling and culture building. #LMAmkt is truly fortunate to have you in our community. Appreciated how you painted a clear picture of the life of the solo marketer as brand and culture builder and how you use social media, community engagement, and thought leadership to support the DeFur Voran team.

And that team LOVES you – I don’t think in the history of the show we have EVER had so many of a marketer’s attorneys watch and express their heartfelt appreciation. You are clearly doing something right! Congrats on that new grandbaby, and thanks for all you do for Wabash College as well. Thanks one more time to Greg Castanias for connecting us.

Show description: Roy’s guest on our October 6 show was Elizabeth Bell, who leads marketing efforts for DeFur Voran LLP. She has also worked in the legal space as a law firm administrator and paralegal. Spoiler alert: she, like Roy, is a Hoosier AND has a storied background with his alma mater Wabash College. (And she just may have attended Wabash’s fierce rival school DePauw University … so sparks may fly!)

Beth is currently building a marketing program at her firm, and can speak to the opportunities and challenges facing the solo marketer. Roy and Beth unpack how one can leverage servant leadership to help support a small firm on its growth journey and how to build out the resources needed to “do all the things” required for effective law firm marketing and business development when you are a mighty team of ONE!

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

Thrilled to be moderating the opening session of this essential #legalmarketing boot camp. Thank you, LMA Northeast Region, Michelle Upchurch Murray, Jennifer Manton, Deborah Scaringi for your leadership here in bringing this to our Legal Marketing Association – LMA International members.

REGISTER: https://legalmarketing.org/Event-Details/northeast-2022-bootcamp 🥾

SESSION DESCRIPTION: We are privileged to work in a dynamic, rapidly evolving industry. The legal marketing and business development profession has a multiplicity of career paths and opportunities. Since hustle is our middle name as legal marketers, our own needs sometimes get lost in the shuffle of being in service to others. Being intentional about aligning your talents, desires, interests, and aspirations is more crucial than ever to continued success.

Please join us for a candid, lively conversation with leading lights in our industry on how they themselves shaped their careers amidst an ever changing landscape. We will highlight the career tracks available to you – business development, technologist, marketing and digital strategy, events, branding, coaching, consulting, and so much more – as well as projects you should pursue to maximize your visibility and impact. We will cover the importance of your own personal branding, how to stay relevant and known in this industry, and the importance of leaning on this LMA community to enrich your career.

Panelists:

Moderator – Roy Sexton, Director of Marketing, Clark Hill Law

Robyn Addis, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Legal Internet Solutions Incorporated

Michael Coston, CEO, Coston Consulting

Melissa Ertek, Chief Development Officer, Winston & Strawn LLP

Audra Triplett, Senior Manager, Business Development & Marketing, Foley & Lardner LLP

DeFur Voran LLP’s Elizabeth Bell joins us on this week’s Legal Marketing Coffee Talk … #lmamkt

Beth Little Bell, rock star!! Can’t wait! Thanks to fellow Wabash College alum and Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity brother Greg Castanias for introducing us!

FACEBOOK: https://fb.watch/f_-KbsfOiR/

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/video/event/urn:li:ugcPost:6982723896588259328/

YOUTUBE: https://youtu.be/MtyT8DOgniM

Roy’s guest on our October 6 show will be Elizabeth Bell, who leads marketing efforts for DeFur Voran LLP. She has also worked in the legal space as a law firm administrator and paralegal. Spoiler alert: she, like Roy, is a Hoosier AND has a storied background with his alma mater Wabash College. (And she just may have attended Wabash’s fierce rival school DePauw … so sparks may fly!)

Beth is currently building a marketing program at her firm, and can speak to the opportunities and challenges facing the solo marketer. Roy and Beth will unpack how one can leverage servant leadership to help support a small firm on its growth journey and how to build out the resources needed to “do all the things” required for effective law firm marketing and business development when you are a mighty team of ONE!

An episode you won’t want to miss. Join us live this Thursday, October 6th at 3 PM right here on Facebook.

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

Oops, I did it again … an upcoming presidency, an upcoming webinar, and a real-time #Britney flame war

LMA is pleased to announce its 2023 International Board of Directors. The slate of candidates was ratified on September 2, 2022, and the newly elected and continuing officers and directors will begin their terms on January 1, 2023. More: https://legalmarketing.org/2023-International-Board

Legal Marketing Association – LMA International welcomes:

President
Roy E. Sexton
Director of Marketing
Clark Hill Law
Detroit, MI (Midwest Region)

Immediate Past President
Brenda Plowman
Chief Marketing Officer
Fasken
Vancouver, B.C. (Canada Region)

President-Elect
Kevin Iredell
Chief Marketing Officer
Lowenstein Sandler LLP
New York, NY (Northeast Region)

Secretary
Amy Payton Verhulst
Senior Business Development Manager
Jackson Lewis PC
Houston, TX (Southwest Region)

Treasurer
Andrew Laver
Business Development Manager
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Philadelphia, PA (Northeast Region)

Treasurer-Elect
Rachel Shields Williams
Director of Knowledge Management
Sidley Austin LLP
Washington, D.C. (Mid-Atlantic Region)

Member-At-Large
John Byrne
Chief Marketing Officer
Gould & Ratner LLP
Chicago, IL (Midwest Region)

Member-At-Large
Jessica Haarsgaard
Business Development Manager
Burr & Forman LLP
Greenville, SC (Southeast Region)

Member-At-Large
Diana Lauritson
Senior Marketing and Business Development Officer
Hogan Lovells
Washington, DC (Mid-Atlantic Region)

Member-At-Large
Trish Desilets Lilley
Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer
Stroock
New York, NY (Northeast Region)

Member-At-Large
Jaime Lira
Marketing Director
Cohen & Malad, LLP
Indianapolis, IN (Midwest Region)

Regional Leaders’ Committee Chair
Robin Devereux Gerard
Chief Marketing Officer
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth PC
Newport Beach, CA (West Region)

Chief Executive Officer
Danielle Gorash Holland
Legal Marketing Association
Chicago, IL

So darn excited to work with these amazing souls, all of our fab volunteer leaders, our incredible membership, and marvelous HQ support team next year. ✨

REGISTER: https://bit.ly/3wwtImc … “Law firms and legal service providers: Know who’s gonna join us for Stack Ranking, Part 2 on 9/30?

“Meet our special guests: Roy Sexton of Clark Hill Law; Drew Hawkins of Womble Bond Dickinson US LLP; and Gordon Braun-Woodbury of Calibrate.

“Our esteemed colleagues will weigh in on the 2022 RubyLaw Legal Marketing Tech Study and opine on our insights. Come hear what they have to say!”

I seem to have started a flame war with Britney Spears 😂 – Britney, we do love you, but please stay kind.

Hybrid work … without the #theatre … #lmamkt

Link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hybrid-work-without-theatre-elevate-ac

Thank you, Robert Clarke and Elevate, for the lovely chat and this interview write-up. I enjoyed our conversation immensely ✨

“Roy Sexton on Teams, Leadership and Learning: ‘You’re only as good as the rest of the cast. Bad actors are the ones who only worry about themselves, whereas good performers think: How can I help the entire cast be good? The audience experiences the entire show, not just one performer – not just the lead. It’s the same in business…’ #elevateelite #leadership #learning Click image for more.”

#lmamkt 🎭

“A Magical Combination: Law Firm Branding & Culture Development” … Thank you, Elise Holtzman and The Lawyer’s Edge, for making me feel so welcome and seen. #lmamkt

Thank you, Elise Slosberg Holtzman and The Lawyer’s Edge, for making me feel so welcome and seen and for all you do for our community. Love you!

Listen here: https://thelawyersedge.com/podcast/roy-sexton-interview/

“After supporting the rebranding of Clark Hill Law, Roy realized just how magical the combination of branding and culture development can be. In the process of branding, you’re uniting company values, the customer experience, and a diverse team, which, in turn, helps develop the true, authentic culture of your organization.”

Be a leader. Not a busybody.

One of the treasures unearthed at my parents‘ house. A cartoon my dad drew of my grandfather based on a Norman Rockwell image. Some of the humor clearly is of another era when a grown man taking good care of a cat was something tease-worthy.

That said, what I love about this, other than the creativity and the warmth it exhibits, is that it shows we’ve always been a “stand back and hold my beer” kind of family.

I will always be proud of that quality, and it will always be core to my personality.

#love #animals #family #art #beyou #bebold #bekind

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