Holiday musings: my mom and Wabash College, my grandma and Christmas decor, and my friends and the Legal Marketing community

Part 1 …

Thank you, Wabash College (and Karen Linn Handley!), for this lovely shout out to my mom Susie Sexton in the latest alumni magazine. She and my father Don Sexton loved Wabash and the positive and profound impact attending and, later, working there had upon me.

I still remember vividly the day they dropped me off for freshman year, her standing in front of Sparks Hall (right after a shutter on the stately building crashed off its hinges to the ground) exclaiming with pride, “Go and have fun! Enjoy this!” That exhortation may have been an immediate response to me tearfully asking them to take me back home. As I understand, my mom herself cried during the entire car ride back to Columbia City when they left me that day, but I never got one hint of her own anxiety about setting me on my path. To be honest, I was even a bit shocked that she seemed so ready to get rid of me! 

My mom had an incredible superpower to be the eye of a hurricane in the truly important moments and to exemplify bravery when others were caving around her. That takes an incredible energy, selflessness, and love – it also takes a toll on the person who sets that intrepid tone day after day, year after year. The older I get the more I realize what a high wire act that can be. I will always be grateful for that quality my mother had and how I benefited from it.

I’m glad this particular issue’s theme is “gratitude” as that is what I’m feeling right now.

Please check out Editor Kim Johnson’s excellent foreword – she nails with candor and warmth and wit the anxiety we all are feeling these days and how moments of pause and of appreciation can re-center us.

Part 2 …

My grandma Edna Duncan had an inimitable way of decorating for the holidays. If I were to give her style a descriptor, I’d call it “how to avoid putting up a tree while still seeming festive for the grandkids by utilizing one’s fireplace, some tinsel and garland, and assorted marginally Christmas-related items.” There was a nurse doll (still scratching my head about that one), a handful of glass ornaments, some mid-century flocked reindeer, a half-drained snow globe or two, and THIS little item. (Well, not THIS very one pictured, but you get the idea.)

I’m guessing some liquor vendor gave this novelty promo item to my novelty-promo-item-loving grandpa Roy Duncan (this apple doesn’t fall very far from THAT tree) when he ran #ColumbiaCity’s “Blue Bell” (Wrangler Jeans) factory. I’m not sure how/if it survived years of inquisitive grandkids (myself included) pushing the lid down off sequence, shoving fingers in the automaton pups’ mouths, and plugging and unplugging and plugging it back in. I also don’t know where the original ended up, but I decided late one night the other week to see if I could find a replacement on eBay.

Lo and behold, my insomnia-fueled nite owl online shopping adventures struck gold. And $150 later (Merry Christmas to ME!), this very cute and, yes, incredibly annoying piece has been added to our own eclectic decor. Let the holiday traditions live on!

Now, when and if I start gifting bottles of Old Spice cologne with checks lovingly affixed (not to mention wearing little straw hats), you’ll know my transformation into Edna Duncan is complete!

Yoda does NOT look amused. 🤣

Part 3 …

I am truly lucky to have a wonderful friend with whom I also happen to work. I’ve known Megan McKeon maybe about 10 years now? But we first actually collaborated in 2015 on a Legal Marketing Association – LMA International annual conference quick start panel. Fellow panelists Heather Morse-Geller and Gina Furia Rubel said, “We gotta get Megan to join us!” They were absolutely right. Few people are as devoted, as hard-working, as caring as Megan.

Flash forward a few years later, and Megan introduced me to Clark Hill. Heather told me that I MUST take the job – as she saw it as the right next step for me. Don’t tell Heather I said this, but she’s darn right 99% of the time! 😉

This legal marketing community blesses us with guardian angels at every turn, and three years ago when I received the distinct privilege to work with Megan my life improved for the better. I’ve never worked harder in my life, been challenged to be a better professional, or had someone so consistently in my corner as I have had with Megan, and our wonderful boss Susan Ahern, and our incredible colleagues.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, it’s late. And I’m in a reflective mood. And this magical surprise (pictured above) appeared on our front doorstep. Admittedly, one can argue it’s a year early as I will be president elect of the international association next year and president the following. Nonetheless, when my husband opened this, thinking he was going to find new floor mats for his Jeep 😅, we both squealed with delight. Of course, being me, I couldn’t get this on our movie poster wall fast enough.

(NOTE: I added the word “elect” to the image in the hopes of avoiding controversy! 😅)

This gift puts such a big smile on my face after one hell of a year. Everyone knows I love movies obsessively, but Megan has a distinct giftgiving prowess and somehow she found somebody who could turn me into my own movie poster. The tagline is hysterical: “Only the marketing is legal.” 🤣

Fun fact, Megan took this picture of me – and it is one of my favorites. We were in Chicago, on a sidewalk patio, shortly after I had started with the firm (halfway between a couple of my quarterly nervous breakdowns 😂), waiting for Ray Koenig and Susan to join us for drinks. Little did that naive Roy know what incredible adventures were ahead. But I’m looking at this poster, reflecting on the past year, the past three years, the past 10 years, incredibly grateful for what our legal marketing community has given all of us and for this friendship with dear Megan. Love you, Megan.

I hope everyone rings in 2022 with love in their hearts and an appreciation for what makes us each uniquely perfect in our own beautifully fallible ways. My holiday prayer.

Dear friend Beth Kennedy always slays (sleighs?) with her clever handmade birthday cards. We have glitter EVERYWHERE. And we LOVE it. Fun fact: she’s also statistically the most prolific commenter on this blog – after my mom! I reach tens of people with each post! 🤣
Hudson and I are modeling “The Comfy” – in essence a ginormous velour sweatshirt billed as a “wearable blanket.” It’s an apt description 😍🥰❤️. A Christmas gift from my adorable, gracious, generous, QVC-loving mother-in-law.
Loving this fabulous card from Alexis Menard. So grateful UM-Flint School of Management brought us together – she’s a gem!

Year-end Legal Marketing Coffee Talk holiday extravaganza 2021: zany costumes, beloved pups, heartfelt sentiments, plentiful laughs, and maybe a show tune or two

View on …

Facebook: https://fb.watch/9XP8lzXK6-/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/robkates_legalmarketingcoffeetalk-legalmarketing-lmct-activity-6875147102234648576-j7aF

YouTube: https://youtu.be/GVE6T6Ye32k

We had a ball this afternoon with our year-end holiday broadcast. Yes, there were zany costumes, beloved pups, heartfelt sentiments, plentiful laughs, and maybe a show tune or two. (Yes, I sang – about midway – WITH prerecorded accompaniment because I’m fancy like that.) So grateful to be part of this fab Legal Marketing Coffee Talk crew: our fearless leader Rob Kates and fellow hosts Tahisha Fugate, Jessica Aries, and Andrew Laver. The kind words offered during the show about my late mom Susie Sexton, our honorary sixth cast member, were so appreciated and healing.

Thanks to today’s incredibly brilliant special guest stars, including Gina Furia Rubel, Amy Payton Verhulst, Nancy Leyes Myrland, Brenda Pontiff. You are such beautifully authentic souls.

Shout outs aplenty during today’s show: Heather Morse-Geller, Gail Porter Lamarche, Terry Isner, Nikki Girard Sherrill, Toni Wells, James Barclay, Ed Lovatt, Marcia Delgadillo, Nikki Bagdady Horn, Scott Lawrence, Nathalie M. Daum, Jay Harrington, Heather Harrington, Jennifer Forester, Cyndy McCollough, Timothy Corcoran, Jenna Green, Rachel Shields Williams, Shade Vaughn, Jennifer Simpson Carr, Trish Desilets Lilley, and likely many more I won’t remember until I watch again tonight! 🤣

Thank you to Kates Media: Video Production and By Aries for supporting this show and to amazing Katelynn Audrey Wynn McGuire and Clarita Bonilla for the exceptional promotional work on our collective behalf.

See you in 2022! #LMAMKT

Postscript … I am truly lucky to have a wonderful friend with whom I also happen to work. I’ve known Megan McKeon maybe about 10 years now? But we first actually collaborated in 2015 on a Legal Marketing Association – LMA International annual conference quick start panel. Fellow panelists Heather Morse-Geller and Gina Furia Rubel said, “We gotta get Megan to join us!” They were absolutely right. Few people are as devoted, as hard-working, as caring as Megan.

Flash forward a few years later, and Megan introduced me to Clark Hill. Heather told me that I MUST take the job – as she saw it as the right next step for me. Don’t tell Heather I said this, but she’s darn right 99% of the time! 😉

This community blesses us with guardian angels at every turn, and three years ago when I received the distinct privilege to work with Megan my life improved for the better. I’ve never worked harder in my life, been challenged to be a better professional, or had someone so consistently in my corner as I have had with Megan, and our wonderful boss Susan Ahern, and our incredible colleagues.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, it’s late. And I’m in a reflective mood. And this magical surprise (pictured) appeared on our front doorstep today. Admittedly, one can argue it’s a year early as I will be president elect of the international association next year and president the following. Nonetheless, when my husband opened this, thinking he was going to find new floor mats for his Jeep 😅, we both squealed with delight. Of course, being me, I couldn’t get this on our movie poster wall fast enough.

This gift puts such a big smile on my face after one hell of a year, and I won’t lie that it tickles me to be side-by-side with fellow Hoosier James Dean here. Everyone knows I love movies obsessively, but Megan has a distinct giftgiving prowess and somehow she found somebody who could turn me into my own movie poster. The tagline is hysterical: “Only the marketing is legal.” 🤣

Fun fact, Megan took this picture of me – and it is one of my favorites. We were in Chicago, on a sidewalk patio, shortly after I had started with the firm (halfway between a couple of my quarterly nervous breakdowns 😂), waiting for Ray Koenig and Susan to join us for drinks. Little did that naive Roy know what incredible adventures were ahead. But I’m looking at this poster, reflecting on the past year, the past three years, the past 10 years, incredibly grateful for what our legal marketing community has given all of us and for this friendship with dear Megan. Love you, Megan.

Legendary Megan McKeon joins us on Legal Marketing Coffee Talk

(Screenshots by Nancy Leyes Myrland)

Thank you to my fabulous Clark Hill colleague Megan McKeon for joining Rob Kates and me on Kates Media: Video Production’s “Legal Marketing Coffee Talk,” sponsored by Jessica Aries’ By Aries. Thanks again to Katelynn Audrey Wynn McGuire for the wonderful promotional support.

Facebook VIDEO: https://fb.watch/7b2fOwyVov/

LinkedIn VIDEO: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/robkates_legalmarketingcoffeetalk-legalmarketing-lmct-ugcPost-6827996446755713025-4wjF

YouTube: https://youtu.be/kxzNIpDgjYw

We cover a LOT! 🤣 The relative merit of phone calls, being trapped in Facebook jail, the perils of pool repair, the joys of home associations, and the highs and lows of geriatric pet ownership.

MORE importantly we discuss trends in legal marketing and business development, the crucial differences between those two disciplines AND their complementary nature, how data drives smart decision-making and efficient resource deployment, how the Legal Marketing Association and a commitment to mentoring benefits firm culture, and more.

Shout outs in today’s show to Susan Ahern, Guinevere Lehman Anderson, Marceline Johnson, John Byrne, Timothy Corcoran, Anne Gallagher, Brenda Plowman, Jill Mason Huse, Kelly MacKinnon, Nancy Myrland, Brenda Pontiff, Amy Payton Verhulst, Gina Furia Rubel, Heather Morse-Geller, Gail Porter Lamarche, Gail Paul, Susie Sexton, Connie Harris, James Fisher, Eric Lewandowski, Nancy McKeon, Patrick Fuller, Jay Harrington, Glen Hanson, HunTees, Marlon Brando, and more.

Postscript

That’s me! Always on the cutting edge! LOL. Thanks for the shout out (below), Nancy Myrland of Myrland Marketing and Social Media. She writes, “‘Should You Give Stories A Chance?’ A LinkedIn notification related to Roy Sexton yesterday (discussed in this 2-minute, 22-second episode) is what caused me to record this episode.”

I admit I keep using the damn things as another piece of real estate, wondering if anybody’s paying attention. So she nailed exactly my psychology as a user in her assessment!

Post – postscript …

Yours truly as a guest on Brenda Meller’s video series Social Media P.I.E. – “Celebrate. Advocate. Reciprocate.” #Superfan #BeARoySexton

Facebook VIDEO: https://fb.watch/3BEXFKi1b7/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/wJES5jcS93g

LinkedIn VIDEO: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/brendameller_linkedinlive-socialmediapie-bearoysexton-activity-6764372643287195648-BweD

Thank you, dear Brenda Meller of Meller Marketing and Social Media P.I.E., for having me on today! We unveiled “C.A.R.” – an acronym I devised about 20 minutes before 🤣 – to help people become #socialmedia superfans. Celebrate. Advocate. Reciprocate. In retrospect, I should add an “E” for “elevate,” because I really do “C.A.R.E.” See what I did there?


In addition we discussed my hair care regimen, the power of silly tshirts, my favorite songs, and the goddesses Deborah Harry and Miley Cyrus.

Find out more about – and purchase! – Brenda’s best selling new book Social Media Pie here.

Shout outs in the show to Susie Sexton, Jay Harrington, Nancy Leyes Myrland, Gina Furia Rubel, Jessica Aries, Renee Branson, Heather Morse-Geller, Susan Ahern, Megan McKeon, Clark Hill Law, Mark Ostach, Kathy Kvasnak, Tina Marie Wohlfield, MiVida Burrus, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor, Legal Marketing Association – LMA International, Beth Kennedy, and more!

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-make-your-photo-public-when-you-comment-live-videos-meller-

P.S. Today’s chat inspired this blog post from Brenda as well. “Have you noticed that when you’re commenting in a live stream on LinkedIn, your photo is a gray avatar? It may be one of two items in your privacy settings. Here’s how to fix it.”

“Hair care investigator” Mark Ostach, my beloved Leadership Detroit 30 classmate

Legal Marketing Coffee Talk with Heather and Jay Harrington and yours truly

Rob Kates and I had a fabulous chat today with my fellow Michiganders Heather and Jay Harrington, founders of Harrington Communications and Life and Whim.

View here: https://fb.watch/3sldJ6qz3Z/

These two are authentic, accessible, iconic marketers AND human beings. We discussed the need for a consistent (and empathetic) drumbeat of thought leadership, how good and responsive design is key to powerful communications, the energizing nexus of art and commerce, the therapeutic benefits of writing, and how taking a helpful and conversational approach to social media is key to growth.

Mentions during the show include Tom Nixon, Susan Ahern, Susie Sexton, Don Lee, Nikki Bagdady Horn, Stephanie Preston, Clark Hill Law, Kerr Russell, Trott Law, Jem and the Holograms, Thanos, Tom Hanks, “Gretchen Warner,” Infinity Gauntlet, Legal Marketing Association, Traverse City, baseball, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, art, dogs, unsupervised second graders, Mad Men, and more. Enjoy!

THIS THURSDAY, February 4th, 3 pm ET! Heather and Jay Harrington with yours truly on Legal Marketing Coffee Talk

Join me and guests Heather and Jay Harrington, founders of Harrington Communications, as we discuss the importance of thought leadership and PR in legal marketing, marrying smart design with good content, and what it took to start their own agency that has turned top professional services firms into titans of industry.

Jay and Heather also have fascinating interests that include Heather’s spectacular art career – Life and Whim – and Jay’s books and publications. We are looking forward to picking the brains of this outstanding duo, and we know it’s a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Join us live on Thursday, February 4th at 3 pm ET. On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/155057871244919/posts/3747637818653555/?d=n

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

Miscellany …

Thanks, Wabash College! I’m a “treasure.” 😉

Original post: https://blog.wabash.edu/alumninews/2021/01/26/roy-sexton-95-appointed-as-treasure-to-the-lma-board-of-directors/

Roy Sexton ’95 has been appointed as treasurer of the 2021 Legal Marketing Association – LMA International (LMA) Board of Directors. LMA represents thousands of legal marketing and business development professionals in 48 U.S. states and 24 countries.

“Being on the LMA Board of Directors is the apex of one’s volunteer leadership within the Legal Marketing Association and is significant in advancing the legal marketing profession as a whole,” LMA Executive Director Danielle Holland said in a news release.

Sexton, director of marketing at Clark Hill Law, has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, business development and strategic planning.

He has been heavily involved in the LMA as a regional and international leader and has served on numerous nonprofit boards and committees including the Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, Royal Starr Arts Institute, EncoreMichigan.com.

“I am honored to serve on the 2021 LMA Board of Directors, and I look forward to the opportunity to help guide the association’s important work,” Sexton said in the release. “LMA will continue to provide outstanding programming and opportunities for professional development and networking to our members and advocate for our profession, locally, regionally and internationally.”

While at Wabash College, Sexton majored in English and theater and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and involved with the Wabash Theater, the Bachelor and Student Senate.

Sexton’s LMA appointment became effective January 1, 2021.

Our Clark Hill marketing and business development team has been on quite the journey over the last couple of years. It has been a great growth opportunity and one of the more enriching work experiences of my life. Out of the blue, REDSTARKIM LIMITED Managing Director Kim Tasso wrote about our work, based on a webinar we did six months ago! A lovely surprise!

Original post: https://kimtasso.com/legal-marketing-case-study-clark-hill-redesigns-its-marketing-and-bd-team/

Grateful for our exceptional and supportive leader Susan Ahern and for wonderful and inventive colleagues Megan McKeon , Guinevere Lehman Anderson , Emilie Strozier McCarthy , Shayna McCloskey , Tommy Franz , Dani Carter , Alexandra France , Gloria Pak , Elizabeth C. Jeffries , Stacey Marie , Maureen Denney , Keith Hobbs , Katelynn Schwalm , Alé Simmons , Amy Oldiges , Kimberly Reisman , Leslie Smithson.

From the blog entry’s intro: “In September, the international senior marketing and business development team at Clark Hill presented a webinar for the Professional Marketing Forum. The topic was ‘Clark Hill redesigns its marketing and BD team’. The work to re-imagine its marketing and business development (M&BD) team won Clark Hill the Best Marketing Initiative Award at the 2020 Managing Partners’ Forum Management Excellence Awards.”

SAVE THE DATE! February 11, 12:05 pm ET. Brenda Meller of Meller Marketing and I return to thunderdome! We will discuss what it means to be a superfan and how that can benefit your networking, branding, and marketing efforts. Celebrate, advocate, reciprocate.

More: https://www.mellermarketing.com/upcoming-live-interviews

Want to hear me attempt to sing Whitney Houston? February 6 cabaret “Lights. Camera. Cure.” (Plus, a bit of good news!)

Enjoy this preview of the Feb. 6 #LightsCameraCure cabaret to benefit American Cancer Society – video here: https://youtu.be/EA2MW45itFI. Includes some schmoozing and singing from yours truly. My attempt to channel #WhitneyHouston 😂 … as well as a throwback to Oklahoma! (oh, what a beautiful melody) are all at the 9:45 mark. Plus, I will be emceeing the event this year again.

Tickets are going fast – last year’s event sold out and raised nearly $15,000 dollars. Get your tickets at http://www.cantonvillagetheater.org today.

Thank you, Thomas Paden and Canton Chamber for this coverage. Great job, Denise Isenberg Staffeld, Megan Schaper, Tammy Schenck Brown, and Kevin Robert Ryan. Canton Chamber of Commerce Business Spotlight: December 2018

 

_____________________

Proud to announce that my fabulous colleague Megan McKeon and I were both promoted to director-level roles at Clark Hill PLC, in the Marketing and Business Development group, effective January 1. We report to a truly amazing and supportive Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer Susan Ahern (she is the best!). I feel fortunate to be part of this incredible team and to be part of this organization, and I am very grateful for their appreciation of my individuality, of my quirks, and of my contributions thus far. More to come! Happy New Year!

_____________________

Me, Kevin Ryan, and an unnamed holiday conifer. “The breeze is so busy, it don’t miss a … Christmas tree?”

 

Reel Roy Reviews is now TWO books! You can purchase your copies by clicking here (print and digital). In addition to online ordering at Amazon or from the publisher Open Books, the first book is currently is being carried by BookboundCommon Language Bookstore, and Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room in Ann Arbor, Michigan and by Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, Michigan. My mom Susie Duncan Sexton’s Secrets of an Old Typewriter series is also available on Amazon and at Bookbound and Common Language.