“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. 🙌
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.
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.
Legal Marketing Coffee Talk is ending 2021 with a bang!
Join us to celebrate the holidays, as Rob is joined by the whole gang of hosts with Jessica Aries, Tahisha Fugate, Andy Laver, and Roy Sexton, plus some of our fabulous By Aries social media team including Katelynn McGuire and Clara Bonilla plus a few special surprise guests.
Join us Thursday, December 16th at 3PM ET for fun and holiday cheer on our final episode of 2021 on …
I have to say I am pretty damn proud of today’s show. Thank you, Terry Isner and Greg Griffin, for suggesting this and helping map out the approach and, Rob Kates, for being utterly amazing. In addition to Terry, we had gracious, candid, funny, loving guests in Keith Wewe and Amber Bollman. And my brilliant ma Susie Sexton is now EVERYONE’s ma. I’m so proud of her.
And our engaged and supportive commenters and friends Deborah McMurray, Heather Morse-Geller, Vivian Gorin Hood, Marcia Delgadillo, Tahisha Fugate, William Fitzgerald who kept the party going and helped us feel confident and loved every minute.
Yes, we laughed and shared deep truths. And there was singing. From I Will Survive to MacArthur Park, Don’t Leave Me This Way to Part of Your World. But, and I will only speak for myself, I suspect there will always be a part of any #LGBTQ+ professional worried about reception and approval and support. I know it felt very special to feel all of those things today. One hundred fold. #pride #loveislove #family 🌈
Our friend and fellow LMCT host Tahisha Fugate wrote, “Today’s episode of Legal Marketing Coffee Talk was one for the books. Do yourself a favor and catch the replay. The stories, the transparency, and of course the entertainment were phenomenal! You’ll also want to add a few songs to your playlist. … A special thanks to our wonderful host Roy Sexton and guests Keith Wewe , Amber Bollman, Terry M Isner and Roy’s mom (my favorite social mom).”
Terry wrote: “This was a big first for me, I am very comfortable being me, but never really discussed being me publicly like that, lol. … I love that the conversation has started and that our small community of legal marketing brothers and sisters are all in to create a community of acceptance and inclusion. … PRIDE is about everyone being proud to be themselves. 🐝 U but remember to 🐝Kind to everyone along the way.”
Kate writes, “May is ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’. I’m not sure I can remember a more important time to acknowledge this and have a real conversation about mental health.
“Luckily, I see a positive change in our firms; there is more of a willingness to have the conversation, continue the conversation, and show vulnerability when it comes to the topic of mental health.
“I have asked some of our marketing friends – Logan Tracey, Cheryl Foster, Roy Sexton, Tahisha Fugate, Jennifer Gessner Shankleton – to share how they are trying to avoid burnout and how they are looking after themselves. Burnout is an issue I’ve been watching closely (and providing data on). It is a very real topic for marketers right now. Put another way, self-care is critically important and these marketers capture this sentiment beautifully.
“These sentiments highlight good self care and positive mental health practices for us all to take in and replicate.”
Kate writes: “Roy is a shining beacon for all of us. His ability to share and show vulnerability with his work family is inspirational.” Thank you, Kate! My contribution to her article follows:
“I do feel like I’ve been burning the candle at every end possible. I’m not sure there’s any wick left! That said, I’ve also found this to be a strangely rewarding time because it has, at times, leveled the playing field, allowed us marketers to drive our firms toward digital tactics that actually work, and has afforded us a kind of singular focus one rarely gets in this career. But that comes at a price – low energy, neglected relationships, no exercise, spending far too much money at Amazon.
“I’m trying to ease back into balance and reclaim my time. Shutting down the computer at 5:30 or 6 instead of 7 or 8. Avoiding work email on the weekends. Taking walks with my husband. I’m also more forthcoming than I’ve ever been with colleagues and leaders about what I need for balance, and the response has been positive. By the way, THEY are feeling it too. But none of us are necessarily brave enough to be the first to say it out loud. Sometimes that is the best way to resilience – telling people how you feel. And if they can’t accept that or don’t want to, life is far too short to put your energy into a person or organization so selfish.”
Rob Kates and I had a delightful chat with superstar Greg Griffin of Jaffe. Rob and I also learned our mothers have the same birthday, and we heard from my mom Susie Sexton that apparently Robert Mitchum has been paying her nightly visits. 😳
Greg shared with us the joys of his new role at Jaffe, the importance of authenticity and listening in effective business development, his commitment to volunteering and fitness, and how he gave the Houston mayor a catnip (nee mint) mojito. Missed opportunity: he didn’t bring his adorable pup on camera!
Thank you to Krista Schafer Ewbank and Open Book Theatre Company for continuing to find innovative, fun, and provocative ways to deliver theatre to our community in these dark days. iPoppy is by turns riotous, satirical, poignant, incisive, but always engaging. A one-woman ten minute show delivered 1:1 to each audience member via the quarantine-ubiquitous #Zoom, iPoppy is a frothy yet searing indictment of our present “culture,” one that wallpapers over socioeconomic inequities, familial trauma, rampant materialism, and the corrosive intersection of racism and sexism with a relentless and soul-crushing press of social media self-promotion and digital deception. iPoppy packs a wallop in its brisk and breezy ten minute run-time. Give it a go, and support local theatre.
“Check out some clips from iPoppy, along with some quotes from audience members. Sign up for your own 10 minute, live performance of this original piece! Written by M.X. Sotero. Directed by Topher Payne. Featuring Marcela Gazaro.”
This year’s Legal Marketing Association annual conference was a virtual affair, and it was just as vibrant and engaging (if not more so) than our in-person meetings. I’m happily energized AND utterly exhausted. I’m one proud international board member tonight! Below are some highlights …
Enjoy this #lma20 chat with the ever-charming Ashraf Lakhani, Matt Parfitt, and Rob Kates! We discuss their conference sessions (general counsel interviews and email marketing trends respectively), the finer points of long-distance chess, the importance of family, quarantine basketball, and outback policemen!
Enjoy this final “coffee talk” of #lma20 with yours truly, Rob Kates, Joe Przybyla, Amy Payton Verhulst! We talk about the amazing discoveries of this year’s conference, the wonders of Introhive, what makes a great Legal Marketing Association leader, children’s art, online car shopping, and frosty treat rewards.
Yes, one more song – that I barely make it through without crying. One of my mom Susie Sexton’s favorites from “On the Town” and a fitting tribute to this incredible week. Kudos to conference chairs Kristen Bateman and Jon Mattson and the conference committee and support team (including Kristy Perkins, Malaika Palmer, Christina Abes) as well as rock star president Jill Mason Huse for their truly remarkable work.
Thanks to the SmithBucklin team, including Danielle Holland , Holly Amatangelo , JenaShay Russell , Ashley Stenger , Kimberly McBride , Kat Seiffert , Kristin Frankiewicz, Alexia Malamis for all of the ongoing support.
Thanks to all of the guest hosts and guests this week who made this show such a special addition! Shout outs during the show to Carman Janenne Akins, Jim Jarrell, Megan McKeon, Vanessa Vines Petrea, Jessica Jaramillo, Tahisha Fugate, Andrew Laver, Jessica Aries, Brenda Plowman, Stefanie Marrone, Jennifer Petrone Dezso, Tanya Riggan, Nikki Girard Sherrill, Michelle Friends, Kelly MacKinnon, Christine Mitchell Harris, Patrick Fuller, Gina Rubel, and more!
5 days of crucial content 1 excellent keynote speaker named Baratunde Thurston 1 new hashtag #LMACitizen inspired by #HowToCitizen 140+ speakers 40+ interactive live sessions 3+ hours of 1:1 attendee networking sessions 5 engaging virtual social events 17 countries and 43 states represented 45+ sponsoring organizations 1200+ legal marketing professionals 10 costume changes (MY contribution 🤣) Too many “skills” to count