It took a health glitch and the ups and downs of post-divorce living to make me fully realize that life is the sum of our relationships. This pet project started spontaneously while attending SXSW for my twelfth consecutive year. I decided to give it a more permanent home here, for now...
Selfie Story #1: Matt "Techno Marketer" Dickman
If the name “Techno Marketer” rings a bell, congratulations: you’re a digital OG. Matt Dickman and I go back nearly 14 years! We’ve always appreciated each other’s takes on marketing and all things digital. He’s kicking butt and taking names at Comcast and he’s got one of the better content activations @ SXSW. Proud to have known Matt all these years and happy to see him thriving.
Selfie Story #2: Speaking Truth With Lisa Grimm
Lisa Grimm and I also go way back. We first met at a conference called ”Blog World”—(remember blogs?) and she’s been a superstar at a number of places, most recently Whole Foods. Lisa and I have an agreement to “speak truth” to each other and have shared the ups and downs of career and life and continue to share on a regular basis. It’s always a treat to catch up in her adopted hometown of Austin.
Selfie Story #3: The Remarkable Kate Niederhoffer
Kate Niederhoffer and I spent a short amount of time working at Dachis Group in the very early days of social—back when we debated social marketing vs. social businesses. Well, it’s a Facebook world, we just live in it now. Always good to catch up annually in Austin. One of the smartest (and interesting) people I am proud to call a friend.
Selfie Story #4: The Digital Design of Jeff Dachis
Anyone working in Digital back in the early 2000s probably wanted to work for Razorfish—one of the original and cutting edge agencies of that era. Without Jeff Dachis, we wouldn’t have had Razorfish as he co-founded it. We also wouldn’t have One Drop—Jeff’s latest venture which brings some beautiful and functional interaction design to the Diabetes management and broader wellness space. Jeff is a Digital OG for Digital OGs and still going strong. Always good to see him in Austin and it was good to work with him, even if briefly at The Dachis Group (acquired by Sprinklr).
Selfie Story #5: The One and Only Prita Wadwani
Prita and I met after my first couple of years at Edelman, though it felt like we knew each other before we ever met IRL. She’s an excellent example of a client partner who is willing to take risks and try things that haven’t been done before. She’s executed some pretty great programs for the premiere Global pasta brand, Barilla. A brand I grew up with as the son of Italian immigrants. Prita rocks and we share a #Passionforasta, now and always.
Selfie Story #6: The Incredible Beverly W. Jackson
Every once in a while, you get to know somebody and it just instantly clicks for you both. While Beverly and I have “known” each other for years, it was mostly a drive-by here or a social post there. We disrupted that model this morning over a breakfast that honestly, could have been a lunch and dinner. But I have a flight to catch and she’s got an event to MC. See you in Vegas Beverly!
Selfie Story #7: Natasha Avery, My Sister From Another Mister
Natasha and I share the same place of employment in Edelman, but we've shared so much more than that over the years. We've both helped each other grow and evolve as human beings and we've made each other better professionals as well. As a recruiter, Natasha knows talent when she sees it, so if you're talking to her—you must be good. Also, her catchphrase is "Boop"—how rad is that? :-)
Selfie Story #8: Modern Video Production With Vincenzo Landino
Ok, this one’s going to sound a little weird but sometimes that’s how social media goes. Vincenzo first hit my radar by showing up in my Meerkat app (remember Meerkat??) doing Karaoke 🎤. Somehow this convinced me to get him involved in one of our first influencer marketing activations for Barilla. The rest is history. He’s doing some great video production work for all kinds of brands you’ve heard of with his Aftermarq team. I got to see him in action and “on point” at the SAP house. Vincenzo and I also share a passion for all things Italy, including Alfa Romeo. La Macchina Delle Emozioni Vincenzo.
Selfie Story #9: Coffee With Caitlin
After many years working with the same peers in related fields, Caitlin Angeloff and I got to spend some substantial 1:1 time at last year’s SXSW and we continued the tradition this year. I was really glad Caitlin reached out to me to connect as we had a wonderful chat about raising boys, work, life and everything in between. She's a kind soul, a wonderful listener, and a pro when it comes to all things social and content.
Selfie Story #10: The Bombastic Brian Solis
Where do I start with Brian? He's one of the original digital thought leaders and professionals in the space and he's influenced so many people in work and life. Brian and I go pretty far back and I think I've been giving him a hard time since day one (somebody has to). He's one of the most generous people you'll ever meet and has the heart to match—and he never stops going. Ever. Brian really spoiled me by inviting me over to ride motorcycles around Lake Tahoe—one of the most beautiful rides I have ever done. Simply put, the world is a better place with him in it—or at the very minimum, it's more dynamic. His latest book, Life Scale grapples with making the most of life in a world of technology. It's a must-read for modern times.
Selfie Story #11: The Super Mom and Executive Powers of Sandy Carter
OK, I’m fudging a bit on this one. It’s not a selfie. But Sandy deserves an exception. I’m competitive (hello fellow Leos) and so when I saw Sandy’s amazing work in Social Business with IBM, I thought to myself: I must get to know her! Years later and after many digital and in-person interactions, Sandy and I finally sat down for a meaningful breakfast and really got to know each other. She’s a tenacious parent as am I. I love having that in common with others, and hey—surviving teenagers created an instant bond. Anyone else with teens? Stay strong.
Sandy is now a force of nature at Amazon’s AWS. Another Digital OG done good. Happy to see this and happier I got to know her beyond competitive spirit stuff 😊
Selfie Story #11: Jaffe Juice on the Loose
Little known fact: Joseph Jaffe was a big inspiration for me as I was transitioning from being a Creative Director, toiling away in digital marketing to becoming an integrated marketing strategist with a more business-minded approach. I’ve always appreciated his voice and thoughts. He’s challenging the status quo of big corporations in his latest book "Built to Suck". Was good to see him after so many years...
Selfie Story #12: Caul Me Maybe? The Power of Gail Becker
Gail Becker really is a powerhouse. I've been fortunate enough to work with her at Edelman—together we brokered partnerships and my years of digital counsel to her paid off with her reciprocity of life counsel for me. Gail is one of the most courageous people I know and after an impressive career at Edelman, she practically conjured a massively successful product/brand overnight known as Caulipower. It's the best tasting gluten-free pizza you'll ever have. None of this surprises me frankly—I knew she would succeed from the moment she made her plans public. How lucky am I to call her a friend?
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