“What’s a nice person like you doing in a place like this?” may not be something I hear often, but “What’s a long-time large corporate guy like me doing in a fast-paced, high energy, cutting-edge agency?” is something I’ve not only heard a bit, but asked myself often at first. The answer is two-fold.
First, never underestimate the vision and persuasive powers of AJ Gerritson and his partners. Their vision was this life-long Bostonian (who is actually and proudly half-New Yorker, though you’d never know it from my accent) should take my 25+ years in a variety of Boston’s leading financial service companies: from USTrust, Citizens, Bank of America and SBLI, in a variety of progressively more senior banking, insurance and leadership roles, and use those skills and relationships on behalf of many businesses who struggle with crafting and delivering a compelling and unique message in a rapidly changing financial services market through rapidly changing marketing mediums. This vision of theirs hit me at the absolute perfect time in my career when I was ready for something completely different.
Second, the whole team at Agency 451 energizes me beyond belief. Dealing with the next generation of real smart, very driven and high-energy professionals pushes me on a daily basis to do better for our clients and their customers. I learn as much every day about Creative, Digital and Public Relations from my colleagues as I impart to these professionals about the unique regulatory, compliance and legal issues of our clients and prospects across all aspects of the financial service spectrum: from banking and insurance, to wealth and asset management. Simply put, it’s a fun place to work every single day – and those words don’t flow easily from a former large corporate type!
I now focus on both New Business Development for Agency 451: spreading the word of the great work done here, and Account Management: guiding a team of Client Partners who work as the main point of contact for our clients using a multitude of our services on an integrated basis.
Additionally, it’s great how much Agency 451 truly believes in making a better community at the same time. Whether is the #451Cares program for all employees to volunteer with local non-profits– or the incredible support that Agency 451 shows by encouraging me in my Boston role as Chairperson of the Boston School Committee, the policy-making Board for the Boston Public Schools (of which I am a proud graduate), my national role as a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of the Great City Schools, or my long-time position as Chair of the Youth Council of Boston’s Private Industry Council. Each of these also contribute to who I am as a person – and why I love being a part of Agency 451. Well, that and the occasion Friday afternoon wine tastings that Nick Lowe arranges.
Outside Boston finds me either sailing or golfing in Scituate, skiing at Attitash, swimming or beaching in Ft Myers, attending community events all across Cape Cod as the proud husband of a passionate, successful banker and Cape Cod community leader in her own right (my wife Rana), visiting my wife’s very extended and large family in NYC, Atlanta or Beirut, Lebanon, trailing behind her on runs wherever we travel, planning my next return to Ireland – or learning from, while also guiding, three incredible young adult stepchildren – each of whom also inspire me every single day.