Ava, this Homage was fantastic on so many levels. First, it was great to be able to catch up and just jive about “the good old days”. So many awesome memories from that time in my life. Worked hard, played hard, learned A TON! To be able to start this series and reconnect with folks like yourself that gave your time and passed wisdom down to not just me…but to an entire group of young people is totally rad. Now that I have over 20 years in the workplace and I’m now in more of a “mentor” role, those lessons you shared with me are being passed along to others. It’s very gratifying to see it pass from one generation to the next.
You’ve always had a humbleness that amazed me. You accomplished so much in your career – accolades like Wonder Woman by Advertising Women New York, The Adweek 50 and Advertising Working Mother of the Year…all amazing awards. That said, I’ve always known you as Ava. Yes, you were my boss. BUT, you were always my friend. You got the best out of me. You demanded a lot…but you always, always, always treated us fairly. That stuck with me and I try to emulate that with the folks at DSM now. For that, I thank you. I realize now how blessed I was then to have you help guide me early in my career.
To that end, I hope this episode showcases the thanks and admiration that I have for you. Like a lot of other folks through the years that you’ve helped…thank you. My career would not be where it is today if I hadn’t had a leader like you in my life back then. You taught me to be accountable and still be personable. You took a brash, young kid and humbled him while not crushing my spirit…let’s say you “reigned me in”. That is exactly what I needed at that point in my life. You allowed me to “not be afraid to fail” by putting my face in front of clients. As I mentioned in the episode, my first big pitch was under your guidance. I was nervous as all hell…but I got through it and I knew when I was done that I was better for that experience. So, thank you Ava. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to grow and for trusting me at a young age.