It’s always an exciting time of year here at New Media Strategies with the holidays, year-end wrap up and a ton of NMS Yuletide traditions. This time of year always seems to be the best time for celebration and for reflection to take some measure of what you’ve accomplished and where you are heading next. In that spirit, over the past few weeks with the help of my wife Burson, I’ve been doing some serious reflecting and in the days ahead I hope to do some serious celebrating.
That is why I want to share with you that for me, twelve years after creating New Media Strategies, the world's first social media marketing agency, and five years after selling the company to Meredith Corporation, I've decided it's time to start the next chapter.
At the end of the year, I will be stepping away from my duties as Chief Executive Officer of New Media Strategies.
I have loved every moment of my time at NMS. Yes, because we’ve accomplished some amazing things over the years. But, much more so, because we were able to build an amazing culture from scratch, filled with dedicated, bright and absolutely terrific people. No matter how cutting edge and innovative you are, in the end, it’s pretty simple: people make companies, brands and organizations run. Without exceptional people, in business or in life, you won’t get far.
We at New Media Strategies have been blessed with and have worked hard to create and maintain an incredible culture, as well as attract and retain stellar people.
That is what I am most proud of.
In life, you get in trouble when you lose touch with who you are. And at heart I'm an entrepreneur.
So, in January, I will be launching my next company, a firm that will allow me to both scratch my entrepreneurial itch and give back to the very community that has been so supportive to me by providing seed and angel capital and support to new and disruptive technologies, entrepreneurs and companies focused here in this region. More to come on that soon.
Those who know me also know my passion for the public arena. I was honored when Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell asked me to serve as Chairman of the 2012 Victory Campaign, which encompasses the Presidential, U.S. Senate and 13 Congressional elections in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I look forward to giving the Governor and RPV Chairman Pat Mullins my all during this critically important election for our country and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
While I will be stepping away from CEO duties, I will remain affiliated with the company as Founder and a Senior Advisor to New Media Strategies and Meredith. But enough about me. It is with great pride that I announce that Jack Macleod will be leading New Media Strategies moving forward in the role of Interim General Manager, starting on January 1, 2012. Jack has lead NMS’ sales team for the past six years and has a proven track record as an innovator and a skilled executive.
I need to pay proper tribute to my amazing team at New Media Strategies for everything they have contributed and accomplished over the years. It's every entrepreneur's dream to start a company out of their one bedroom rental apartment and grow it into the largest and most successful player in their industry, culminating with New Media Strategies being honored on floor of The New York Stock Exchange. When you surround yourself with talented people, as we have been able to at NMS, dreams do come true.
There are so many people that helped build this company and that I’m incredibly proud of and indebted to – Aaron Earls, Laura Neville, Heather Hock, Tom Snedeker, Stephanie Copeland Weber, Moira Curran, Jessica Boulanger, Greg Johnston, James Nichols, Tara Stone, Patrick Wixted and Brittany Cooper and the list can go on and on including many former NMSers, friends, family and advisors, so I will spare you all.
That said, I would like to give special thanks to Steve Lacy, Chairman and CEO of Meredith Corporation (NMS’ parent company). Steve is a terrific leader and someone I consider both a mentor and a friend. Under his guidance, Meredith has been innovative and aggressive and a home where entrepreneurial-minded executives and companies can flourish. Also, I want to express great appreciation to Meredith Xcelerated Marketing head, Martin Reidy and Briggs Ferguson, as well as the leaders of our sister agencies Walter Schild, Brad Oleshansky, Derek Handley, Jack Wolf and David Brown for the friendship and counsel they have provided to me and to NMS.
One of the many reasons why I’ve loved this job for the past 12 years is that we’ve had the opportunity to work in some of the coolest, most exciting industries with many of the world’s leading companies, causes and brands. Everything from film, television to both pro and college football to health, beauty to some of the driving political issues and campaigns of the day, NMS has had a front row seat to all of it. I’ve been blessed to work for and along side of interesting, loyal clients and leaders from whom I’ve learned so much.
I am confident Jack and the entire team will continue the outstanding tradition of ground-breaking work and customer service we have established here and I firmly believe the best days are ahead for New Media Strategies.
Merry Christmas and Here’s to Amazing Things Ahead in the New Year,