Our President, Lance Wain, circulated an email that mandated all employees must attend a meeting to be held in the lobby of our building at exactly 12:10pm last Tuesday. There was no additional information given. Each of us tried in earnest to get out of him what this was all about—including Judy, our CEO. Greg Appler, (who refuses to attend any meetings without first being given the agenda) was particularly sour. I had an RFP due and a conference call at 2:00pm. Others speculated we were leaving to play paintball. This really agitated me. I had no time for paintball. I grabbed some soggy salad from the fridge. I was wearing heels—I had an earlier meeting. I was agitated. This had better be good.
Grafik team on the way to EYA luncheon
Lance started talking some B.S. about promising our insurance rep that we would get ten minutes of exercise in once a month and it was a gorgeous day and we were going to take a walk together. We filed out of the building as a group, (it was a really amazing day) and started walking down Fairfax Street in Old Town. Just as my heels really started to bug me, we arrived at the very nice Italian joint around the corner, and were directed into the private room in the rear of the restaurant where one of our longstanding clients, EYA, was waiting. This was a complete surprise to every one of us.
Terry Eakin, Bob Youngentob, Preston Innerst, Jennifer McIvor, Brian Jackson, Frank Connor—all of EYA were standing amidst a room set for a beautiful lunch. They invited us in and before sitting down, Terry and Bob, the founders and of the company told us that Preston (VP, Sales & Marketing) and Lance had been in cahoots to pull off this lunch, for the sole reason that EYA was so very grateful to Grafik for all of the hard work and the consistently excellent product that they had received over the years. That they were sincere and their remarks heartfelt, was beyond obvious. Bob Youngentob spoke with passion and authenticity when he said that Grafik had changed the way his company did business.
Now, I gotta say something. I “do” new business. And I have been listening for three years as many at my firm have been telling the story of how Life Within Walking Distance was more than a tagline, but a corporate mantra that had completely transformed the way EYA acquired and evaluated their properties, as well as developed their sales strategies. In short, the brand strategy we developed, transformed everything about their company.
Hearing this from Bob’s mouth and watching the faces of my coworkers, as well as those of the others on the EYA team, was a huge moment of pride for me. It made all of the versions I had previously heard completely credible, and erased all doubt. It is very rare to experience those moments in my business and it was a great day for my company. And, for a gal who “does new biz” I really got to feel the deep impact of what my people do. And even better, we all got to experience it together. It was awesome.
You probably thought I meant that effective marketing communications changed EYA . . . but really, it changed Grafik that day. I think we all felt, thanks to Lance being able to keep that very big mouth shut, knowing what we can do together when we have a great client like EYA.
Thanks Lance. And thanks EYA.