I’ve had a few people ask me why I want to run for Governor right now, after five years of being outside of the intensity and the time commitment that the role requires–so I thought I’d share some thoughts here.
If you talk to any former Governor of The TV Academy, or any active board member of any organization for that matter, when their term ends…there’s an inevitable sigh of relief, coupled with that sense of longing you get after investing in something so deeply. I felt it recently when my kid didn’t need my help getting ready for bed anymore (yeah, that just happened. It’s a good thing, I know. Letting go is always hard, but you have to to let things grow). Stepping into a board role is a huge commitment– one I didn’t take lightly my first time at bat, and one that I really have put careful consideration into this time.
In my prior terms, I was part of a large media company. I literally ended a 13 year tenure at IPG/McCann Worldgroup, at the end of my last year as governor. My perspective and focus at the time was coming from running innovation and digital efforts at a large corporation whose constituents did not like change. My role was one of a ‘catalyst’: to help teach, open eyes and create synergies with new partners in our ever-changing landscape. I learned how to manage a variety of executives and client needs. It paralleled so well with the needs of the IMPG at the TV Academy at the time. My co-governors and I spent alot of time validating our peer group’s role within the larger organization and educating the rest of the board on the opportunities in digital. I was very active with championing the need for a head of digital as a specific leadership role at the TV Academy and was on the committee that found and ultimately hired Maury McIntyre, now the academy’s president. I was also very involved with the brand committee, leading the way for the academy’s new branding, and modernizing the strategy and focus on how the TV Academy communicated it’s value prop. I spent a lot of time with the staff and other board members, making sure our peer group was represented at the highest level. I knew the staff very well…I was there a lot…The Academy literally became my home away from home. It was a joy, and there’s always more to do, but it was an honor to get to be a part of it.
But this time around, from my own beliefs and from talking with peer group members, that the approach needs to be different this time around.
Here’s some great news: our peer group, 900 and proud, no longer has to validate our very existence or fight and explain our perspective on our awards. Like many of us who have been in ‘digital’ or worked in what i like to call the ‘new stuff lane’….there have been many years of trying to teach and convince other people about what was happening. Our Governors, Seth Shapiro and Marc Johnson, and our executive committee, have accomplished a lot in that area in the last few years. And while that work will always be in play, now is a time to really turn to both our peer group and the industry to see what role we can play for them. Personally, I’ve shifted my professional focus from being a corporate executive to an independent consultant–an entrepreneur constantly bobbing and weaving with the needs of the marketplace. Once again, this experience maps so nicely to the needs of our peer group, as the technology, the creative work and the consumption habits of the audience continuously change.
I don’t take this step back in lightly. In talking with the community I understand there are some that feel new blood is needed. I am new blood because I’m not the same resource I was five years ago. I now bring to the table, at this critical moment, some experience, a diversity perspective, and a renewed focus on shaping our community’s future. I faced a tough room with the executive committee when I presented my case for their endorsement and was up against a worthy colleague presenting their case. The PGEC’s endorsement came through because they believe I’ve got the vision, the focus and the chops to take us to the next place. I’d like the chance to prove it to you now.
Feel free to ping me on a variety of social media channels, or at a deli in Los Angeles (because I have a bagel problem) or even plain old email. I will listen.