Madison+Main’s Weekly Report – September 5th, 2014

Stuck in the Middle With You

Hi everyone,

It was a short week at Madison+Main and I appreciate the guys and gals at work who took over last week’s report. My friend Harry Garmon, President of Top of Mind Communications, wrote me to say, “I like this week’s report better than yours,” which is a true testament to the team’s writing abilities and sense of humor.  Like the old Stealers Wheel song, at Madison+Main, I’m lucky to have “clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right…”

Holy moly. It’s September… and “…here I am, stuck in the middle with you.”


Monday, September 1st: On Monday I wrapped up a long weekend with my son Jack and we drove “The Beast” due north from Ocracoke and survived a near death experience in Buxton (long story short: a gasoline nozzle burst open while filling the car and doused me with gasoline.  Jack saved me by punching the emergency shut off button and the station manager helped hose me off.  After a few deep breaths and a quick change of clothes, we were back on the road. However, I had to stop suddenly 20 minutes later in Salvo and jump out of my bathing suit because the chemicals in the gas were burning me #NekkidInAParkingLot). Which reminds me, 20 years ago I was naked in the Black Rock Desert and almost caught on fire… it was 1994 at the Burning Man Festival.



This could have been me.

Despite this, we had a great Labor Day picnic with our dear friends, the Moon family: Rob “Full” MoonKathy “Crescent” MoonSean Moon”shine”Meghan Moon”dance”Griffin Moon”walk”, and Danny “Cutest Boy in the World” Moon. Because I still smelled like 87 octane, no one would let me cook on the grill.   


Tuesday, September 2nd: On Tuesday, the second floor looked pretty empty as Art Director Geoff Glisson and Graphic Designer/Photographer Kaity Byrum were on set all day for a product catalog and website photo shoot.  MarCom Exec and Copywriter Extraordinaire Sarah Dawes-Murphy was MIA at client meetings, so the office was a lot quieter without Geoff, Kaity and Sarah yapping it up all day. #Extroverts


On Tuesday, we welcomed three smart new marketing rookies, AlexisChristine, and Caty — our new fall interns. I know that you are excited to learn more about them, especially their self-directed nicknames, so be on the lookout next week for a better intro.  All three will graduate this year from VCU, the best advertising school in the entire world. #Murica #GoRams #NotBiased


Christine and Caty take a break from intern duties to pose for a pic


Wednesday, September 3rd: On Wednesday we got bad news that our new Account Exec Casey‘s son has developed an allergy to nuts, which means she has to keep him away from me. 🙂 #ReallyBadJoke (In all seriousness, our hearts go out to Sam, but we heard he had a GREAT first day at pre-school)   At lunch, I was able to reconnect with my friend Brad Lownsbury, CEO of H.C. Yu, a Richmond-based consulting engineering firm that recently relocated to Shockoe Bottom.  There are some exciting things going on at the company and I am glad I was able to break a little bread with Brad at La Grotta.


On Wednesday afternoon I had a meeting with my business consultants and accountants and it felt like a meeting in the principal’s office. Am I poor? No. Am I rich? No way in hell! It seems we made absolutely no progress in the last year and “I am stuck in the middle (class) with you.”  Seriously, avid readers of the Report somehow think I’ve got it made. It’s only partially true… I am blessed with a great family, good friends, and wonderful colleagues. But for vacation, I spent five nights sleeping on the ground in a tent, for the amazingly low price of only $23 a night, while I sat in the dark on my iPhone looking at Facebook pics of friends vacationing in ChinaItalyGreat BritainColoradoMaine and Puerto Rico. #sigh


Thursday, September 4th: On Thursday morning, I had to “suit up” for an early morning meeting of The Insiders at The Commonwealth Club.  I spent most of the summer in short sleeves, so Summer officially ended when I put on a gray suit.  It’s always good to see the gang, but I have never felt comfortable in The Commonwealth Club… I worked there as a banquet server when I attended VCU and had to enter the back door everyday, so walking through the front in a suit has never suited me.  Speaking of servers, several fellow members were gracious enough to contribute at Morton’s MS Night a couple of weeks ago, but I was roasted for my slow bar tending abilities.

Afterward, I had a very productive meeting with my Virginia Council of CEOs’ roundtable at The Country Club of Virginia, another “highfalutin” establishment.  Again, I love the people in my group, but I can’t help thinking to myself when I walk around a place like CCV, “who let this guy in from Lynchburg?”

I was able to squeeze in a quick lunch with John D. Watt, Tourism Director withChesterfield Economic Development.  We had a great talk about how to bring more awareness to Chesterfield County‘s sports and entertainment assets.  Stay tuned, this could be very big. 🙂
In the afternoon we had a great meeting with Brian Walker of Charles City-based Riverside Turf. I am fortunate that I’ll get to hang out with Brian a little more this weekend as we get to go to RIR on Saturday night for the Federated Auto Parts 400 (special thanks to our buds at Comcast Spotlight for the tix).


Friday, September 5th: I was very excited this morning to meet with Deborah Roberts, President of Epoxy Group, a branding and strategic communications consultancy to discuss partnering on some future projects.  With over 100 friends and business associates in common on LinkedIn, I am surprised that it took us so long to meet one another.   I spent the rest of the morning reviewing a mound of monthly marketing activity reports and I am happy to say that I found only three small spelling errors from Jessica. #NotBad



I am sending the report out a little early today because I have some extremely important business to attend to… the last practice of the Alberta Smith Sharks football team, who will start their season tomorrow against the O.B. Gates Gators at Ironbridge Park.  Never fear folks, I will have a complete rundown of tomorrow’s game in next week’s report.


“Never let ’em see you sweat,” 

Dave Saunders