A Gift Horse


On Monday a tragic fire ripped through one of the world’s greatest treasures, the Notre Dame Cathedral. For a moment, the world stood in solidarity with France.


On Tuesday, news outlets speculated that the cost to repair Notre Dame could exceed $1 billion. By Wednesday, some incredibly generous individuals had pledged the money to rebuild it…and then came the backlash.


Instead of thanking the three richest families in France for donating 545 million Euros, thousands of people were criticizing them. The news media questioned their motives and speculated on the size of their tax breaks. Some folks complained that other charitable causes needed their money more. Others groused that similar tragedies had occurred, namely the three black churches that caught fire in Louisiana and they didn’t get a billion dollars (but they did get more than $1 million on GoFundMe).


There was a time when we admired generous people for generous gifts. John D. Rockefeller gave away $540 million over his lifetime. Andrew Carnegie donated $350 million. In today’s dollars, those would be equivalent to Bill Gates’ lifetime charity total of $50 billion and Warren Buffet’s $46 billion.


This week, I gave $80 away — $50 to a medical fundraiser for kid I know who has lymphoma and $30 to a friend who is traveling to Ecuador on a mission trip. I tell you this because I want to show scale because I’m far from being a billionaire. I tell you not because I want thanks…and I certainly don’t expect criticism. I can’t imagine how it would feel if I was criticized that my donation was too small or chastised because I donated to cancer and not a different disease or that I only did it to save money on my taxes.


If someone did criticize me for being charitable, I’d probably say “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Or if I were a billionaire who just gave away a sizable chunk of my fortune to fix a church that I didn’t belong to, I’d just say “Shut the hell up.”


Monday, April 15 – Life, Liberty & The Collection of Taxes

Kent Brockwell, Carissa Ghaffari, Art Webb and Erin Rebmann celebrate winning a silver cannonball at the Richmond Ad Show



Speaking of giving away billions of dollars, Monday was Tax Day. While I cut a few tear-soaked checks to Uncle Sam, the Main-iacs were still swooning over our shiny, new Cannonball from Advertising Club of Richmond‘s awards show last weekend. We won for the TV spot we produced with Broadscope for Southern Goodman, which features Gene Cox. The event had a rodeo theme so Art, Carissa, and Erin dressed up as cowboys while Kent reverted to his beastly ways and went as a bull. #Tatanka #ProudPapaDave


Tuesday, April 16– For What It’s Earth…



Earth Day is headed this way and all of us here at Madison+Main are coming up with ways to save energy around the office. Luckily, our client Virginia Energy Sense has plenty of tips on how to conserve energy (and save money). This is why on Tuesday afternoon all of the Madison+Main-iacs could be found hunting through the office for various appliances and electronics that could be unplugged. I applaud their efforts, but am still trying to figure out who thought it was a good idea to unplug my cable box. #AtLeastTheyTried



Wednesday, April 17 – Netflix and (Literally) Chill


With the heat and humidity of another stifling Virginia summer right around the corner, we’ve been sweating over even more BOLD content for our friends at Southern Goodman. As a promotion for their HVAC maintenance plans, Southern Goodman is giving away free Netflix to new customers. Sometimes the ads just write themselves…


Southern Goodman offers 24/7 HVAC service to keep you comfortable all summer long


On Wednesday afternoon, my friend Mike Roberson of Adapt Staffing Agency asked if I would be willing to present at the July 18 monthly meeting for WHIMBY of Greater Richmond at the Westwood Club. I graciously accepted the invitation and I can’t wait. WHIMBY is a great organization and its members are focused on building relationships that support and develop each others’ businesses, which is exactly what we boldly do every day at Madison+Main.


Thursday, April 18 – The Write Way


Thursday was National Newspaper Columnists’ Day and while there are numerous talented columnists in Richmond, I’m going to take a moment to call out Tee Clarkson. For five years, Tee wrote an inspired outdoors column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He shared stories about our state’s wild places and the people who help protect them, and his last RTD column on Sept. 1, 2018 was a sad day for all outdoorsmen. Why give Tee a shoutout? Because the weather is finally tolerable again and I’d rather be fishing on a warm shoreline than sitting behind this computer right now. #GotBait



After work, Kent headed out to Kindred Spirit Brewing to hit the stage for their monthly charity-focused Comedy Night. This month, they were giggling for generosity to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Dream Home Giveaway with RVA-based StyleCraft Homes. This is a great ongoing event and all of the comics donate their stage time to raise awareness and funds for different non-profit organizations. Kindred Spirit also generously donates 10% of their beer sales to the cause from each show.


Friday, April 19 – Ruff Life


Oswald Ludwig Rossberg III Takes a Quick Puppy Nap


Have any of you all ever just been dog tired at the end of the week? Well, we’ve got someone in the office today who knows exactly how you feel…. Office Manager Katie Rossberg‘s pup Ozzie doesn’t seem to be cut out for the 9-5 hustle, but might be better suited for 9-11(ish). Lucky for him, I’m not paying him to be here so he can’t get yelled at for sleeping on the job. If you’ve got an office pooch, send us a picture! But be forewarned — Katie may or may not try to schedule a puppy play date.

A Few of Our Favorite Events


Lucy Corr CNA, LPN & RN Open House

Lucy Corr | Chesterfield, VA

May 8, 2019 | 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.


Do you know someone who is looking for a healthcare career that offers flexibility and awesome perks? If so, tell them about Lucy Corr’s upcoming open house for CNAs, LPNs, and RNs. They are hiring Full-Time/Part-Time/PRN Clinical positions and this is a great opportunity to talk with current clinical staff and meet some of the residents. Learn more!


7th Annual HCB2 Boxer Brief 5K

Stony Point Fashion Park | N. Chesterfield, VA

June 8, 2019 | 8-10 a.m.


For the seventh year in a row, underwear-clad runners, joggers, and walkers will be descending on Stony Point Fashion Park in the name of colorectal cancer awareness. The Boxer Brief 5K is Hitting Cancer Below The Belt‘s largest fundraiser and awareness event of the year. Plus, this year’s event features a post-race stretch led by Bryant Johnson, personal trainer and author of “The RBG Workout,” who you might’ve seen on Stephen Colbet’s show. Even if you aren’t a runner, this is a really fun event to attend and the Madison+Main-iacs will be there, too! Registration is now open!


8th Annual Father’s Day Festival

  1. Smith Bowman Distillery | Fredericksburg, VA

June 15, 2019 | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Give dad a day he won’t forget and head up to Virginia’s oldest distillery for a day of tours, tastings, great food, and live music. Plus, don’t miss the annual Barrel Regatta at 1 p.m., where dads will be competing against each other for glory and bragging rights as they paddle homemade bourbon barrel boats to the finish line. Learn more on the Distillery’s Facebook page.


Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!



“In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics.”

— President John F. Kennedy