The Director of First Impressions

Weekly Report, June 18


I’ll never forget the first time I met Janice Cadmus, the longtime receptionist at CowanGates. I arrived a few minutes late for a meeting with the firm’s legendary founder Frank Cowan. Frank and I knew each other from sitting on the board of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, but he had set up a meeting to talk about marketing. “Dave, we’re lawyers,” he began. “We’re very good at what we do, but I think we need some help figuring out this internet stuff and social media. Come on over and we’ll talk about it.”
It was August and it was hot. I was darting around town like a madman from meeting to meeting and I was wearing a wool suit. Meeting such a distinguished “legend of the law,” and being late (which I hate), made me nervous. The 95-degree day and 95% humidity certainly didn’t help either. I was drenched with sweat and probably a little “wild-eyed” when I walked in. Nevertheless, Janice greeted me warmly and told me she would find Frank. Then she walked me down through the corridors to the restroom so I could towel off. I came back out, took a seat, and she waited for a few minutes. Once she saw that I had started breathing normally and had stopped the waterworks, she walked back into the law office’s corridors. I could hear her down the hall.
“Frank, Frank. There you are,” she said. ‘I’ve been looking for you. Mr. Saunders is out front waiting for you.”
Janice made me feel comfortable. She covered for me. I may not have made the best first impression, but she did. In the decade since, I’ve seen Janice dozens of times and every single time was a pleasure. Her smile makes you smile and her graciousness is bestowed upon everyone – equally – from a client, to the UPS man, and even to the half-crazy marketing guy wearing a suit. Janice is retiring from CowanGates in July after an amazing 41 years of service. She will be missed.
I once heard Hugh Gouldthorpe, the longtime “Head Cheerleader” of Owens & Minor, refer to their receptionist as “The Director of First Impressions.” I never forgot that. The title was certainly befitting of Janice Cadmus. If you know someone who is looking for a great job with a great group of people, CowanGates is looking for a new Director of First Impressions. Caution: these will be big pumps to fill.

Monday, June 14 — THE CORE OF LUCY CORR



At M+M we have a new client onboarding process called CORE. It’s not an acronym – it’s a goal – designed to get to the CORE of a client’s brand and drill down into which audiences they’re trying to reach. Although we’ve been working with the great folks at Lucy Corr for almost eight years, we decided to offer this longtime client the same process. So the Madison+Main-iacs and I spent half of Monday at Lucy Corr for a CORE meeting. #SeeWhatIDidThere? Thanks to CEO Derrick Kendall, Sale Manager Maria Bond, and Admission Clinical Coordinator Jenae Briggs for participating and sharing their ideas.




Tuesday, June 15 — WHO IS MRS. PILLOW?



On Tuesday a mysterious, tanned woman showed up at our 9 a.m. Production Meeting on Zoom — Leanne Pillow. Who the heck is Mrs. Pillow? We were all very excited to see our Director of Business & Marketing Leanne Pillow (née Ferry) return from her nuptials last SaturdayPatrick Pillow is a very, very lucky guy. The ceremony was beautiful and meticulous, just like the bride who planned it. Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Pillow. Hope you enjoy the new BBQ grill I bought you. I can’t imagine married life without slabs of grilled meat.
After a long day at work, I was ready for a drink, so we headed to Atlas 42 and scarfed down a delicious five-course meal and lots of tasty whiskey from Three Crosses Distillery. My buddy Mark Jones and his team do a great job with events at Atlas 42, and they’ve built a great venue. Having a corporate party or wedding? Or both? Call Atlas 42 at 804-965-0420 or visit their website.



Leanne Pillow, Madison+Main


Wednesday, June 16 — FREE CONSULTATIONS



As part of Chesterfield County Economic Development’s plans to help businesses post-COVID, we have partnered with them to offer two-hour marketing consultations to Chesterfield County small and medium-sized businesses. These consultations are free from qualified SMBs. This week I was able to consult with two super nice local business owners; Dr. Janine Randazzo with Randazzo Dentistry and Kennon Artis, founder of Triton Light Medical. My calendar is starting to fill up with consultations, so email today if you’d like to get in the program.


Thursday, June 17 — RUN TO SAVE BUNS



Last Saturday hundreds of people gathered at City Stadium to run around in tutus, superhero costumes, and their underwear. Participants from 14 states, two from Ireland, and one from Dubai came together to raise funds for Hitting Cancer Below The Belt in the 2021 Boxer Brief 5K On Thursday, I learned that the event was a smashing success, with more than $43,000 raised for colorectal cancer research and survivor support.



2021 Boxer Brief 5K




During the pandemic, time seemed to stand still, but for many, it was a time to get creative. Tonight is opening night for The Perkinson Center for Arts & Education’s “Quarantine Creations” Art Show. The event opens at 5:30 p.m. and will feature work from more than 70 local artists. You can see paintings, sculptures, photography, woodworking, and textiles that were all created during “The Great Pause.” They’ll even have a live bossa nova-style Spanish duo Serenata performing on the patio. Did I mention there will be libations and snacks? #MyTwoFaveThings



Perkinson Center for the Arts and Education


A Few of Our Favorite Events

June 26th, 2021 | 6:30 P.M. – 9:30 P.M. | Goochland Drive-In
The Virginia-West Virginia MS Society will host their first-ever celebration “Honoring Our Heroes” at the Goochland Drive-In. The program will include meaningful recognition of sponsors and their employees who have gone “above and beyond” during the pandemic to help our community.
Summer | 7 P.M. | Historic Ginter Park
Join Hermitage Richmond for a Concert Under the Stars on our Front Lawn for an evening of live music. Bring your picnic dinner and chairs/blankets. Social distancing and masks required.
Friday, June 18, 2021 | 5:30 P.M. | Perkinson Center for Arts & Education
Join us at the Perkinson Center for the Arts & Education for a fun-filled evening! During the COVID-19 quarantine, many of us explored various ways to keep ourselves busy — including channeling our creative spirit. Come out and admire the art that was created by 70+ artists right here in our community during the pandemic. Learn more!

We promise we’ll look presentable.



“You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and yours may be in the hands of the receptionist.”
— Harvey MacKay