The Score at Madison+Main is 20-6
In March, we celebrate Women’s History Month. And there are several reasons for this. Most notably, March is a time to reflect on all of the incredible accomplishments that women in our society have made through the years. At Madison+Main, we also celebrate Women’s History Month because the score is now 20 to six. My team is currently comprised of 20 women and six men. But who’s keeping score? Not me.
In the last 32 years in this business, I have seen many changes in the marketing and PR world and I have seen the industry become more creative, more efficient, and more inclusive. When I joined the Ad Biz, it was dominated by men in tailored suits, with monogrammed shirts, and bad habits (Think Mad Men). Since that time, women have increasingly made strides, gaining top spots at the top shops. As you may know, women hold the top position at many Richmond-based agencies, such as Madison+Main, The Martin Agency, Circle S Studio, Yebo, and others. In fact, women-owned businesses now comprise 31% of all businesses in the U.S. according to the Census Bureau. They compromise 41% of the total workforce. I can tell you that was not the case when I entered the workforce in 1990.
So in March, we celebrate women and their accomplishments in this industry. On a personal note, I want to give a shout-out to the CEO of The Martin Agency Kristen Cavallo. For the record, I do not know Kristen, but I would like to meet her someday and shake her hand. A few weeks ago I made my annual media circuit, handicapping the best and worst ads of Super Bowl LVI. In several appearances, I applauded Coinbase for their bold, one-minute QR code ad during the big game. I was giving credit to the wrong people. A day later, the CEO of Coinbase emphatically bragged in a Twitter thread, “No ad agency could have made this ad.” That statement was a complete lie and many took him to task publicly. Not only was it a lie, it now appears that Coinbase stole the concept from a previous presentation that The Martin Agency had made to the crypto company. In fact, the idea was specifically stolen off of pages 11-18 of a presentation they made on October 7 to Coinbase’s CMO.
In 2017, Kristen Cavallo took the reins of Richmond’s largest ad agency at a pivotal point in the company’s history. In addition to her bravely standing up for her company and her team’s creative concepts, she has solidified The Martin Agency’s reputation as a powerhouse in the ad industry. March isn’t just about looking back at women in history, it’s also about looking forward and celebrating women who make history. And my favorite agency President Molly Whitfield is in her 15th year with the company and will celebrate a special birthday later this month…but more on that in the weeks to come.
MOLLIE BANKS’ BIRTHDAY
Speaking of birthdays…and incredible women, the team celebrated Mollie Banks’ birthday on Monday. Mollie is our Office Manager extraordinaire, working behind the scenes to make every day run smoothly and efficiently. To use boating analogies, Mollie is the ‘wind in our sails’ and ‘the ship beneath our feet.’ She ‘keeps us afloat.’ Always ‘sailing in the right direction.’ And she is the first one to get ‘all hands on deck’ when someone ‘signals SOS.’ OK, OK, enough with the maritime puns. ‘That ship has definitely sailed.’ Besides, it’s Friday afternoon and I’m ‘three sheets to the wind right now.’ #CouldntHelpMyself
CAN WE TALK?
March is also Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. If you didn’t know, our client Hitting Cancer Below the Belt has a strong history…or should I say her-story? Founder and now Executive Director Mindy Conklin has led the Richmond-based non-profit for more than ten years. After her husband passed away in 2011, Mindy created HCB2 to raise awareness and fight colorectal cancer.
On Tuesday morning, she did an outstanding job presenting to the Magnificent Midlothian Rotary Club. (Trust me, it’s not easy talking about Colon Cancer to a group that’s having breakfast.) Learn more about this incredible organization today.
Speaking of Rotary, our annual Sportsman’s Raffle Fundraiser is back. It’s the perfect opportunity to support local charities in Richmond and potentially win a BIG prize from Green Top. Only $50 per entry and you have 21 chances to win. (Remember to add me as the sponsoring Rotarian.)
On Wednesday, Senior Graphic Designer Erin Rebmann posed a few hidden talent scenarios for our Question Wednesday. Yes…every single Madison+Main-iac was on Zoom at 9 a.m. trying their best to wink, wiggle their ears, whistle, raise one eyebrow, etc. Believe it or not, I can do all of them — at the same time. Especially after quatro mojitos. Of course, bystanders could misconstrue my talents for stroke symptoms.
On Thursday afternoon, I flew into Dulles and checked into the Marriott in beautiful Chantilly, Virginia. I was in town to work with my fellow Rotations at Chesapeake PETS (Presidents-Elect Training Seminar.) I am serving as the public image chair for Rotary District 7600 this year. I also learned Wednesday that Rotary International’s new President-Elect Jennifer Jones is the first woman to lead the international service organization in its 117-year history. She will be visiting the Richmond area on March 31 and speaking at Two Rivers Country Club for a Rotary Foundation dinner. I am looking forward to helping Rotary spread the word about this and her historic achievement.
INTRODUCING CHELSEA BUYALOS
Speaking of women making history, the Perkinson Center for the Arts and Education Board of Directors had some exciting news to share this week! Chelsea Buyalos has been appointed as their new Executive Director. Chelsea joined The Perk as Director of Education in July 2021 after moving back to back to her hometown. Chelsea has an incredible story as a vocal teacher, public speaker, and talented operatic soprano. Congratulations, Chelsea. We are very thrilled to work with such a star.
A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE EVENTS
CowanGates’ Memorial Blood Drive
March 15 | 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Ready to donate blood and help save a life? Join the CowanGates crew at their annual blood drive hosted at Salisbury Country Club. Sign up today and give blood!
The Art of Housing: A Benefit for Housing Families First at VMFA
April 28 | 6-9 p.m.
Housing Families First’s seventh annual signature event will highlight talented local artists at the most artistic venue in town- Richmond’s VMFA. Join them for delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks in a fun and dressy-casual atmosphere. Come ready for a fantastic silent auction that will benefit their programs for families facing homelessness!
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.“ — Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (Author)