I woke up 27 years ago today and started my new job at HMA Public Relations (known then as Hanson, Moser & Associates).
Scott, Mark Stanton (vice president of the agency at the time) and I had been friends for several years at that point. Scott, in addition to running the agency, was the weekend sportscaster at Channel 5. I had worked for the Fiesta Bowl for five seasons and had been pitching Scott stories for years. Mark and I were both members of the 20/30 Club, a philanthropic organization for men and women in their 20s and 30s.
When I left the Bowl, I started my own consulting firm. I had been freelancing for HMA for about a year, working with a variety of tribal clients. Scott was talking to a big client and if he were successful, he would need another fulltime staffer. He called me the Friday before Memorial Day and asked to meet him at the office on Memorial Day. This wasn’t your typical job interview (I wore shorts and a t-shirt for goodness sake!) and the conversation went something like this:
SH: Hypothetically speaking, if we land this account, would you be interested in coming to work at HMA fulltime?
ASF: Hypothetically speaking, yes, but … and then I proceeded to tell him all the obligations I had for the next 30 days.
SH: So basically, you can start July 1?
Some negotiating on salary and benefits, but in less than 20 minutes, we had it worked out.
He did land the client and I did start July 1, 1993.
So many great memories of the past 27 years – tops among them are the amazing clients and topnotch team members I get to work with every day. There are the amazing professional colleagues that are always just a phone call, email or text away and are willing to be a sounding board, lend a hand or make a referral. There have certainly been some challenges (the last few months, for instance) that have taught me so much about how to run a business, how to be there for our staff and how to find solutions when it seems there might not be any.
There have certainly been some changes since I started at the agency but one thing has remained constant – I am exactly where I need to be, doing what I love for businesses and organizations that I admire and working with smart, creative and talented people.
Yes, it really has been 27 years, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.