Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lynn Mary Lynn Zsa Zza

Atom Bomb anniversary. KA-BOOM!
Lynn is born – make some room.
You thought her older brother had center stage?
Well -- welcome to another age.

Yacht Club, The Leprechaun, S&H stamps.
Couches, ash trays, end tables, alabaster lamps.
My sister Lynn - It has always been;
Lots of laughs, bubble gum, Rin Tin Tin.

Andrews. Augustine. Horace Mann.
Kool Aid Stands, Terry the milk man, Kick the Can
Marlboro cigarettes, Roll-on deodorant -- Ban
Just in time to tease the oh so sensitive Dan

“Walkin’ through a meadow - a bird flew over me”
Rob performs 4 all to see - Rip Van Winkle-Rip Van D
Boot’s Theater or Boots Made for Walkin’
Arts and Drama - Everybody’s Talkin’

Captain Penny or Kangaroo, Combat, Ghoulardi  
If we’re the sum of these parts, I wonder -Who are we?
Teenage angst – I’ve got Friday on my mind.
Race to the moon -- a giant leap for mankind

Stop the war! – Especially if it means skipping school,
Saddle shoes, uniforms and golden rule.
This is the Age of Aquarius. Be nobody’s fool.
Bell bottoms, 45s, late at night, oh so cool.

Bustin’ out at eighteen -- you wanna be free
Four Alter boys -- all in -- Let it Be
St. Luke the Evangelist writes it down;
Lickety–split -- married -- out of town.

Time goes on, smile, remember the joy, be happy
Life is a journey, lots of livin to do -- make it snappy
Ice cream, chocolate cake and birthday wishes;
I think it's Greg's turn to do the dishes.


Love ya Lynn – Wes. (Did you really convince me to get into a cardboard box and ride in it like a roller coaster down the basement stairs?)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

At the Trainwreck

It is July in St. Louis. The American Marketing Association incoming chapter President Pier Alsup calls an informal gathering to order at the Westport Trainwreck Saloon.  The heat index is in the high nineties but it is a welcome contrast to perhaps the rainiest June on record in Mound City.

Board members file in casually. Over quesadilla, mushroom poppers, chicken drummies and a beverage of choice you get a preview of the coming year. Angela, Bob and Pier attended the Leadership Summit and the take aways are parceled as topics unfold. Molly and Wes have provided some input as membership co-chairs. Wes, of course, is compelled to again revisit the leaky bucket metaphor that addresses the essential two part strategy for any successful chapter membership plan: 1. Retention and 2. Member Acquisition.  

Bob is a fan of a strategy that allows our chapter to get recognition many of us feel is long overdue. We deserve to be on one of those Chapter Excellence Award banners but have only submitted the required paperwork a handful of times in recent history. Wes recalls a year when the submission earned special recognition for collegiate efforts.

We celebrate the success at UMSL and look forward to steady progress at Lindenwood University where we hope we can grow and mentor future marketers and maybe future chapter leaders too. The marketing roundtable program is re-tooling. Dan reported on the roundtable at the Conference last February and results were highlighted on the AMA St. Louis website. The website features a new look and the chapter logo which was rolled out last year.  Bob is convincing in his assertion that the site has enhanced functionality as well.

This local branding may be a bit of a sore point at International Headquarters. IH has a new CEO and it is clear the larger association is wondering if positioning itself as the most relevant source of marketing knowledge in the world is strong enough.  The power in 75 regional chapters does not go unnoticed. The CEO diplomatically suggests that we are “better together” and the Professional Chapters Council (PCC) leadership seem to concur. (A curious thing, given the fact that PCC is made up of leaders of exceptional chapters, many of whom have worked their way through their own divisive branding exercises.)   

The chapter year is officially underway. The annual golf classic at Creve Coeur Golf Course managed to happen  July 3, 2015 with 30 golfers on a holiday weekend. Now the beginning of strategy ideation begins as the torch is passed.  Good call Pier! And Pier, Greg, Mark, Bob, Courtney, Amanda, Kym, Dan, and Wes disperse from the Trainwreck. They are sure to start the word-of-mouth, social media and committee conversations that gets us on track one more time. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rangers in a Time Machine

We were just kids in the 1960s. We were well into a new decade when we entered the big factory that was Lakewood High School. The school was busting at the seams with the decision to admit both freshmen and sophomores beginning in 1970. We felt that new decade was mostly dull in comparison to the tumult we came to know and love of the rebellious wonder years prior. That decade gave birth to considerable angst.

In the 1970s, the generation gap widened with the onset of anti-war sentiment. We wanted peace. The music of the Youngbloods singing “C;mon people now/Smile on your brother/Ev’rybody get together/Try to love one another right now” gave way to the sardonic Woodstock anthem by Country Joe and the Fish“What are we fightin for?/Don't ask me I don't give a damn, the next stop is Vietnam/Open up the pearly gates. Well there ain’t no time to wonder why ---.WHOPEE we're all gonna die.”

That bleak view of the future evolved nevertheless. Even though we weren’t fully aware of it we were at the nexus of larger counterculture generation. We had strength in numbers – Boomers, born between 1946-1964, ready to change the world. With time: The war ended. Nixon resigned. the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War was a distant memory.

Blink -- dozens of channels to choose from on TV. Cable programming made media buyers scramble. It was nothing when compared to what was to come. Print media, notably the daily newspaper became obsolete.

Blink --  digital disruption, brought on by an onslaught of technology we never would have imagined. We saw the Kodak moment completely overtaken by social media. We saw the explosion of Blockbuster retail movie rentals replaced by a variety of online alternatives. We saw land lines, once an ubiquitous presence in every home, become unnecessary. The telephony monopoly that we busted up in the 1980s reemerged as an insidious essential utility with clean white AT&T retail spaces in strip malls and gallerias around the nation. Apple made Forrest Gump rich.  

Blink -- we like, tweet, pin, post and crowd-source everything. We connect with our classmates in ways that are ironically both genuine and artificial. We get and give a glimpse of our kids and their kids. It becomes crystal clear the future does not belong to our bloated generation.

Blink -- we are out of our element. We have to ask a twenty-something how to operate our intuitive smart phones. We have to go online to get almost any kind of service. We are forced to interface with tech specialists offshore or around the world to connect our internet router.

Meanwhile, marketing mavens blog about engaging and influencing conversations about anything and everything, all the while, never looking up to make eye contact.  It makes me happy to think about that time in the 1970s when we were High Schoolers with an opportunity to change everything. Now I can’t help thinking how much fun it would be if nothing changed at all.