I have dreamt writing this note for many years. Although I’ve always expected to write it 25 years from now, it’s with great excitement and privilege that I can do so now. I am delighted to announce my new role as Chief Product Officer at Agency Access. I officially stopped consulting in February. and feel grateful that I have such a beautiful and amazing woman (JP Perlmutter) to take over for me.
There are two main factors of my career that I know have shaped who I am as a consultant. First, my clients who trusted me and welcomed me into their lives and second, the creatives (consultants, designers, printers, co-workers) who worked alongside me and made my vision a reality. We all know this is an industry that can beat you up, bring you to the light and then challenge you again. But with its challenges there are so many rewards. I have learned through my clients how to battle the storm. I’ve also learned that it’s often a storm worth battling.
In reflection I started out as a young college graduate at the early age of 19, moved to NYC in hopes of stardom. I didn’t realize then that I was about to be educated by some of the most amazing women in the industry. I got my dream job in the Art Buying department of FCB. I then became a consultant and lucked out by having Nick Onken be my first client (how would I have known he would have become such a legend?...well actually I did know…hahaha). I have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing and talented artists. Here are only a few highlights filled with gratitude looking back:
- Having the honor and privilege to study under Elyse Weissberg.
- Meeting Keith Gentile on my 2nd day in NYC (15 years ago this Sept).
- My first job at FCB and working with some wonderful women: Arleen D’Amico, Gloria Cooper, Lucy Raimengia, Zully Ortiz, Angela Lewis Reid & Bridgette Blount. Those women guided me & educated me.
- Helping to publish Elyse Weissberg’s book…a must-read even today!
- Photographers who let me represent them…that was enough education to last me a lifetime.
- Traveling around the country speaking to photographers. It all started with my first speaking engagement in SLC – I sat on a panel with Jane Sievert from Patagonia and Corey Rich and the Art Producer from NorthFace talking about authenticity in photography. I got schooled that day.
- Touring the country with Suzanne Sease and then printing a book together … another must-read.
- Having had the opportunity to work with some of National Geographics’ greats such as Joel Sartore, Alison Wright, Paul Nicklen, Ira Block, etc.
- Joel Sartore teaching me “The light will eventually turn green again.” (paraphrased from memory)
- Being at The Lucie Awards when Jim Krantz won photographer of the year, along with his former agent Cynthia Held.
- Co-consulting with the dynamite team We Are the Rhoads.
- Every single Campaign Manager Pro client who allowed me to enter their lives … you know who you are. From Ana Gibert to Zachary Maxwell Stertz and everyone in-between. You have shaped me in more ways than you will ever know. Thank you for trusting me!
- Every single consulting client I have ever encountered… they shared tears with me, moments of joy and pure success. i.e. Receiving a note from a client in the air wanting to share it was his first time a client had flown him to a job and how excited he was.
- Students I meet every summer at my Alma Mata – best hidden secret in photo education.
- Gregory Costanzo calling me after the day he photographed Robin Williams and then celebrating an Epic shoot at Juilliard.
- Going out with a bang with … Diana Zalucky – One year project of building her up to leave Disney; read her PDN article here.
- Doug Birnbaum – Co-consulting with Jennifer Kilberg; Doug turned Levi’s into a client immediately (Success through our Creative Strategy).
What I have learned…
- This business is not easy.
- You have to be ready for success or even those lucky moments
- You have to want it
- Success isn’t always what we thought it would be, it can be even sweeter if we are open to change.
- Fear is powerful, you can use it to fuel you and move you toward change or you can let it paralyze you. (chose the first one)
To my team:
- Karen, you have the vision and the passion like no other.
- Lynn, your experience, knowledge and estimate whispering humble me.
- Andrea, I am so grateful for our connection 9 years ago. You have taught me to listen for a better understanding and delivery.
- Kristina, you make us all cooler and thank goodness for your sensitivity to the industry.
- Jennifer, you always say I make you a better person and consultant. But I know better, you make us all better in every way. Your talents, your empathy and compassion supersede anyone I have ever met.
- JP…what can I say other than…you are the only reason I am able to take this role. The photo Gods brought you to me… I believe you are the new Amanda 2.0.
- Jaime, one of the greatest designers of all time…you have turned our clients into rock stars. Thank you!
- Calynne, thank you for putting up with me and my micro-managing!
- The whole staff at Agency Access…every single one of you are amazing and make working not only fun, but rewarding.
- Keith Gentile, you are a man who I respect; look up to and get inspired by daily. You are the reason why I do what I do.
I choose to work every day with a company that I believe in. You won’t find another company with the team of people we have gathered up to help artists create a strong foundation. It brings me great pleasure to know I can continue to perfect and improve upon what we already do and then come up with new innovative ways to help get you out there. What an honor. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this industry. Stay tuned to AgencyAccess.com to see what’s new!
With much gratitude I say THANK YOU to each and every one of you!
Here’s to kicking some “Amanda Sosa Stone” together.