Not a lick of marketing insight here!

In all fairness, I have to beg your forgiveness.  You see, this post has absolutely nothing to do with marketing or branding.  It is 100% purely personal and you won’t hurt my feelings one bit if you pass on reading it. I promise the next post — we’ll be back on track.

At 44, I can look back on my life so far and smile.  I’ve enjoyed some successes that I’m pretty proud of.  I’ve written a book, launched and maintained a marketing agency, built a work environment that honors the people who work there, created a successful blog, blah, blah, blah.

All of the noteworthy things listed above pale in comparison to my great accomplishment.  My daughter.

20061114kelseymime If you’ll indulge me…I’d like to brag on her for a moment.  She’s a great student, a good kid and quite beautiful.  But what gives me the greatest pride and pleasure is her heart.  And this week, she was recognized for the remarkable young woman she is growing up to be.

It was the last day of school earlier this week and there was an awards ceremony.  Her school has a special award, named after a boy who attended the school and sadly died of a cancerous brain tumor.  The award is given to one student who best embodies the traits of this young man.  The only other requirement is that they have to be involved in the drama program as he was very active in the program while he was in school. The students vote for who they believe:

Has good ideas
Participates fully
Has an exemplary attitude
Has a love of learning
Personal interest and motivation
Makes classmates smile; sense of humor
Is everybody’s friend
Doesn’t give up

My daughter knew she had been nominated by several classmates but the winner is kept secret until the awards.  Here’s a portion of what her teacher said as she announced the award:

…Most of all, though, this year’s recipient symbolizes the spirit of this caring young man.

Peers who nominated her described her this way:  "she makes everyone happy; she has no enemies”  . . . “She is always happy and ready to go” . . . “Drama is her thing and she always has the right attitude” . . . “She might struggle but she always tries hard and the best that she can” . . . “She is very good at acting and loves drama” . . .  “She is a very funny, kind person and she’s always positive and smiling.  She’s everyone’s friend”. . . “She is always very nice to everyone and is very involved in Drama and Thespians” . . . “She is so creative and such a great person.  She can get anyone to laugh.  She loves acting and never gives up.”

And then she said my daughter’s name.  (We had been notified in advance, so we were there, waiting in the wings.)

1kelseymic Wow. 

And then, that 13 year old confidently took the mic and told her entire school how honored she was to receive the award.

I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes.  I know the sky’s the limit.  And I know, no matter where she goes from here — she is indeed my greatest gift to this world.

Thanks for indulging my parental pride.  Now…back to marketing & branding!

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23 comments on “Not a lick of marketing insight here!

  1. Wonderful story, Drew.

    As much as we all love marketing, it’s nice to mix it up once in a while. And being a proud papa is the best reason I can think of for doing it. 🙂

    Congrats to you — because she is who she is, in part, because you are who you are.

  2. Drew,

    Being a fairly new father to a daughter myself, I’m proud for you! What a great accomplishment!

  3. Mark True says:

    Sounds like a brand extension to me!


  4. Amy HVG says:

    No matter what we do in business, the stuff our kids do will always shine brighter, as it should be. Thanks for sharing – what a highlight!

  5. Dan says:

    Brand means nothing if the man means nothing.

    This “non-marketing” post tells me a lot about the man trying to convince me that brand and marketing means something other than shallow perceptions and widget sales.

    Congratulate your daughter, and keep doing whatever it is you’ve been doing.

  6. I think this post is exactly about branding and marketing. The classmates gave wonderful testimonials about the product and how it fit the idea of the brand. It sounds like your daughter has dominated that target market and is on her way to laying the ground work for conquering others.

  7. Toby says:

    As you have shown so many, building relationships are more than just talking marketing. Thanks for letting us join in your joy.

  8. David Reich says:

    How wonderful, Drew. Even in the short time I spent with Kelsey two weeks ago, I could see what a special young woman she is.

    You and your wife should be very proud. May you have many more special moments with your family.

  9. You are definitely forgiven, Drew.

    They say that pride comes before a fall. But sometimes it comes before a tear.

    Not sure if that was dorky or deep, but whatever. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  10. Connie Reece says:

    This is great, Drew! You’ve a right to bask in this moment of parental pride. As a lifelong Daddy’s girl, I know how important it is for your daughter to realize just how proud her father is that, out of all her accomplishments, she was recognized with an award based not on popularity or academics or athletics but on caring and relationship building. Hmmm. Wonder where she learned that? 🙂

  11. Robyn says:

    Drew, we are doubly blessed when our children do well because they are such and extension of us…I’m proud of you for being such a good Dad!

    I’m honored to know you.

  12. Mike says:

    Ummm, is she looking for a job yet ?

    We’ll fax an offer over in a Iowa minute !

    My three daughters are 22,21 and 19 and I’ll give you this advice – Relax, enjoy the little moments and don’t sweat the future. It and she will be okay.

  13. Drew,
    Thanks so much for sharing! I love reading stories like this. She sounds like quite a person and someone to be very proud of!


  14. Wow. thanks for sharing!

  15. Mike Sansone says:

    Is it too soon to buy stock in her? I’ve witnessed her heart in her smiling eyes. How fortunate I am to have crossed paths with the McLellan family!

  16. Congrats to you and your daughter. My second son, our last, is finishing high school today. It is hard to believe they grow so quickly. He won the Art Student of the year award. On one hand we are so proud and yet on the other sad that this part of the ride is over. In the fall he will be going to college and life will be different but still good.

    Enjoy the moments, for the pass so quickly.

  17. david armano says:

    Drew, thanks for sharing about your daughter. It’s clear that you are very proud of her and you should be. Maybe it’s not a marketing insight, but there’s an insight here about how we can celebrate the accomplishments of our loved ones. Next week I’ll nbe missing Max’s graduation from Kindergarted due to business travel. But I’ll be thinking of this post as well as how there are other ways we can make it special. Congratulations to you and family and please tell your daughter that she’s off to a great start in life.

  18. Nancy says:


    Thank you so much for sharing with us. I have a 13 year old daughter myself and it’s always so great to see her give of herself and accomplish great things.
    Congratulation to both you and your daughter.

  19. CK says:

    Having met your beautiful daughter I can tell you that indeed the sky is the limit. This is absolutely phenomenal and likely a defining moment for her…she’ll always remember this recognition–and she’ll know that much of it is due to her father teaching her what is truly important. You’ve so much to be proud of with your family, this blog, your business and your passion. Drew, you really teach us that it is all about heart and the rewards are incalcuable.

    Thank you for all you continue to do. You are blessed with such a BIG heart (and we get the rewards). Please give Kelsey a BIG hug for me, ok?

  20. Thanks everyone for sharing in our excitement! I always hesitate to post something this personal on a business blog. After all, you’re here to talk marketing and branding.

    But once in a blue moon, I give in to the temptation. And you always respond with such grace and sharing hearts.

    Thank you…and thanks to everyone who e-mailed instead of commenting as well.


  21. Drew, congratulations to your daughter on this recognition, and to her parents for doing such a good job!

  22. Scott Monty says:

    Drew, congratulations on raising a fine daughter. It’s clear the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree! I recall receiving a similar award when I was about her age, thinking of how much it meant to me to have the approval of my peers. But as I look back, I realize now that it was the joy and pride expressed by my parents that really means the most. To be able to achieve great things in life is one thing, but to have others with whom to share them is what makes life so fulfilling.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us, from a personal and a business perspective.

  23. Again…it is a privilege to share this space with you and to consider you my peers and friends. Thank you for sharing in our family’s excitement and a dad’s pride.

    It’s cool to be able to share it with you!


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