We will celebrate the Agency’s 30-year anniversary tomorrow.
Alumni are flying in from New York and Tokyo and places in between. The two clients who generated that thing called revenue when we opened our doors in 1987 will be there. Current staff are ready to get this party started.
We’ll see so many people who cared and contributed to the Agency over the years.
But this post zeroes in one individual — my wife Heather. The Agency wouldn’t be the place it is today without her.
When people ask her if she works at the Agency, she answers no. It’s true, she’s not an employee by the traditional definition of the word. Yet I would contend she’s been working at the Agency for 30 years, always finding ways to sprinkle her pixie dust that adds a special dimension to our world.
I suppose there’s a reason “two heads are better than one” became a cliché. Her perspectives from a non-communications lens are of incredible valuable even if the husband in me sometimes requires time for the input to sink in. After 30 years, she knows the business of communications better than a WPP suit with an abacus.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention her words of encouragement during the tough days. Thinking out loud, 260 work days in a year x 30 years means 7,800 days. If we figure 10 percent of those days qualify as “tough” — probably a conservative estimate for the communications industry where a debate over innovate vs. invent can derail a day — that’s a substantial amount of encouragement earmarked for 780 days.
Back to the pixie dust that takes varied forms —
How many wives would crack open their sander and finish off the walls of the new office, redirecting build-out dollars for furniture.
I call the photo above, “Breaking Bad Meets the Wife.”
Heather has also hosted countless dinners at our home, this one transforming our living room into a dinner party for 15 that included folks from Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan.
An artist, she worked with a sculptor to interpret our logo as a piece of artwork that graces the lobby of our San Jose office.
As a closet introvert, I find that the personal touch doesn’t come naturally for me. Enter Heather, who often plays tourist guide for overseas visitors, in this case taking Vylvianne Devajothi from our Singapore office to Half Moon Bay.
I could go on and on. The Chinese philosophy of yin and yang explains how opposites in combination end up complementary in manner resulting in a greater whole. That’s how I see us.
And the Agency is a better place because of her.
Heather t Hoffman
Well said and written, Lou. While I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Heather, I feel like I know her. Why? Because the culture that you’ve created for The Hoffman Agency cascades to your clients through your tireless efforts, professionalism and humor. I know that I am a better PR professional because of my longtime association with you, Heather and the many great current and past Hoffman Agency colleagues. Onward and upward we go for another 30 years.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the positive words. At the risk of going Albert Camus on you (a touch of alliteration), it is about the journey. I’m thankful our journey’s intersected.
Sorry you can’t attend the party tonight, but we’ll be thinking of you.
LOVE this. You BOTH make a great team. I call myself lucky simply to witness the Hoffman Family mojo.
Thanks Alex. You’ve had a unique view of the journey.
Otis J Gates
Well (written) said! I was lucky enough to witness so much of the work the two of you put into this business from the very beginning. (Of course at the time I was 12, so the fact that you had a water coooler, I was pretry sure you two were the most succesful people in San Jose) Being older and …..well older, I can see now, just how much you truly have accomplisheh, as it showed on the face of every person at the celebration last night.
Congratulations, you guys have the sort of partnership that moves mountains. I love you both!
Otis, hey the water cooler built self esteem which beget confidence. Good call out.
Your words mean a lot. Great having you enjoy and be part of the 30-year celebration.
Lou, this is so perfect and so well-deserved! Heather is truly the heart and soul of the Agency. You see her touch and style on everything – from our days with the Think Tank to all of the fantastic parties and everything in between. The anniversary party was so special the other night. I am so grateful not only for the opportunity to see everyone, but for the opportunity to know all of you and call you friends. And Heather gets a lot of credit for bringing us all together and for keeping the spirit alive all these years. She is an amazing lady and a class act – love you Heather!
Hey Ellie, appreciate you taking the time to write this. It means a lot. Great seeing you on Friday. I believe a good time was had by all.
Heather kept you:
2. Changing/open to new things (e.g., The HA “Londinium Batcave” for a year).
3. Chock full of stories (see #1 above).
4. Wondering whether you’d come home from a trip and she’d moved the house (again).
BTW, she makes other people laugh. Her (and your) happiness is contagious.
Peace out. 30-more years. Digitial-schmigital.
Thanks for parachuting in. Totally agree. Her happiness is contagious.
Congrates BIG brother on the amazing road you and Heather have traveled for the last 30 years! You both are amazing wonderful people with a heart bigger than the world. You give so much and take so little. I love you both!