1986 Was Quite a Year


1986 was quite a year.

IBM announced its first laptop, a 12 pounder called the PC Convertible. Steve Jobs co-founded Pixar. The term “vaporware” was used for the first time in a Time Magazine article. Microsoft was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, making Bill Gates one of the world’s youngest billionaires. And Fox was introduced as the fourth television network.

It’s also the year Lois Paul and Partners was founded (as McGlinchey & Paul) on June 30, which also was my seventh wedding anniversary. And it’s the year I completed my master’s degree in computer information systems.  Most importantly, it’s the year I welcomed the first of my three wonderful children.

It’s very fitting that I mark our 30th anniversary on June 30, 2016 with the announcement of my decision to retire from LPP and pass the mantle of leadership for this great agency on to the next generation. LPP not only has endured as a respected technology brand, but also has grown dramatically in the healthcare and health technology sector, thanks to EVP Melissa Zipin, who pushed hard for us to diversify a number of years ago. I’m very pleased to announce that Melissa has agreed to be my successor, ably supported by the collaborative team of senior leaders who have made LPP great for many years.  Melissa will continue to lead the Healthcare Practice, supported by VP Travis Small in Boston. SVP Don Jennings will lead our Technology Practice, working closely with VPs Anastasia Efstratios in Boston and Emilie Salvagio in Austin. EVP Christine Simeone will continue to provide counsel and strategic leadership across both sectors, as well as lead our financial communications, crisis and M&A practices, and provide direction to Emilie Salvagio and our Austin team. Our excellent Agency Services team that helps our communications experts focus on their clients is led by CFO Phil Moore and HR Manager Lauren Sheanon.

Thirty years ago when I decided to leave my Executive Editor position at eWeek (then called PCWeek), I wanted to co-found an agency that would combine my two loves – writing and technology. The last 30 years have been the realization of that dream.  I’ve had the added bonus of watching our healthcare practice develop. And I’ve had the privilege of bringing our brand, intact, into the FleishmanHillard and OMC’s global network of agencies in 2000, thanks to the foresight of FH Chairman John Graham, who has been an inspirational leader for all of us at LPP.

Over these years I’m happy to report that our work has retained the strategic foundation that has helped us make an impact for our clients; the journalistic integrity and filtering of the stories we present that has won us the respect of influencers; and the consistently uncompromised ethical business standards that have made us proud of our work every single day. And I’ve had the pleasure of doing this great work with energetic, creative and dedicated staff members, and with a tremendous portfolio of clients.

I thank all of you for the great support, the laughter, the creativity and the learnings. I will be watching your continued success with great pride.  I may not always be the person posting on social channels, but I’ll still be watching. And I’m sure my old journalism roots will be put to good use in turning a phrase or two here and there in future years. Stay tuned.

Lastly, please check out my Q&A with former colleague, John Dodge, which was featured in The Dodge Retort. John interviewed me on the eve of my retirement where we took a walk through my career in tech PR, up until the present. Enjoy!