I love birthdays. Today is a big one. Horn Group turns 16. Sixteen years of helping an industry move forward, bringing companies and people together, helping executives communicate their stories, solving business problems and devising strategies, enabling employees to find their way and pay their bills, even maybe buy a house... Sixteen years of witnessing and fostering unbelievable change on so many levels.
Every year, I am asked, "Sabrina, how do you feel? Do you feel any different this year?"
The answer is: Every year, I always feel so excited and proud about what we have accomplished. That feeling never changes or dies. It is always constant. Maybe today, for just 15 minutes, we can relish our successes and achievements both great and small. (I never liked resting on my laurels, it feels unhealthy and exposed.)
As for the future, I have to say, there's nothing like an anniversary to validate and reinfuse ones energy and passion. We have everything going for us: we are stronger and wiser than ever. We have kick ass people here, and this management team of mine is the best we've ever had, dare I say, the best in the industry.
I love this business. Pure and simple. I love this company that so many people have helped to build, and so many more will no doubt join. I love what we stand for, and our standards are high. I love our clients and contributing to their success. We have truly helped to create some of these companies. We have helped to make markets, and shift them. I also love our compassion and our spirit, and for the ability to see and appreciate the simple things. Yes, sometimes its not about the money, and some times it is. Sometimes, its about cutting someone a break. Some times its about such unbelievable dogged determination that NOTHING, absolutely nothing, will get in our way.
I asked myself this morning on the train coming in to work about the 16 things, vignettes, moments, what have you, that I recall over the years that really define this place. Here they are. And may I simply say to all of our past and current employees, all of our former and existing clients, all the incredibly smart people we've come to know along the way, and my wonderful family and friends, I thank you for believing in Horn Group, and for feeling and sharing my passion. I am so honored to know all of you. I promise you, we will continue to chart new courses, seek to understand and communicate, all the while standing for nothing but excellence, and lastly, to make a difference. Every. Single. Day.
16. Watching employees like Joe Ciarallo in our New York office get promoted from AAE to AE and seeing the pride on his face.
15. Waiting until the 11th hour to pull the trigger on a decision and then taking a completely different course of action because well, it just didnt feel right.
14. Interviewing Shannon Latta 13 years ago for an AE position in our then Burlingame, CA office and watching her become the best partner this firm could have ever hoped for.
13. Looking at all these incredibly cool designs and web site things our creative team cranks out. I cant believe the quality of their work.
12. Laying off 15 people in May 2001 when the bubble was bursting all over the place, while I was bursting myself at 8 months pregnant with Christina.
11. The time a reporter from Reuters told me she couldnt tell the difference between a Horn Group person and the client because we were so knowledgeable about their business.
10. Heavy DHTML and the BHOPS: two great bands that should have won an award for their passion but never quite reached stardom.
9. Room 407 at Chaminade in Santa Cruz, or was it 902 or 1208 or...?
8. Our 10 year anniversary in Hawaii. The sunset on the last night was so glorious. I watched all 80 of our employees and their families walking down the lawn to see it. It made me cry.
7. How we celebrate big media placements for our clients and acknowledge individual excellence and achievement.
6. The dog I used to bring in to work (really early days ok?) and how he ate Bill Freed's carrot birthday cake in the kitchen that his mother made.
5. Gina Pacheco's lauch. (Our incredible San Francisco receptionist and company backbone)
4. Meeting with entrepreneurs and VCs every week and feeling their energy, their passion, and their drive. Their sheer force of will alone may ensure their success.
3. Earning an opportunity to meet with a potential star-client because of our reputation.
2. Gaining a meeting with top notch business press reporter because of our reputation.
1. Making our own luck and earning that reputation every day.