April 19, 2015

Appreciate Everything in Work and Life — Part 2

Peter Klein, MediaWhizBy Peter Klein, senior vice president of media services at MediaWhiz

Two weeks ago I wrote an article for DM Confidential titled, “Appreciate Everything in Work and Life” in reference to some lessons learned while suffering through the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy.

In short, my life was thrown upside down. I lost power for 13 days and took my family to my aunt/uncle’s house as refugees for more than a week. I learned about the joys of three-hour gas lines, McDonald’s free Wi-Fi service, and using my car as a generator and conference room. Regrettably, I had to miss ad:tech, sharing in the fun of that even vicariously through calls and text messages.

All of that pales, however, in comparison to the thousands who lost their homes or are forced to live elsewhere for many months. As I sit typing on my laptop, with lights and heat on, back to an almost normal daily routine, I once again find myself thinking: I am lucky, and I appreciate everything that I have.

It is weird to be back at work in Manhattan’s Financial District. The area looks like something out of a horror movie. FiDi is dark and empty; giant trailers with generators sit in front of every major building. Many businesses are still not open.

With all of this mess, and the holidays now upon us, I am especially thankful for my teams who continued to persevere despite the harsh conditions. As any marketer knows, the Internet never sleeps, nor does it ever close. My stellar team acted accordingly, ensuring all of our systems, clients and processes continued to move on like any other day. I consider them family, much like my blood relatives, and I reiterate that I am lucky, and I appreciate everything that I have.

The Big Picture of Marketing…and Life
The bigger purpose of this article is a dedication to a dear friend and his son who suffered the most horrific tragedy in the aftermath of the hurricane, though not from the actual storm.

With my deepest condolences, it is sad to write that Nick Wadley passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 9, at the young age of 24. He worked for Click Media. Many of you might know Nick’s father, Steve Wadley, who is a close personal friend and has been a mentor to me for many years.

I got to know Nick and watch him grow up in the industry. He is a wonderful person, just like his father, and it was an honor to know him. Steve spent the last several years drumming into my head that I need to spend more time with my family and stop working so much. In his typical mentoring fashion, he used his real-life lesson with Nick to make sure I am thankful and appreciate all that I have.

I can’t tell you how deeply saddened I am as I choke back tears writing this article. As Steve tells me daily: go hug your kids, wife, husband, family, etc. Make sure to enjoy the holidays, and be extra thankful this year when you think of Hurricane Sandy victims or the Wadley family.

In short, be grateful for what you have.

And if you or your company could make a donation in Nick Wadley’s name, please do so. Donations can be made to The Shepherd Center Foundation, 2020 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA, 30309; (404) 350-7306.

Peter Klein is senior vice president of media services at MediaWhiz, an integrated digital media agency.

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