We took a few minutes to catch up with Roger Neathawk and Susan Dubuque after a whirlwind couple of weeks since being named The Richmond Ad Club’s Advertising Person(s) of the Year for 2016. Here’s what they had to say.
So how has it been for you these last few weeks?
Roger: I’ll tell you what, I’m still on a high – and haven’t had time to come down yet. The wonderful messages we’ve received – from Facebook posts and comments, emails, phone calls and even handwritten notes – it’s been incredible. I’ve heard from college buddies and coworkers from 35 years ago, it’s truly amazing.
Susan: The most fun thing has been the surprises. When we walked in the door and saw the large cardboard cutouts of ourselves, and the wonderful staff breakfast. Hearing from so many of the NDP alumni has also been a great surprise.
What does this award mean to you?
Susan: For me, the most fun and best part was that we received it together.
Roger: I echo that response, and would add that for me, this is the capstone of a career to be recognized in such a way by your peers.
Where to you find inspiration?
Roger: One of the things I love about this business is working on the many different projects in different industries. That keeps the mind fresh, alive and challenged and that’s inspiring, especially when I feel like I’m making a difference.
Susan: So much of the work we do has redeeming social value, with a very short line in between what we do and the human benefit. We’re also lucky in that we keep clients for a very long time and I get attached to them. We establish good relationships with clients that go beyond just being a vendor and it’s always a good thing to be able to go to work and help clients do something better.
Roger: Actually, I just had dinner a few weeks ago with one of our very first clients. She’s in her 80’s now. I would agree that the long relationships and the business of people first are the key to success.
What advice would you give to your younger selves?
Susan: I would remind myself not to get stuck in a career – which is the same advice I’d give someone just out of college. I didn’t start in advertising. If you want to go for it – just do it.
Roger: I didn’t start in advertising either, but along the way I progressed and changed. I would say consider what you enjoy and then decide.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in advertising?
Roger: You need to be ready to do a lot of different things in a lot of different industries – and do it quickly.
Susan: I would advise them to keep up with technology, but remember that no matter how we communicate – communication is still communication. The tapping into the humanity of advertising has not changed.
What do you wish for the future of NDP?
Susan: I hope we continue to do great work that we’re proud of, for great people we’re proud of.
Roger: I hope this continues to be an agency that cares about one another.
All of us at NDP are incredibly proud of Susan and Roger and their exceptional contributions to our agency, the amazing relationships they have built with our clients, and their leadership in the advertising industry as a whole. Congratulations - we are honored to get to work with such inspiring personalities!