In his 1956 “Profiles in Courage” John F. Kennedy, then himself a United States Senator, introduced readers to eight former members of that very exclusive club that put service over self-preservation, and sound public policy over political expediency. For many, the book and the similar recognition that others have received since, serves as a battle cry for the need to find candidates and elected officials that transcend the role of politician, and through their unyielding commitment to doing what is right, earn the title of statesman. Despite his admonishment that “it is when the politician loves neither the public good nor himself, or when his love for himself is limited and is satisfied by the trappings of office, that the public interest is badly served,” voters, often times shockingly unaware that they can and should demand more of those in office, continue to pull the lever for candidates whose actions once elected aren’t always driven by their convictions. Thankfully, for those us that believe that politics can still be an honorable career, and that a well run government is the best way to lift our communities, there are plenty of candidates, and those serving, who will consistently put the needs of their constituents, above their desire to hold a title. In short, they embody the courage President Kennedy admired so much. It’s with this sort of candidate in mind that I was particularly proud to get the charge from a client to help organize an endorsement event for Joe Cryan in his
A fellow customer’s lament about a lost friendship that “she doesn’t have Facebook so we’re not in touch” during a recent visit to Starbucks brought some clarity to thoughts that have been rattling around in my head about the value we put, or don’t, on personal relationships in this age of social media. An absence from social media has become the modern equivalent of a tree falling in the woods with no one around. If a relationship doesn’t exist online, does it exist at all? As I approach the seven year anniversary of launching Lenox Consulting, I realize more than ever that it’s the investment I have made in developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with a wide range of individuals, which has helped me achieve the success I have. More importantly, it’s this focus on continuing to build on already successful relationships, while developing new ones, that will drive the future growth of my startup as I seek to build not just my roster of clients, but the team around me, and, most importantly, a list of references for whom I’ve successfully delivered a range of services related to public affairs and public relations. I’ll say from the outset, there are few greater proponents of the power of social media than I am. While some have lamented that social media has ruined individual’s ability to build relationships, others have surmised that the ability to network through social media has reached its peak, falling victim to a corporate desire to generate revenues rather
I recently had the opportunity to stand before nearly 200 professional firefighters, members of the NJFMBA, to talk to them about “fake news” and how to combat it. The opportunity came about in the midst of the union’s ongoing efforts to bring about much needed change to a broken, and nearly broke, pension system, that causes these local heroes to worry about whether the retirement savings they have worked hard for will be available to them when they retire after decades of running towards emergencies others run from. Fake news, in its simplest form, is anything that’s put out to a wide audience, whether verbally, in print, or online, that isn’t true. While these stories can add levity to an otherwise bleak online session scanning the headlines, they can also stir unneeded controversy, push people away from reasonable debate, and force important issues, like the one we were discussing that day, into the background and away from meaningful solutions. This trend is not a new one. We have long been subjected to checkout counter headlines of alien births, new theories related to celebrity death mysteries, and a host of other salacious tails. Weird Al even sang about fake news in 1984’s “Midnight Star.” The difference today is the opportunity for anyone to create and distribute their own made up stories with just the click of a few buttons, and the impact that expansive access can have. Through much of 2016 Presidential Election, and in the weeks that have passed since, considerable time has
I have no law enforcement experience, therefore it is impossible for me to determine the appropriateness of the actions of law enforcement professionals in Baton Rouge and St. Paul that led to the loss of lives of two armed individuals. It is however, very clear, that there is no justification for the murder of the five police officers killed as they protected other’s rights to assemble, protest and speak out against what they see as injustices occurring around them. Today, as I discussed this tragedy with the leadership of the JCPOBA it occurred to me that the words I help craft in response to the murder of police officers are starting to come too easily, eerily routine. In the wake of these killings, Dallas Police Chief David Brown made an impassioned plea for support from a public that is too often in a rush to pre-judge police related incidents. He asked for an end to the “divisiveness between our police and our citizens.” Almost as if on cue, politicians are, through pursed lips, quoting the Bible, praising the heroism of those that responded, and marking it as a new opportunity to bring community and law enforcement together. But once the cameras stop rolling, and our collective attention turns to something shinier, what meaningful change will they help bring forward? Their actions to stop the “hurting” Chief Brown described will speak louder than their words ever can.
When the Vice President of the United States, the Taoiseach, and a former President of Ireland are among your guests at the gala dinner, and it’s not the biggest highlight of the conference, you can be confident that you succeeded in putting together a truly memorable agenda. Set against the backdrop of the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the event that ultimately led to Ireland’s independence, and on the occasion of their 40th anniversary Worldwide Conference in Dublin, The Ireland Funds did just that! While there was no shortage of business networking opportunities, and socializing well into the night, and in some cases early morning, those that gathered from every corner of the globe did so with the intention of forwarding the mission of the Ireland Fund at the forefront of their minds. At its core, the mission of The Ireland Funds is simple: to support programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, and education and community development throughout the island of Ireland. With over $500 million raised, and more than 3,000 organizations supported, the success is unquestionable. With such tremendous accomplishments under their belts, the Ireland Fund would be perfectly entitled to simply celebrate their success. But for the leaders gathered in Dublin, it simply isn’t enough. The foundation that “Global Irish” icons Dan Rooney and Tony O’Reilly laid forty years ago has grown into an iconic monument to philanthropy, poised to continue its outstanding work into the next forty years, and beyond. After playing her own legendary role as Chair, Loretta Brennan