Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wexley welcomes, Grandpa Wexley!

It's not just another October 23rd. Well, technically, it is just another October 23rd. But for the people near and dear to Wexley, we had a historic visitor today. Father Time has graduated one of our co-founders into his Inner Ring of Fire. Yes, Ian Cohen is now a dust-farter. In an industry where the average employee is about the same age as a minor league baseball player, Ian has stood the tests of time. It's only appropriate we look back over his long list of accomplishments in a way to set goals for not only our employees, but employees all over the world. And, perhaps, a few somewhat ambitious middle school students. Ian blazed into this industry during the mid-seventies with avant-garde garage sale signage in semi-rural Raleigh, North Carolina. Through college, his copywriting skills were put to the test in early, targeted guerrilla marketing projects where he coined the phrase "free beere" (sic), art directed the work himself and placed it strategically around the all-women's dorms at UNC-Greensboro. A slight miscommunication in directions caused lukewarm response, but those who found the rented house assumed it was Ian's wacky way of creating a puzzle, and felt honored and proud to have figured out the true destination. Taking on his first job in Seattle, Ian created his most famous work to date. The notorious moving announcement/self promo, "What does a writer look for when he moves to a new city?/A new pad!" garnered international recognition and the new address was distributed to thousands of direct mail houses across the United States, Canada and parts of France. After honing skills, or "skillz," as it were, at a handful of Seattle and Portland agencies, Ian and two friends launched Wexley School for Girls, a strategic, conceptual think tank. One friend realized in just a few months we were deflecting business with the deftness of Luke Skywalker's light saber based on our name alone, and left the company. For the rest of us, he's made family reunions, first dates, holiday parties and new business meetings awkward, even apologetic conversations ever since. Ian, welcome to the silver side of life. We're told there are still linings over there. Please write if you can recall how to string a few words together. Or call, if you can find a phone that still uses rotary dial.

Happy Birthday, bud.