Wow. Last night I received the annual Award of Excellence from the OMPA (Oregon Media Production Association). In my typical (and less-than-fortunate) approach, I was less-than prepared to accept the honor. I walked to the stage and thanked the group, acknowledged my love for the region and made some joke about getting older. Pretty lame.
What I did NOT mention are the few words that have guided me professionally—a producer is only as good as their Rolodex (for you 20-somethings, that’s a physical device we used to use to hold business cards and sometimes actually hand-write contact info. Imagine!) Tonight I was honored for my contribution to our production community with a nod to how I’ve gone about it.
But what I failed to do was give the nod to those individuals who have helped our company (Sockeye), our community and myself make it this far. The names include Grissom, Koerner, Buchanan, Tolkstad, Ackerman, Westby, Geiger, Calloway, Johnson, Fletcher, Casey, Sajovie, Langensteiner, LaMarre, Lawson (x3), Vail, Pander (x2), Fleskes (x2), Moran, Walters, Langon, Byrne, Sasson, Crisman, Wisbrock, Hardin, most certainly Metz and last but not least—Corvallis. These are the names of the collaborators who continue to work tirelessly, producing damned fine creative. These are the region’s finest. And they are definitely the most excellent behind the excellence.
I am fortunate to be part of this creative community. The world is watching Portland, because we have earned it. When I was an idealistic 20-something, I used to get really pissed off that our industry served those who were especially connected. But as I learned over time, if you feed your database and work harder than hell, even a schlub like me could build such a network.
Finally, what I want to mention is that my award is shared with all that have helped Sockeye reach the current level of excellence. But we’re just getting started. Thanks to all that have worked with us to get this far, let’s continue to go great work. And to those who we don’t know who work toward greatness, let’s connect.
Portland and Oregon are incredible. Being able to live AND work here is a privilege. Next time I will be better prepared to receive an honor that we all have worked so hard to receive. Thank you for this honor.