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| 36 minutes read

CMO Series EP116 - Andrew Laver of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman on Integrating a Culture of BD in a Super Regional Firm

Business development has become a central role for ambitious law firms, regardless of their size. Today on the CMO Series Podcast, Ed Lovatt is lucky to chat with Andrew Laver, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer at Porzio, Bromberg & Newman and 2023 LMA Treasurer and speaker, to discuss his experience in building out a successful BD-focused marketing team.

Andrew shares insights on everything from recruitment, to shaping culture and how he’s bringing lessons from AmLaw 100 and 200 firms to drive growth in a super regional business.

Andrew and Ed discuss: 

  • Andrew’s role, three months in, at Porzio and the main differences between his previous firms and where he is now
  • The key challenges Andrew is facing right now
  • Why integrating a business development facet of the marketing team so important for the firm’s growth
  • The opportunities in a super regional firm from a BD perspective
  • The key BD initiatives or approaches Andrew is looking to implement at Porzio
  • The goals for the next 6, 12, 18 months
  • Advice for marketing and BD leaders looking to integrate a culture of BD in their firm
  • Where folks can find Andrew at the upcoming LMA conferences


Ed: On today's episode of the CMO series podcast we're going to be discussing the topic of integrating a culture of BD in a super regional firm. We're absolutely delighted to welcome Andrew Laver, Chief marketing and Business development Officer at Porzio, Bromberg & Newman and treasurer to the LMA board in 2023. He's going to share his insights on integrating BD function into an existing marketing team. He's only a few months into this role but we'll delve into the challenges and opportunities of building effective marketing and business development team, covering everything from recruitment to shaping culture, sharing the lessons from AmLaw 100 AmLaw 200 firms that he's now bringing into his role within Porzio, Bromberg & Newman. Andrew, welcome to the podcast.

Andrew:  Great to be here, Ed.

Ed: Now we've spoken a number of times at different events and on the phone recently. And I know you said, I think when we spoke last week, you are three months into your role at Porzio. So congratulations on the new position, but also three months in what's the main difference between your previous firms and where you are now?

Andrew: There's obviously several and I don't know if I want to admit this on a public podcast. But I remember, I think it was maybe my second day that I was here.  I was still doing like telephone training and signing up for benefits and such. And the team runs into my office and they say, “hey, is this tweet OK to post?” And I was like, “why are you asking me this?” And like, “well, you're the guy you need to approve this.” And I was like, “oh, yeah, sure. It's fine.” And then I sat back and I was like, what would they have done if I wasn't here? What did they do before I got here? You know, all these kind of questions are going through my head and I think the biggest change in my mindset at the time was I had to realize that I had transitioned from the person who had the problem and found a solution, recommended a solution or came up all the other ideas to becoming the final arbiter? Because I was never the final arbiter before of are we going to pursue this opportunity? Are we going to sponsor this event? Are we going to push tweet on this tweet? And that change took maybe a day to kick in and it's, it's been, you know, Gangbusters ever since then. I think that was the biggest difference at that point as far as for me personally, obviously, overall Porzio having 100 or so attorneys is much smaller than any other firm I was at, you know, my last firm Buchanan had over 400 before that was McCarter similar at 400 before that was Duane Morris, which at the time was about a 800 maybe. And they're exponentially larger and international now. So this is the smallest by scale that I've been at. But all the problems and all the issues and all the opportunities at law firms are the same. Again, it's just based upon scale and the resources you have to implement that change. 

Ed: I think it must be a bit of a change as well. Like you said, somebody came up to you and was like, “you're the guy” and how does that make you feel that now you are ‘the guy’, the person that puts that stamp and says this is good?

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, it's pretty cool, right? because it's something that I've been working towards for a while and it's funny as well because I sit here and I say there are obviously reasons why I understand that. I now understand why people would never want this job. And there are people who I've spoken to, worked with whatever networked with, who have said, “Oh my God, I would never want to be in the C suite or be the person in charge of a department and all those kinds of things.” And I would always say, “why, why would you feel that way? Why would you not want to have the responsibility of creating a team like I'm able to do here or implementing change or bringing a new culture, whatever it may be.” And I don't think they ever really had the answer, but I think in the back of the head they probably knew and now I'm seeing what it is because it's a struggle and it's a lot and people I've spoken to over the past few months like, “hey, how's the new job?” “It's great. It's a lot.” And it's still, even all this time later, still drinking from a fire hose to a degree. I don't know if that ever changes. I'll let you know in maybe three more months.

Ed: We'll touch base again, I'm sure. So now in the new role and at a new firm, what are the current key challenges that you're facing now that you're in this position?

Andrew: The good thing for me is that leadership down here at Porzio has been so excited for me to join. They were excited for anybody to join when Amanda, my predecessor left, she was in a great spot with the team and the firm and all those kinds of things and they had a lot of momentum going. But once she left, there was obviously a void and I think right around the time she left, several other members of the team had pursued other opportunities.

So there were really just two people left behind at the time when I started and I was tasked right away. This was told to me during the interview process was going to build a team, which was exciting, but also scary because I can now build a team in the vision of people that I wanted to work with and collaborate with and build something new with. And the struggle so far has been finding the talent, which has been really surprising to me, I didn't think there would be such a struggle to find the talent, whether it's because of where we're physically based and the firm wanting people to be in this office or an office with frequency or people just weren't looking for jobs during the summer. I don't really know, but I think that's probably been my biggest struggle because there's no struggle on the firm side. They're stoked that I'm here. They love the idea that I have. But now it's just like building a team to implement those ideas and to have that support again, top-down is amazing because I have been at firms where that support necessarily has not been there, especially from the start. And it makes it a bit more of a struggle. So if you can't, you know, rely upon firm leadership to say, here's how we're going to do it. This is what it's going to be. Here's how we're going to spend the money, for example. And in comparison here it's whatever you need, whatever resources you need, we are devoted to making this work and that's great for me. 

So, really, it's just, you know, building the team and I'm almost all the way there. We're getting really close. So what now the summer is over and we're transitioning into, you know, almost end-of-year things and budgeting and such. I'm hoping that maybe a few more candidates come out of the woodwork, especially hopefully before this podcast is being listened to.

Ed: I'll keep my fingers crossed for you cos I know it's a bit of a challenge at the moment and there's another podcast I did and I think I mentioned it to you before, Justin Portaz at Jenner & Block, it's all about trusting in his team and how he built his team. And I think you're now at the beginning of where he's at the end of that cycle, you're at the beginning of that. So it's probably quite a good two good podcasts to listen to both perspectives from.

Andrew: Absolutely. Maybe I'll listen to it when I'm driving.

Ed: That's a good idea. There you go.

Andrew: Yeah, I think so.

Ed: Now, really sort of getting into the headline of the topic here. Why do you feel integrating a business development facet of the marketing team is so important to the firm's growth?

Andrew:  So Porzio has always had a marketing mentality. My predecessor, Amanda Loesch was a true CMO from what I understand. So the ‘M’ being ‘Marketing’ in Chief Marketing Officer and when I was interviewing a lot of the questions that they were asking me about based upon my experience was really more on the business development side of my experience, I'll say something controversial that a lot of people may not agree with. But I feel like if you're doing business development currently in a law firm, you have already or you can air quote, easily do the marketing stuff. It's gonna upset a lot of people, I'm sure, but I kind of feel like there's so much overlap between BD and marketing. The BD side is more sales and the marketing a lot of times is hard to associate ROI to. So it's harder to draw a direct correlation to an effort you're making to an actual financial result. Whereas with BD, you can say, for example, I responded to an RFP, I was awarded the work. Here's how much money we got from this opportunity. So therefore, the ROI on pursuing this opportunity through an RFP turned into X number of dollars and those were things that were not really in place here or hadn't been in a place for a long time at Porzio based upon changes to the team or the mentality. 

So when we were talking about BD and what I could bring to this team, the attorneys were really excited by taking the RFP responsibility off their plate and handing it to my team or having to really hunt for themselves for some new opportunities. Whereas a BD focused team could certainly help with that type of work. So for example, when I was at Buchanan and what we're going to start doing here, once the full team is built out is, you know, recognizing who the client base is, but also who our current clients are, our top clients, and finding new ways to cross sell them and institutionalize them and find additional ways to service them. Every firm says we'd love to be a one stop shop for all of your legal needs. And there are certainly clients that will give you that opportunity, but there are plenty more who would rather diversify all of their work, whether it's based upon regionalization or financial reasons or honestly to conflict you out from suing them in the future and representing someone else that may be adverse to them. So bringing this BD perspective to Porzio was really exciting to Porzio because they really hadn't gone very deep into that recently. And the Chairman Vito Gagliardi jokes still to this day, months later, that one of my biggest demands when I came in the door, he says it with a smirk on his face, was that the title, not be CMO but that would be CMBDO because I wanted the firm both internally and those externally who were meeting me to recognize that this was now going to be the culture at this firm. And if you don't put business development in my title, then you're not keeping me accountable for what I've said I'm going to do for you and you're not keeping yourself accountable for the things that you say you want to do. So by making myself or naming myself the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, it ensures we're all on the same page so that BD is going to be at the forefront of everything we do to ensure that we are able to track that ROI and determine what's good work to chase and what is a good one to maybe pass on because there's no BD return on it. 

Ed: I feel like I've already just bought into your reasoning and I'm not surprised, I'm not surprised that they hired you with that argument of why integrating BD is so important. You give a good argument to say yes. What do you think are the the biggest opportunities of poorer being a super regional firm from a BD perspective? Are there some like real obvious opportunities that you've spotted already?

Andrew: I think so. With a larger firm, more geographically diverse firm, your client bases are gonna be everywhere and the desires of each individual office will fluctuate based upon where you are. So I think the easiest example would be two firms ago when I was at McCarter & English, which is a New Jersey firm based upon headquarters, but pretty up and down the east coast, at least at the time. And I was hired in a dual role really. So, although I was a Business Development Manager for specific practice groups, I also was doing geographic marketing for the Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware offices. Now a lot of us know and a lot of the listeners know that geographic marketing is kind of gone by the wayside as far as legal marketing goes and everything is now practice group specific and centric or industry centric. And the problem that McCarter had at the time was they had these two regional offices that were south of the headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. And the offices in essence have become squeaky wheels. They wanted marketing support, they wanted to know how they can grow and be recognized and brand themselves locally.

So they brought me in being a Philly guy and Wilmington is not that far away from us in Philadelphia to kind of know the neighborhood and and the the pulse of the cities that we were working in and figure out ways to geographically raise our profile. Because really at the time mccarter was known as a Jersey firm but it was a North Jersey firm. It's not like we're talking, you know, down in South Jersey where I live per se, it was a North Jersey firm and a 

lot of the Philadelphia area clients, for example, that McCarter was servicing, that work was originating in Newark, New Jersey. It wasn't even originating from the Philadelphia office.

So, what I did in my years there was I helped kind of change the perspective of, “oh, well, sure. We have, you know, a lion's share of our attorneys are in North Jersey. But did you know, we have Philly office” and a lot of times once the clients, at least in Philly and Wilmington met the local people on the ground, they were more apt to send work locally and try to find new opportunities and ways to work with the people who were on the ground with them locally compared to Newark. So it was still keeping it in house, but it was additional cross selling opportunity. We did a lot more in person events down here in what I call the southern tier of McCarter So anything south of Newark, New Jersey, because we were able to meet them on the ground and where they were and that happens everywhere. But it's also a struggle sometimes. So shifting over to Porzio, I think we have that same opportunity here where we are almost literally a New Jersey firm. We have, like I said, approximately 100 attorneys. I don't know, 85 of which are here in the headquarter office in Morristown, New Jersey. We have a handful in Trenton. Our Government Affairs team is based in Trenton.

We have a couple of attorneys in Wilmington, Delaware. We have a couple of attorneys up in Massachusetts, but the bulk of our team in New York City as well. But the bulk of our team is right here in Morristown and it's such a great opportunity for us to be known as a Jersey firm.

But in a good way because being known as a Jersey firm could also be a derogatory statement depending on who you ask and what you know about New Jersey. Just watch the Sopranos or listen to Bruce Springsteen because that's a stereotype. But I think we have so many opportunities. Porzio is really known as a go to firm in New Jersey for a lot of regional school districts and K-12 type districts as well as those that would serve special needs students and such. And it's such a rich because while there's plenty of other firms that do that kind of work here in New Jersey, a lot of them don't even try to compete with us for that work. They may go for the higher ed work, plenty of schools and colleges and Seton Hall, Rutgers, Monmouth University all throughout the state of New Jersey that, that higher ed work could go to. But when we're talking specifically regional school districts and such the K-12s and all of those Porzio is almost a force to not be reckoned with because we have done such a great job of branding ourselves here in New Jersey. And if we ever were to expand geographically, let's say, hypothetically, we moved into Pennsylvania or further south into Delaware, wherever it may be, we can work off of that name brand of that we've created for ourselves here at a super regional in New Jersey and take it into other states.

Ed: I think you said 85 of the attorneys are based in the head office?

Andrew: Pretty much. Yeah.

Ed: Okay. So the other offices that you've got, are they mostly all reporting into the head office or do they kind of operate on their own functions?

Andrew: I guess it really depends on how you consider reporting into because they all have their own client base. We all work pretty closely together and because most of the offices are so close to each other. So again, so I live in South Jersey, which is a 90 minute drive for me. If I left from my house, I could be in Wilmington, Delaware in less than an hour. So we're talking 2 to 3 hours at the most, either by car or train because they're all extremely accessible that way, the furthest one away honestly is Puerto Rico because you can't take a train to Puerto Rico. And one of the reasons we expanded into Puerto Rico several years ago because of opportunities with the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries. And we have, I believe it's two attorneys down there, but we do one or two really large events in Puerto Rico each year. So I guess Puerto Rico maybe to use your term reports into Morristown. But the rest of us, we all just work together and it's just, it's just more seen as especially now post COVID with everyone being so remote, just additional offices where we can be together. But there's always visitors here in Morristown coming from the other offices and I still make my rounds to, you know, New York and Wilmington as well.

Ed: Not yet to Puerto Rico?

Andrew:  Not until February. So that's when we have that large pharmaceutical event in February. So I'll be down there in February and I'll go to a beach, go figure me at a beach. Who knew.

Ed:  I would never have guessed.

Andrew: No, no.

Ed: Are you able to tell us of any key BD initiatives or approaches from your previous firms that you're looking to now implement at Porzio?

Andrew: You're talking amongst friends here, so I can share. But I think that so the ‘S’ word, ‘Sales’ is not a word that we generally use in legal marketing or business development because no one wants to see themselves as a salesperson, sorry to you and your colleagues. But I mean, honestly, once you're in house, you're kind of thinking you're not really selling yourself or your services, but really the attorneys are, we just can't tell them that that's what they're doing because they have a specific skill set and experience and their own network that will help any client in need solve the issue. They have the truth of the matter is you're calling an attorney because you have a problem and as bad of a rap as attorneys may get on television and movies, it's a very specific industry that gives a very specific need and solution to a very specific problem you may be having. So what we like to do on the BD side is help our attorneys issue spot for their clients. And that's a sales type tactic. So one of the things we did at Buchanan which we're going to start doing here once the team's fully built out is talk about the sales funnel and how you go from the bottom of the pyramid or the top of the funnel. However you want to look at it and it's the softest touch. “Hey, I know a guy, I know a girl, we talked on LinkedIn. I met him at a conference” till you eventually get to the point where you talk about what it is that you do. And how you can solve a problem they may have or ask them what keeps you up at night. That's a term we use a lot in legal marketing is, you know, talk to a GC, what keeps them up at night, what issues are they facing? But it's also being familiar enough with their industry or their specific work. So that even if it's work that you can't do, you've got a colleague down the hall or another office that can do that work for them. And you can offer a solution. A lot of times in my experience, attorneys, this might be shocking to some hate talking about themselves in the sense where they don't want to talk about themselves in the “here's what I can do for you” especially if it's for a friend, a neighbor or someone they made at the kids soccer field, something like that. But if they know that someone has a problem, they may say “my colleague is amazing at…”fill in the blank issue that they're having or they've argued in front of, they've, you know, had patents processed by whatever it may be. And “can I introduce you to my colleague? You know, maybe they can talk you through this issue and maybe they know somebody who could help you get this visa approved this patent pass through” whatever the situation may be. Unless obviously, of course, you're known as the person, the guy, the girl that handles a specific niche of legal opportunities and you can literally be that person for them. A lot of attorneys find it much easier to talk about their colleague or their friend in another office and the services they can offer um compared to themselves. So if we position our attorneys to make the sale, to make the ask, which is the hardest for them to do and really prepare them with as much information as we can about the firm and the capabilities and why we can help this client or this prospect with this problem, an issue spot for them and connect those dots to, “hey, your colleague down the hall or on the other floor can do this work for them.” It's easier for them to make the ask. So if we implement a sales type funnel here and just all the ideas that go into sales and all the things that you and your colleagues a passel have perfected over the years of how to make a sale and how to, you know, get that relationship going because that's a big part of it too. That's what we're going to start to do here to whatever degree we haven't and build upon that at Porzio.

Ed:  Which perfectly leads me into.  I just made a quick note on a question about what you're hoping to achieve over the next 6, 12, 18 months. I know you mentioned building out the team and that's obviously paramount. But do you have other milestones that you're looking to achieve over that those periods of time?

Andrew:  I found sometimes that if you set low expectations, all you can do is exceed them, you know, set the bar low, you'll jump right over it every day. No, I don't think that I have specific milestones in mind. The team is a thing, obviously, either I have a team or I don't, that's gonna be an easy metric to determine. But is anything that we've done any advice I've given just visibility, whatever it may be, has any of that moved that proverbial needle at all in any way. 

And in a firm of 100 attorneys, it's probably easier to wrap your arms around all of those things and determine what is success and all and what has worked and what hasn't easier than in a larger firm, whether an AmLaw one or 200 for example, like we talked about before because there's just so many people and it's such a larger scope. Whereas on scale here at 100 I can kind of get a feel for if what we're saying is sinking in and being implemented. I had sent around a very basic BD tip type thing for, you know, for the end of August. And I said, listen, “the last few weeks of the summer may seem like a great time to get the kids ready for school to do your final vacations before, you know, fall kicks in and such. But what have you done throughout the year? This point that you thought you wanted to do, go back and see if you have any plans that you've already put in place and what you said you were going to do and now that it's August, have you done that? Is there anybody who you wanted to reach out to in contact that you haven't reached out to yet? That now would be a great time to set up a call or a lunch for September because they're gonna start to fill up their calendars too. Now that the fall is approaching and we're past Labor Day, for example.” And the number of people that wrote back to me, like, “what a great idea.” I'm like, “really?” This is, I hate the term table steaks. I hate the term low hanging fruit. But those were table steaks and low hanging fruit. It was like the most basic things I could do, but it resonated with them and they did it. And they're like, “what a great idea. This is why we brought you here.” I was like, “okay, well, now we know”, but you know, if any time that I can see that light bulb go off, like we've talked about before, anytime we can see success, whether it's a dollar amount or a new client in the door, or if we grow geographically head count, whatever it may be, any type of forward movement and growth and all those things and just keeping them happy because that's kind of what our job also is to some degree. 

And I'm learning that every day on the job now, three plus months in is what, how do you become successful? How do you stay successful in this role once you reach the C suite, do you stay there forever? No, I think we all know that. And I think after time, all of our voices get stale and you move on to the next opportunity. That's just the nature of the beast of legal marketing and business development, I think, and I made that joke recently and everyone's like, “whoa, new guy just got in the door is already planning his next job.” I'm like, “no, no, that's not what's happening here.” It's just I realized there's a clock on me and whether I'm successful or not, whether you continue to listen to me or not, are sometimes out of my control. But if we can move that needle and show success and show growth and all those types of things in whatever way we can do it. Those are what I'm hoping to accomplish in 6, 12, 18 months. 

Ed: That's not the answer I was expecting to be honest. But I think it's better than what I was expecting, which was I thought you were gonna come back with some sort of solid this milestone of achievement. But actually your answer is way better because an all round achievement as opposed to sort of individual moments that you're looking at. I think it positions me for success as well and everybody else and the whole is important. But I think if we position everybody for success, then we're all better off if you say, “oh, we're going to grow our revenue by a million dollars.” Is that realistic? I personally don't even know if that's realistic, but maybe it is. But is it fair to put that pressure on anybody? If really, that's not what the expectation is from the firm? And I think that maybe my answer is more reflective of what the firm is hoping to achieve and what they're looking for and what they were hoping for when filling this position. So maybe it means we're on the same page. I'm sure if I went to any other firm, they might say you, if you don't help us grow revenue by X number of millions of dollars, you're out. I'm sure that happens. That's not this firm. That's not my job right now.

Ed: So it sounds like you're in the right place.

Andrew: I hope so. We'll find out, ask me again in 6, 12 or 18 months.

Ed: Now, we usually end the podcast with this question that I'm gonna ask you now.

But there's another question I want to ask after it. So we're gonna do it slightly differently today. But what is one piece of advice that you would give to marketing and BD leaders looking to integrate a culture of BD in a firm that previously has just been marketing based?

Andrew:  Yeah, a lot of times the designation or the difference between marketing and BD is confusing to attorneys to be honest. And I know that because it came up a lot during my interview process, one attorney actually, I don't even know if it was an attorney. It might have been the CFO was like, tell me the difference between marketing and BD. And apparently she told me this after the fact, she asked the same question to every other applicant that she had spoken to and no one really gave an answer except for me. And when I gave an answer didn't even have to be the right answer because I'm not even sure there is a right answer.

When I gave an answer, she was like, “you're the guy.” So the answer I gave was measurable metrics. And as the CFO I mean, she's literally dealing with dollars and cents and she can see if anything is successful if you know how our bank accounts look on any given day. And what I said is that you can measure like I alluded to before the efforts of business development based upon I did X, Y was the result and Z is the dollar amount we can associate with it. Whereas on the marketing side, you can say you went to a conference, you can say you sponsored a rubber chicken dinner, but did anything come of it for the majority of us, we're not able to track those types of successes or the ROI because unless we do on intake, for example, “hey, how'd you hear about us?” Which you're not going to hear a lot of times at defense firms like ours, you don't know how that work came in. If they say, “oh, I met a guy and he gave me your card” or an introduction was made or “I saw your billboard.” Now you're talking plaintiff's work almost, then you're not able to associate your appearance at this conference led to this type of work. Sometimes you can't, we're not tracking it that way. And when I kind of differentiated the marketing and BD like that, they were then more on board. So if you can explain why BD is important, how there's actual revenue associated with it, you can literally tie an effort into a result if you can properly explain them. But then also talk about what the firm across the street has done. Talk about successes, you've heard from your colleagues in LMA or anywhere else of what they have done, how they've implemented, how they've done it at their other firm because attorneys love to know what the firm across the street is doing, what their biggest competitor is doing and why they are maybe more successful than them. Attorneys hate to change. They'll be the first to be second. You want a CRM? “Oh, well that there they have a CRM. Oh, great. Then we'll get one also.” So they want to be the first company to get a CRM, for example. But they'll be the first to be second because they saw someone else did it. And if you can talk about how other firms have implemented, how you have been successful at a prior job, for example, anything like that, that's the best way to sell the attorneys on why a sales type funnel or a BD function, we can literally associate it to revenue would be a reason to integrate in their firm.

Ed: Pretty good advice, I think.

Andrew: We'll find out.

Ed: Yeah, I'm sure that there'll be some people listening to that will really soak it in and agree with you that is actually a good way to do it and a good piece of advice. So a couple of quick fire questions for you now, Andrew, what is your favorite business? And your favorite non-business book?

Andrew: I feel like I should probably have a favorite business book, but I don't really think I do. I feel like I read so much during the day that I haven't even thought about transitioning to business specific books. I know I've received a lot, you know, during my LMA tenure, whether sitting on the board or through conference speakers and keynotes and such. I know that the Jen Dulski book Purposeful was really meaningful to me back when I co chaired the annual conference back in 2019, it was more of a professional development, personal, you know, be a better person themed type book, you know, Laura Gasner Outing, who was at the conference this past year in Florida with her Wonder Hell Book and a couple others through her series, I gravitate towards those if we're talking business because a lot of what I do not just in my role with my team, but when I speak at LMA conferences and such is professional development based. Not necessarily like here's the best practice for CRM because that kind of falls outside my wheelhouse. So I kind of focus on the PD type things. And so I think those types of books would really be what I would say is a business book, Nonbusiness. I'm a real big fan of the Gabriel Allon series that are written by Daniel Silva. Silva has been writing this series for, I don't know, probably 10 plus years about unfortunately, a not real Israeli spy  who kind of just like fixes the world. And I'm, I'm really minimizing the entire series and what it is that this character does. But there have been so many times, especially recently. If you watch the news, you're like, “gee, I really wish Gabriel Allon was real and he would just take care of this kind of stuff.” They're easy reads. They're beach reads. They come out every, almost like June or July. I think Silva's popping one out every year and it's, you know, bankable enough to say, “okay, here's what I'm going to read on the beach this year.” So, those are my favorite nonbusiness books.

Ed: Good that they're regularly being written as well. So you can know another one around the corner. 

Andrew: Something to look forward to, you could set your watch to it.

Ed: Andrew. This question is sometimes a fun one because we get some interesting answers. What was your first job? 

Andrew: Oh, so first job, I think, my uncle owned a water ice stand. Now, if you're not from the Philadelphia area, Water Ice is also commonly known everywhere else as Italian Ice, but here in the Philadelphia region, the South Jersey region, it's water ice because it's a little bit softer. Italian ice, you really have to scrape it with your spoon or, you know, a little like wooden thing you'd get when you buy it at a store or whatever. But water ice, you eat with a spoon and it comes with a bunch of different flavors as well. So, he had owned like a window of a water ice stand at a strip mall somewhere in the suburbs. And for some reason, I don't know why he did it. That's not his career. He's a physical therapist. But he had a water ice stand, I guess he had some free space in his storefront. So we use it for that. And my sisters and I, we were his first three employees. I think that was probably my first job.

Ed: Yeah. Is it like shaved ice?

Andrew: Correct. Uh, well, shaved ice is a little bit, you know, chunkier. Like it's actually like if you got crushed ice out of your fridge, that's how I kind of view shaved ice. This is even thinner than that.

Ed: Yeah. I see. Okay, interesting. What is it that makes you happy at work?

Andrew: I think when the attorneys recognize that what we're preaching works when they see the success or the light bulb go off in their head of, oh, that makes sense. Here's how I can do it. Here's how I can be successful based upon what you're suggesting that's a win for me because there's plenty of people who don't believe in this witchcraft. It is that we do on a daily basis. So the ones that either buy into it and can then proselytize on our behalf to their friends or say, “hey, here's what they recommend that I did and I did it and it worked and here's how it could work for you.” That is what brings me joy because, well, first of all,

it validates everything we do every day. But it also shows that we're having this really positive effect in a very itchy environment against people that are trained to question everything. And when that happens and it works, that's a win.

Ed: I had a slight concern when you paused after you said, I think it's when attorneys and then you pause, I didn't know where that was gonna go. But I think it's a great answer because, yeah, as you said, it does validate everything that you're doing. So it's a great answer. Andrew, what are you listening to at the moment? It could be podcast, music and audio book, kind of thing along those lines.

Andrew:  Yeah. So it's interesting because when I am at my, in the office, like I am today, so the office is based in North Jersey and I live in South Jersey. So it's about a 90 minute ride for me. And you would think that I would go deep into audiobooks or podcasts or something. And for some reason, I just haven't made that transition yet. I'm still just listening to the radio and I listen to, you know, regional radio stations until I lose the signal somewhere around central Jersey. Then I just switch over to Sirius XM and jump around the dial that way I should probably get into podcasts though. Maybe I listen to this one. 

Ed: I was going to say, there's a prime podcast you could listen to.

Andrew: Tell me more. Where do I subscribe?

Ed: I know that you were at the beach last week. And perhaps that's your answer. And I've ruined this question. But what was your favorite place to visit? And why? So it's unfair because we do go to the beach so frequently living in Jersey. There's a whole big ocean right next to us. So we're less than an hour from the beach and we do spend a lot of time there, especially during the summer. But I really just like to get away and try new things. I had a sheltered childhood in the sense where I never really went anywhere. My parents weren't huge travelers. They worked a lot. We, you know, we would go to friends' houses and we would go to, you know, people's homes who had pools and such during the summer. I would visit my dad in California during the summer. So that was kind of like vacation for me and, you know, new experiences and such. But it wasn't like we went on big family trips to anywhere fancy. I do remember one time my stepfather had a conference. He's like, “hey, we're all going to go, we're going to stay in a hotel.” We're like, “yeah, that's great. Where are we going?” And he said “we're going to Harrisburg.” “What? Harrisburg?” It's like that scene from Wayne's World where they're in front of a green screen and they're like, “we're in Delaware” like, “oh, yeah, Delaware.” I mean, it's pretty much the same thing. Just you haven't left the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. So, in comparison, my wife went on teen tours and such as a kid. So she's been like everywhere. She's like Carmen Sandiego. And I'm like the guy who just got my passport and my first stamp was Canada. You know, so I'm really trying to catch up this past summer we went to Iceland. That was amazing. I've been bugging her to get to Italy for years. We'll eventually get there.  There's just so many places I haven't been that I'd like to get to. It's hard to say what's been my favorite because I don't know, I don't have a lot to base it off against unless you love the Jersey shore and there you go. That's my favorite.

Ed: I think. I think that's a pretty good answer that basically anywhere you go might be your favorite.

Andrew: That's true. Wherever I am. That's my favorite place.

Ed: Yeah, perfect. And thank you for those quick questions. Now we spoke last week and I remember you mentioning, this is why I wanted to ask another question after that one that you are doing almost like a little speaking tour. So you're speaking at a couple of the upcoming regional LMA conferences. Could you tell us about those and, and where people will be able to find you on your little tour?

Andrew: Sure. So pre COVID uh and almost before I joined the board, really, I did a lot of,

you know, speaking circuit type work, like you were saying, going to the regions to talk about professional development type on professional development topics. A lot of times I was traveling with Jill Huse who is uh one of the owners of Society 54. She's based on and Charlotte, Jill was the Southeast president when I was the Philly president back in 2014. So she and I go way back and we've been really good friends ever since and all those kind of things. So we would, you know, tour around and talk on different professional topics. And she said, you know, we should start doing it again now that COVID is over. We're back in person. All these regional conferences are happening. So we proposed a topic um first for the Southwest Conference which took place in New Orleans in September. And then we got chosen and Jill was like, “oh, no, I booked a family vacation.” I think she was in Portugal. So she was unable to go. So we swapped her out for Nikki Sherrill went off. We had a great time and it's really professional development topic, talking about how you can and a lot of the regional conferences for some reason had a music, musical theme to it. So I guess Nashville, New Orleans, they made sense. We leaned hard on our session description, talking about playing in concert with the other instruments of your firm and how you use all those kind of things to develop yourself and your personal brand. You get to that next stage in your career because as you and I have discussed with you in this short amount of time together, I think a lot of my network and my brand and all of my backup singers to lean in heavily on that musical theme helped me get to where I am. So we talk about that topic a lot. So we did that in New Orleans that was in September. And then we have Nashville for the Southeast Conference in November and then also New York and I think at the end of October for the Northeast Conference. So we talked the the panel kind of stays the same.

So it's me, Jill Huse, Michelle Friends, Nikki Sherrill and Chris Newman. We kind of swap out depending on who was available for which region and do those kind of things. I love speaking. I know how much my network has meant to me professionally and how other people have helped to lift me up and my professional network through LMA we lift each other up and pull each other up and stand on each other's shoulders to continue each other's successes. To get to where we want to be. If you don't want to be a CMO if you want to be in the C suite, get it, let's help you get successful in where you are and where you want to be, learn from our mistakes, share in our successes, all those kind of things. And that's kind of just the gist of what we talk about and anyone that's listening right now that has questions about a BD function in their firm or just how to develop their own brand and what's worked for me, what hasn't because it might not work for someone else, all those kind of things. I'm happy to do it. And I loved being able to tour with Jill, you know, years ago to talk about professional development topics to different regions because I feel like I have stories to tell and I'm a storyteller and a lot of times, especially with our attorneys, they're responding better to stories than trainings or lesson plans. And, you know, with thick powerpoints, they want to hear what has worked for somebody and maybe what hasn't and how they could kind of fit themselves into that storyline and make one for themselves.

Ed: Tried and tested. It does work that's what they're looking for. Well, I'll be seeing you, I think in New Orleans next week, I think, which is the beginning of your LMA speaking tour. And then I'll probably be seeing you, I think, up in New York as well. So you'll probably be fed up of hearing my voice by that time. 

Andrew: No such thing. We'll see. We'll see. Andrew. It's been wonderful to dig into your brain a little bit and get some info out and have you on the podcast to share this experience that you're about to start, and the ways that you're about to do it. So, thank you so much for featuring.

Andrew: Thanks Ed, great to be here.

Ed: And I'll see you next week.

Andrew: You got it. 

Ed: Thanks very much.


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