Reflections on the Class of 2018.

For the past eight years I have had the privilege to direct a series of live event shows at my alma mater, Rochester Institute of Technology. Each year it has been an opportunity for me to retrace steps I took thirty years ago and witness the evolution of RIT’s campus. I also get to work with a great group of professionals and student professionals to make the shows a success.

The events I participate in are a series of ten graduations for local high schools. While that may seem mundane to some, for me it is an opportunity to see the transition of the next group of thinkers and doers our community offers to the world. As a Director, I prepare for each show by reading through each speech the students and administrators are prepared to deliver. I look for references that would require specific shots, angles or activities I need to prepare for during the live show. This is important because if you have ever had to document a one-time event, you know there are no do-overs or second takes in this type of production.

Over the years I have heard a lot of the same lines, expressions and exclamations. I hesitate to call them cliché’ because it is their first time crossing this threshold and to them, it is entirely genuine.

The year 2018 was different in an interesting way. Many of the phrases and expressions were replaced by unique and original accounts of personal experience. Like the special needs graduate who was selected to share his thoughts about embracing the unexpected, to the young woman who immigrated to the US as one of six children to the Superintendent who celebrated a Mexican graduate who mastered English and all of the curriculum in 7 months, with Honors. They are different. They are outspoken and will not let others sit idle while the world they inherit goes to hell in a hand basket.

I have to say I am truly proud of the class of 2018 as a whole. The adults need to stop stomping our feet while pointing fingers and take responsibility for the way things are. I only hope that as the current crop of influencers, decision makers and leaders, we can adjust our ways in time to offer them a world that is better than the one we took over.

Be a Fruit Loop in a bowl of Cheerios...

Another installment of "Got Skills - Share Them".

This is a Pro Bono project documenting the mural work by a class of 6th graders whose goal was to impact struggling neighborhoods with messages that neighbors offered to inspire and lift up the members of those communities. I was inspired by the commitment the kids had to making the project happen. I was also very impressed with Shawn Dunwoody who mentored the kids through the process of developing their ideas as they worked to complete the class submission for The Better World Project. Amid the noise and confusion.... hope.


Got Skills? Share Them.

Back in January of 2017 I was working on a paid project with several colleagues. During that time the rising tide of anti-refugee rhetoric and the "muslim ban" were crowding everyone's mind space. We were working with the Catholic Family Center whose refugee resettlement program was, and continues to face serious problems as a result of the new administrations policies.

My DP Ray Manard turned to me and expressed his desire to do something to address the subject. As a result, Ray, David LeVant our copywriter, Sundance Marketing who is the client's agency, Cindy Kyle the make-up specialist and PowerHouse27 Studio combined our specialties to conduct interviews with a number of local refugees and let them tell their stories.

The goal is to raise awareness of who refugees are and what happened that made them flee their homelands. Because no one just picks up and leaves everything and everyone they know to spend years in the purgatory that most experience coming to the United States.

This was our Skills moment... and the Catholic Family Center gratefully took the ball and ran with it.


To see the outcome, visit

I am jealous of my brother-in-law....


First let me say I am very fond of my brother-in-law Antonio. He is the uncle of our son and shares his name...Tio Antonio!

Now... "Tio Antonio" also happens to be this incredibly talented creative director and copywriter working in Europe... Vilnius, Lithuania of all places.

He managed to somehow move from Lima, Peru to the UK. Made acquaintances there that led him to visit Lithuania where he decided to set up shop. He joined MILK Agency and proceeded to sell advertising concepts to eastern European marketers without speaking a word of the native language.

A boat load of awards later along with a few years building a creative school called the Atomic Garden and now he seeding eastern Europe with the next generation of edgy advertisers.

Uncle Antonio is Antonio Bechtle and his students just blew up Vilnius with this spec ad:

Vilnius,,, the G-Spot of Europe. “Nobody knows where it is but when you find it it’s amazing.”

He claims his only input on the project was to say "Approved!" But we know... that is soooo Antonio.