A real New Yorker at heart, November’s Member of the Month is a dedicated member of our chapter’s sponsorship committee where he has helped fund our events and actively participates in the mentorship program. Brian Ferry finds a daily balance between his professional and personal life, as he recently welcomed his daughter this past June. His position as a senior marketing manager at Hunter Roberts keeps him constantly in motion and always learning. Let’s read below as Brian has shared some of his thoughts and ideas with us.
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Where are you from originally and what brought you to New York City?
I am a New Yorker through and through. Born and raised in East Northport on Long Island’s North Shore, I attended college in upstate New York and have lived and worked in Manhattan since 2005. I moved here after several years living and working on Long Island in order to be with my girlfriend (now my wife, Kate) and start a new career in marketing. As a teenager, I used to come to the city all the time for concerts, museums, and other cultural events, so moving here was a no-brainer.
What degree(s) do you hold, and from what schools?
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Oswego State University (SUNY Oswego). My elective studies focused on history and environmental science. I love the cold, so I have great memories of Oswego: 40-mph wind gusts off Lake Ontario, lake-effect snow from October through May, and a top D-III hockey program. Oswego allowed students like me to do whatever we put our minds to. Holding top positions at the student newspaper, student radio station, a journalism advisory committee, and starting my own organization hosting and promoting concerts on campus taught me a lot about multi-tasking and teambuilding to accomplish goals.
If you could choose any other profession what would it be and why?
I can think of several, but if I were to name just one it would be as a photo and document archivist. I love history, particularly first-person stories, and would love to work full-time helping preserve the stories and images that make up our collective experience. I’m the de facto family historian/archivist on both my mother and father’s sides, have been a board member for a non-profit World War II veterans organization for several years, and enjoy collecting and preserving vernacular photography.
Can you tell us more about your SMPS committee work?
Being part of the Sponsorship Committee has been a wonderful experience. In the last year and a half, I have had the opportunity to work with some outstanding marketers and, more importantly, really fun people. We have been successful in raising crucial funds for our chapter’s operational budget, we introduced a new sponsor appreciation event last year that was very well received, and have adopted an account management approach in 2015-16 to provide one-on-one service to ensure all sponsors are using the full complement of benefits associated with their sponsorship. I’m also serving as a mentor in the New York Chapter’s Mentorship Program, having benefitted from the program as a protégé two years ago. I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without a great network of professionals and some great mentors. I truly feel it’s my responsibility to share my knowledge and experience in return. In addition to the SMPS-NY Mentorship Program, I also serve as a mentor to current students through a formal program hosted by Oswego State.
What are some challenges that you face daily in your career and how do you overcome them?
Maintaining a work/life balance while setting and accomplishing a few long-term departmental goals each year. This has become even more difficult since becoming a father in June (#NorahBowman). It’s important to me that I am successful in my career but not at the expense of my personal relationships. Thankfully, I have an awesome marketing and communications team at Hunter Roberts that maintains very high standards. I am partly responsible for helping foster their personal and professional growth, which is a responsibility that I take very seriously. We have a lot of fun and have accomplished great things. The keys are constant communication, helping one another with individual deadlines, and removing roadblocks to success. We brainstorm and map out a project, set deadlines for drafts and final efforts, and then we roll up our sleeves and get to work!