Our Insights

20 Years of Intention

February 27, 2024
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Twenty years have gone by in a blink. I am Director of Operations and New Business, but I still have my hands in lots of areas of the agency.  When I started at Lewis Media, it was just Aurelia Lewis and me. We invented the company as we went.  And wow, just wow. It was so fun and scary and exhilarating, and every day the potential was boundless. I couldn’t wait to get up every morning and go to my little one room office on Patterson Avenue, Starbucks coffee in hand, with my dog Baily by my side.  From pitching new business to being a planner and a buyer and an account lead and… you get the picture — I’ve worn many hats.  I remember the day we won The VA Lottery business with our partners Big River.  I borrowed a quote from Jerry McGuire and used it at our celebration lunch which included our then 7-person team. I said, “Our little company just had a very big day.” And now, we are 37 people strong, operating in our own building with 35 diverse clients, and our potential is still boundless. Every day is still fun and scary and exhilarating, but now, I see and share those emotions with some of my favorite people in the whole world – my teammates. 

Nick Bare is the founder of Bare Performance Nutrition and a well-known hybrid athlete, and he said, "A lack of intentionality leads to a repetition of what's easiest." Google him. You’ll see the meaning behind this statement.

I thought about this quote when our founder and President, Aurelia Lewis, asked each team member at the beginning of 2024 to pick a word that could guide us and keep us focused for the year.  I picked the word intentional. As I celebrate my 20th year with Lewis Media and my 35th year in the media industry, I don’t want to look back, although there are many fond memories. Instead, I have chosen to look forward with intentionality.

I, and Lewis Media as a whole, have chosen to move into this year and the future with purpose. We will be deliberate, and we will plan for industry growth and the growth of our clients’ businesses.  It is why I have stayed at Lewis Media for the better part of my career – our culture thrives on prioritizing how we treat and work with one another, and the work is always done with intention. In doing so, we find purpose and balance by aligning our work with our values.  I have seen that many companies say it, but very few truly embody the values of their culture. Living out a culture runs deep, it’s in the very fiber of the business. It’s not surface-level. It’s not free pizza on Fridays. It is about the work, and it is about life – each bringing equal joy because of the environments in which we immerse ourselves.

Intention defines how we achieve and how we plan future achievement. It is what makes us excited to work with clients of all sizes, across many industries, and in creative ways.  It is why we are now using value-based pricing versus hourly billing. It is why we’ve embraced AI to help with many facets of media and analysis, and we’ve partnered with an expert legal team on data and privacy laws.  It is why we find opportunities to serve our local community as a company each month. We intentionally seek excellence.

At Lewis Media, we believe that intention is within our control.  A life coach once said, “Intentionality is the opposite of living on autopilot.”.  It can alter everything from the way you approach your long-term goals to how you act. For 20 years, I have not lived one day on autopilot at Lewis Media. Quite the opposite. Every day is different — different challenges, different victories, different ideas.  But one thing is the same every day – the dedication from my colleagues. They are all in for our clients, our partners, and for each other. Now don’t get me wrong. Every day is not perfect. But we see it through with honesty, we don’t hide our faults, and we have healthy conversations about overcoming barriers.  There’s that intentionality again!  It’s a good word for 2024.

Here’s to 20 more years for the company, and who knows?  A good handful of those for me.

Beth Saunders