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July 23, 2010

Sharon Teal Conklin

One of the perkiest spirits in Chiat/Day history has to be Sharon Teal (now Sharon Teal Conklin.) She came to us via the Seattle office in the early 80s, then she was an Account Executive in the New York office for several years. She worked on New York Air, which no longer exists because they failed to approve our creative, or something like that.)

She was the type of girl that if you had a rough day, she'd give you a hug and beat you to Old Town by at least ten paces.

Several years ago, she and her husband, Kurt, and their two girls, moved to Spokane, which just happens to be my home town.

Then, they relocated to Indiana, which proved ultimately to be a mistake. Sharon's worldview is, shall we say, broad and inclusive. She also doesn't edit her conversations. Although this is what endeared her to all of us, this didn't go over well in a small, rural Indiana town where the question one most often receives isn't "Do you go to church?" but "What church do you go to?"

Sharon and her family have now relocated to the suburbs of Chicago. Her husband, Kurt, works, I believe, for the Department of Defense.

(She apologizes for the photo she supplied. She was at her mother's wake and her eyes are a bit puffy.)

Lorenzo Bennassar

This is from Lorenzo Bennassar who had the great good luck to be an intern at Chiat/Day New York in 1999 working for Bill Hamilton right when the agency was named agency of the decade by Advertising Age. He now has the good fortune to live in Seville, Spain, but he's obviously still thinking of us.

Dear Steve, I was just writing a new post in my blog and wanted to include the great "I love LA" Nike commercial. After looking for it for quite some time, and surprisingly not finding it I remembered one of many great things I brought from NY, Chiat/Day's reel.

So I transfered it to Quicktime and uploaded it to YouTube.

As well as the 20th Anniversary montage.

I'll try to upload a few more commercials from the reel, but in the meantime, you might want to share it with everybody on the JayDay website.

Best regards,


PS: By the way. in case you want to see the blogpost here it is (english translation under the picture).

Gracias, Lorenzo!

July 22, 2010

Agency of the Year letter

From Bria Silbert (aka "Barbara Winkler Silbert") comes this treasure-trove from the past.) Says Bria,

"I found a whole bunch of old letters from Jay that he wrote me, but this one made me smile! I forgot how compulsive Monty McKinney was - he used to stand next to me at parties and say "Who is that? Who is THAT? WHO IS THAT?"

Monty was the only person I knew who wrote a personal letter when sending in his check to the DWP!

Love, Bria


July 13, 2010

A video tribute to Fred Rubin

Megan Kent of Brand Synchonicity was kind enough to provide this video tribute to the late Fred Rubin. It was made 12 years ago during a pitch for Hampton Inn.

Fred was a senior partner at C/D, where he built and implemented an interactive, marketing, consulting, and creative services business, devising web strategies for America Online, Absolut Vodka, and Barnes and Noble.

Brian Belefant


I am an avid follower of the blog of C/D alum, Brian Belefant. I finally asked him for some biographical info so I could sing his praises on this site.

I was a copywriter at Chiat/Day/LA, from the end of the Biltmore days to the end of the Warehouse days. I worked on Nissan, Nissan Trucks, Yamaha, and Foster Farms, but I'm probably better remembered for putting the scrap metal poop under the scrap metal horse, making the faux Warhol of Jay, and embellishing the cardboard end tables with cardboard ash trays.

These days I'm directing, mostly commercials. Thanks to my background as a copywriter, I'd been pigeonholed as a comedy guy out of the gate, but over the past couple of years I've been working extremely hard to define a more appropriate niche for my work. I've created a distinctive visual style with my fine art photography –– the stuff I shoot through liquids –– and wasting tons of money and time devising all sorts of wacky filming techniques and contraptions, most of which have something to do with messing with time. 

Right now I'm putting the final touches on a camera rig I've been designing for the better part of a year. Once I get it to a point that it's stable and reliable, I plan to shoot an example of what's possible with it.

Brian now lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two children.

He is also the filmmaker behind, 'Burning Passion' which was invited to screen as part of the Bagdad Theater's Northwest Filmmakers Night in Portland back in January
'Burning Passion' –– in case you haven't seen it –– is the heartwarming story about a guy who ejaculates fire. Brian shot the film in 35mm and spent lots of years and tens of thousands of dollars getting it from concept to completion and this festival was its first real, live showing in a real, live theater.

He won the festival and was generous enough to share his $200 prize afterwards with friends at the Sapphire hotel.


July 11, 2010

Pete deVaux


In the news business, they refer to obtaining an interview with a leading newsmaker as a "great get." Well, JayDay's great get this week is the discovery of the former CFO of Chiat/Day, Peter deVaux. (He was CFO during the Mojo merger.)

I reported to Pete and I seem to recall having a conversation with him one day in his office in which I referred to the Chiat/Day "culture."

"What is this 'Chiat/Day culture' I keep hearing about?" he asked. "It seems to mean whatever anybody happens to think it means."

I cooly replied, "That's what makes it so versatile!"

He and his lovely wife, Paula, used to have a summer house in White Lake, NY, near where I live now in the Catskills. So imagine my surprise when Pete showed up in my email inbox the other day, letting me know that he and Paula are now living in Vancouver Island in Canada!

Here's what Pete has to say for himself ...

Where to start? Chiat/Day seems decades ago which, as it turns out, it is.

We headed off east to Virginia but I stayed very much in the business with clients like Wieden & Kennedy (Dan Wieden is a friend), IBM, Compac (remember them?), Shell, etc., etc. We also got heavily involved in local non-profits - some on the national stage (the biggest deal being at woodrowwilson.org). But eventually, the South began to grate, and when W got elected the second time, we decided it was time to decamp. After thinking about France (but after years of intermittent efforts, our French still sucks) and Ireland at the height of real estate bubble (housing prices were just stupid high), we settled on the Canada, particularly the Northwest. My sister (and her draft-dodging ex-husband) and her two daughters live on Vancouver island, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Turns out it was. We built a house here, have made good friends, and do pretty much what the f**k we want.

I look forward to seeing Pete and Paula this autumn, as I think British Columbia is the most beautiful spot on this planet!