The Advertising Club of New Jersey inducted five deserving individuals into its Advertising Hall of Fame on Thursday at the Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange.
The 2016 honorees included Sally Glick, principal and chief growth strategist of Sobel & Co. in Livingston; Ed Kessel, composer, producer, director and founder of Sound Imagination in Springfield Township; Jessica Levin, president and chief connector of Seven Degrees Communications in Woodbridge; Tom Marguccio, vice president and creative director of SCG Advertising + Public Relations in Parsippany; and Monica Smith, CEO of Marketsmith Inc., i.Predictus and Brushfire in Cedar Knolls.
“The New Jersey Advertising Club is the voice of the advertising and marketing communities in the state,” Sandra Schler, chair of the Advertising Hall of Fame of New Jersey, said. “There are a lot of very talented, very accomplished (people here). We received more nominations than we had in any year in recent memory, and every single one of them was a star in their own way.”
According to Schler, the finalists were selected due to their measure of leadership, creativity, integrity, mentorship, community involvement, economic contributions and their professional achievements on both a state and national level.
Here are a few words from each of the honorees:
Sally Glick: “I am proud of the part I have played at the firm over the last 11 years as I focused on highlighting our culture, enhancing our reputation, sharing our 60-year legacy, generating enthusiasm for our expertise and, finally, connecting with clients and prospects alike in a meaningful way. It is a role that I am passionate about and one that has brought me great satisfaction. While I am awed to be recognized by the New Jersey Ad Club tonight, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the partners at Sobel & Co., and Alan Sobel most especially. It is because of their willingness to reinforce and elevate the status of marketing within the firm, their belief that marketing is essential to achieving our future goals and, lastly, their encouraging me to be an ambassador for the firm that I am here celebrating this event tonight. Thank you all.”
Ed Kessel: “Hearing my scores performed live on Broadway was a dream that far surpassed any goal that I had in the music industry. I was beyond thrilled and it made me believe that big things can actually happen. … Today, with my (team’s) help, we now produce everything from regional to national television commercials, web videos, e-learning and training projects, jingles, radio commercials, special events, scores, soundtracks and everything in between. … This is my 30th year in business and I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to do what I do for a living and get to work with amazing talent — singers, musicians, actors — that I respect and admire and great clients who have brilliant ideas of their own. I have an incredible team of whom I am really proud. And I even occasionally get to work with my very talented and beautiful daughters. So, I am grateful to my parents for letting me pursue my dreams, and when I think back to that class in college about my teacher’s comment on seeing Ed’s jingle house one day, never could I imagine that I’d be standing here being honored as part of the New Jersey Ad Club’s Hall of Fame for exactly that and more. I am humbled and honored to be in such great company tonight and thank you so much for this wonderful award.”
Jessica Levin: “If you think about it, (marketing and communications) is a big responsibility. How well we do our jobs can make or break a company. If we do well, jobs are created. We can give people raises. We can fund a nation. In fact, we can shape public opinion on just about any topic. Not only is it a lot of responsibility, but it also a tough job. There aren’t any right or wrong answers. As much as we plan and strategize, it can still be much like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. And everyone thinks they are a marketing expert because anyone can throw spaghetti. … But I could not imagine doing anything else. Today, I am grateful to be a marketer. Being honored among my peers is incredibly overwhelming and a bit surreal. We strive to do good work for our clients, be creative and deliver on results. Some days we win and some days we lose. Today, we’ve won. Congratulations to all of my fellow inductees.”
Tom Marguccio: “You are looking at a man who is living his dream. I’ve wanted to be in advertising since I was in grammar school. And last month I celebrated my 40th year in this wonderful business of ours. … While our business has changed dramatically over the years, the quality of the work produced by the New Jersey advertising community hasn't. Well, maybe it has — it’s actually gotten better. ... And there have been (many) people in my life without whom I would not be standing here tonight. People who loved me, taught me, influenced me, inspired me and put up with me. … I am honored to be part of this accomplished group, and humbled and extremely grateful to be standing here tonight. Please understand how proud I am to be chosen for induction into this Hall of Fame, which is populated by so many whose work I have long admired.”
Monica Smith: “Thank you, so much, to the New Jersey Ad Club. What an honor to be among not only inductees today but also those who have already been a part of the Hall of Fame. … If I told you that I got up every day, each time, out of my own (accord), it would be completely false. It is really my family, friends and those here tonight, these amazing people. … that make me think how lucky I am to rise every day and do something that I absolutely love for and with people I love, with products and services I really believe in, knowing that I am making a difference in the economy, having an impact on the state and, along the way, doing a little bit of good. I am so grateful.”