NOTE: This was written quickly and with a ton of emotion, in my iPhone notes, immediately after learning about Adrianna’s next chapter.
Having been in this career for a long minute, there are many things that make me step back and smile. Some with a head shake over the behind-the-scenes madness that went into a good outcome, some with rueful glee, many with a sense of achievement that only shines in the rear view.
But of all of it, the ability to meet and mentor amazing young people - even when I was still pretty young myself - makes me the most proud. There are faces and fierce growth spurts and first media hits that jump out from among the various teams and projects over the years that affirm over and over that I’m on my right path.
Two are current clients; a testament to the trust and connection we built.
One is Adrianna Abreu, our first growth hire* at The Key, who we send off into her next adventure with sadness (because, duh. She rules), but with even more gratitude for her formative contributions to The Key and with total assurance that she’s taking her best next step (with a little selfish hope that our modeling as women and friends helped her make the choice).
I first met Adrianna when she interviewed to intern at a prior company. I was the big boss lady behind a glass wall, all pencil skirts and furrowed brow. She had great shoes. I remember being struck by the clarity of both her skin and her drive. She was soft spoken, but confident and she was a fantastic hire and a quick and trusted friend to many. I mostly appreciated her from some distance, because I was mostly in excel grids and budget meetings at that stage and didn’t have much proximity to the day-to-day functions of junior teammates, or faith that I could deliver to them in that environment what they deserved. She still managed to standout and climbed quickly in esteem from colleagues and clients and media.
After I started what is now The Key, I had a lot of calls for coffee from former teammates who were trying to figure out next steps as those same colleagues and clients moved on and away. Over drinks about career path and goals, Adrianna blurted out, “I just want to work for you!” No chill. Not advisable when negotiating, p.s. But totally the heart/head explosion I needed to help make a first growth hire and kick some formality into gear.
She’s been a central force since, and more than her exceptional wins for clients and with media, her testing and proving the extent to which we can lead with love, be people and professionals, and cry and crush goals has been a frequent and needed assurance that we truly are writing a new story at The Key.
Life has been big for a lot of us in the few short years we’ve been together. Because life does that. You sign up for something new and challenging and then it just piles more shit on when you feel sure you have enough. It is age and stage agnostic and proves over and over again that firm lines between work and life; inflexible schedules and tear-averse work spaces don’t work.
With every tearful conversation, structural change, office move (for the company or for her as she pursued her best life) or other challenge life threw into the journey we were on with Adrianna, she cleared it with flying colors.
We’ll miss her and we love her and wish her only the best.
P.S. If you’ve had the pleasure of working with Double A - in this job or a past one, as client or colleague or reporter - feel free to drop a note below.
*Hiring Adrianna was impetus to grow from Martha Shaughnessy PR - a consultancy of two people working from home - to The Key PR, a legitimate, incorporated agency with payroll and everything.