Amanda Cosindas Discusses Parenting and the Return to School with Digiday

Ty Gates | Sep. 2 2021

At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, parents were put between a rock and a hard place. For working parents still employed, the challenge presented was managing their day-to-day job while also managing their child(ren)’s schedule with virtual schooling. A unique challenge presented itself for some parents who found themselves homeschooling their child(ren).
Fast forward a year later, and children across the country return to school in the coming days and weeks.
Amanda Cosidans, Director of Communications and Marketing here at The Many, sat down with Kristina Monllos of Digiday to discuss how The Many has empowered her with the utmost flexibility and understanding as she navigates parenting during this transition.
Check out the full conversation over at Digiday.

Todd Lombardo Discusses The Many’s Hybrid Workforce with Digiday

Ty Gates | Aug. 20 2021

With vaccinations on the rise going into the summer, agencies started to map out how they would open the doors for more employees to return to working in-office should they desire. But with the delta variant popping up sporadically across the country, the industry headed back to the drawing board to figure things out and develop a way to be more flexible with the workforce.
Todd Lombardo, managing director, excellence here at The Many, recently sat down with Kristina Monllos of Digiday to discuss how The Many has been navigating operating with an entirely remote workforce with those in Los Angeles having the ability to head into the office whenever they need it.
One thing we’ve all come to realize is that flexibility is critical when it comes to navigating this unfamiliar time.
Check out the full conversation over at Digiday.

Todd Lombardo Discusses Flexibility and the Future of Hybrid Work with R/GA

Ty Gates | Aug. 11 2021

In April, we shared our plans to reinvent agency work culture and create a new future for everyone. As we forge ahead with a hybrid agency culture and challenge outdated conventional wisdom, The Many is eliminating the traditional workplace rules around where, when, and how we show up to work by empowering our people to decide when and how they work. 
“Our team can work from wherever they like, and we also won’t be dictating hours when our teams will be working or must be in our HQ or a hub,” Todd Lombardo, Managing Director, Excellence at The Many.
Following his interview with Adweek, Todd recently spoke with our good friend Erik Oster, associate director of marketing and communications at R/GA, to discuss the future of flexible work. Their conversation unpacked the steps we took to develop a virtual-first model that empowers our team to work when, where, and how they want.
Head over to R/GA to read the piece and check out what The Many, We Are Rosie, McGarrah Jessee, and The Agency Sherpa had to say about retaining talent, making the jump to flexible work culture and the impact that decision has had on employees.

Samantha Petrossi on How Brands Can Help People Through the Next 'Evolution of Wellness'

Amanda Cosindas | Jul. 28 2021

Samantha Petrossi combines the insight of a strategist with the heart and soul of a human who is “doing the work” to truly understand and embrace wellness and further what it means to nourish that in an increasingly complex world. 
Through our Voices of The Many program, Samantha is calling on brands to step up and take accountability for their role in supporting mental health. In her recently published piece in Adweek, she stakes a strong claim when it comes to accountability:

"All companies will be held accountable for contributing to the well-being of the people they serve—whether they are inherently wellness-related or not. In other words, brands that don’t step up now risk becoming irrelevant in the near future."

Getting to know Sam is a refreshing experience—she’s perceptive and discerning, especially when it comes to mental health and total well-being. She’s the kind of person who can articulate your innermost thoughts almost better than you can, relate to how you’re feeling, and then turn those thoughts and feelings into action. (I mean, duh, she’s a strategist!)
Which brings us to another enlightening piece of who she is—her new podcast with her husband, Know Your True Self, which is rich with insightful discussion, relatable stories, and helpful tips on how to find more peace and joy in a chaotic and unpredictable world. Did we say she’s doing this with her husband!? If that doesn’t speak volumes for Sam’s ability to be a sounding board and breath of fresh air, we don’t know what does.

Samantha Petrossi is Strategy Director at The Many.

Artboard 17575: Senior Designer Amy Woo Blends Nostalgia, Food and Design

Amy Woo | Jul. 8 2021

Presenting The Many’s first installation of Artboard 17575, a monthly column dedicated to the intricacies, nuances, beauty and limitless possibilities of design. It’s my pleasure to bring you the first exploration.
Over the past few years, the design world has trended towards nostalgia — a good recent example being Burger King. But the lockdown really seemed to accelerate this trend. And why wouldn’t it? For many, nostalgia is more than just a vintage look, it’s a return to a happy place plucked right from our memories. Something which was sorely needed after a whole year of “in these uncertain times” commercials and emails.
For me, many of my happiest memories revolved around food. I spent a large part of my pre-kindy years with my gonggong (grandpa). Our mornings almost always began with a sesame bagel from the local bakery followed by some laundry and then a midday walk to the traditional Chinese bakery where we picked out glorious baked goods from glass display cases. The afternoon would be dinner prepping of Shanghainese influenced Cantonese dishes. All these smells and textures bring me back to the cherished memories of time spent with my grandfather.

Food has always been personal for me, and recently I’ve seen my two loves of food and design starting to blend together. One thing I noticed during lockdown was that whilst restaurants were forced to operate at a limited capacity, they also started to sell branded merchandise to help offset costs. Design became part of the experience. 
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been into graphic tees. They all just felt a little generic and unconsidered. They were mostly just logos slapped on the back with crusty ink on equally scratchy t-shirt blanks. However, these new tee shirts popping up felt unique and collectible. They were printed on soft blanks that hung nicely and something that I would actually reach for. 
Most importantly, the designs were finally considered. The restaurants were working with artists and designers to craft mindful designs. What I’m seeing is a return of the human hand, rather than machine. I’m deeply drawn to the warmth, imperfection and off-beat personality. It’s personable and welcoming – like a big warm hug one would expect from their neighborhood restaurant.

Without concerts or live events to go to, this was the new form of poster collecting, but instead we can wear these shirts and proudly support the small restaurants in our community. Many restaurants don’t create large runs and if they run out they’re gone, so in a way you’re collecting limited edition works of art.

So what exactly is it that makes these graphics evoke a sense of nostalgia?

Practical color palette (printing with multiple colors can get pricey).

Bottom-heavy typefaces are traced back to the late 60’s/70’s design style  (jeanette/brandywine/funkford).

Imitation of a traditional/analog printing technique (e.g, linocut printing).

The use of typeface inspired by hand-painted signage lettering connotes a level of craftsmanship.

The inclusion of illustrations helps further define the persona and story that the establishment would like to tell.

My favorite part about these is that at the end of the day, it’s a happy place. Everytime I take out my Woon shirt, it’s going to remind me of the perfectly chewy noodles. I’m not going to hum and haw over whether a grid was used or if type was set according to “design rules”. It’s already perfect, like the baked goods I used to get with GongGong.

So with all that being said, I thought I’d take a stab at designing a t-shirt for the iconic restaurant that was once located at The Many’s headquarters on the Pacific Coast Highway, Thelma Todd’s Cafe.

Thelma Todd and her Cafe (which was also, at times, an underground casino), remained a southern California landmark and home to this silent film actress for many years. Some say Thelma still walks the halls of our office—and you guessed it, Artboard 17575 is a nod to our headquarters located at 17575 Pacific Coast Highway. Learn more about its history and Thelma’s mysterious death here.

I hope you’ve found some inspiration through this story.  And if you’re interested in designing your own t-shirt, utilize this toolkit that I put together to create some wearable memories: True grit texture supply, House Industry, Retro Supply Co, Procreate (or pencil + paper).

Amy Woo is Senior Designer at The Many.

Amber Justis Provides a Window into American Advertising on Transatlantic Podcast

Ty Gates | Jun. 23 2021

With our Los Angeles HQ mere steps away from the beach, we know a thing or two about the ocean. Amber Justis, Head of Creative here at The Many, sat down with Simone Nobili, host and seat captain of the Transatlantic podcast, to charter through a series of seven questions like the Seven Seas.
From learning how to pay attention to every particle in the room to making a commitment to drop the unnecessary and fully embrace her true self, Amber opens up on who she is and who she is evolving into, and how she stays in touch with her divine femininity.
Check out the full conversation below or head over to the Transatlantic YouTube channel to watch Amber’s episode and more.

Rediate Tekeste Joins Muse by Clio’s ‘Black Tea’ Video Series

Ty Gates | Jun. 22 2021

For those that haven’t had the pleasure to meet Rediate Tekeste, senior brand director here The Many, she effortlessly brings joy to your life.
Rediate recently appeared on Black Tea, a video series presented by Muse by Clio that exists to make the independent voices of our fellow Black ad women louder in the industry.
Chatting with the host Michelle Lawrence, the two explore how Rediate made her way into the ad industry, the incredible nonprofit that she founded – Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship, and lessons you can learn from working with your direct reports, among other things!
Check out Rediate’s episode below or head on over to Muse by Clio to view life through her lens.

An Introvert's Manifesto on Leadership by Jackie VanSloten

Ty Gates | Jun. 21 2021

We’ve witnessed remarkable pieces from the team since the start of our Voices at The Many program. Jackie VanSloten, who previously had a piece published by Muse by Clio last year, has returned to Voices, and Muse, with another insightful piece.
Penned as an introvert’s manifesto on leadership, Jackie details her realization of being a true introvert, analyzing what industries stand to gain by spotlighting and empowering introverts more and how working from home as a result of COVID-19 helped introverts truly shine—a social experiment that taught us all a lot about our counterparts.
Click on over to Muse by Clio to take a journey through Jackie’s point of view and learn how an introvert sees and navigates the corporate world.

Jackie VanSloten is media director at The Many

Maury Povich, Dictionaries, and Life Lessons: Father's Day from Shera White

Shera White | Jun. 20 2021

I always look forward to celebrating Father’s Day! It’s been one of my favorite holidays since I was a little girl. I always made sure to separate my dad’s gifts from the rest of the family because he was that special to me.
When I was 14 years old, I went on a trip to Mexico with my best friend. I sent my family a postcard, but my dad got his own. It had a monkey on it holding a cigar that read, “Met a rich crop grower in… MEXICO, I’m never coming back.”

My dad was the “yes parent”—he was the reason I got to go to Mexico with my friend. He created these little moments of letting me explore life from a very young age. 
I could go on forever explaining why he’s so special to me, but just to name a few, these are my top favorite things about my dad: 
His unique voice with his overly opinionated self, he always had something to say, or his dry-wit sense of humor. I also happen to look just like him, but with more hair and a face full of makeup. 
I always found it humorous that he was a die-hard Raiders fan (he always had a Raiders hat on), yet I never saw him watch Sunday football (that’s my own recollection at least). 
Or, maybe it’s the fact that he enjoyed watching trash TV more than anyone else in the house. I swear I would come home from school and hear Maury Povich saying, “You are not the father!”
It’s impossible to summarize his big personality or our relationship in one story, but let me attempt to give you a better glimpse of what it was like to grow up with my dad… 
There was no such thing as just “hanging out” or “asking him any questions.” When it came to my dad, he would always magically put you to work/clean. I recall this one time in the fourth grade I came out to his man cave (aka the garage) to ask him how to spell Mission San Juan Capistrano. He turned to me and said, “Shera, pick up that cord over there on the floor and plug it into the wall…turn it on real quick, make sure you get each corner to and from the center and back.” 
When I was done, I stood there for about 5 minutes realizing I had just vacuumed the entire carpet in the garage even though the real reason I was there was to ask him for the spelling of the word Capistrano. It didn’t end there. 
Shortly after, he quickly had more directions for me and said, “Let’s put it away correctly, grab the cord and wrap it up in a crisscross pattern,” and I went along with it, assuming that was the correct method to put it away. “Shera, just loop it around from top to bottom.” 
After I was done, again, I stood there even more confused because I forgot what I was doing there in the first place. Finally, he went on to say, “It’s spelled C A P – now go pick up the dictionary, all you need is the first three letters for that.” 
I was puzzled, but not surprised. That was my dad, always discreetly getting you to do something for him, and one might even say it’s the Aquarius in him!

I feel we often underestimate the role of our fathers, and we sometimes can get anxious to ask them for help because we view our dads as “busy men” that shouldn’t be bothered. But when it came to my dad, he always surprised me by his ability to stay calm no matter what, and he reminded me without fail of my strength, value, and why he felt I always deserved the world.
He was my go-to guy for every little problem. I could always count on him to fix the situation by making me feel loved and safe. I now have a new appreciation for when my dad used to say, “YOU’RE SHERA, THE PRINCESS OF POWER!” because I knew he meant it. The help, support, and encouragement that genuinely benefited me always came from him.
If your dad is still with you, I’d like to remind you of something: don’t take the smallest of memories for granted because you never know how meaningful those moments are to your father, even a small, simple postcard from 21 years ago. He is truly missed — every. single. day! 
Happy Father’s Day to ALL of the awesome dads, stepdads and grandads out there! 

Shera White is Project Coordinator at The Many

Anissa Sanders on the History of Juneteenth and How to Be an Ally This Year

Anissa Sanders | Jun. 17 2021

This week, on June 15, 2021, the Senate passed a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, an action previously blocked in 2020 by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. This small victory went on to pass through the House and is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
A small victory that has taken 156 years.
Let that sink in—156 years. Many of us didn’t even know that June 19th was a significant day in history until recently. Growing up, it was just another day of summer vacation for me. A day that was carefree and had no importance tied to it except for knowing the weather forecast and who I was hanging out with.
As a kid, I was taught that slaves were freed in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. I went on field trips to plantations and did war reenactments to learn the history of slavery and the Confederacy. Still, it wasn’t until college that my African American history class taught me something grade school failed to—it took over 20 years for me to be introduced to June 19, 1865, more commonly known as Juneteenth.
While the Emancipation Proclamation set slaves free in 1863, this was not applicable for states under Confederate control, including Texas. On that day in 1865, roughly 2,000 soldiers arrived in Galveston to take control and ensure freedom for those enslaved. Thus, Juneteenth was born.
It wasn’t until 1980 that the day posed recognizable meaning beyond what was taught in collegiate history classes. One hundred fifteen years later, Juneteenth was adopted as a holiday by Texas, a place where the history was rich.
Over the following decades, the day gained more traction, and states began to commemorate Juneteenth as a holiday with the exception of Hawaii, North Dakota and South Dakota. In 2020, a call for racial justice and world-wide protests amid the death of George Floyd pushed the holiday onto corporate calendars.
To avoid beating a dead horse, I’ll put it simple—2020 was a rough year for African Americans. Day after day, we had to show up and perform as if our brothers and sisters weren’t dying at the hands of local law enforcement. The year further highlighted the disparities in treatment, protection, and so much more that left the community in a sea of emotions.
To combat this overwhelming feeling, businesses began to slowly introduce Juneteenth as a day for reflection and to show commitment to racial justice. Only a year later, this day of celebration and reflection has already become just another day off, masking the meaning of such an impactful day.
But it’s not too late to change up your plans and give Juneteenth the recognition it deserves. So, what are some ways to commemorate Juneteenth and do more with your day off? Here’s a start.
Look into local celebrations, parades, gatherings.
A quick Google search of “Juneteenth + your city” can locate what is planned locally for the holiday. Across the nation, cities are hosting celebrations to bring people together through safe spaces to commemorate the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth. You’ll see the Juneteenth flag flying high as well as red foods to symbolize the bloodshed and resilience of the enslaved. In some cities, pageants are held to crown Miss Juneteenth, where winners usually receive a scholarship. (As always, be mindful of local COVID-19 guidelines!)
Educate yourself about the African American experience.
If you’re not comfortable going out into the world, there are still ways for you to engage with this day. While I can give you a quick synopsis of what happened on Juneteenth 156 years ago, there’s so much more you can read, watch and listen to to learn about that day and everything that has, or hasn’t, happened since. It speaks volumes that enslaved people waited two and a half years for freedom, which parallels the experiences still faced by too many today.
18 Books To Celebrate Juneteenth With
We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility – Marc Lamont Hill
Fight the Power – History Channel
The Legacy of Black Wall Street – YouTube/Discovery+
13th – Netflix
OJ Simpson: Made in America – ESPN/Hulu
High on The Hog – Netflix
Juneteenth 2021 Freedom Songs – Apple Music
History of Juneteenth – NPR
‘Henrietta Lacks’: A Donor’s Immortal Legacy – NPR
1619 Podcasts – NY Times
8 Podcasts To Better Understand The Black Experience
Buy Black.
Last but certainly not least, support local Black-owned businesses. NBC News put together a list of 200 Black-owned businesses to give you a place to start. Again, a quick search on Google of “Black-owned businesses + your city” will provide you with some local direction.
All in all, I can’t tell you how to spend your time, but I hope that at a minimum, even an hour out of your day can bring a newfound understanding and appreciation for June 19, 1865.

Anissa Sanders is Media Supervisor at The Many.