Ever since I started working at Coles Marketing — almost a decade ago (yikes!) — my coworker, Chris Mercier, has been a wonderful mentor and friend.
And at the end of this month, she’s retiring. I can’t imagine the workplace without her, so I thought a spotlight on her for this blog seemed quite fitting.
Q&A with Chris Mercier (it rhymes!)
Q: How did you get started with Coles? Why have you stayed so many years?
A: I joined the company when it was known as Coles & Morrison. I met Candy Morrison first through a non-profit. Working part-time at the non-profit was my first job going back to work after staying home with my two children. In 1998, Candy introduced me to Barb, and I joined the company.
Q: Describe Coles Marketing in one word.
Q: How has the PR/marketing/communications industry changed over the years?
A: When I first joined the company, six of us shared one email account. We sent news releases through the mail (snail mail). Social media wasn’t even on the horizon. Advertising was limited to print or broadcast. Clients have many more opportunities today to tell their stories.
Q: What qualities do you think are required of a leader for success?
A: I think a leadership role requires you to think on your feet. Develop honest relationships. Listen to your client to formulate a strategy to help them accomplish their goals. I enjoy the critical thinking it takes to come up with workable strategies for each challenge.
Q: What kind of impression or impact do you hope to leave on Coles Marketing and its employees?
A: I hope people remember that I was a hard worker with a sense of humor.
Q: Offer a piece of advice for up-and-coming PR and marketing executives.
A: My advice to future execs is to be a supportive and contributing member to the team. Always stay one step ahead by staying organized. Don’t be afraid to take on more responsibility, and embrace change.
Q: What’s ahead for you?
A: My husband and I look forward to spending more time in Scottsdale with our daughter, two grandchildren, Jim’s mom and dad and extended family of close to 50. We will also be closer to our son in Portland and hope to travel the western U.S. in the next few years.
Chris, we will miss you. You can never be replaced, and we will always remember you as a hard worker with a sense of humor … and so much more!