Monday, April 3, 2023

Aura. AKA Emily Elyshevitz.

One time, many many years ago, I had a moment like you might see in a Hallmark Channel movie.  

Such moments don't often happen to angry old Jews with no discernible faith in anything save a really good pastrami sandwich from Katz's.

The story started about a year before the "moment."

I was freelancing for an agency, and because I was in production I didn't have enough work for my taste. I went to the woman who managed the creative department and said, "Jennifer, I'm raising my hand. Anything that needs doing, I have time."

Jennifer cried. She said, "George, no one's ever said that to me."

Now move forward a year. I am out of work and the phone isn't ringing. In fact, I had about 19 interviews at a place, and then they went dark. I didn't know how to reignite that particular prospect and I was more than a little distraught. 

I was walking through Central Park, as I rounded the corner, I ran into the aforementioned Jennifer. I explained my predicament, and within minutes, Jennifer got the ball rolling and within an hour or two (this is the Hallmark Channel, remember) I had a job.

That overture is my long-way of saying that there are people on our planet--even people in our industry--who come with a bit of the miraculous attached.

They're especially kind-hearted. They're especially thoughtful. They help people--underdogs, even. Believe it or not, they engage in that rarest of all behaviors: They Return Phone Calls.

                  That's Emily in the center, with the modified Angela Davis/Toni Morrison 'fro.

One of those "A.P.s" (aura-possessors) is Emily Elyshevitz.

I first met Emily in the 1990s. Yes. The 1990s. When we were 'tweens.

We've been friends ever since.

Emily's helped me. Protected me. Leaned on me. Advised me. Through the years we've shed some tears. Won some battles. Lost more. And laughed a lot.

What's most notable about Emily is that she's probably helped more people of color get jobs in advertising than any ten other people. She's probably helped more people of color find their way than any ten other people. Along the way, she's also helped people like me raise our consciousness and raise our hands to help--both young people and our industry.

Emily and I spoke just minutes ago. Of course, she called me to ask me to help one of her young charges. 

That's who Emily is.

She never stops shining her light. Her Aura has very long-lasting batteries and its glow illuminates legions.

BTW, Emily is not only looking to continue to help young people
--she's looking for a new agency where she can be herself to her lovely fullness. She has, arguably, one of the most important jobs in the business--and she does it maybe better than anyone--but unfortunately, Emily doesn't generate revenue. In 2023, you know what that means.

You owe it to yourself to meet Emily.

She has enough Aura to share with all of us.


BTW, some highlights from Emily's many Linked In recommendations:

      • Emily advocates for diverse, junior talent each and every step of the way. She recognizes individual strengths and potential and finds the right home within the agency for them. Emily does all this with a kind, open and honest nature that inspires young creatives to want to be a part of this industry. She has personally helped me grow my creative career and I'm thankful for her expertise and mentorship. I truly believe no one else can do what she does. If you don't know Mama Goddess your agency/business is missing out!
  • Lynda Nwaizu profile picture
      • Emily aka mama goddess as we, her students fondly call her is an amazing person. When you are in a room with her, you cannot help but feel loved and cared for. She connects with you on a personal level and helps you navigate your career and life in general. Emily has the gift of molding young talents and helping them be the best they can be. She pushes you to discover more about yourself, the things you are truly passionate about and how you can offer those things to the world. Not many people are like Emily.
  • Neisha Tweed Bell profile picture
      • When I started at Ogilvy as a young, woman of color in this giant, crazy agency, I was ambitious but unsupported - trying to find my place in this giant agency without the management or creative direction I needed as a junior. Thankfully Emily was there. She gave me support, guidance and encouragement whenever I needed it most - she cared for my career the way a mentor would, introducing me to the right people, making sure I was in the right rooms and when necessary, snatching me back to reality and putting me back on track. The time, nurture and advice Emily gave me was invaluable as I navigated the first few years of my career. I've seen seen her develop beyond her role at the time to truly focus her energy on young creatives and helping recruit and retain them, a valuable and necessary role in the industry right now. This is totally her wheelhouse, managing and nurturing talent in a balanced, honest way is where she shines and where she is best utilized.
  • Jonel Turner profile picture
      • f I could take Emily Elyshevitz with me throughout my entire career, I absolutely would. Not only is she one of the rare people in the industry that treats diversity as more than a trendy buzzword, she truly lives up to her moniker as the mama goddess. Much like my own mama, she has been my sounding board, my voice of reason and my biggest advocate. I would not be where I am without her, and I don't have enough words to express how grateful I am to have had her in my corner. The workforce is completely different, now. It is easy to hire a new employee and hope for the best. HOWEVER. If you are a corporation with a genuine interest in cultivating meaningful relationships with an increasingly diverse staff, you would (and should) be honored to have her on your team. Ask any of her kids. We all know.
  • Corinna Falusi profile picture
      • Emily is an institution. She is the heart and soul of Ogilvy’s junior talent program, and helps manage their careers, hopes and dreams. Emily is incredibly resourceful in finding some of the most interesting junior talent globally. She is keenly interested, proactive, and successful in achieving Ogilvy’s diversity and inclusion initiative goals. Emily is an incredible mentor, and truly cares about the careers of creatives and the creative output. She has an endless talent for listening and understanding creatives needs. She is a wonderful and soulful person Ogilvy would not be the same without her.
  • Colby Spear profile picture
      • I truly cannot say enough good things about Emily. As the Career Development Manager at Ogilvy, I've regularly seen her go above and beyond in her work with the agency’s interns and young creatives. She's truly passionate about making sure the right people are hired and ensures they’re placed in the right role within an agency. A huge advocate for young creatives, I’ve regularly seen her go to bat for her creatives so that they're treated right and put in positions to succeed. 10/10 she is one of the best and most caring individuals I’ve met at Ogilvy.
  • Rodrigo Moran profile picture
      • Emily is one of the greatest people I've worked with. Amazing leader, she can recruit the best young talent to Ogilvy like no one else I've met. She's also a problem solver, a fighter and a pirate! Perfect fit for companies that want to change the world. She make great things happen and inspires people around her. A great person who really cares about people's career and success.
  • Kevin Igunbor profile picture
      • Emily Elyshevitz really knows people, some might say it’s her specialty. She has the rare ability to see past what a person says to discover and understand their true intent. Combined with her tenacity, kindness and decades of experience, she’s the quintessential matchmaker, problem solver and, if you’re deserving of it, friend. Emily’s a true force of nature. Through her experience working with and developing musicians for over 20 years, she’s brought over that “more than a job” mindset to the creative world, and won’t rest until the right people are in exactly the right place. On the surface, my creative partner and I are opposites in every way imaginable, but Emily’s ability to instinctively understand people on a deeper level lead her to partner us together. Since then I’ve been enjoying the most productive, fun and creatively-fertile partnership I’ve ever had. Anyone who has Emily on their side instantly has an immense advantage in life. Her ability to nurture people to be stronger, more effective creatives and humans is second to none. I adamantly believe the creative world would be much stronger if there was an Emily Elyshevitz at every agency.
  • Stephen Chu profile picture
      • Emily is a kind, nurturing, and beautiful spirit at Ogilvy. She's the person that everyone goes to when they need guidance, advice, or just a little TLC. She has an amazing ability to see peoples strengths and talents and pair them up with teams where the chemistry just works. This in turn usually leads to many young creatives getting hired because once they start on a project, nobody wants them to leave. Everyone Emily has mentored, nurtured, or helped has gone on to be a stronger, more confident creative. Many have become employed, which changes their lives for the better. She's an amazing person to work with and we're all lucky to have her here.
  • Ingrid Thompson profile picture
      • I've worked with Emily for several years, and she never ceases to inspire me. Most recently, I've been impressed by her success with diversifying Ogilvy's Creative Department. In a relatively short period of time, she's brought in really smart, talented, and innovative men and women whose unique backgrounds have added depth to the agency's work. She actively supports Ogilvy's stance on Diversity and Inclusion. Emily does an amazing job of managing and nurturing all the students, interns, and junior Creatives at Ogilvy. She makes sure they're all engaged, partnered with mentors, and being placed on portfolio-building assignments. This method has helped strengthen their creative and intuitive skill sets. I think it would be awesome if she extended her program to the mid-level Creatives so they could benefit from it too. Emily has such a wonderful way with people that she puts everyone at ease. She has multiple decades of industry experience under her belt, which is why so many people turn to her for guidance and information--myself included. She also has quite an extensive network, so she's very good at connecting people with key contacts. Additionally, Emily has an eye for both great work and untapped potential. She's really good at giving feedback that helps push her mentees' work further. What's more, Emily is an all-around wonderful person who goes out of her way to support people--even if she's just met them. She is a breath of fresh air that makes the workplace more enjoyable. It is always a pleasure to work with her.
  • Tracy McFarlane profile picture
      • I am a Creative Director at Ogilvy and have known Emily for over 15 years. In that time, she has contributed so much to her family, her business and the world in general. She is a force of nature that never rests in her quest for growth, personal enlightenment and in her immense gift for building a community. She has a gift for discovering and nurturing talent in young people, not only with her contribution in organizing the Jazz Standard group for many years but also with her developing her own position at Ogilvy. As the only Career Development and Creative Internship manager, she searches for talent everywhere, steers their creative growth and helps them to get a much needed start in the corporate world. It is a massive job for a creative department of this size and she oversees many new interns. She is passionate, tireless and giving of herself and her well-earned advice on how to get ahead in advertising. She helps ensure all of the interns have partners, appropriate work, proper documentation and is always there to help guide them. Ultimately this has meant a vibrant and diverse creative community at Ogilvy that is unlike any other model. It also makes the work better and more interesting as so many new perspectives are added to our talent pool. And they all love her. In fact, we all do. She is one of those people that fills a company with her positive spirit, her commitment and humanity and makes it a much better place to work. Tracy McFarlane

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