RACHEL SPRUNG: Good evening everyone. My name is Rachel Sprung, and it’s an honor to be here tonight to present the young professional mentor of the year award to Nick Lucido.
Let’s go back a couple years. Nick Lucido was a PRSSA legend before I met him. He was 19, 20 years old and had already made an impact on so many people’s lives. He was so well respected that I heard all about him all the way from Boston, even though he was in Michigan.
When I finally met him, it felt like I was meeting a celebrity. I would soon find out why. I was fortunate enough to be on the PRSSA National Committee the year that Nick was elected president. He is a born leader, always empowering his committee to make big decisions.
I would always go to him looking for advice, but first he would ask me what do you think about this? Instead of telling me what to do, he would work through the problems with me and help me come to a conclusion. He always made sure that the committee knew that he trusted their decisions.
As a result, his committee grew from college students, unsure of their next steps, into young professionals ready for the real world. But Nick’s leadership skills extend beyond his close circle of friends and even beyond the national committee. No matter what situation he’s in or what role he’s thrown into, he always finds a way to empower others.
So now, I’m going to take you to a personal story of when Nick visited me in Boston in October of 2011. At the time, HubSpot, the marketing software company I work for, was working on a team building flash mob to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The only problem was no one at the company knew how to do the dance.
Enter Nick who had done the dance during his time on the national committee during the roll call. For those of you have been to a PRSSA roll call, there’s always a big dance at the beginning to a PRSSA themed parody. So, he happily agreed to help out the company, but I left out a few details.
So, it actually happened that instead of teaching the company in one time, it was back to back one-hour sessions for six hours, but he didn’t stop smiling the entire time and it was a success. They did ask us if he was a professional choreographer though. And we let them know that he, in fact, worked at Edelman.
When I heard about the opportunity to nominate Nick for this award, I dropped everything to do it. So many people look up to him and he’s made an impact on so many people. He is selfless. He just deserves this award more than anyone. He gives the greatest career advice whether you’re looking to advance your career or just navigate a work situation.
He has spent hours with me helping me grow personally and professionally. Nick has achieved so much in his own career, but the impact he has had on countless other young professionals is astounding. Thank you, Nick, for all that you do. There really isn’t anyone who deserves this more than you.
NICK LUCIDO: So, I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not going to dance for you. No. So actually, this is my third event here, and I remember coming here three years ago and meeting people whose names were on the doors of agencies and just legends around here. And I thought that after a few years, I would be able to kind of contain myself and collect myself. And still it’s just, I feel so honored and so humbled to be among so many amazing people so, and especially to win this award is just such an incredible feeling for me.
So, when it comes to mentorship, something that I’ve learned is that it really does take a village. So, in that village there are people like Rachel that you have the privilege of calling your mentee, but the reality is those kinds of people teach you more than you’ll probably give them. And I think that’s kind of the beauty of mentorship so it’s just, it’s an amazing feeling.
There’s also the mentors who help guide you in your own career. And encourage you to give back as much as they give to you. For me, I have what feels like an army of incredible people helping guide me in my career and encourage me to give back as much as they give me.
So, the reality is that a village also needs an income. And there are organizations that help its employees not only grow and develop as much as possible, but also promote an environment of mentorship and active citizenship in this profession. For me, that’s exactly what I have at Edelman, and I’m grateful to call myself an Edelman employee.
I’m proud of the client work that I’m proud of, but I’m even more proud of the fact that I can be an active citizen of the industry, and Edelman gives me the time to be part of the future of the profession, and I’m so grateful for that. So, with each success, in my short, very short career that I’ve had thus far, especially comparatively to this room, I can directly attribute all of that help and those small successes that I’ve had to my mentors who have been behind me and I’m grateful for that.
So, to me this award earlier reflects the time and energy that I put in to mentorship thus far. But like John, I think this recognition truly is a challenge for me. It’s a challenge that will push me to continue supporting and mentoring the future of the profession and throughout the rest of my career.
So, thank you to The Plank Center, and especially the board for this honor and your tremendous example. I’m inspired by all of you and all of you who continue to take so much time out of your day to be part of mentorship and give back to people like me.
So, I appreciate it, and thank you very much.
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