Speech: Rich Jernstedt, 2019 Legacy Honoree

Tiffin Jernstedt: Great. Thank you, Keith. I’m so honored to be here to present the Legacy Awards to my dad Rich Jernstedt on behalf of my brother Ty, my mom, Janie, and the entire Jernstedt family, a huge thank you to my two aunts that are right here, who flew in from Oregon to surprise my dad and their big brother. So my dad wanted to be… make it easy for me tonight and had a whole plan for me for my speech. We’re not doing that. So because most of you know my dad as a professional, I thought it’d be fun to talk about what it’s like to be raised by the ultimate communicator and mentor as your father.

So before I even talk about my dad, you know I have to talk about my mom. She’s been a huge force in my life and in my dad’s life and huge success, so we have to thank her first. So I’ve gotten a lot of great advice from my dad through the years, and it really does start, can you imagine in elementary school, you have the ultimate communicator, editing your third grade book report. AP style, by the way. The grammar Jean never got to me, even though he was such a stickler, and as many of you know, he was a journalism major from University of Oregon. But what I did learn from him is the art of positioning and the power of really writing for impact. So I did get that from you, dad. Despite all of his patience and continued effort, what I also learned from him is the immediate follow up, as many of you know, he’s famous for his handwritten notes, and that also stuck with me. When also when I watched my dad through the years, he’s been unbelievable with going with change and embracing change. So even though he was a traditional journalism background, with all the dynamics of communications and how it’s changed over the years, he’s been there every step of the way. He’s still my press clipping service. Every week, we always get amazing clips from him. But he’s also as terrible as a teenager on Instagram. But she’s not on right now. I’m actually really impressed dad.

Probably the most important lesson that I learned from my dad was, no one cares more about your career than you. But I’m so lucky to say that my dad does. So one of the biggest aha moments that I had in my career was when I got to mentor my dad. So as some of you know, he comes from corporate America, McDonald’s, coffee spill stuff and I come from the fashion industry, fashion shows, dressing celebrities, but through the years, your worlds is starting to collide. And I sent him a fashion client a couple years ago and I got a call from my dad saying, “Oh my god, they want to cover approval on the magazine.” And he said, “Yes, they really don’t do that. I go, “Yes, I know. Welcome to my real dad.” So what also has been amazing is through the years, a lot of my industry friends, they’ve actually worked with my dad and they’ve been mentored by my dad. And to hear them say, “Your dad is so cool. He’s helped me so much for my career”, is amazing to hear as a daughter. And what also was awesome, last year, I joined the page society and we were the first father daughter duo that we learned, which we didn’t know. So no matter what, he’s been at every step in my career, I hit 20 years and we just did the math. He said, 50. But in my 20 years, he’s coached me through six career changes, thousands and thousands of phone calls about every phase of my career, and he’s been there every step of the way. So I can’t thank you enough dad, you’ve inspired me, our family, all of our friends, our industry. He’s also continues to inspire the younger generation, he has two of his mentees here, Megan and Kim, we have you guys here, and my 10 year old son Ace, who is the youngest person, I think here, but you can see another. So he just recently told me that after his career with the Seahawks, he wants to be a communicator like all of us. And I hope to be as good a mentor to Ace as my dad was to me. So congratulations, dad. You are my mentor of life and in business, and congratulations and I love you.

Rich Jernstedt: Do you have it? Like I just didn’t take my seat let you let that go. Miss, you need to hand me the speech because I don’t see it up here. Thank you to family effort. Many of you know I’ve never been able to make a point in 90 seconds or less, but I’m going to do my best. I got two key messages. The first one is thank you, Tiffin. Thank you, I don’t know what to say about what you’ve just said. I can’t tell you how proud we are of you. As your father and mentor, I’m just glad I didn’t jeopardize the fact that you excel at everything you do. So thank you for everything that you said. Thanks too to Keith and Ron and Bill and you, Bridget and everybody at the Plank Center for making this such a wonderful honor and for making this event the best night in public relations. So our thanks to you. Thanks too to my wife, Jeannie, you’ve already heard from Tiffin. You’re the real mentor in the family. You’ve been mentoring me since our first date. 53 years ago almost tonight. She will tell you that I am a work in progress. I will say she is perfection and I love you for it. This is humbling for me. I’ve sat out there for the last 10 years and I’ve loved every minute of that. I have to tell you up here, is really special and it’s very humbling. I’m so proud to be a part of the other honorees tonight and particularly proud to be a part of the legacy honorees, three others at least are here tonight. Pat, Bill and Tom, if I missed anybody, so a round of applause for them, because I’ve been saying that I’m humbled to the point of embarrassment to be included in that crowd. They’ve accomplished so much and still found time to be recognized as mentors. But according to their speeches at this event tonight, they all admitted how much they benefited from their mentoring. So there’s a real lesson there.

I owe a great deal of thanks to one of those Legacy Award winners and that’s [inaudible 00:14:32] a world class mentor, coach, friend, boss. We’re so pleased to have June Golden here with us tonight. And I also knew Betsy Plank. Thank you to her for inspiring us to understand what she understood was the important role of mentoring. If she were here tonight and I’m sure she is, she would tell us you’re never too young or you’re never too old to be a mentor or a mentee. And that leads to my second message, which is to mentor more. If you don’t have a mentee, get one, if you don’t have a mentor, get one, if you do, get more. It’s difficult to determine who benefits the most, the mentor or the mentee because the roles tend to blend after a while. I learned so much from younger professionals and at this stage of my life, everybody seems to be younger than I am. Several of my favorite mentees turn mentors are with us tonight. Many at this table, you already heard about the surprise last night of my two sisters showing up, my little sister’s I always call them and our grandson Ace is the one who keeps me in touch with social media and popular culture. It is awesome that you’re here tonight. You would say it’s sick, but I learned today no, no, no, it’s not sick anymore. It’s lit.

So, David Brooks, the author and columnist writes that joy is the present that life gives you when you give your gifts to others. Regardless of age or experience, you all have gifts. Because of communications being so important in our society today, we owe it to our employers and to our country to share those gifts with others. We set the standards for communications that are credible, authentic, truthful and real. So mentor more so it will happen faster, better, and with some joy. Help me send a message to everybody who’s watching and to Betsy, by repeating after me when I count to three, mentor more. 1, 2, 3, mentor more.

Audience: Mentor more.

Rich Jernstedt: [inaudible 00:16:58] do it one more time. One more time. 1, 2, 3 mentor more.

Audience: Mentor more.

Rich Jernstedt: Thank you very much.[crosstalk 00:17:13]