Memories from the Last 25 Years

August 23, 2023

written by
Barbara O Stephenson

Work is often wrapped up in our personal lives so when I look back at memories, I think of my life and how the personal and professional often intermingle for us.


The Setai

When we worked for the Setai, we were heading to Miami from San Francisco but had a stop over in North Carolina. I remember running thru the airport barefoot (because those heels were 2 inches high) to only miss the plane by 5 minutes. We ended up landing at 5am (instead of 9pm the day before) and I got two hours of sleep in one of the most gorgeous hotel rooms before doing a big marketing meeting at 9am and heading out to the next hotel at 3pm. I made sure to use the giant sunken bath because not to luxuriate for 20 minutes just would have been a crime. I now only book direct flights because even when looking at cost savings, the expense in time is just not worth a mistake and lack of sleep.


Aspen SnowMass

When we were concept presenting for Aspen SnowMass, there are two personal memories. One where I hid in the hotel and turned off the phone after being hounded by a journalist who wanted to put a negative spin on a conversation we had had while flying in. I was discussing how well the corporation took care of their workers, because I saw it as something to be proud of but they clearly disagreed. I was early in my career with zero crisis management training but Nina knew immediately how to handle it and everything worked out.

And my second memory was with Lisa Cashman who spearheaded the marketing department because my data driven widget concept won the presentation. She probably didn’t know how badly my imposter syndrome was and it was the first win on a long road to believing in myself. This was back when we were just starting to be able to use technology to measure things like miles, average speed, etc. We also had the most fun with offers using little animations created in flash on the site. (RIP Flash)


Lebua Hotels

Lastly, when we worked for the fabulous Lebua Hotels doing SEO and Google Ads. I flew to Thailand for 3 days of hard hitting marketing meetings, languid dinners with amazing company, and exotic F&B concepts. I made sure to go 4 days before the meetings so I could adapt to the 12 hour time difference and had one of the best personal vacations on Koi Samui of my life. And now, I always plan on going to any time-change trip at least a day before in order to make sure that I’m my best. No matter if it’s clients or friends I’m seeing, since they make the time to host me the least I can do is be on my A game when it’s time to engage.

A live-work balance is important too for me and for my team. But sometimes the lessons we learn in one overlap into the other and that’s not a bad thing.