GDC Welcomes Michele Brown
We have a saying at GDC, “Once a GDCer, always a GDCer.” Perhaps no one embodies this spirit more than Michele Brown. Michele has been a part of GDC from its earliest beginnings. When she felt the tug toward a different direction in her career, we supported her and wished her well and kept our ties of friendship strong. We were thrilled when Michele’s career trajectory brought her back to GDC as our new Chief Operating Officer. We sat down with Michele to get her perspective on re-joining the agency and what she’s looking forward to in her new role.
What do you look forward to accomplishing in your role as COO?
GDC is celebrating 25 years in business. This is an incredible milestone for ANY organization. We have grown, managed economic downturns, pandemics, and more. Yet, this is an organization about family, taking care of one another, and working hard, partnering with clients to create strategic and creative solutions to their business challenges. I am so excited to be back with this incredible group of people and help position the agency for the next 25 years.
You’re rejoining GDC during a historic time due to the pandemic. How has this affected your transition?
This has been such a difficult time for so many people. While the circumstances are challenging, spending so much time with my family at home really made me think through what was important in my life and how I wanted to spend my time in the future. I did a lot of reflecting on what truly brings me joy and allows me to lean into my strengths, I kept coming back to organizational leadership, strategy, systems and processes, and helping people grow in their careers. Rejoining GDC gives me the opportunity to be with people I care about, continue to build our business, and help to grow the careers of the people who make this place to special.
What has most surprised you at rejoining GDC?
One of the things that makes GDC special is the culture that has been created and held sacred by everyone who works here. What was surprising to me is how that culture has stayed strong, even when most of the team is working remotely from their homes. To me, that speaks to the connective tissue of this organization and the relationships and trust that is fostered in each person. It has been exciting to see the very intentional things that have taken place to help stay connected, accommodate working parents and older parents or family members, trying to help all GDCers have balance, still have fun, and continue to thrive. I don’t think ANY business has perfected this yet, but GDC is pretty dang close!
You’ve had a long history with GDC, what favorite memory (or agency tradition) comes to mind?
I absolutely love that we can celebrate obscure holidays and just make them fun and unusual. NO ONE knows how to celebrate Shark Week like GDC. To this day, I cannot see anything shark-related without thinking of the fun ways we celebrated. Then one year, we almost had Houston Street in downtown San Antonio inadvertently close because we were celebrating May the 4th complete with Star Wars cos play actors in front of our office and random people in their cars were just stopping on the street to take photos!
What would people be surprised to know about you?
During this pandemic I have learned how important it is to be outdoors for your mental and physical health. I have spent a lot more time walking in my neighborhood. My husband and I have rediscovered our backyard and spend a lot of time there. There is a dry creek bed back behind our house and a ton of urban wildlife. I have become a tad obsessed with all the different birds—cardinals, blue jays, hummingbirds, and more. Between that and all the deer, it has been a great way to relax and enjoy.