I hadn't thought about Bob Paxton for a long, long time. During my stint as president of Friendship Haven Health Systems, Bob and I had several business and personal ties. The most memorable was when our company purchased some land from Iowa Central Community College for a planned expansion of some new independent living units. The wooded area was to be known as Asbury Park.
It was one of those creative ideas that ended when I was asked to leave a position I truly loved. Boards can be that way. I moved on (and it's been great!). So did Friendship Haven, Iowa Central Community College and Bob Paxton.
Last week the Board of Trustees of Iowa Central accepted Bob's resignation during a 10 minute special board meeting. At issue was a July 4th incident and photo plastered all over Fort Dodge and Iowa by the media and others....some, it is said, had an axe to grind.
We're not piling on. This is a branding issue and a lesson for all of us.
Somebody once told me, "Never do anything that you wouldn't want to share one-on-one with your mother." In today's world, with nearly everybody toting a cell phone with a camera...Mom is never too far away.
Iowa Central had built up an impressive brand. The school conformed to the needs of their market, much of it linked directly to Bob Paxton and his vision. But, in the end it didn't much matter. The creator of the brand became a "brand threat".
Just another reminder to all of us in business, no matter what the profession. Everything can change in an instant.
Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Guard your brand and if you don't know how or not sure you have one...Call us.