At school, lynette chiang, aka
Galfromdownunder was far more excited about guerilla marketing the monthly school dance than Calculus IV. But since Tiger dads don't take "starving artist" for a career option, she got stuck into
computers After dithering with databases and coding 'til cross-eyed she one day opened a magazine and wondered, "who makes ads?" She found the answer at the Australian Writers and Art Directors School, winning top student honors and launching a new career in
advertising Mentored by Australian entrepreneur Siimon Reynolds, she won several advertising awards including a Cannes Lion in one of its toughest judging years. Then she threw it all to the headwinds and started
bicycling On the long and potholed road from Australia to Zancudo (Costa Rica) Lynette worked as a copywriter/creative director for Saatchi & Saatchi. She declining offers to climb the corporate ladder in favor of diving into the wide, wild world of the Customer. That meant being a waitress, trainee third chef, cook and manager of a Costa Rican eco-hotel and spending a freezing winter outside Windsor Castle dressed as an Edwardian Lady.
Then, Bike Friday, the Oregon innovator who built her travel bicycle invited her to 'merica to work in
customer evangelism Starting in phone sales then discovering empty web pages waiting to be filled, she quickly transformed the company's formerly static website with prolific words + video + intent. Readers said, "it made me late for work". Revenue doubled and site traffic regularly surpassed that of more famous bicycle brands.
Seeking total immersion in the passionate, 25,000-strong customer community she hit the road as a card-carrying Customer Evangelist, "taking relationship marketing to the nth degree" by homestaying with customers as a kind of in-situ ethnographer-marketer-storyteller-niece.
I'll know I've gone far enough someone writes me into their will. (Someone has since willed me their bicycle bell).
With her love of people, journalistic instincts and brand marketer's strategic sensibilities, Lynette brought the relatively obscure Bike Friday brand to the top of the inaugural Saatchi & Saatchi Lovemarks.com poll; Bike Friday is a double-page feature in CEO Kevin Roberts' book, The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution.
CustomerEvangelists.com listed her beside word-of-mouth mavens like Guy Kawasaki, adventure journalist Jim Clash named her a Forbes.com Rugged Individualist and FastCompany.com appointed her as one of their founding Expert Bloggers.
Lynette considers the offer of venture capital in 2010 by a customer - and world famous investor - the pinnacle of her work in Customer Evangelism.
travel writing Lynette's first travel memoir, The Handsomest Man in Cuba was favorably reviewed by the New York Times. Published in four countries, it's an award-winning account of the Lynette's solo biycle expedition across Cuba during the Elian Gonzales case.
moviemaking Shooting single-handedly from the saddle, Lynette's videoblogging and feature length "handlebar" movies produced in collaboration with Race Across America legend Lon Haldeman have been praised by travel, cycling and digital technology audiences around the world.
public speaking Lynette is a popular keynote speaker on customer evangelism, multimedia, travel and "the marketing you do when you're not doing marketing". Her path inspires people of all ages and stages to "be not afraid of moving too fast, but only of standing still."
She balances her life of professional camaraderie with Vipassana meditation, yoga teaching and inventing useful things.
Thank you for reading my stairwell speech - because you'll always be fitter taking the stairs than the elevator. Now then, I did get a distinction in abstract algebra, specifically groups and rings - precisely the shapes I strive to create in communities wherever I go!
Contact Lynette via email: galfromdownunder at gmail dot com, phone 541-513-7711 (USA), 0420 968 967 (Australia).
Round*Up Fast Fold Showdown (movie) screened at "Greenscreens 2009", Film Society of Lincoln Center, NYC
From Cubicles to Cuba interview by Matador Network, May 2009
Profiled by Dumbo Feather Australia, 2008 | Intro
The Handsomest Man in Cuba New York Times Review, June 2007
Interviewed by Jim Clash, Forbes.com "Rugged Individualists" 2005
Profiled by CustomerEvangelists.com
Pedaling Bikes, interviewed by AdNews
Quoted in MyBusinessMag.com
Other TV/Radio interviews
Multimedia presentations at Mac Store Theaters: NYC, Sydney, Chicago, Seattle
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