In junior high school, I was more excited about doing posters for the monthly school dance than Calculus IV. But since Tiger dads don't take "starving artist" for a career option, my first pursuit was
tech. One day, after dithering with databases and coding 'til cross-eyed I opened a magazine and wondered, "who does ads?" I enrolled in AWARD (Australian Writers and Art Directors) School, won the top student award and launched a new career in
advertising. Mentored by Australian entrepreneur Siimon Reynolds, I won several advertising awards including a Cannes Lion in one of its toughest judging years. Then I threw it all to the headwinds and went
bicycling. On the long and potholed road from Australia to Zancudo (Costa Rica) I became copywriter/creative director for the local Saatchi & Saatchi outpost, Consumer Excepcionale Nazca (now HAVAS Tribu). Declining offers to climb the corporate ladder, I dove feet first into the wide, wild world of the Customer. This involved moonlighting as 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, the founders of Bike Friday invited me to 'merica as their card-carrying
customer evangelist. Starting in phone sales, I quickly transformed the company's formerly static website with daily doses of words + video + intent.
Seeking to dive deep into the brand and its customer community I hit the road, "taking relationship marketing to the nth degree" by living with customers as marketer + storyteller + surrogate daughter.
My love of people, promotion and zero politics helped bring the relatively obscure Bike Friday brand to the top of the inaugural Saatchi & Saatchi Lovemarks.com poll topping such iconic brands as Madonna, Harley Davidson, and even Jesus. CEO Kevin Roberts featured Bike Friday in his debut book, The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution.
Adventure journalist Jim Clash named me a Forbes.com Rugged Individualist and I was one of the inaugural FastCompany.com Expert Bloggers.
I consider the offer of venture capital in 2010 by a world renowned fund manager the pinnacle of my efforts in Customer Evangelism.
travel writing. My first travel memoir, The Handsomest Man in Cuba, was favorably reviewed in the New York Times and was a Guardian.com top 10 pick (Cuba) in 2015. Published in four countries, THMIC is an account of my solo bicycle expedition across Cuba during the Elian Gonzales case,
handlebar movies. I shoot video single-handedly from the saddle; my feature length "handlebar" movies produced in collaboration with Race Across America legend Lon Haldeman have been seen by travel, cycling and digital technology audiences around the world.
public speaking. I speak about customer evangelism, multimedia, travel and "the marketing you do when you're not doing marketing" to cycling, business, travel and advocacy organizations around the world. I want to inspire people to "be not afraid of moving too fast, but only of standing still."
My other interests include contemporary art, flavors, teaching yoga and inventing useful things (need to stay alive on your bike?)
Thank you for reading my stairwell speech - because you'll always be fitter taking the stairs than the elevator.
Contact Lynette via email: galfromdownunder at gmail dot com, phone 541-513-7711 (USA).
The Handsomest Man in Cuba was a Guardian.com top 10 pick (Cuba)
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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