This month, we are shining the spotlight on one of the longest-tenured JSAers! Get to Know Your JSAer, Dean Perrine, Executive Vice President of ABM & Client Strategy. Read on to find out more about Dean’s role at JSA, his love for acting and music, how it all started, and so much more!
You just celebrated your 10th anniversary with JSA – congratulations! What has it been like to be a part of JSA’s growth over the years?
Hmmm, that’s really not an easy answer. I’ll say this, it was a lot of hard work, dedication, and commitment (all that blood, sweat, and tears stuff) made infinitely easier by the people. Getting to this place, to this uber-focused and elite place within the PR/Marketing/Event in Tech / Telecom / Data Center industries was a true journey. A journey that has no end. And not just from a business standpoint, but from an industry standpoint. We are charged with peeking around a lot of corners in an industry where corners are often equal to evolutionary technological change. A lot of math and magic, you know? And it’s a big responsibility. It’s something our clients have come to expect as we elevate their brands and people. And it’s truly the people that make the journey worth that expectation and challenge. So was it hard work? Yep. Was it worth it? Absolutely!
Well, my educational background is PR / Marketing and News Editorial. So it was the discipline, not the industry that got the ball rolling for me. I spent some time as a college admissions director at Ball State University and then Valparaiso University for a few years before landing an entry-level research associate position at a boutique telecom consulting firm in the late 90s. You can see where this is going. LOL. I spent nearly 13 years at that firm rising up to Director of Competitive Intelligence before deciding it was time to move on. I learned a great deal as a consultant and had a few articles published, etc. So it quenched some thirst for writing too. Long story longer, I’d run into Jaymie at various telecom conferences and always gravitated towards her team. They were creatives and seemed to be everywhere I was. I became fast trade show friends with what was at the time a very small JSA team (maybe like 5?). Fast forward to my leaving the consulting gig and taking a soul-crushing job in healthcare. I was miserable until one day I received a text or IM or something from Jaymie noting she’d read an article I’d written in Information Week. She asked if I’d be interested in coming to work for her. Pretty sure I said yes before she finished her question. That was well over a decade ago now and I’ve had a number of title changes and position focus over that decade. This was a novel’s worth of narrative to say that my biggest accomplishment is simply maintaining the same passion for my work and compassion for those I work alongside. I’ve advanced my career and responsibilities considerably, for sure, but I believe I’ve also stayed firmly entrenched in the work and the collaborative spirit that truly makes the work we do, worth doing.
One of the many reasons JSA admires you is because of your passion for your clients. You truly bring a smile to all that know you. Could you elaborate on how you approach each relationship with your clients?
So we’ll go from the long-winded answer to the simplest answer of all. I approach them like friends. Without a doubt, there is a very high expectation of me, my teams, and of JSA. But when you strip all of that away, we all have the same wants and fears and desires. We are all on a journey, both unique and uniquely familiar. It’s okay to be vulnerable and to leave it all in the open. It’s maybe even disarming at this level. It gives clients permission to not have answers. It allows me to admit that I don’t have all the answers. And it levels the relationship to a point of true collaboration and respect…and success. I also work really hard. LOL.
Here at JSA, you are known as the star of the family – winning awards for your acting and performance. Could you share a little about your love for acting and music?
Nothing makes me happier than having full permission to become somebody else. Ha! It’s fun to pull out all the nuances of my life and experiences and apply them to other “characters” you know? Acting is the ultimate escape. It’s like taking a vacation on the cheap. Also, I’m a music snob, no doubt. So talking about music here, well, it’s below me.