John Hellerman is the President of Hellerman Communications, an award-winning corporate communications agency positioning professionals to win business and navigate crises. John is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, was recently ranked in Chambers & Partners' inaugural Litigation Support guide as a top PR & Communications advisor, recognized in The National Law Journal’s inaugural list of “50 Business of Law Trailblazers & Pioneers,” and named Agency Executive of the Year by PR News. Follow him @jhellerman.
What do you love most about Your City?
First and foremost, I love that DC is the center of our politics. Nearly everything that occurs on the news or impacts the news is going on "down the street." Second, I love DC's proximity to everything else. New York is a day trip, getting to Philly or the mountains or beaches takes less than three hours. Third, is that DC is so beautiful and green. I live close to Rock Creek and can pick up a guest at Reagan National Airport and get home via the less traveled lush, park roads without ever having to see a city building.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I'm not a big breakfast eater. If I'm on my own, I typically have a protein shake around 8:00 AM and a 5-hour energy around 10:30 AM (I don't drink coffee, tea or soda, so this is my "blast!"). For a business breakfast, I'm typically dining at a client's invitation and it's usually at their hotel...my favorite spots are Seasons at the Four Seasons, The Lafayette in The Hay-Adams, and Café du Parc in The Willard Intercontinental. However, if I'm with friends or entertaining a client late night and just want some great food and conversation, there is no better place in DC than Steak-n-Egg diner (in the upper NW). Though there is outside seating if the weather is nice, the restaurant itself is a 12-seat counter and is open 24 hours a day every day. If you're they're after midnight, you'll see people in business attire eating next to late-night revelers eating next to cops. It's a melting pot and a lot of fun.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – If I'm being lazy, I'm sleeping. If I'm good to myself, I'm just waking up, asking Alexa for my daily run-down, and heading to the gym so that I can get back and say goodbye to my kids before they go off to school. Of course, several times a month I may be headed to the airport around then to make an early flight.
10:00 AM – This is prime time for meetings or calls. There is a lot of time beforehand to read and prepare, and this is the time most clients are also coming out of their internal morning meetings and daily prep discussions, so they are ready to interact and collaborate with me and my team externally.
12:00 PM – Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
Big formal "power" lunches aren't as popular with clients as they once were, but a few of my favorite spots are Founding Farmers, the Four Seasons’ Bourbon Steak, and Bistro Bis. Typically, however, I find clients would rather grab a salad or sandwich and talk at their desk. If it's my choice, one of my favorite meals is Vietnamese Pho soup and there are dozens of choices scattered around the city. My favorite is Pho 14 across from the Van Ness Metro.
7:00 PM – I'm either at a kids sports practice or at home eating with them. On occasion, I'll schedule calls for after dinner, but I try not to.
11:00 PM – Hopefully, I'm in bed reading or watching a C-SPAN book discussion. I try to shut it all off by 11:30, but I'm not always successful.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I love my 10:00 AM 5-hour Energy shot – mostly because of all the negative attention it attracts ("You drink those??"). And while I'm not a guy who comes home from work and cracks a beer or makes a martini, if I'm out socially and drinking is a "feature of the night," I can drink Tito's & Soda like their sodas.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Apps – Aside from the business apps like Gmail, Slack and Word, my most used personal apps are Fitbit, Podcasts and my camera.
Instagram – @trefoilfarm (my neice's page for her horse jumping career) and @loveinsixlines (a friend's new art page).
What should everyone try at least once?
Seriously? Walking in someone else's shoes... People need to give each other a break – especially when it comes to our hyper-political polarization. On a less serious note, I recently went parasailing with my children and it was really incredible (and safe) and I recommend everyone try it.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
I love being alone and out with my dog in Rock Creek, but I hate being lost. I'm not someone that drives around trying to find something on my own. I take no pride in wrong answers. If I can identify someone who knows what I need to know, then I'll seek them out and ask to learn.