Jeffrey Lambert is CEO and managing partner of the public relations, investor relations and public affairs firm Lambert, Edwards & Associates. He co-founded the company in his basement in 1998 and has built it into a top-5 Midwest based agency with over 100 clients based in 20 states and six countries. Jeff has led LE&A through a 18-year track record of growth, five acquisitions including John Bailey & Associates in Detroit and Sterling Corporation in Lansing, and two “PR Firm of the Year” honors – PR Week and PR News – culminating in the firm’s position as Michigan’s leading PR firm and a top-15 investor relations agency nationally. Jeff is a regular author and speaker including addresses at the PR Firm Management Summit in New York, the Michigan PR Society’s annual conference, the Brandt and Zabrusky lectures at Michigan State University, the Michigan Bar Business Law Institute and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. He was also a winner of the Ernst Entrepreneur of the Year, named among PR Week’s “40 Under 40” national leaders, honored as PR Practitioner of the Year by the West Michigan Public Relations Society, and the second winner ever of the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s “40 under 40” Distinguished Alumni award.
What do you do best?
Having a dual-mindedness on marketing and creativity viewed through a business lens is a unique attribute of our firm and my personal success.
What makes you the best?
I think my competitiveness is a key asset. I find myself drawn to talent, colleagues and clients who share a drive for success and perpetual growth, and I learn a great deal from them in the process.
What are your aspirations?
My personal goals are to build an organizational platform for people to do great things and to enjoy what I do every day. My long-term goal is to acquire additional businesses, introduce a new product or innovation, and ultimately exit through a sale to my partners, a private equity firm, or a major consulting company versus a traditional advertising or PR firm based on our business focus.
My three kids. The sentiment of living vicariously through your children is true, and I take great pride in seeing their successes and helping them overcome their own life lessons.
Most Challenging Moment?
I think the challenge of remaining focused when you have personal issues going on plays a big role and even more, recognizing the impact that it has on others has been a key learning. It created challenges in the business that only I could fix by refocusing, but it wasn’t easy.
Favorite People/Role Models?
My first role model would be my dad who I followed into business and learned, perhaps through genetics, the finance side but also work ethic, which I believe is almost impossible to teach. I got my creative, fun side from my mom. In terms of inspirational influence, I would give credit to a special group, YPO (Young Presidents Organization). The individuals in my region and more focused YPO forum give me perspective and inspire me on how to be a better leader and better person.
My favorite destination would be the final four basketball game, featuring Michigan State University. My favorite place is my cottage on the beach of Lake Michigan.
I still enjoy a mechanical pencil, a clip board and a hard cover thesaurus. There's something traditional and tactile that I appreciate about each.
Dr. Seuss – Specifically The Cat in the Hat. In a creative and fun way, he has many ideas that apply to business. His story as an artist, author and single handedly changing the face of childhood literacy is an inspiration.