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The A-List Podcast with Bobby C. Martin Jr.

On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Bobby C. Martin Jr., founding partner of Original Champions of Design, a design and branding agency that builds better brands through informed and strategic identity system design.

In 2017, FastCompany named Martin Jr. one of the Most Creative People in Business. At OCD, Martin Jr. has led design projects for a wide range of clients such as the Girl Scouts of the USA, MTV, The New York Times, the National Basketball Association and the Studio Museum in Harlem to ensure their growth and creative goals.

Martin Jr. is one of the first pure designers to join The A-List Podcast, and offers a unique perspective having worked both in-house at brands and for external agencies. Tune in below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 0:54] Intro
  • [0:55 – 5:53] Growing up in Virginia to parents who were both educators, and how he still applies what of much he learned in his childhood to his career today
  • [5:54 – 9:59] Falling in love with design in High School, and learning how to express himself visually
  • [10:00 – 11:10] What he learned from design legend Paula Scher and “painting with type”
  • [11:11 – 18:30] Martin Jr. talks about his early career and the job that introduced him to graphic design
  • [18:31 – 20:40] How to manage young talent, the importance of being patient, and giving people the freedom to make mistakes
  • [20:41 – 24:16] How to push clients to be bold while still being respectful
  • [24:17 – 27:45] Why agencies and design firms need to be more integrated, and how the best campaigns have a seamlessness between advertising and design
  • [27:46 – 33:34] Moving to New York City to work for Gear Magazine,  and how that experience taught him relentless work ethic
  • [33:35 – 38:35] Going back to graduate school, why he chose The School of Visual Arts, and the importance of osmosis learning
  • [38:36 – 40:40] Martin Jr. dives into the research tactics that inform design
  • [40:41 – 47:03] His experience as design director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center, and how he sold his ideas to Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis
  • [47:04 – 50:10] Launching Original Champions of Design, and the philosophy of the agency
  • [50:11 – 53:26] The pros and cons of both external and in-house agencies
  • [53:27 – 56:31] How to help people understand design work, and why the designer needs to be involved at every step of the process
  • [56:32 – 1:05:16] Rebranding the NBA logo for the first time in 48 years
  • [1:05:17 – 1:06:12] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter.

 

The A-List Podcast with Anselmo Ramos

The wait is over… The A-List Podcast is back and we’re starting off HOT!

For the season’s premiere episode, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by creative junkie and self-proclaimed ad nerd Anselmo Ramos, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of GUT, an independent agency for brave clients and bold brands with offices in Miami, São Paolo and Beunos Aires.

Prior to launching GUT with co-founder Gastón Bigio, the two partners also founded DAVID The Agency. Under their leadership, the agency became a creative juggernaut and in 2017 was selected as Adweek’s Breakthrough Agency of the Year and Ad Age’s A-List Innovator Agency of the Year. In 2013, while serving as Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather São Paulo, Ramos led the famous “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” campaign, which considered to be the most watched piece of branded content in history.

In this episode, Ramos shares the story behind that campaign, talks about writing ads in secondary languages and how it can make you a better writer, the legacy of David Ogilvy, the importance of discomfort, and much, much more. Hear it all below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:58] Intro
  • [1:59 – 7:59] Growing up in Brazil, attending a very creative High School with no grades, and his first job in advertising
  • [8:00 – 13:34] Leaving Brazil to become a writer at Y&R Lisbon before moving again to Y&R Madrid
  • [13:35 – 18:44] Coming to the U.S. to work for Y&R Miami, how writing in a foreign language strengthened his writing skills, and the strong advertising culture of São Paulo
  • [18:45 – 24:47] His experience working at Lowe NY for Gary Goldsmith, turning down a dream offer from Tony Granger at Saatchi, and getting the call to become CCO at Ogilvy & Mather São Paulo
  • [24:48 – 30:54] Living David Ogilvy’s legacy, creative visualization and believing in yourself, and how he used “Moneyball” tactics to recruit and turn the São Paulo office into the most creative Ogilvy office in the world
  • [30:56 – 42:36] The story behind the famous “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” campaign, and the importance of finding brave clients
  • [42:37 – 45:17] Opening DAVID, the amazing partnership with Fernando Machado of Burger King, and why he ultimately decided to take the leap and start GUT
  • [45:18 – 49:22] Starting from scratch with GUT, the importance of discomfort, and moving fast and making mistakes
  • [49:23 – 58:30] Ramos talks about the importance of continued learning, the Harvard course he is currently taking, and shares advice on leadership
  • [58:31 – 1:02:55] The current state of advertising
  • [1:02:56 – 1:04:07] Outro

 “The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter

The Power of Inspiring Action: The A-List Podcast Turns 3

In the booth with Terri and Sandy (Season Two)

“Have you heard our podcast?”

Yes, we’ve become “that guy.” DiMassimo Goldstein has a podcast. No big deal. (Eyeroll emoji.) In all seriousness, we don’t actually talk about The A-List Podcast that much. Because we didn’t do it to make ourselves famous. We did it because we’re curious about creativity and we’re obsessed with starting conversations. Here’s how it happened:

My friend Lauren Slaff has an ad school called Adhouse. A couple of years ago, I noticed that her Facebook presence for the class needed an upgrade and offered to help. At DIGO, we talk a lot about Inspiring Action and resisting the urge to just make a straight-up ad hawking your wares, so of course my first thought was, “We need some hard-hitting print and banner ads!” It’s amazing how theories become so hard to follow in practice. Duh!

Yes, paid ads are important, but the first thing we needed to do was to get across the difference of Adhouse. As I say in every episode of The A-List Podcast, “[Adhouse’s] philosophy? An ad class is only as good as the professional who teaches it.” At Adhouse, you learn from the people who do the work in the very places where they do it. You literally go to the agency where your teacher works one night a week and show them your ideas. It’s the closest thing to breaking into the business you can get for six hundred bucks.

So a team worked on some ads. They were funny. But mostly they were ads. Clever headlines. Hard-hitting copy. Blah blah blah. And in the end, while they might get some people to notice Adhouse, they weren’t going to be great for the team’s book or for DiMassimo Goldstein. We’re an Inspiring Action agency. It says so in our lobby! We needed to innovate.

A reminder from our lobby at 220 E23rd Street. :)

That’s when we had a bigger idea: Let’s just interview some ad greats themselves, giving the audience a little taste of what it might be like to take an Adhouse class but also getting their ad stories. We eventually settled on their origin stories, partly out of not wanting the show to be too production-intensive week to week but also in an effort to keep it valuable to our core target audience: people who are curious about breaking into the ad industry. We originally planned to do films, but that didn’t pass the production-intensive test either. So we settled on a podcast. NOTE: At the time, we had never produced a podcast. But that’s part of Inspiring Action: Jump and a net will appear.

We began by emailing a few ad friends of mine. Rob ReillyTy Montague and Greg Hahn all said yes. Hooray! Gramercy Post, a sound studio upstairs in our building, offered up their recording facilities. We would patch in the guests, and I would ask them their life story. We would record an intro and an outro, slap some music on it, shove in an ad-read for Adhouse and see what we got. Podcast in an hour.

Before we could pull the trigger, I had to talk to my partners and Lauren (our client) about paying for it. As far as the agency was concerned, it wouldn’t make us much money. Make that (scribble scribble) zero dollars, actually. But we would be learning how to make and distribute podcasts, and we would be getting our name out to a young, creative audience. Also, I’d be connecting our agency marketing team to the PR departments of agencies ten or twenty times our size, who would all want to get the word out about their own creative geniuses. Oh, and we could do it pretty cheaply and with a very small team. They said yes (thanks, partners!) and Lauren was happy to try anything (thank the universe for good clients). So off we went.

That was over two years ago now. We have learned a lot along the way and, as we launch season three on May 9th with Anselmo Ramos of GUT, I am struck by how much has changed, but also what hasn’t. Our format hasn’t changed. We’re still asking the guests how they found this weird career we call advertising. (I’m still amazed I found it myself, to be honest. I still feel like that kid from Jersey with the weird hair.) We still record at Gramercy Post. But sometimes we have the guests sit down in the studio with me now. The experience is different that way. It’s easier to connect to the person but can also be scary. (You have to make eye contact and stuff!)

The guests are from new places. I used up all my close friends in season one and two. Now I am interviewing people I never thought would say yes, and I’m still amazed when they say they listen to and love the show. This season will include conversations with the aforementioned Anselmo Ramos as well as Ricardo Casal and Juan Javier Pena of David, Nick Law of Publicis and Karl Lieberman of Wieden + Kennedy. We’re doing a whole design exploratory starting with Paula Scher of Pentagram and Bobby C. Martin of Original Champions of Design.

New Season. New Guests. (Clockwise from Top, Left: Anselmo Ramos of GUT, Ricardo Casal and Juan Javier Pena of David, Paula Scher of Pentagram and Bobby C. Martin Jr. of Original Champions of Design.

(By the way, we have toyed with doing a sub-pod about young people who just entered the business. (The A-List The Next Generation?) We’re still working on ironing out how to do that, which was an idea we got from some young listeners. But Casal and Pena from David and Dhruv Nanda from Oberland start us off with some new perspectives from the millennial point of view.)

One more difference in the show this year is the music. Ross Hopman, a friend of the agency at Duotone, loves the show and wanted to help out. We were thrilled of course. But we had no idea how great the results would be. In the end, we couldn’t choose one song, so The A-List Podcast might just be the only podcast out there with TWO theme songs. The one at the end is my personal favorite, based on an off-the-cuff joke to Ross: “If all else fails, just give me something like The Muppet Show theme.” God, I hope Kermit doesn’t sue.

It’s a funny thing about an Inspiring Action, but it almost always gives you more return than you bargained for. Our little podcast (with very little advertising to support it) has reached tens of thousands of people all over the world. We get notes and emails from listeners who have been in advertising for decades telling us how the show has reignited their passion for the business or kept them going during hard times. DiMassimo Goldstein has gotten clients asking us how to make podcasts and young creatives who want to work here. And, of course, Adhouse has never had so many applicants.

And so it is my pleasure to introduce you to more amazing ad people. That’s the moral of the story of The A-List Podcast by the way: It’s all about the people you meet along the way. This business is full of thousands of amazing people who get to solve problems for the world’s biggest brands in creative, unheard-of ways every day. They did this by finding people who were doing it and learning from them. Our goal was to get more people to imagine themselves doing the same and continue what the Lion King might call the Circle of Ad. Because whether you are a kid from New Jersey like me or a big brand who needs to reinvent yourself, creativity is the way. All you have to do is start a conversation with the right people.

Have we mentioned that season 3 of our podcast launches on Thursday? No big deal. 🙄

The old guy on the left is me. The cool guy on the right is Dhruv Nanda of Oberland.

The A-List Podcast with Jason Musante

This week’s episode of  The A-List Podcast features Jason Musante, Chief Creative Officer at Huge, Inc., where he oversees integrated creative output across the agency’s global offices. Prior to joining Huge, Musante enjoyed success at several award-winning agencies, such as Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, BBDO Worldwide, and Co:Collective. among others. 

In this inspiring interview, Musante tells host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann all about how his love for history helped him become a better storyteller, why young creatives should look for people to work for and not places, and why it’s important not just to fail but to know when to fail.

This episode is packed with great advice for young creatives. Tune in to hear it all below! 

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:12] Intro
  • [1:13 – 9:05] Growing up in North Carolina, and when Musante first realized you could solve business problems with creativity
  • [9:06 – 15:28] Musante talks about his experience as a student at West Point before ultimately transferring to the University of North Carolina, and why his love for history helped him become a better storyteller
  • [15:29 – 23:45] Being young and hungry, his first advertising gig at McCann, and why young people looking to get into the industry should look for people to work for, not places
  • [23:45 –30:49] The interview he had with Richard Kirshenbaum, the current state of the industry, and why he’s excited for the future
  • [30:50 – 42:20] Musante talks about his first big break in the industry, the integration of story and technology, and what he learned working for Gerry Graf
  • [42:21 – 54:48] Musante talks about the important of knowing when you can fail, and reflects on his time at Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO, and Co:Collective
  • [54:59 – 58:48] What is so unique about Huge, and what he looks for in young creatives
  • [58:49 – 59:38] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter

The A-List Podcast with Jamie Barrett

On this week’s edition of The A-List Podcast, Jamie Barrett calls in to the studio for an inspiring interview with host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO, Tom Christmann.

Barrett is the Founder and Executive Creative Director at barrettSF, an agency he launched in 2012. Before opening his own shop, Barrett made a name for himself as an esteemed creative, delivering world famous campaigns for many of the most renowned agencies in the industry, such as Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Fallon, Wieden+Kennedy and Chiat\Day.

In this episode, learn all about Barrett’s life before advertising, when he spent one summer teaching tennis and windsurfing in the French Riviera and the next at a boot camp in Virginia. Hear what he learned working under some of the most iconic names in advertising, why he views his job as a glorified hobby, the importance of great account people, and much more. Full episode and show notes below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:27] Intro
  • [1:28 – 12:22] Barrett reflects on his childhood, talks about teaching tennis and windsurfing in the French Riviera, and talks about his experience spending one summer at a boot camp in Virginia
  • [12:23 – 18:15] His time at Princeton University, aspirations of becoming a sportswriter, and the moment he realized he wanted to go into advertising
  • [18:16 – 29:42] Trying to break into the industry, being denied 15 straight times, and the awesome story of the dinner with Pat Fallon and Tom McElligott that landed him a gig at Fallon
  • [29:43 – 36:00] Barrett reflects on many of the amazing mentors he worked under before ultimately leaving Fallon to take a job at Chiat/Day in New York
  • [36:01 – 39:40] His short yet meaningful time at Fallon, and the transition between being a writer and becoming an Associate Creative Director
  • [39:41 – 50:00] Barrett talks about his different experiences at each of the agencies he worked at, and how they all helped shape the creative he is today
  • [50:01 – 53:56] The importance of great account people, the emotional intelligence required of good creatives
  • [53:57 – 1:01:26] Launching his own agency, why he doesn’t shy away from the word “advertising,” and the meaning behind the agency’s tortoise mascot
  • [1:01:27 – 1:04:14] What he looks for in young creatives
  • [1:04:15 – 1:05:24] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter

The A-List Podcast with Chris Beresford-Hill

For our fourth episode of Season 2 of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Chris Beresford-Hill, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York!

In this special interview, Chris explains his creative process and how it’s changed over the years, reflects on some of the great people he’s worked with and what he’s learned from them, talks about placing brands in modern culture, and much much more. Full episode and show notes below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:43] Intro
  • [1:44 – 8:14] Chris takes us back to his childhood in White Plains, New York, and talks about his Grandma was his best friend growing up.
  • [8:15 –12:14] How he got fired from an unpaid marketing internship, a job as a tennis instructor, and a job as a file clerk before eventually getting into advertising.
  • [12:15 – 16:50] Interning at Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and the competition he won to get to the role.
  • [16:51 – 20:55] Chris reflects on the unique culture at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and talks about the amazing he experience he had working under Jamie Barrett.
  • [20:56 – 24:59] Turning down a master’s degree at the London School of Economics to continue his career in advertising
  • [25:00 – 26:55] Going to first shoot in Hollywood as a 21-year old, and what life was like on the road.
  • [26:56 – 31:30] Chris shares a funny story behind why he took the job at Goodby
  • [31:31 – 42:08] Partnership, why Dan Lucey is his “creative soulmate”, and how working out has helpedwith  creativity
  • [42: 09 – 44:00] The value of putting your phone away and work offline
  • [44:01 – 57:05] His present role at TBWA\Chiat\Day, the agency’s storied history, and placing brands in modern culture
  • [57:06 – 59:47] What he looks for in a portfolio
  • [59:48 – 1:00:42] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter

The A-List Podcast with Dan Lucey

This week on the A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Dan Lucey, Executive Creative Director at BBDO. With multiple awards to his name from Cannes to The One Show, among many others, Dan is one of the most respected and accomplished creatives in the industry.

In this episode, Dan takes us full circle, starting from his time as a student at Adhouse Advertising School all the up way to becoming a teacher for the program. He shares valuable lessons from his experiences of both triumph and defeat, tells the story behind his hilarious Talking Stain ad for Tide, and explains why having “unrealistic optimism” is an asset in the advertising industry.

Full episode and show notes below!

  • [0:00 – 1:27] Intro
  • [1:28 – 6:05] Dan talks about how being a student at AdHouse helped him break into the industry, and how he returns the favor today by being a teacher for the program
  • [6:06: 11:30] Getting an internship at Mad Dogs & Englishmen and what that experience was like
  • [11:31 – 13:55] How working by yourself can help you find your point of view, and why having a balance of both honesty and respect is essential in a creative partnership
  • [13:56 – 18:30] Dan reflects on the culture at Mad Dogs & Englishmen and what he learned from his time there
  • [18:31 – 21:49] Getting a full-time gig and moving into an apartment on the Upper East Side, and getting to work on Haribo Gummy Bears
  • [21:50 – 25:10] Dan talks about being laid off, what he learned from the experience, and why being unrealistically optimistic is an important asset in the advertising industry
  • [25:11 – 27:50] Freelancing for magazines and getting back into design
  • [27:51 – 29: 29] Getting back into advertising working on the Hard Rock Hotel for DiMassimo Goldstein before ultimately going to Saatchi & Saatchi
  • [29:30 – 36:18] Dan talks about what it’s like to work at a big agency and shares his mental approach to work
  • [36:18 – 42:55] The story behind his hilarious Talking Stain ad for Tide
  • [42:56 – 47:00] Moving to San Francisco to take a job at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and what he learned from working in Jamie Barrett’s pressure-free environment
  • [47:01 –49:32] Dan shares a recent story that highlights the importance of staying calm in the midst of chaos
  • [49:33 – 55:14] Why he waited 18 months to take the job at Goodby, and the passion and intensity that Rich Silverstein has to make things great
  • [55:15 – 58:35] Why he eventually moved back to New York to work with Chris Beresford-Hll at BBDO, and why he loves the culture there
  • [58:36 – 1:00:27] Dan talks about his leadership and management style, the importance of clear direction, and not forgetting what it’s like being a young creative
  • [1:00:28 – 1:02:58] Dan shares what he looks for in portfolios
  • [1:02:59 – 1:03:41] Outro

 “The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter

The A-List Podcast with John Patroulis

“There’s always going to be a job for people that really care”

The A-List Podcast is back for Season 2!

In this season’s premiere episode, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann returns to the recording booth to interview John Patroulis, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer of Grey Global Group.

Prior to joining Grey, Patroulis spent six years at BBH New York, joining as the agency’s Chief Creative Officer before being named its first-ever Creative Chairman in 2015. Under his leadership, BBH became one of the most awarded agencies in New York City.

Tune in to hear how Patroulis went from swinging a sledgehammer in Toledo, Ohio, to becoming one of the most decorated creatives in the industry. His adventure-filled career journey will leave you feeling inspired. Full episode and show notes below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:26] Intro
  • [1:27 – 5:02] Growing up in Toledo, Ohio as the son of teachers, and having an early affinity for reading
  • [5:03 – 9:58] Patroulis talks about attending the Ohio State University without a “plan”, bouncing around different majors before eventually landing on English Literature
  • [9:59 – 17:39] Spending his college summers swinging a sledgehammer at a concrete pipe factory, and what he learned from boxing
  • [17:40 – 26:13] Patroulis talks about couch surfing after college, shares a funny story about being night watchman, and recounts his time working as a bartender at a punk rock club in Wrigleyville called The Cubby Bear
  • [26:14 – 38:51] How Patroulis developed a relationship with a famous NYC-Filmmaker Charles Lane while bartending at the Riviera Cafè
  • [38:52 – 52:38] The amazing story of how Patroulis met David Angelo, and how that friendship propelled him to get his book together, ultimately landing his first advertising job at N.W. Ayer
  • [52:39 – 1:01:26] Getting an offer from Chiat/Day, the importance of working on your craft, what he learned under Gerry Graf, and the responsibility of being irresponsible.
  • [1:01:27 – 1:02:40] How bad meetings can serve a purpose
  • [1:02:41 – 1:09:29] Moving to Chiat/Day’s San Francisco office to work on Adidas, and how Chuck McBride taught him the importance of caring about every little detail, all the way to the end
  • [1:09:30 – 1:13:05] The story behind the famous Adidas commercial, “Hello Tomorrow” directed by Spike Jonze
  • [1:13:06 – 1:15:40] The difference between being a “doer” and a leader
  • [1:15:41 – 1:19:07] Co-founding his own agency T.A.G., and launching Halo 3
  • [1:19:08 – 1:23:42] Going to BBH, and what he learned from John Hegarty’s endless optimism
  • [1:23:43 – 1:25:09] Working at Grey, being confident in yourself, and doubling down on creativity
  • [1:25:10 – 1:26:47] Patroulis explains why he thinks it’s a great time to be in advertising, and why he’s so excited for the future
  • [1:26:48 – 1:28:30] Patroulis shares one piece of advice to young creatives trying to break into the industry – “care”
  • [1:28:31 – 1:29:35] Outro

 “The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter