Still Crazy After All These Years

It had been 20 years since some of them had seen each other. And for many ex-Young & Rubicam Detroit employees, their reunion was quite Big Chill-ish (minus the midnight rolls in the hay).

“One guy has a yoga salon now, and another owns a bicycle shop,” says Allan Steinmetz, who was in town from Boston for the event. “I think about half of the media rep community was there. A great majority are now in media.”

Steinmetz, who had been svp and director of marketing at Y&R in the ’80s, has also made a new life for himself—as founder and CEO of Inward Consulting. “I hadn’t seen anyone from the agency for at least seven or eight years,” he says.

About 200 Y&R alumni from the ’80s and ’90s gathered recently at a bar (appropriate) in a Detroit suburb for an informal reunion. Some were still at Y&R, but most had retired (the lucky ones) or left for other shops. The party was organized by Randy Latocki, now at Ogilvy & Mather, Detroit.

Steinmetz, who was in town on business, came from the farthest away. Charlie Bishop, former creative director on Lincoln Mercury dealer business, came down from Harbor Springs, Mich., where he now owns an antique shop, according to Steinmetz. Another Y&R alum, Chuck Riley, who now manages Inward Consulting’s San Francisco office, was there virtually—Steinmetz called him on his cell phone and passed it around for others to say hello.

“Someone brought a photo album with pictures from the picnics we used to have,” Steinmetz says. Hugs were in no short abundance, he says. “One thing that was so terrific was how loving and giving everyone was. That hadn’t changed.”