Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this “up close and personal” profile, we feature Lance Wain. Photography for the “up close and personal” series is by Cade Martin; wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.
Lance, please provide us a short bio.
I’m one of the principals and the president of Grafik and I’ve been in the branding and digital space for almost 20 years now. Prior, I spent some time in politics, working on Capitol Hill and dabbled in international finance, participating in the privatization of the former Soviet Union.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
Between running Grafik and coaching my kids sports teams, my spare time is limited. Although I continue to support cause-related organizations – mostly health – both through Grafik and on a personal level.
What are the things you are most proud of?
The business world challenges and tempts you on many levels. Good and bad. I’m not one to revel in how I’ve overcome those challenges or achieved certain levels of success. But what I’m most proud of, to date, is that I can look in the mirror on a daily basis and know that I have stayed true to who I am, and that all my decisions and actions have been based on personal integrity and strong business ethics. This allows me to sleep at night.
Who are your personal role models?
I have two role models that have shaped who I am. My father has taught me the true meaning of an honorable work ethic and that you don’t quit, no matter how hard things get. And my former boss and partner, Judy Kirpich, taught me how to be a better leader and person by finding the right balance of demanding high business standards, but with compassion.
Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
The best advice I ever got was the only way to get ahead is to go after it yourself: No one hands you anything in this world and excuses are just that.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Communication is king. I don’t care how smart you are or how hard you are willing to work. Strong communication skills are often the “X” factor in success.
What’s appropriate business clothing for your organization?
We thrive on helping clients define their brands and tell their stories. I think the same applies for attire in my office. I encourage folks to wear a reflection of who they are. It’s part of their story. Authenticity is everything in our business.
Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear to the office?
I’m a big fan of Banana Republic. They are contemporary, professional and they have what I need for all seasons and occasions.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
I’m as passionate a D.C. sports fan as you’ll find. I’m itching for the championship drought to end!
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