Capitol Communicator is running a series of profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this “up close and personal” profile, we feature David Gorodetski,  co-founder, COO and executive creative director of Sage Communications in McLean, VA.  Photography for this series is by Cade Martin; wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.Co-Founder, COO and Executive Creative Director

David, please provide us a short bio.

I have over 20 years of experience in a broad range of advertising, public relations, branding and interactive campaigns for national and international fortune 100 clients. Before founding Sage, I was VP and worldwide head of Ogilvy Public Relations Interactive Creative Services, where I was responsible for developing and managing strategic and tactical public relations and communications plans for the agency, as well as its national and global clients.

Now, I’m engaged in transforming ideas founded on research and data, smart strategy and creativity to make the connections that bond people to brands. In step with the evolving world of marketing, my core skill sets are morphing from trying to influence people’s minds and attitudes to changing their behavior. Ultimately, the most valuable deliverable I can provide to our clients is the ability to drive actions and transactions.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

I am very fortunate to take part in the Leadership of Greater Washington Class of 2015. My classmates, who are senior-level leaders, are prominent both in their industry and in the Washington community, and we are all focused on creating positive change in the region.

As a Senior Interactive and Online Marketing consultant for Frost & Sullivan, I have the opportunity to share my expertise with large and small organizations around the country; and have access to more than 1,700 industry consultants, market research analysts, technology analysts and economists around the globe.

And, I support organizations like St. Jude Research Hospital, the Children of Uganda, and the DC Jazz Festival, among other organizations.

What are the things you are most proud of?

My 10-year-old daughter is, by far, my greatest pride and joy. I am also very proud of the Sage team – these talented men and women are the reason why we keep growing, and the credit for our success is all theirs.

Who were your personal role models?

My grandfather empowered my curiosity to learn. My father showed me the value of hard work. My family and loved ones taught me the value of unconditional love. But when it comes to business and partnership, no one influenced me more than Larry Rosenfeld, my friend, my partner and co-founder of Sage Communications. I used to work for Larry at Stackig Advertising and Public Relations, and I remember that he was always the first person in the office and the last one to leave. From his work ethics and clients’ services, to his strategic thinking, his incredible instincts for business and marketing help to guide me every day since we launched Sage Communications more than 10 years ago.

Did your role models offer advice that helped you in your career?

Larry’s first advice was “Get clients. Without clients you have no business”. His second advice was, “Always have a smile when you deal with clients and people in general. Don’t show stress or frustration”.

What professional advice do you have for others?

– Learn what you don’t know and share your knowledge with others;
– Find a mentor and become one; and,
– When it comes to business leadership, there is nothing more valuable than a supportive network of genuine friendships based on trust, respect and authenticity. This close network is not something that can be substituted or bought. It is what wins new business, creates market leadership and respect amongst your peers. To remain an authentic leader, it is important to ‘say & do’ and truly champion your vision with conviction.

What advice do you have on what’s appropriate attire for your organization?

– For our creative team – black rule.
– For our client services team – always dress on par with your client
– For our PR team – always dress on par with your client
– For our sport and consumer group – you need a better wardrobe!!!!
– For our digital team – color is not a bad thing

Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear to the office?

I never go to buy anything at the mall or in crowded places. As an opportunistic buyer, I find myself buying on the streets of NY, Paris, San Francisco and Tel Aviv, and I buy everything from Hugo Boss and Thomas Pink to John Varvatos and Levi’s.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

Yes, I paint, sail, and race cars and motorcycles. I do more than that, but that would be TMI.


About The Author

The only child of a university art professor and freethinker mother, Cade Martin grew up surrounded by shapes and images. His love of art grew out of summer vacations filled with trips to galleries, museums and art studios. At home he often found himself around the dinner table with an eclectic cast of characters – sculptors, writers and painters. They paraded through his childhood, shaping his art foundation and forming his appreciation for the candid beauty found in people from all walks of life. Cade’s been chasing characters ever since. He seeks out their stories-told through the architecture of their faces or the costumes they wear-whether he’s on a commercial production or setting up an Avedon-like photo booth at Comic Con. They are the heroes in his pictures. His thirst for capturing adventures took its hold while shooting stills on movie sets and then as a photographer for National Geographic covering the railways of India. And it is that sense of adventure that Cade brings to his productions elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary with a cinematic touch. It’s not just a picture. He’s committed to the experience, building beautiful environments and, sometimes for his portraits, simply building trust. A talented storyteller, Cade splits his time between the East and West Coasts creating images for editorial, advertising, fashion, and lifestyle clients

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