Med Ad News 2021 Industry Person of the Year
— Nomination submitted by Rich Levy, CCO, Klick Health
In February 2020, we held our Klick Health Leadership Team offsite – our first since Lori Grant was named CEO at our internal Town Hall in December 2019. Uniting from our offices in New York, Philadelphia, and Toronto, we traveled to the majestic peaks of Utah to plan Klick’s ongoing evolution and further plan out a year that was supposed to mark the return of our Klick
Ideas Exchange event, this time with President Barack Obama.
We were excited about the future. But in full transparency, we were also concerned. As an organization, we were closely following COVID-19 overseas and were being briefed by our in-house data scientists and virologists, as well as our epidemiologist industry contacts.
I’ll never forget how Lori changed focus at the offsite. Instead of three days of planning meetings, we quickly pivoted to developing a nine-point safety-protocol and business continuity plan (which we later shared on covid.klick.com to help other companies grappling with evolving their workplace during a public health crisis) to guide us through what would soon become a global pandemic.
I’ll never forget filming Lori on my iPhone at 11 p.m. one night in the hotel’s kitchen (I art-directed and found the best lighting onsite, naturally) as she calmly advised Klicksters, who would see the video the next morning, that we were moving to remote working, ahead of the curve. That for the time being, we were no longer traveling, we were closing our offices, and we were adapting the way we worked. That we were leaning into our people-first founding principle and doing everything in our power to keep our people, their families, and our clients safe.
I’ll also never forget how Lori led our team with a level of clarity and calm that one wouldn’t expect from someone only three months into her CEO tenure – especially when others said that we were overreacting.
It’s easy to look back and say “Well, anyone could have done that.” But here’s the thing: at the time, nobody else did. Lori was the first CEO, that I know, who made the decision to work remotely and keep every employee safe from COVID-19.
Many people, notably new Klicksters with whom Lori meets at regular Ask Me Anything Zoom sessions, have asked her if it was a tough decision to make. In typical Lori fashion, she says the decision was easy because when you’re a people-first company, there can only be one course of action. Of course, she’s right. And yet, we live in a world where people’s words, far too often, overshadow their actions – or lack thereof.
Over the last year, Lori has worked arm-in-arm with our co-founders and leadership team, proactively leading our company through the public health crisis – ensuring Klicksters have the peace of mind, support, and transparent communications they need – and deserve. Last March, she started hosting daily COVID Update Zoom calls, providing guidance, encouragement, and important updates – such as assuring our team that everyone’s jobs were safe, too. Those COVID Update Zooms continue to this day, albeit on a weekly basis now.
Lori has also helped lead our team through the adaptation of all our internal programs and events, including onboarding, training, wellness classes and challenges, and monthly Breakfast Meetings. Our team even built a blockbuster virtual Town Hall platform that featured a live-action video of Lori and others presenting on stage alongside amazing special effects and 3D graphics.
She has steered our valiant ship through what has been the most turbulent storm in our lifetimes, all the while leading our business through ongoing significant growth, demonstrating what a people-first culture is really all about, and further illustrating just how different Klick is.
I don’t know another CEO who single-handedly writes and sends personalized congratulatory notes to every single one of her 1,300-plus employees on their hiring anniversary – even in the best of times when the world is normal and we’re not fighting a deadly virus. But that’s Lori. And just one of the many reasons she should be recognized as Med Ad News’ Industry Person of the Year.