Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Markus Natri

When Dialogue International had its first Managers Meeting in Helsinki, Finland, years ago, that’s when I met Markus Natri. We sailed across to Suomenlinna Island and Fortress, where the Finns introduced us to the world’s largest sauna (originally designed to contain a Finnish Army infantry platoon). The idea: get all these agency managers into the sauna, let them wrap themselves up in sheets, then run ‘em down to the rocky shoreline and push the lot into the Baltic.

Truth: even in June, the Baltic is bloody freezing, breath-stopping cold. The Finns got a big yuk out of that. I think I was brave enough to do it once. Karl Woerlen, CEO of WWW (our German member agency in those days) did it three times – one tough guy.

The entire gang (which included Barbara and Rachel) warmed up considerably on the sail back across the harbor to Helsinki with food and drink – lots of drink. And songs and stories led by Markus. This is the same trip Markus and the Konsepti team introduced me to Lapinkulta beer and a particularly staunch liqueur called Salmiakki Kuso…if I needed more hair on my chest, this would have grown it. The Finns thought that was pretty funny, too.

Now Konsepti, one of Dialogue International’s original and longest-term members and Finland’s best independent agency, has announced: “Markus Natrista Konseptin uusi toimitusjohtaja.” For us English speakers, it means Markus has just been appointed Konsepti’s new Managing Director.

In making this appointment, Martti Viitamaki and Timo Kivi have established new leadership for this outstanding agency in Helsinki. For me, it means seeing a friend and colleague achieve a considerable position in his career – one that he deserves and will fill the post with energy and good humor.

Best wishes for a great future, Markus, for you and for Konsepti. And keep that sauna fired up – I hope to be coming back to Helsinki someday soon.

Suomenlinna photo by Tomtom-Paris, with thanks.

1 comment:

Markus Natri said...

Howdy Richard !

Many thanks for your kind words! I must say that my crazy ties must also have played a role in all of this.

I also have very fond memories from Suomenlinna (and Rome, Malmo ...) and the great spirit and energy you’ve always brought to any of the Dialogue tribal pow-wows! I’m happy we’ve been able to continue our relationship – also in a professional sense. There have been many times when “Houston, we have a problem” has meant we’ve been able to count on your fantastic skills and attitude to save our asses...

So, you so called “old” guys are needed and invaluable! (That is including Timo and Martti.)

We’ll keep in touch! Send my love to Barbara.



PS. Next week in a party here in Helsinki Jaakko will be on-stage with his old band Jaakko Alanko and the Star Boys from 35 years ago (talk about a comeback). I’ll be sure to send greetings from Houston!