A reflection on her time at Expo West 2019, Sunny Fenton, Haberman’s Director of Partnership Development, shares how purpose has defined her marketing career and role as a mother:
I grew up in a household where my mother was a high-profile marketing executive who put everything into her work. And she always told me, you have to find purpose in your career and think about the mark you want to leave on this world. While my priorities may have been different early in my agency life, this philosophy really rang true after I had my first son six years ago.
This month, I again went to Anaheim to attend Expo West with 85,000 of my closest friends and peers in the natural products world. As always, it instantly put a smile on my face, and it’s still there. For me, Expo West is about learning, collaborating and trying to help good people with good intentions succeed. So while others might come back from Expo pulling their lists of the recent trends and “what’s hot,” I look at the experience a little differently.
I, as a marketer and advertising executive, am in the minority at Expo West, which is nice.
Expo isn’t about me or the agency — exhibitors and attendees don’t necessarily want to talk to service providers — but it is certainly about us as humans and the impact we’re having on the world. It’s about celebrating and helping people who have a desire to bring their amazing stories, mission and products forward. Some of them are small and some not so small.
Why do I spend a week in Anaheim coming from an agency? Simple — it’s about being inspired, learning, evaluating perspectives from all angles, celebrating and reminding myself that a career in advertising can be purposeful far beyond the marketing campaigns we develop. Why do I go?
To learn and participate in educational sessions and deepen my subject-matter expertise on the food system, climate change and wellness.
To see and spend time with our numerous clients who participate in meaningful work and take time to connect as people serving that purpose — and have a good time doing that.
To meet new people, hear founders’ stories, and learn about new products and trends.
To remind myself that my marketing career is rooted in purpose that I can share beyond my daily work life and with my family and young boys, teaching them about the food system, the environment and how to leave their mark on the world.
I’m a partner at, Haberman, an agency that isn’t like your typical advertising agency. We even have a hard time defining the exact bucket we fit in when we have to check a box. We, too, are invested in the good food movement. We’re entrepreneurs, investors and marketers. Our mission is to tell the stories of pioneers making a difference in the world, which translates to not only helping these purpose-driven clients succeed but also making a positive impact in the communities where we live. Expo provides the perfect opportunity to continue to be inspired by incredible thought leaders and remind us why we love our work.
This is what I take away from Expo each year I attend (West and East), and why I love it.