Home Insights Half an hour with Phil Stein

Half an hour with Phil Stein

1. Which part of the Ashfield Division do you work for and what is your role?

I am the US Finance Director for Ashfield Health. This includes the Ashfield Health US-based agencies (Canale, CreateNYC, MicroMass and Mind+Matter) and Mind+Matter UK. I also serve on the executive leadership team at MicroMass.

2. Tell us a bit about your background.

I am originally from New York City and went to college upstate NY at SUNY Brockport. I fled the cold and moved to North Carolina where I have lived for the past 27 years. As boring as this may sound, I am a Certified Public Accountant. I have been working in healthcare marketing for 25 years with roles in operations and finance.

3. What do you like most about your role?

Finance can be dry, but in an agency setting it allows me to work with a lot of fun, smart quirky, and interesting people. To them, I’m a superhero because I’m good at math. But, in my mind, they are the superheroes. They are using their abilities to create amazing patient experiences.

4. What has been the biggest challenge in your role so far?

We’re in the process of putting new operation and finance systems in place for some of the agencies: Financial Force for agency management and Oracle for accounting. It has been a huge endeavour, largely because of the challenges created by the pandemic with us not being able to meet in-person.

5. You recently reached a big milestone in your career – tell us about it!

I just celebrated my 25th anniversary with MicroMass. When I first joined, MicroMass was a software company. In those early years, I was a Senior Accountant. After five years, MicroMass became a pharmaceutical marketing agency, and now the rest is history. I have enjoyed helping the company evolve, grow, join the UDG / Ashfield team, and become what it is today.

6. Which Ashfield value fits with you best and why?

Ingenuity. I love that we come up with creative solutions to solve client problems.

7. Which five famous guests (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party and why?

Both Albert Einstein and Abraham Lincoln were smart, quirky, and intelligent who overcame obstacles, contributed so much to our society, and stood up for what they believed in. I’d also invite Jackie Robinson (because I am a huge baseball fan) and Amelia Earhart. I always admired their perseverance to break through discrimination barriers, while achieving great goals. Finally, I’d invite Emeril Lagasse, because well, I don’t want to cook dinner.

8. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love traveling to new places and experiencing new cultures.

9. Tell us something about yourself that nobody at Ashfield will know.

In college, I worked for AAA – Automobile Association of America during the summer. Before Waze and cell phones (not to age myself), people would call AAA to get directions on where they wanted to travel. One time, I had someone ask for directions to Portland. Many days later, they called to complain because they drove to Portland, Maine (the east coast) but wanted to go to drive to Portland, Oregon (the west coast). It’s only a mere 47-hour driving difference…

10. Finally, what is your one piece of advice for your colleagues at Ashfield?

Over the past 25 years, I’ve tried to have fun. When you can have fun, it’s fulfilling, motivating, and beneficial. So, embrace your job and colleagues. And have fun.