Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Work Wife, Patti Knight

By: Gini Dietrich | July 20, 2012 | 

About five years ago, I was in a meeting with my Vistage Chair and he told me it was time to hire an assistant.

I remember thinking there was no way I’d have enough work for one person to do full-time and I pushed back on the idea.

But he persisted and, in each meeting, asked me what I’d done that month that I either wasn’t good at doing or was taking a lot of time away from allowing me to grow the business.

I mentioned the idea to my good friend, Scott Farrell, who sent me the resume of one Patti Knight.

So  I called Patti and invited her in for an interview.

On the day of her interview, I heard her in the lobby talking to Jack Bauer. You see, he’s a MUCH better judge of people’s character than I am so we always make sure he’s around when we interview.

But Patti. Patti was talking to Jack Bauer as if he were a person (he thinks he is) and, when I walked out there to introduce myself, she was kneeling on the floor, scratching his ears, and he was licking her face.

He does not do that. He’s a big, fat momma’s boy and doesn’t cheat on me.

But there he was, cheating on me with this stranger.

I think it took me less than 15 minutes to decide to take a chance with Patti and, four years ago tomorrow, she joined the team.

What a chance, huh?

She quickly became my work wife and I wondered how I did my job without her. It turned out my Vistage Chair was right. Not only did I have enough for her to do, I began to entrust her with very sensitive items, including personnel files and financials.

When the economy tanked and we lost half our clients, the organization was fat. It was Patti’s job to trim expenses to the point that we could be profitable again. It took her more than two years to do it, but she went way above and beyond the call of duty and, with her help, we’re not only growing this year, but also profitable for the first time in years.

If you do any work with us, contact me for any reason, or need our help, it’s likely you’ve talked to Patti.

Please join me in not only congratulating her on four years with us, but also in wishing her a very happy birthday!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Happy, happy birthday, Patti! 🙂 

    •  @jasonkonopinski Yay!
      I thought your blog post title was rifling on writing. I couldn’t figure out what you meant until I started reading. Duh, Gin. Riffing.

      •  @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski Hah! Rifling on writing. I could host that with my redneck brother. 

        •  @RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich Silly Gini. 

        •  @jasonkonopinski @RebeccaTodd @ginidietrich not really a day to be talking about rifling but Jason knows the NRA has his back.

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @jasonkonopinski thanks Jason!

  • patrickreyes

    Happy birthday, Patti!!!!!!

    •  @patrickreyes Woo hoo! 

      •  @ginidietrich @patrickreyes she is a NY Giants fan btw

        • PattiRoseKnight

           @HowieSPM  @ginidietrich  @patrickreyes because they beat the Pack when Cutler was hurt but am 1st and foremost a Bears fan 🙂

  • Happy, happy birthday! We’re so glad you came! Happy, happy birthday from the online gang!
    – Happy Birthday Patty!

    •  @JustInTheSouth   LOL!! Did you make that up?!

      •  @ginidietrich Maybe.

        •  @JustInTheSouth That’s awesome!

        •  @ginidietrich Yeah… I’m good like that. **Dork**

        •  @JustInTheSouth  @jennimacdonald @ginidietrich do we have gang signs and colors?

        • jennimacdonald

           @HowieSPM Working on it! @ginidietrich ‘s says DORK in bold, bright red colors. It’s fabulous. @JustInTheSouth ‘s says HERO in italic, navy blue.

        •  @jennimacdonald  @HowieSPM  @JustInTheSouth Ha!

        • PattiRoseKnight

           @HowieSPM  @JustInTheSouth  @jennimacdonald  @ginidietrich Orange and Blue 🙂

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @JustInTheSouth  @jennimacdonald thanks my friends 🙂

  • Happy Birthday Patti! As someone who has had the pleasure of scratching Jack Bauer’s ears, I can attest to this.  He is one BIG DOG, who greets you immediately, I can see where you can use him to judge someone’s character! I am just thrilled he & I got along so well! 🙂
    Congrats on 4 years together!

    •  @sydcon_mktg He could tell you’re a dog person!

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @sydcon_mktg thanks!

  • Happy Birthday Patti!  I completely agree- my dogs tell me how I really feel about people often before I am consciously aware. So if Jack loves Patti, then so do I!
    Something I have noticed here in the Giniverse is this, while perhaps not theme, motif maybe, for team.  It is apparent to me, from the way you interact with your online tribe, your friends, and your coworkers that you truly appreciate the roles that they play in your life.  For me, this speaks of a confidence and generosity of spirit that is rare indeed. Thank you for yet another glimpse in to your world of hard work, fun, and loyalty, Gini. 

    •  @RebeccaTodd He LOVES Aunt Patti. I mean, loves.
      And thank you! We have a fun culture. That whole thing that you’re not supposed to be friends with the people who work with you? I pretty much ignore that. It’s brought me some pain, but the joy outweighs the bad.

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @RebeccaTodd I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • Happy, happy birthday, Patti!

  • debdobson62

    Happy, happy birthday Patti!  This post made me smile.  Congratulations on four years and have a wonderful birthday today.  I love the picture of you with Jack Bauer.

    •  @debdobson62 She loves that darn dog as much as I do!

      • PattiRoseKnight

         @ginidietrich  @debdobson62 correction – elderly gentleman trapped in a dog’s body!

  • rustyspeidel

    HBD, Patti. Four years is a fantastic milestone, and one that should be rewarded with a big, fat lunch from G. Can I get an AMEN!!!
    Seriously, congrats, so nice to know you. 

    •  @rustyspeidel You’re recommending the person whose job it is to cut expenses ask me to buy her lunch? 

      •  @ginidietrich how does @rustyspeidel have only 158 @livefyre points?

        •  @HowieSPM  @rustyspeidel  He usually only stalks.

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @rustyspeidel AMEN

  • Happy Birthday Patti! MPWICMIMTW.  Ask Kelly Dietrich to translate!

  • Congrats and happy birthday, Patti!

  • Happy Birthday, Patti. We’re all sorry you have to put up with Gini…

    •  @KenMueller Hey!

      •  @ginidietrich What?? I just said what everyone else was thinking.

        •  @KenMueller So not true. You wish you could work with me.

        •  @ginidietrich Yeah. I also wish I could chew glass.

        •  @KenMueller 🙁

        •  @ginidietrich but…but…I LOVE GINI!!!!

        •  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich Gini hire Ken to run your facebook contests!

        •  @KenMueller IT IS TOO LATE! You are dead to me!

        •  @ginidietrich Psh. Now you’re gonna feel really bad if something happens to me in the next few hours. Way to go, Gini.

        •  @KenMueller Dead to me.

        •  @ginidietrich Nice, real ni………….

        • I wouldn’t lose any sleep over that.  If I had a buck for every time she said that to me, I’d be rich! @ginidietrich  @KenMueller 

        •  @KensViews  @ginidietrich I know. she sure spends a lot of time speaking to the dead…

  • Happy Birthday, Patti!

  • Awwwww….that was an awesome tribute to Patti….you are both lucky to have each other…your mutual respect and admiration of each other are very obvious and are part of why it’s such a joy to engage with Arment Dietrich!  Happy Birthday Patti and congratulations to both of you on four years of career bliss!!  Here’s to many more!!

    •  @SocialMediaDDS And we have a Fanta Sea, too!

  • Happy Birthday!

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @TheJackB thanks!

  • HA! @pattiknight took the day off for her birthday. Wait til Monday when she finds out what we did on her behalf in her absence.
    1] Signed her name to $3 trillion loan from the Russian Mafia for Arment-Dietrich expansion. Thankfully we scored it at a low 4% per day interest rate.
    2] Order 3,000 Ronco Prune Pitters and Wine Opener combo tools to arrive at her house on Tuesday in her name.
    3] Ate all her birthday cupcakes though @shellykramer ate 7 of them (Bad Shelly)
    4] She missed her birthday cruise on the Arment-Dietrich party yacht (but we had a blast!) and @Lisa Gerber drank all the Proseco.
    5] Signed her up for the Gevalia Coffee home delivery program so the free coffee maker would be our gift to her but she pays for the coffee.
    6] Withdrew all her 401K funds and invested them in Saturday’s Powerball (you have to be in it to win it!)
    Happy Birthday Patti we love you as you can see!

    •  @HowieSPM  I seriously don’t know how you come up with this stuff.

      •  @ginidietrich I should be writing scripts for hollywood I know.

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @HowieSPM  @shellykramer  @Lisa Gerber Howie you should be writing scripts in Hollywood.  This SERIOUSLY made me laugh out loud!!!  Especially #6.

  • Happy birthday @pattiknight . I haven’t met you, but after reading that tribute, I’d sure like to!  Any dog lover is pretty great in my book.

    •  @TedWeismann Dog lovers are special people.

      •  @ginidietrich  @TedWeismann Hallelujah and amen. 

        •  @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich  @TedWeismann but stuffed animal dog lovers are even more special right? I had a college roommate that had some high end stuffed basset hound. Wish I knew the brand name. Anyway his name was Fred of course. And he was on the mantle in our house because he was a great conversation piece when we had people over or threw parties with was sometimes twice a day. Because Fred was anatomically correct. Not graphically but he was definitely showing his stuff off. I always wondered who had to sew him at the factory.

  • DebCE

    Happy Birthday Patti! I think I got to know you before really getting to know Gini. Thank you for all you do!

  • PattiRoseKnight

    This made me cry…i cant’ believe it’s been 4 years and any other CEO would have thought I was nuts on the floor with Jackie…Ayanna sure did LOL!  I couldn’t have done it without you Ms. Dietrch!  You are a CEO who actually listens to her assistant – that is rare – trust me it is!  And that is why we’ve only just begun to soar!!!! 

    •  @PattiRoseKnight Happy, happy birthday my love!

  • Congrats and happy birthday, Patti! And, I love the pic too – it looks like Jack Bauer is biting his lip as if to say “sorry, momma, I found another person to love!” My dog, Bailey, bites her lip like that too. So cute!

    •  @lauraclick Ug! Don’t bring that up! He’s a cheating dog!

      •  @ginidietrich  @lauraclick He’s a hard dog to keep on the porch, for sure! 

  • KevinVandever

     @PattiRoseKnight Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

  • Congrats and Happy Birthday Patti, you dog whisperer!
    Maybe Jack and Patti were discussing the secrets to impressing @ginidietrich!

    •  @Hajra  They might have been! He loves her that much.

  • ChristyNorton

    Happy Birthday Patti!!!
    I don’t know what Gini would do without you!
    She might have to hire me (Gini’s mama) and that wouldn’t be a good idea.

    •  @ChristyNorton What?!? Momma commented on the blog?!? HI MOMMA!

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @ChristyNorton Thanks Gini’s mom 🙂  

  • DonovanGroupInc

    Best “forced” decision you have made to date BFF was take on your amazing work wife.  🙂

    •  @DonovanGroupInc Right??

      • DonovanGroupInc

         @ginidietrich Sorry – “forced” meaning the decision to consider an assistant in the first place vs being forced to hire just about the best “work wife” anyone has ever known.  🙂 

        •  @DonovanGroupInc Oh I knew what you meant.

        • PattiRoseKnight

           @DonovanGroupInc  @ginidietrich and it took her FOREVER to give up things to me but she’s MUCH better 🙂

        • DonovanGroupInc

           @PattiRoseKnight  @ginidietrich LOL – why am I not surprised…however a true sign of growth is acceptance of change so no one epitomizes that more than @ginidietrich 🙂

  • Happy Birthday & Anniversary to Patti…just wondering if you’ve considered cloning yourself?  Or perhaps writing a post on what it takes to be an AWESOME assistant?  @ginidietrich  you obviously made a great decision, even though it sounds like Jack Bauer had already made it for you!!  Love that you include your dog in the “sniffing” out process…they really are the best judges of character!! 🙂

    •  @lizreusswig They are the best judges of character. And, for us, if you’re not a dog person, we’re not going to hire you because we allow dogs to come to work and hang out and go to staff meetings and tear through the offices with important papers in their mouths (actually that one was an accident, but it was hilarious).

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @lizreusswig I really was worried that I made a fool out of myself with Jack – the office manager kind of gave me a look but it was love at first sight with me and Jackie that’s for sure 🙂

  • MichaelBowers

    Congratulations Patti on the anniversary and a very happy birthday. I so appreciated all of your efforts to help me get everything together to make things great for Gini so she could make things great for those attending our conference. You were wonderful to work with and really made things easy for me (that doesn’t always happen when dealing with speakers). All the best to you.

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @MichaelBowers thanks Michael I enjoyed working with you too!

  • Congrats, Patti, and I hope you had a very happy birthday! All the best for you. 🙂 

    • PattiRoseKnight

       @annedreshfield thanks Anne

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