Mack Miner


When I finally got up the nerve — on March 1, 1979 — to go out on my own and open Angell & Company it was a scary thing.  I had two kids, and an ex-wife who was chafing at the bit to throw me in jail if I was late with my child support. I sent out an announcement of my madness and the first person to call was the marketing director of a big bank.  His name was Mack Miner.

Mack said he wanted me to do a tracking study for him. Year contract.  He then asked me if was well-funded.  I replied, honestly, that I wasn’t.

So, he then asked me how much of the tracking study money would go to outside vendors and how much would go to me.  And I told him. 

Normally, billing would be spread out for the length of the year long contract. But Mack said to bill him the full amount right then.  He was, in effect, advancing me money and funding me.  I was deeply touched, and I reciprocated by opening a banking account to cover his advance money [so his bank was assured $ if I went toes up.]

That advance money took a lot of heat off me.  It gave the me the security and latitude to become a fabulously successful company.
And I owe much it to Mack’s help.  How do you thank somebody like that?

I just heard that Mack has died.  He was 70.  I was honored to have him as my friend.  Honored.


Shortly after my 16th birthday, my older brother got me a summer job at the sales promotion firm where he worked in Westport.

The offices of the firm sat in the middle of a pretty big parking area.  There were many parking spaces on all four sides of the building.

I drove to work every day in my VW bus.

A rookie driver, one day I clipped a car as I was pulling out to go for lunch. Especially unfortunately, the car was a beautiful new Porsche.  [Westport was loaded with Porsche’s.]

Half panicked, I didn’t know what to do.  Didn’t have paper or pencil.  So I memorized the license plate of my victim and hustled to the police station to report what I’d done and see what I should do.

As I walked in the front door of the police station I could see the dispatcher on the phone.  And, as I got closer, I heard him say something like, “Wait.  I think he just walked in.  I’ll call you back.”

He hung up the phone and looked at me. 

I explained what had happened.

He said the person on the phone was the Porsche owner.  He’d seen me hit his car from the office building.  He thought I was making a run for it, and – having my license plate — had called the cops to report me.

So, says the dispatcher, “It’s a good thing you came in.”

Of course, it turned out the Porsche owner was the founder of my brother’s sales promotion firm.  The CEO. His boss.

It was at that point that the concept of ‘honesty is the best policy’ cemented in my pea sized brain.

And, ever since that day, I have strictly adhered to that policy.

Over the past 50+ years, adhering to that policy has cost me dearly.

Especially when I’m up against someone who knows my position, and who doesn’t subscribe to it as well.

But I’m too old now to change.

Highly recommended


52 years ago, when I was 15, I was invited by a friend to spend a week on a lake in New Hampshire.

Had a great time and went back when I was 25.  A friend from when I was there at age 15 and I both rented a cabin for a week.

The next year we all split up and started inviting other friends.  It got to the point that we had over 20 cabins filled with our friends.

This has been going on now for the past 42 years.  2 weeks.  Every summer.  Our kids and grandkids now have their own cabins.

Last year, ownership of the cabins changed.  The place is being expanded.  More cabins -- really houses now -- are being built.


[This is me -- in my boat on the lake in 1979.]

Anyway, this expansion means there's more capacity.

So, if you're interested in a great place to take your kids in New Hampshire, I highly recommend this place.

The original group back in August, 1971. That's me in the center holding my daughter, Sarah, who is now 42.
The original group back in August, 1971. That's me in the center holding my daughter, Sarah, who is now 42.