Meet COMM alumnus: Guy Stephens

Guy Stephens is the epitome of an FSU Ad Man. He prefers to have lunch meetings at any place with FSU football highlights on the big screen, authentic Southern BBQ and an oversized glass of iced tea on the side. When he gets down to business, Stephens “directs client experiences” for popular brands like Stein Mart, McDonald’s and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. He shapes the Niagara Falls brand, and other brands like: Hardee’s, Sprint and Cracker Barrel. This regular, BBQ-eating guy is the senior VP of Strategic Planning at Fry Hammond Barr.

Stephens earned his BS in Advertising/Marketing Communication from the College of Communications in 1988 and his MS in Mass Communications with specialty in Marketing Communication/Information Technologies in 1989. Earning the magna cum laude distinction for both degrees.

“My undergraduate study of Advertising and graduate work in Marketing Communication & Information Technology gave me the solid critical thinking foundation, industry expertise and career focus I needed to pursue my goals in Advertising. I studied under great people at FSU like: Dean Clevenger, Dr. Ed Forrest, Dr. Gary Heald, Dr. Jay Rayburn, Professor Barry Solomon and numerous other great and inspiring professors,” says Stephens.

In addition to his education background, Stephens has worked the gamut of ad jobs. After graduation from Florida State in 1989, he tackled the ad world in full force, and from multiple angles. Guy managed the Sherwin Williams brand regionally and later owned and ran his own advertising and printing business in Jacksonville.

Today Stephens helps companies decide on the research methods most appropriate to assess marketing decisions. Processes may involve conducting nation wide research, or advising a quick turnaround web-based survey. “Guy is adept at sizing up the situation, evaluating the best options and collaborating on a recommendation. End of day, everyone involved gets the data needed to execute the right campaign in the right way at the right time,” said Stephens’ colleague.

Despite juggling his busy career and a family, Stephens often reflects on the first time he stepped foot on FSU’s campus.

“It felt like home and I was in love,” said Stephens. “My decision was made – I was a Nole.  I called UF and said no thank you and that turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Call it a gut feeling that was triggered by the one big thing that sold me on FSU  – the people here seemed to be more caring.  Coupled with the casual vibe of the campus and culture made it feel like a perfect fit – and it was.  Trust your gut.”