1. Which of our three virtues do you identify with most and why?
[VC] For me, it’s definitely Spirit of Service. As I’ve matured, I feel more compelled to help others where I can. Even in my areas of leadership, I prefer to practice Servant Leadership.
2. Did you have a role model/ mentor that inspired you to do what you are doing?
[VC] Interestingly, I have yet to meet my role model Kai Wright in person but he’s been very helpful to me in my career. We met online a year before I moved to New York, I was casually looking on Twitter when I found him. He wasn’t verified at that time but he was listed as Forbes “30 Under 30” and credible in his industry as the lead PR professional for Revolt. I sent him a message and let him know my interest in becoming a Media professional and when he responded I was so appreciative because I needed that mentorship. He’s always been very clear and no nonsense with me. I remember the first time we got on a call he asked me, “what are your top 3 strengths?” When I told him my three I expressed that I was not really sure of them so he told me that we were getting off the phone and he left me with the assignment to identify my three strengths by our next call the following month. I’ve always respected his no nonsense approach and we still keep in contact until this day.
3. What is the best advice you’ve received to date?
[VC] Every brand or company needs at least 1 standout, viable product that will stick with their audience. Ultimately, this is what people will remember you by.
4. How do you see and understand your responsibility to your community?
[VC] I am trying to consistently get better and take time for inward reflection. Also being sure to remove the thief of joy, which is comparison. My path is not your path so it does me no good to constantly compare myself to others. My communities include: Young Adults: Christians, Professionals, Millennials. I feel called to connect and create within this community. Starting the Young Adult Ministry at my Church and Prayer Line in response to being quarantine was important to me because it encourages me as well as other people my age to stay connected through our faith.
5. Ultimately, what does success look like to you?
[VC] Longevity is important to me. I don’t want to do anything that lasts just for today so I like to focus on making strong connections and thinking about the longterm impact of my decisions.
Van L. Crawford is a burgeoning Branding and Marketing force from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. His work ranges from A-list talent to some of your favorite brands such as: Spike Lee, POWER on Starz, McDonald’s, FOX’s The Four, Radio ONE, AT&T, and lots more! You can learn more about him at vanlcrawford.com
[ “Ray of Light” is YLF’s new Social Media campaign, a spotlight feature showcasing the range of excellent work that natives/residents of the DMV are doing ]