Nuffer, Smith, Tucker: Then & Now

A new acquaintance of our firm recently commented on the uniqueness of Nuffer, Smith, Tucker both in its culture and approaches. I’m biased, for sure, but I happen to agree. Something special happens within our firm’s four walls, and to understand it, you need to look backward – to the lives of Dave Nuffer, Bob Smith, Kerry Tucker and Bill Trumpfheller – for a glimpse into the heart and soul of NST.

45 years ago on April 1, the firm opened its doors. Yes, it was on April Fool’s Day that NST was born, serving as the firm’s first official practical joke under the leadership our beloved Dave Nuffer. Dave was a jokester, and he was passionate beyond measure. He deeply loved Hemingway, the San Diego Padres, mariachi music and all things Mexico. While he knew how to make people have fun, his contributions were no laughing matter. He made a difference in our community, humbly serving many of San Diego’s most notable institutions.

Bob was a strategy guy. Nothing was done without careful consideration, and due process. Out of his thoughtful, analytical nature grew approaches unique to NST and while these contributions are significant, Bob also offered something else that lives on within our firm: a strong commitment to doing what’s right. Dave once said that Bob had an almost biblical belief in people reflected in his “always take the high road” approach.

Kerry – who remains part of the NST family to this day – has hung his hat on making a difference, creating behavior change and producing results for clients. He even wrote a book about it that not only is a “must read” for any new NSTer, but is also used in college classrooms around the country. Kerry has also taught us the value of relationships and lending a hand to others. His list of friends is long, and he makes sure to selflessly take care of them.

Bill helped bring NST to new levels of success, growing clientele and strengthening the firm’s relationship with WorldCom, a network of independent public relations firms across the globe. He established strong relationships with big name clientele like WD-40 Company, McDonald’s and Sony Electronics, further solidifying NST as an important industry player. Like Dave, his commitment to community service is unwavering and can still be felt by all who knew him.

Today, 45 years later, I’m proud to say our firm still has a little bit of Dave, Bob, Kerry and Bill running through its blood. In Dave’s honor, we know how to have fun. Like Bob, we don’t skimp on strategic thinking or doing the right thing. Like Kerry, we make a difference for our clients and friends. And like Bill, we are engrained in our communities and continue to push ourselves, each other and our profession to explore.

You see the work of all our past leaders reflected in our current vision to redefine PR. While the vision was adopted a few years ago, under Bill’s leadership, Dave, Bob and Kerry all too have done their part to redefine our profession, making it greater and more meaningful than some may think when they hear “public relations.” They pushed the status quo. They aimed high and they created purpose for our firm that lives on in each one of us. It’s an honor and privilege to be part of and their work is the essence of what I believe will carry NST through the next 45 years.