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Long Time TSA Volunteer Turns 100

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  • Long Time TSA Volunteer Turns 100

    Milton with his grandson Adam at his Ph.D. graduation from Brown University

    Creative advertising mind and dear friend to the Tourette Syndrome Association, Milton Sutton is celebrating his milestone 100th birthday this Saturday, September 20, 2014.

    In Milton's long, successful career he worked for some of the largest advertising and marketing agencies, creating some of the most influential commercials of the time. He was part of the creative team who developed the incredibly iconic PSA for "Keep America Beautiful" featuring Iron Eyes Cody as the "Crying Indian" in 1971 and the Dannon yogurt "Georgians Over 100" commercial in 1977. In addition, he mentored a young 17-year-old Mel Karmazin, who went on to be the co-founder and former President of Infinity Broadcasting, and the President and CEO of CBS. Mr. Karmazin has surprised Milton with a special birthday letter.

    When his grandson was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of 7, Milton took it upon himself to join the TSA as a volunteer to help spread the word about Tourette's and correct any misconceptions about the disorder.

    "Milton marched into our offices and said, 'Here I am. This is what I do. Give me ways to help,'" one longtime now retired TSA executive recalls. "He took his work very seriously and was always respectful to collaborate closely with our staff to consult and assist them with our work. I have to add that I believe the reason he has lived to 100 is that for lunch every day, he has a small can of tuna and a few saltines," she added with a smile.

    While he was a volunteer with the TSA for nearly 20 years, he served as a PR, marketing, media and fundraising consultant and visionary. He was an adviser and writer for research appeals, TSA newsletters and fundraising letters, always coming up with a new angle that successfully raised critical funds for the organization. He lived in NY until 2004, when he moved to Boston to be closer to his family, including his three great-grandchildren.

    Milton never shied away from helping the TSA as he provided invaluable guidance and consulting in all things dealing with marketing and public relations. He wrote letters to the editor responding to any negative TV, movie, radio and media portrayals of Tourette Syndrome. In 2002, Milton was honored at the TSA's annual New York Gala with the Humanitarian of the Year Award for everything he did during his time at the TSA. Through all his hard work and dedication Milton helped to raise millions of dollars in funds for research. His work ethic will always be remembered and appreciated.

    "Milton still has great wit, a fantastic sense of humor and extraordinary creativity and intuition which I learned from and valued so much," said Tracy Colletti-Flynn, Senior Manager of Public Relations for TSA, who was co-hired by Milton after he interviewed her on the phone late one evening before later coming in for an official interview with TSA's President.

    Mark Levine, TSA Vice President of Development said, "He was always kind, gentle and wise when dealing with people and I have the utmost respect for him." Coming from someone who worked with Milton, this comment reflects the type of person he is, his character, his work ethic and the influence he has on other people. Milton is still looked to for guidance and consulting on anything involving the TSA as his ideas are always appreciated and are held in the highest esteem.

    Milton's grandson, Adam, now 35, graduated with a Ph.D. from Brown University as well as degrees from Harvard University and Cambridge University, and is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Tufts University, currently on sabbatical at the London School of Economics.

    From everyone at the Tourette Syndrome Association and on behalf of the entire Tourette Syndrome community, we would like to thank Milton for all his hard work and guidance and also wish him a very happy 100th birthday celebration!
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