When and why did you join PWN?
A former member, Jane Mermelstein, invited me to attend in May of 2011 and added that the group was in need of a new lunch coordinator. I’d just begun consulting and needed some starter income. When I attended the meeting, I was so energized; just being in a room of women lifted my mood for days afterward.
What is your current occupation?
I’m a marketing consultant. My background has almost exclusively been under the big tent of Marketing: events management, marketing communications, product management and even sales. Today, I draw on my experience in all these areas and help my clients market themselves and their businesses more effectively.
What inspired you to start your own business?
After going through multiple layoffs in the high tech sector, I was ready to try it going alone. I’d been successful once before in the mid-90’s before going to work for a client. Another reason was a quality of life decision. Commuting to the South Bay for work takes its toll in time, money and stress. One particular morning heading south on the 101, I noticed a Jeep Cherokee passing me. The male driver was talking on his mobile phone, fixing his tie and passing me in the fast lane. I slowed and moved over a few lanes. No accident happened, but I decided that commute wasn’t worth it for me.
What to you enjoy about this work?
I get so inspired for my clients. I enjoy learning about each new business, and looking for creative ways to boost their brands, their messages and their products or services.
What role has networking played in your career?
Had I been a more committed networker earlier in my career, I might still be working in the cubical nation. Now, though, networking is essential. I’ve just found two clients last week during casual conversation at a party.
What’s your favorite tip for success with networking?
Networking happens everywhere, so be on the lookout for opportunity. Always be open to meeting new people and asking about their lives and work, not telling them about yours. It’s how I’ve found several of my clients.
Can you describe the strangest situation you faced in your work, and how your resolved it?
This happened in my first job, but it’s an approach that still works today. I managed events at a real estate/resort on the South Carolina coast. Holidays were naturally occurring events and this particular one was Easter Sunday and a sunrise service. I arranged for hotel staff to set up seating for the service, and for a local vendor to set up the sound system, while I managed the overall logistics.
Driving up to the park where the service was to be held, I saw the lights on at the park’s pavilion where the AV guy was setting up, but there were no chairs. This all took place before cellphones, so I drove to the hotel to find the manager on duty. We hurried back to the park and as we drove in, his truck lights grazed the park’s lawn, where we saw the chairs.
Sunrise can’t be moved, but speaker systems can. The AV guy redid his set up as I scrambled to dry off the chairs with paper towels, dew had fallen on all 100+ seats as they sat out on the grass all night. We finished as people began to arrive. When ever something goes wrong, don’t waste time in panic. Work on immediate solutions and keep moving forward.
What is something PWN members don’t know about you?
I’m a voracious reader of almost everything, love newspapers, and have a weakness for a good crime novel or mystery. I currently have three books on my active reading list: a poet’s memoir, a mystery with a female protagonist, and a book about the Blitz of London.
What is your favorite entree?
Hmmmm….I like the Rotisserie Chicken, but I also enjoy the Pesto Pasta every so often.