Proud to be a Fantastic “40 Under 40”

Fantastic 40 under 40

Out of the many vibrant “movers and shakers” under the age of 40 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, South Florida Business Journal recently chose 40 of these amazing individuals to be recognized with its “40 Under 40” awards.

I’m elated to announce that I’m one of them! (I have just a few years to go before the big 4-0.) And, so are three of my clients: Alex Rodriguez-Roig, executive director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade; Eris Thomas, CEO of Coral Gables Executive Physicians; and Paco Velez, CEO of Feeding South Florida.

How were we selected? Well, South Florida Business Journal looked for the most dynamic individuals under the age of 40 in the tri-county area, who work diligently to contribute to their company’s growth and to improve the local community.

We are all extremely honored to be part of this wonderful group of “young-ish” professionals who are making a difference in South Florida. In addition to thriving in the businesses world, each and every one of us honors the “greater cause” by helping those in need.

Look for us all in today’s special section of South Florida Business Journal (of course, I’m the one in the pink.) We’ll also proudly be in attendance at the “40 Under 40” awards ceremony presented by JM Lexus on Aug. 1 at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six in Fort Lauderdale.

Here’s to being fantastic and (a little bit) under 40!

Silver is spectacular! Our second Stevie Award win.

stevieawardwinnerI came in second to American Express. I’m still trying to process that.

Monday, at the 11th Annual American Business Awards in Chicago, I was awarded the Silver honor for Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year – Reputation/Brand Management. The recognition was for my team’s work on Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Campaign: Reinventing a 73-Year Tradition.

American Express OPEN, New York, won the Gold for its campaign, “Big Break for Small Business.”

I could spend this post explaining the complexity of the judging for the ABA, also known as the Stevie® Awards (320 executive-level judges), or the enormity of the nominations (3,200+ entries from a full range of businesses around the world), or the fabulousness of the event (held at the Fairmont Millennium Hotel on June 17). But I’m still in a bit of dazed disbelief that my firm went toe to toe with American Express OPEN, a global goliath, and came in a more than respectable runner-up in an international competition. Excuse my team and I as we inject some swagger in our PR walk.

Seriously though, last year, I accepted my first Stevie® Award for Women in Business. And this year, this award means just as much, if not more, for the growth and expansion my team has experienced to not only be nominated, but also to win against the likes of Accenture, American Specialty Health, MSLGROUP and MWW.

Thank you sincerely and repeatedly to my family, my friends, my team and my clients. The ABAs, like other amazing awards Durée & Company has garnered this year, mean nothing unless you have a group of great people to share it with. I wish I could have had everybody with me, but they were there in spirit and cheering me – as I came in second to American Express.


These stilettos are made for sharing

Women know who their friends are. She is the woman who stops you outside the bathroom and points out the toilet tissue on your shoe. Or she’s the one who discreetly lets you know that your lipstick or lunch spinach is still making an impression in your smile. She sincerely compliments your outfits, covers for you in the staff meeting, and treats your kids like the angels you wished they were.

And when women really have each other’s backs, we refer each other for business. That’s the building block of the Stiletto Networks, circles of influential women opening doors for one another out of an entrepreneurial sense of sisterhood.

Writer Jacqui Kenyon writes about the rise of such female forums in Forbes magazine. In true stiletto fashion, the article was emailed to me by a female client, and I’m referring it to my network of women in the know.

Seems to me that some enterprising women in South Florida may want to start our own version of a Stiletto Network. Although I must say some of my greatest referrals, pieces of advice and introductions have been made by those who wear high heels, and I try my best to return the favor.