Durée & Company – A year of firsts

image002Six months ago, I was preparing for a trip to New York to accept my first Stevie® Award for Women in Business. So it’s a bit surreal to see my name in the finalist column once again for yet another prestigious Stevie Award, except this time, it’s for Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year – Reputation/Brand Management.

For this Stevie Award, also known as the American Business Award (ABA), there is no special female designation. I’m competing with the big girls and boys, and it feels great! I’m nominated for my team’s work on Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s Campaign: Reinventing a 73-Year Tradition.

A little background on how Durée & Company made the cut again: In the ABA system of judging, all entries that receive an average score of at least 7.0 out of 10 in the preliminary round of judging become finalists, regardless of category, and are eligible to be included in final judging. The number of finalists in a category is a general reflection of the number of entries in a category. This year, roughly 35 percent of the more than 3,200 nominations considered became finalists.
Finalists were determined by the average scores provided by more than 140 executives over five weeks of judging in April and May.

Although this is the second time I’ve been nominated for an ABA award, it’s a “first” in this category and at this level. This is definitely becoming a year of “firsts” for Durée & Company – first time being honored as one of the “100 Outstanding Women of Broward County” by Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, first time being featured with my daughter on the cover of South Florida Parenting Magazine, and first time opening a new office.

Juggling a growing list of clients, fantastic partnerships, a great team and all of these “firsts” is making 2013 a memorable – and exciting/exhausting/never-boring – year, to say the least. But now, I get to add a trip to Chicago for the ABA banquet on June 17 to the “to-do” list, and I couldn’t be happier.

See you in the Windy City!

South Florida Parenting Magazine

551379_10151328120946685_918871202_nPreparing for a photo shoot for the cover of a well-read magazine is nerve-wracking enough. Now, add your daughter to the mix. It took a combination of luck, patience, focus, cooperation and humor with a dash of fashionable pixie fairy dust to create the lovely “mother-daughter” image of Harlee and me that graces the May 2013 edition of South Florida Parenting Magazine.

No great pictures come without a back story: Initially, the shoot was supposed to be at the new Barbie Dreamhouse opening at Sawgrass Mills, and Harlee was very much looking forward to it. But a couple hours before the shoot, the editors had to reschedule since the space wasn’t ready. Secretly, I was happy since that would mean I didn’t have to wear yellow, as requested, but instead could don my favorite color – fuchsia.

To quote Billy Crystal, “It’s not how you feel. It’s how you look.” And I wanted us both to look mah-velous!

On to the rest of the story — It was pouring rain all day on the day of the shoot, and we ended up at Field of Flowers. Between the two of us, I think we directed the photographer, rather than the other way around. Harlee and I share the distinct personality trait of knowing what we want and not having a problem sharing our vision!

In the end, South Florida Parenting Magazine featured our rare photo since the magazine typically features only children on its cover. When the issue hit the stands, friends started calling, texting and emailing us from all over the tri-county area, and Harlee proudly took some issues into school. Nothing beats having your very own “Tyra Banks” moment.

And, I promised her a visit to Barbie Dreamhouse once it opens.

Happy Mother’s Day, moms!

Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies of Broward’s Mother’s Day Luncheon

I’m a mother of two incredible children, Harrison and Harlee, and as any mother will tell you, motherhood begins before you even meet your kids. As soon as the stick turns blue, or the doctor confirms your suspicions, or you can’t eat that favorite dish with the raw fish that you love, your life has already changed.

This Mother’s Day, I’m invited to help celebrate that particular, mind-altering, special time of motherhood at the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies of Broward’s 21st Annual Mother’s Day Luncheon at the Fort Lauderdale Westin Beach Resort and Spa on May 10. At the event, honorees for the Mother of the Year, Grandmother of the Year, Father of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and Guardian Angels will be recognized. I remember how excited I was to be named a “Mother of the Year” in 2010. The event and mission mean so much to me that I’m a sponsor of this year’s Luncheon.

Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies is an organization dedicated to preserving, restoring and improving the health of the mother and child during pregnancy and continuing that vitality through the early stages of the baby’s life.

It’s an important mission. At some point, our mothers didn’t know what we looked like, what we sounded like or what we would become, and they loved us anyway. They loved us before they met us and would sacrifice for us before we even came to be. I know personally that I sacrificed sleep, sushi, champagne, and my 20-something-year-old figure for my two darlings, and it was all worth it!

Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies’ event is a fantastic way to recognize the true adoration and devotion of mothers. I hope you’ll join me.

Happy Mother’s Day, moms!