From convincing James Caan, or "Jimmy" as he is known to friends, to join the board of an online film company over lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel to launching a private equity fund in Tbilisi, Georgia, backed by the country's former prime minister and a retired international football player, my career adventures span the exciting rise of the dot-com boom to the wake-up call of the housing crash. Along the way, I've encountered a range of characters, including corporate titans, Russian Oligarchs, an Italian real estate magnet, A-list celebrities and one of the World's 100 most influential people, according to Time Magazine.
Here are a few of my favorite stories:
Count Alvaro de Marichalar of Spain made history as the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a jet ski. He navigated 14 hours a day, 90 percent on his feet and slept in a life raft equipped with a special ultrasonic device to keep sharks away. A support boat followed him with fuel and food until he landed in Miami Beach. The voyage was made to raise awareness for his charity. I publicized the event, which resulted in international news coverage, including a visit to the Today Show.
Here’s one for Ripley’s Believe It or Not: Eternal Gem developed a patented-process to transform the cremated remains of humans and animals into one-of-a-kind “memorial” gem stones. With dignity and a straight face, I successfully introduced the brand to veterinarians across the country at the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) national conference. I also ran a lobbying effort for stricter federal regulations on pet cremations and burials.
My proudest moment in PR has nothing to do with getting national press for a promising startup or killing a story on a massive layoff for a corporate giant. It has everything to do with my 8-lb Maltese, Diva. This four-legged trendsetter was interviewed and photographed for a full-page article that appeared in The Miami Herald’s lifestyle section. The paper called her “one of the most fashionable South Floridians.” Her best quote: “Like Coco Chanel said, ‘fashion cuts across all species’.” While most publicists fought to land their two-legged clients in this coveted section, I knew the secret. PR was going to the dogs!