Michelle Mekky: Mekky Media Founder

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How did you get into the industry? My experience with the industry really it started in high school when my English teacher recommended I try for a position at the school newspaper. I had never tried journalism before and once I got into it I absolutely loved it. I eventually became editor-in-chief and set my sights on studying journalism in college. I ended up going to Northwestern University, because I lived close by, and it had the best journalism school in the country. The school had a television studio, and I had the opportunity to anchor news shows. That experience inspired me to purse a career in broadcast journalism. It was only after working at Fox for 12 years that I started to really think about PR. I had been pitched by so many publicists as a senior producer, and I felt that I had developed a knowledge of what it would take to be good at PR. So I decided to cross to the other side.

Career Advice? I think the most important advice is don’t be afraid to work hard. For a while I was working two eight-hour shifts, barely sleeping. I was 23 years old and thinking, “I graduated from Northwestern and thought I was going to be set for life. I went to the best school, I did everything right. What happened?” That was so challenging, but I learned so much about perseverance, and I learned how to grow in my career and what it takes to succeed. Young people need to find their place and what they’re passionate about and then really prove themselves in that job. And that might mean volunteering to take on an extra project or asking for more responsibility. Not everybody knows early on what they want to do for the rest of their life, so I think it’s important to watch for the signs that point to what you’re passionate about. Then seek out as many opportunities as you can, like internships, shadowing, any opportunity to get in there and see and experience what a particular career might be like. You’re going to have to work for the rest of your life and you need to love what you do.

Kimberly Starks: Blue Scorpion Reputation Management (BSRM) Founder

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Career Advice to those in your industry? I encourage all college students in mass communications (print, radio, broadcast and multimedia) to get their start in the industry early. The opportunity is akin to having a new car: once you drive it off the lot, it depreciates. Gaining the necessary experience before you graduate works to your benefit. If you wait to look for an opportunity in this industry after you graduate, you’ll end up in a pool with thousands of others looking for the same limited job position. There are only a few slots to be filled, so the earlier you make meaningful connections for entry, the better. It’s also important to cast a wide net. Your first position may not be in a populous city like Los Angeles, but you can start working in smaller markets and work your way up. Lastly, networking and making meaningful connections with those in the industry is essential. Part of the job is not what you know but who knows you.

Amanda Hill: Three Box Strategic Communications CEO & Founder

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What do you love most about Your City? Dallas has such a layered persona – couture and high-end but also community-focused and kind. Businesses are flocking here, creating a really diverse group of global cultures and perspectives. Our economy is booming, which is great for me as an entrepreneur. I grew up here, so I have a deep love for the people and places that others are just discovering but have always been home to me.

What are you doing at 6:00 AM – By 6 a.m., I’ve already been through emails and packed lunch for my kindergartener. My friend, Kelly, and I head out for a run before everyone wakes up. I’ve embraced being a “morning person.” It gives me a jump on the day before things get too hectic.

Lea-Ann O’Hare Germinder: Founder, Germinder + Associates

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My Deed of the Day: Make someone smile.

What do you love most about Your City? Everything! It’s the Big Apple, the city of my Long Island girlhood dreams – the city, the sights, the people, the culture, the diversity, the history, and the bright lights. It’s all here, yet I have my special spot that is my home – when I am here and not discovering other places!

Where do you enjoy getting lost?  Wherever there are books. Book stores, libraries, old books, new books, my own book collection. The digital world is my world now too but the smell and sights of books still make my heart sing.  These are my mind calming moments to get lost in. You put the phone aside and your mind breathes. When you are in the PR business that is a good thing!

Noreen Heron: Founder, Heron Agency

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What do you love most about Your City? It’s never dull. There is always a new restaurant or theater opening but I love the classics too like Geja’s Café which we represent.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? I would have to say our Heron Agency Instagram! Our logo is red, which represents passion, and all of our images on our account have some pop of red in them. Sometimes we love a photo but if there is no red in it, we reject it. The team rotates who is posting for the day so it is always fun to open it up and see what they select.

What should everyone try at least once? A trip to Burgundy. A day where you never get out of your pajamas. Binge watching Hitchcock films. Rutabaga.

Susan McPherson: Founder & CEO, McPherson Strategies

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My Goal of the Day:  To be a better human being than I was the day before and to always be grateful for everything I have. 

My Action of the Day:  Pick up the phone and call a long-lost friend or relative to say hello or handwrite a note to thank someone for a kind gesture.

What do you love most about Your City?  New York City is like a foreign country plopped into the United States. In just one day, you can literally interact with individuals who have hailed from far and distant lands. I love that it all works. And yes, of course, there is racism and bigotry like in much of this complicated country, but in my experience, New Yorkers are far more tolerant, progressive, accepting and open. And given our close proximity to each other, you can actually talk to people and they’ll speak back to you!



Amy Kenigsberg: Co-Founder & Principal Consultant, K2 Global Communications

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My NativeAdVert:

Amy Kenigsberg’s intuitive grasp of technology and her inherent understanding of your solutions’ value lets her translate the how, what and whys of your product into clearly focused “What’s-in-it-for-me” communications. Nicknamed “the bulldog” by a client, she’s renowned for her tenacity in reaching your target audiences. When not in front of a keyboard, she’s reading, exercising, and taking care of her family. Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and an MBA from the University of Kansas.

What do you love most about Your City?

We live in a very small town, with about 300 families, which means we have a very strong sense of community. When something good or bad happens, your neighbors are there with hugs, comfort food, and moral support.

This small-town living hearkens back to the time I grew up – where kids came home only at dusk or later, when the neighborhood moms would all go outside and shout that it was time to come home. Larry, husband and business partner, loves its suburban nature – to a point. He’s a foodie and misses NYC take out.

Sometimes when I’m on my morning run, I count the houses where I don’t know at least one of the residents; at least count, there were only about four.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

We’re based in Israel, so any place you go serves an “Israeli breakfast,” which is two eggs, a few types of cheese, breads, and salads.

At home, I’m into leftovers for breakfast, be it brisket or baked ziti. Larry, who loves food more than I, actually drinks an “engineered food” shake every morning.

As for restaurants in general, there’s a good Italian restaurant in Hod Hasharon, PastaMia, which our family loves. Tel Aviv has significantly upped its game, over the last few years, so we now have a choice of great Vietnamese, Chinese, tapas, seafood, etc.

My husband is a native New Yorker, so we’re on a perpetual quest for good pizza. Our local joint is actually pretty good.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Either in the middle of my morning weight routine or run

10:00 AM – Right in the thick of my work day, answering email, writing content, managing clients’ HubSpot accounts. Larry typically rolls in right about now.

12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?

Generally, the noon hour finds me eating at my desk, as I scan the latest news sources and headlines, generating ideas for my clients for potential news hooks. Larry’s big on turkey sandwiches.

When I’m out and about, I prefer variety. Tel Aviv has many shopping-entertainment-restaurant venues that provide many choices, based on that day’s mood. If we’re local, there’s a good Japanese restaurant, Japanica.

7:00 PM - I wear many hats as both a business owner and mother of three, so 7 pm may find me on a client call as I prepare dinner or sitting down with the family to the meal I just prepared. Larry’s a “judo dad,” so he’s returning with our sons three days a week.

11:00 PM – By 11 pm, unless I have a call with the West Coast or Australia – our location in Israel allows us to work globally with both clients and media – I’m in bed, dreaming before the alarm goes off at 5:30 am for another productive day.

Larry’s a night owl, so he may be editing client materials or managing our social media.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I’m not a coffee drinker but go through a few bottles of sparkling water per day. One glass of red wine or a shot of chocolate liquor is always a nice way to relax after a busy day. Larry’s successfully reduced his coffee intake to 2-3/day.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I’m almost always on WhatsApp, checking both business and personal messages. Getting anywhere these days means I’m using Waze. For fun, I like to take the kids geocaching, and we use C:Geo for that. Larry enjoys most forms of guitar porn, from Pinterest to the plethora of ads he gets daily from various music stores, although he’s not averse to looking at amps and pedals, too.

What should everyone try at least once?

Taking a hot air balloon combines romance, beauty, and a sense of adventure.

Larry thinks you haven’t lived if you haven’t been on Coney Island’s Cyclone roller coaster.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Drop me in any city, and off I go. Whenever I travel, I prefer to simply walk, so I can take in the people and the places at a leisurely pace. If I need to get from point A to point B, I prefer to take public transportation so I can explore like a local.

Larry’s favorite island for exploration is Manhattan, so just send him out with a few subway tokens and pizza money, and he’s set for days.

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Kerstin Neuber: Senior Head of Communications, PUMA

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My NativeAdVert:

Kerstin Neuber is Senior Head of Communications at Sports brand PUMA and responsible for Corporate, HR and Brand Communications. Before she joined the German company in 2007, she worked as a stock market reporter and business journalist for news agency Reuters in Frankfurt and London. After she graduated in English and Portuguese linguistics and cultural sciences from University of Mainz, she kicked off her professional career as a stock trader with an international investment bank in Frankfurt.

My Goal of the Day: Make it happen. Shock everyone.

My Thought of the Day: If you can dream it, you can do it.

My Action of the Day: Making time to share my knowledge and experience with trainees and young co-workers.

My Deed of the Day: I am trying to make my lifestyle more and more sustainable by using renewable electricity, separating my garbage, avoiding plastic where possible and travelling rather by train than plane.

My Tip of the Day: Get on a Chi Machine for 10 minutes and you will feel an amazing energy flow.

My Pic of the Day:

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What do you love most about Your City?

After having lived in London for some years, I love the peacefulness and convenience that Nuremberg offers. Hardly any traffic (at least nothing what Londoners would call traffic), a variety of ethnic restaurants and bars in walking distance and in a beautiful historic Old Town setting plus art exhibitions and a high-quality theatre. A nature reserve perfect for hiking, climbing and biking is just a 30-minute drive away and comes with a high density of traditional breweries. All I just need.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

I am fan of intermittent fasting, so I skip breakfast quite often. If I don’t, I will go for an avocado/ melon or apple/almond/cinnamon smoothie. Avocado toast with eggs and salmon is more than welcome at the weekends.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Meditating. 20 minutes every day does the trick for my inner peace.

10:00 AM – I will be in meetings or media interviews or signing off media materials. If it’s none of these, it’s emails, for sure.

12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

The roof terrace of the PUMA headquarters restaurant in Herzogenaurach. It offers a beautiful countryside view and it’s the perfect spot to chat with teammates over lunch.

7:00 PM – Either on my horse or in a yoga or TRX class in our office gym.

11:00 PM – In bed, asleep already or still listening to a podcast.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Right after I wake up, I have a large glass of warm lemon water. Then it’s black coffee while I get ready, before I move on to sparkling water and ginger tea in the office. For dinner, I don’t say “no” to a glass of Merlot.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Most used app: It’s got to be Spotify.

Favourite Social Media account: Nutrition and interior design pins on Pinterest.

What should everyone try at least once?

I once crossed the Namib desert on horseback from Windhoek to Swakopmund. We rode 10 hours every day and slept on camp beds under the stars. It was the most amazing adventure being so close to nature and wild animals. But being deprived of all luxury and sanitary facilities for two weeks, you can bet that you will again appreciate the things in life we usually take for granted – such as running water and a warm shower. Highly recommended for the ultimate relaxation and to restore gratefulness.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In the woods, on my horse.

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