Categories

Recent Posts

Women’s Conference of Florida Recap 2019

womens-conference-of-florida_featured

by Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management

I attended the Women’s Conference of Florida for the second time, and it was just as awesome as that first time two years ago. There’s so much energy, positivity and inspiration surrounding everyone in the room, it’s contagious.

Being general admission and going it alone, while it may sound frightening to some and boring to others, is actually a great way to attend this conference. There are lots of ladies attending solo, and the general admission tables are shared by all of the many solo conference-goers, those independent spirits. I sat at a table towards the back, and throughout the day, between the breakout sessions, lunch, and all the other activities, my table’s attendees rotated, so I was able to meet and chat with even more people of all walks of life.

The first keynote speaker (and for some, the highlight of the day), was Monica Lewinsky. She talked about the traumatic event in 1998 that skyrocketed her into infamy, and how it took years to recover. “I’m the only person over 40 who doesn’t want to be 22 again.” She lightened the mood with jokes like this and facts like, “there are about 125 rap songs that mention my name.”

After telling this heart-wrenching story (it’s so jarring to hear it come from her, the one who lived it, rather than via all the gossip and news and opinions from everyone else), she went on to discuss how words can be just as painful as physical violence. This led to her talking about the very real problem of cyber-bullying, and how it especially inflicts teens.

Lewinsky and advertising agency BBDO recently collaborated on a public service announcement that tells the story of a teenage girl being harassed so badly via texts from classmates that she attempted suicide. Warning, this video contains triggers for victims of cyber-bullying and suicide.

Lewinsky admits her life would have taken an entirely different path if she hadn’t fallen in love with former president Bill Clinton. She talks about how she earned a master’s degree years later, just trying to live a normal life, and when she tried to get a job, found that no one would hire her because of the scandal. She was a pariah, in a sense, and had to find a new direction for her life. Her first step into her passionate advocacy to end cyber-bullying was a presentation to a class of Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees. That speech launched her into a lifelong endeavor to prevent others from experiencing what she had, or at least help them to recover from the trauma of it. I have such a new appreciation for Monica Lewinsky!

My personal favorite was the brilliant and funny Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code. She talked at length about how we raise our girls to be “socialized to avoid tech and math, and to be perfect.” You know those shirts that say, “Allergic to algebra?” In Saujani’s eyes, these seemingly harmless shirts are part of what is wrong with society. They are the bane of her (and now my) existence, because they promote the idea that girls can’t do math or that it’s not “cool” to be good at math, or some other ridiculous assumption about women and mathematical intelligence.

womens conference florida

As a science person myself (I majored in engineering during college), and having been raised by a family that encouraged me to be my own person without promoting or implying strict gender rules, I have never understood the “pretty in pink” value system. I played rough sports, came home with black eyes, helped my dad build houses (having installed several hardwood floors and doors, helped frame a house, and painted countless walls and doors by the time I was 18), and took college calculus classes before I graduated high school. Certainly doesn’t sound like society’s image of a “pretty pretty princess,” and it’s how I’m going to raise my daughter too, always leading by example.

To Saujani’s point, “they watch us, follow us, mimic us,” so the best way to teach is to model the behavior. Yes, that girl is going to go fishing, learn how to lay wood floors, build things, while at the same time learning how to cook and sew. “We put our own unrealized potential into the potential of our girls, but we have to stop doing that, and we raise girls to be perfect and thoughtful, and boys to be brave.” Here’s to being and raising a brave girl, Reshma Saujani! We hear you!

One other speaker that I really loved and wanted to mention is author and host of “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” podcast, Nora McInerny. She was just hilarious! Her time slot was toward the end of the day, after lunch, which is a tough place to be (they really pack a lot in one day, so the eyes and brain start to weary after the delicious lunch complete with giant chocolate cake for dessert). Her energy and irreverence were the perfect cocktail to bring the audience back from nodding off.

McInerny’s talk was about grief, loss and suffering, and that benign, casually tossed question, “How are you?” which usually has a much more profound answer than “I’m fine.” Interesting that such a vibrant, bubbly person is a grief expert, but her experience has catapulted her into this realm. She starts her presentation with, “first, I had a miscarriage, then my dad dies, then my husband dies, all within six weeks.” That’s enough to stop anyone in their tracks and leave them crippled with grief, but McInerny used humor, family, friends, and in general, human connection and honesty, to not only overcome her losses, but build an empire of creativity around the topic of grief. She encourages us to offer compassion and support for those around us suffering from loss, but also to reach out when we are in need, for this is how you get through it. Not alone, but with a community. “It’s not my job to protect my children from the cold world, but to teach them how to get through it and be there for others as well.”

The variety of speakers this year, as always, was excellent, and I would be surprised if anyone, men and women alike, walked away without a spark of inspiration for their next project, their next educational endeavor, relationship, or just about any aspect of life. I certainly have a whole host of ideas and goals now!

SMPS Emerging Trends in Technology Event

emerging trends in technology construction engineering architecture_newsa

Technology has advanced at a dizzying rate over the last decade and it shows no sign of slowing that pace. Feats that we could only imagine 20 years ago are a reality today thanks to tech like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Science fiction movies have been using holograms and mixed reality for years and now those technologies are upon us. The Society for Marketing Professional Services’ technology event, Emerging Technologies in the A/E/C Industry, is a testament to that fact. We learned some really interesting things at this comprehensive presentation and panel discussion from some of Tampa Bay’s leading techies and then we learned how these technologies are being applied to the architecture, engineering, and construction industries.

From Cool Game to Business Application

Just a few years ago, virtual reality goggles and holo-glasses were fun, experimental gadgets that offered games, travel experiences, and trips to outer space without leaving the comfort of your living room. Soon after these gadgets became more mainstream, many industries, with the help of tech-savvy staff and forward-thinking executives, started seeing the real-world business applications of this technology. In the A/E/C/ industries, the applications are vast – and important. Imagine being able to do walk-throughs of a new building with the use of virtual reality, before the contractors even start working on the foundation. Contractors, architects and engineers can communicate about the nuances of a space before construction begins. This is a huge step for eliminating costly errors and miscommunication. Virtual reality is a project manager’s dream come true.

Use Case – Atlanta Falcons

When the Atlanta Falcons decided to build their new stadium, they hired our friends at HD Interactive to create a virtual reality simulation of the stadium experience from all perspectives, including the various seating levels, the 50-yard line, and the end zones. HD Interactive rendered the simulation using the architectural and engineering plans and created an application that allowed the owners and investors to do a virtual walk-through of the stadium. They inspected the experience from a multitude of angles and discovered that the giant television screens were placed at an angle that was extremely uncomfortable to look at. They were up too high so extended viewing caused the viewer to have neck pain. As a result of this discovery, the team changed the plans and placed the screens at a level that was more comfortable to view. Having the ability to change the plans before they began construction saved a significant amount of money and time added to the project timeline.

Many industries are applying virtual reality and augmented reality. If you had the option, how would you apply this technology in your business?

 

 

 

 

 

Pinstripe Book Shelf: Self-Made by Nely Galan

self made nely galan inspiration_news

Don’t Buy Shoes, Buy Buildings: Lessons from Self-Made by Nely Galan.  Back in October of 2017, the Pinstripe team attended the Women’s Conference of Florida (read the recap here.) One of the most memorable presentations of the conference was the very first one – Nely Galan. This vibrant, exciting woman gave us energy, confidence, and drive. We walked out of that room feeling empowered! She’s one of those people with an infectious energy – she makes you want to take your day by storm. Her parting gift to the entire audience – a copy of her book, “Self-Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way.” Needless to say, after that presentation, we couldn’t wait to read it.

Self-Made – The Woman

Nely Galan, daughter of hard-working immigrant parents, built her career on engendered hard work, positivity, and by learning from her mistakes every step of the way. She gave herself solid role models and was goal-oriented; she was constantly setting her goals and asking herself the question, “will this get me closer to my goal?” about every move she made. Sometimes she took a step forward through her decisions, and sometimes a step backward, but she always kept her eye on the target. She also continued to update her goals to keep up with her own growth – here is one important lesson from Nely: check in with your goals often – you may find that they change over time and as you grow.

Self-Made – The Book

Her book is essentially an expanded version of her presentation – each chapter contains a lesson or a self-realization goal and a series of stories from her own life explaining how she achieved or learned the lesson. Many of the chapters also feature stories about other women succeeding using similar techniques or approaches. Overall, the book is just like Nely, energetic and full of positivity.

A few lessons:

  • Channel a role model (even if you’ve never met them) – in tough situations, ask yourself, “what would Michelle Obama do?”
  • Buy buildings, not shoes – Nely is all about being smart with your money, in particular investing in real estate
  • Failures are lessons – don’t be afraid to fail
  • No matter where you come from or what your background, you can become a powerful, self-made woman
  • Revisit your goals often
  • Don’t rely on a hero or Prince Charming to save you or support you – be self-made!
  • Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can offer freedom

One problem with a book being like a person is that Nely has a certain presence that is charismatic, her voice is uplifting, and her energy is palpable and contagious. The book alone would not have had the same impact if we had not seen her in action. I am not usually a self-help book reader, but Galan’s presentation compelled me, irresistibly, to read this book. So powerful were her words and spirit that even a skeptic was led to spend precious reading time on a genre outside of my preference. I was not disappointed, but not astounded either.

To sum up this review – if you like self-help books and need a boost of positivity and energy, I recommend reading this book. If you can see Nely Galan presenting in person to supplement the book, even better. There are no Earth-shattering secrets, no profound lessons in this book. It is refreshing and fun to read, but it can get repetitive and reinforces many things we likely already apply to our daily lives – work hard, work smart, have confidence in yourself, and spend/invest wisely.

Women’s Conference of Florida Recap

women leadership_news

We attended the Women’s Conference of Florida this fall – what an incredible experience. We walked into the Marriot Waterside Hotel on a bright and sunny Thursday morning, full of anticipation. As we walked through registration we saw other faces full of excitement, anticipation, hope. And boy, we were not disappointed.

The first presentation was given by Nely Galan, author, real estate mogul, founder of the Adelante Movement, and former President of Telemundo. What a great way to kick off the conference! Nely was full of energy and inspiration, her stories were riveting, and she sent a wave through the crowd that made us all want to leave that room and do amazing things. She started her story with her childhood, when her family immigrated to the United States from Cuba. She ended up in a strange school, strange neighborhood, and they all had to learn a new language. She told of her and her family’s struggles, but through each and every obstacle, she was able to make the most of the situation and create positives out of negatives – EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Galan was so vivacious in her story-telling, so funny and sincere – she really wants other women to succeed and listening to her story is a step in that direction. Each attendee received a copy of her book, “Self-Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way,” which we will review when we’re done reading! The title is fairly self-explanatory, and as a sneak preview, Nely recounts the story of her childhood and rise to real-estate moguldum and self-made woman. Her motto, “buy real estate, not shoes,” is wise advice, one that we can all learn from. As she told story after story, this kept coming up; she also reminded us that everyone has moments of insecurity and “around the corner from my biggest failures are my biggest successes.”

Another stand-out presenter was Tiffany Dufu, Chief Leadership Officer of LEVO. She talked about “dropping the ball” as a positive, in the sense that if you let yourself drop the ball on certain things, you can excel in others. In other words, you have to figure out what is most important for you and focus your energies on those things. For example, sometimes you have to leave the dirty laundry for another day when you have a tight deadline to meet on a project, or you may be forced to order pizza for family dinner instead of that super healthy home cooked meal if you really need to squeeze in a workout. She also recommends learning to ask for help. Many super women try to take on all the heavy lifting without asking partners or friends for help. Stop this! Tiffany’s final point is that when we do things like this, we should own it, not feel guilty, not beat ourselves up. No one is perfect. If you’re going to try to “do it all” and be Wonder Woman, you will have to accept the occasional slip up or assistance. And when it comes to ordering pizza for family dinner instead of that healthy, vegetable heavy meal, you know no one else is complaining!

There were many other incredible women presenting during the conference, each one with a unique story of their rise to leadership, fortune, and in some cases, fame. Our takeaways – if you see a women’s conference or presentation, sign up for it – it will inspire you. Women are powerful, stop doubting yourself. Hard work pays off. Do something every day to achieve your goals. Rid yourself of guilt and go conquer the world!

Et Cultura Festival – Interactive Sessions, Music, Art, Film, Craft

et cultura public relations_news

Et Cultura Festival wrapped up last week, and we wanted to share just a few of the interesting things we saw and experienced over the five-day festival’s myriad activities. It was definitely a whirlwind week and since we do public relations for the festival, the few weeks before were pretty hectic as well, but we had a great time and we’re already looking forward to next year.

et cultura news channel 8 daytime morning show pr

Some of the highlights that we were able to catch:

SEEDS interactive sessions at the Morean Center for Clay were phenomenal. There were several presentations throughout the day, all related to gardening, plant-based diet, sustainable living. It was incredibly interesting and enlightening, plus some of the presentations were interactive. One presenter, Kim Campbell, Director of Recipe Development and Culinary Education for PlantPure, Inc., even did a recipe demonstration where she prepared 3 giant pressure cookers full of Ethiopian butternut squash and lentils with brown rice. She made enough to go around the entire room, and the whole room smelled incredible. Not only that, the dish tasted amazing, so we are definitely going to try making some recipes like this in the future.

seeds festival community public relations

Another highlight of the SEEDS interactive sessions included live gardening demonstrations by some of St. Pete’s local farmers, which sparked some of the Pinstripe family to go home and start gardens. The weather was perfect and the crowd was thick for these sessions, which means a lot of people are interested in growing food.

seeds et cultura public relations pr

A panel discussion called “Prescribing Food as Medicine” provided some fascinating insights into how diet directly affects physical health and illness. One fascinating case in particular was a diabetic patient who was very sick changed their diet to plant-based and no longer had to use insulin. Other panelists discussed the affects of diet on heart disease, obesity, and even cancer.

seeds plant based nutrition public relations

Lots of interested folks at the SEEDS interactive sessions all day long.

et cultura festival film public relations

The Future City interactive sessions at Station House featured a wide variety of topics focused on economic development, supporting local businesses, affordable housing, social justice and more.

Small Is Big discussed the importance of championing locally owned and operated businesses and using entrepreneurs, citizen volunteers, events and artists for community development as well as an economic driver.

Et Cultura St. Pete

What Is “Affordable” Housing These Days? featured speakers representing the city, developers, the tiny house movement and others. The discussion highlighted the needs for a variety of places to call home that we can afford and want to live in as our city grows, continues to attract young talent, and needs to support a service-oriented workforce and address the changing needs of an aging population.

Et Cultura St Pete

Perhaps the most interesting discussion on Thursday was Inclusive Cities featuring social justice advocate, Weldon Angelos. The panel discussed ideas for building a more equitable system in our community and beyond for citizens who break the law, serve their time, and want to re-enter society. Weldon Angelos story is fascinating and infuriating. He was sentenced a mandatory 55 years in prison for selling a few pounds of marijuana while possessing a firearm – a sentence so extreme that his judge, unable to go below the mandatory minimum, called on the president to commute Weldon’s sentence. Barring such a presidential commutation, taxpayers would spend more than $1.5 million to keep Weldon behind bars until he was 80 years old. Weldon’s sentencing provoked unprecedented public outcry. Twenty-nine former judges and prosecutors filed a ‘friend of the court’ brief beseeching Weldon’s sentencing judge to declare the sentence unconstitutional. At sentencing, Judge Paul G. Cassell called Weldon’s punishment “unjust, cruel, and even irrational,” comparing it to much shorter federal sentences given to repeat child rapists and airplane hijackers. Judge Cassell wrote a 67-page opinion urging President Bush to commute Weldon’s sentence to 18 years or less. Unfortunately, none of these efforts proved fruitful until recently, when President Obama commuted his sentence– after Weldon served 13 years in prison.

You can see more of Weldon’s story here:

On Friday we were fortunate enough to join a group of educators for the RADICAL SCHOOLS interactive sessions. The keynote speaker was Geoffrey Canada, who flew down from Harlem, New York City to discuss his work with the Harlem Children’s Zone and the philosophy of his educational approach. He and his colleagues seek to change the lives of inner-city kids, prevent youth violence and foster community development through education reform. The model encourages educators to meet students where they are and use their own interests and needs to create active participation in their education and future.

One really cool element of the RADICAL SCHOOLS interactive sessions was a portable skate and BMX half pipe. They set it up right in the middle of 2nd St between 1St Ave and Central in downtown St. Pete, closed off that street, and had professional BMX riders and skateboarders doing tricks. It was definitely a good way to get every kid’s attention, and a huge crowd of both children and adults gathered to see the talented athletes doing cool tricks and defying gravity.

et cultura radical schools event public relations

Of course, we also caught a few of the concerts, films, art shows and the makers market – Et Cultura is a week of what is best in St. Pete!

Our public relations efforts for Et Cultura included media relations and leveraging our relationships with local television stations to book morning shows for Et Cultura founders and other interesting interviewees. It’s a win-win situation, as the hosts get to meet great people who are making cool things happen in our community, and our clients have the opportunity to discuss their events and draw more attendance to their events on television shows with thousands of viewers across the Tampa Bay area. Next time you have an event or news-worthy business happening, get in touch with Pinstripe and we can help you get the word out to our community, both in television and in print.