English has been the secret of my success throughout my life. I was fortunate to grow up in Spartanburg, S.C., with excellent schools. My ancestry is Greek and my father immigrated from Greece in 1915 the same year my mother was born to Greek parents in New York City. I mention this only because my knowledge of the Greek language was influential in my command of the English language.
I have been fortunate in my life to hold management positions in the areas I loved. Straight out of high school and business college, I landed a position as assistant to the Director of Public Relations at Converse College, where for twelve years, I oversaw the publicity program for the entire college and became the News Director. I resigned to spend time at home with my children.
However, almost immediately, I was offered the position of Director of the Spartanburg County Arts Council. This turned out to be the best eight years of my professional life. The Arts Council was an umbrella organization for non-profit arts and civic organizations numbering approximately 25 groups including visual arts, dance, music, theatre, science and history, among others.
During my tenure, we integrated organizations, renovated a school building into an Arts Center, founded a city-wide arts festival and established a local dance company, one of the groups we were missing. I came into this position just when the National Endowment for the Arts was distributing money to the states and we were successful in receiving many grants to enhance our programs. Under CETA (the government program to assist employment), we were able to increase the staff we needed when we opened the new Arts Center in 1975. In 1980, my life changed with a divorce and changes in the Arts Council.
I was offered a position as Manager of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, only lasting a year. So I came to New York City, where I was meant to be and where I was hired by a prestigious public relations agency after one week of temping. As assistant to the owners of Sherwood & Schneider, a subsidiary of Della Femina Travisano, I had a myriad of responsibilities.
After four years, I was offered a position as director of advertising and public relations with Antonovich Furs that paid almost twice what I was making with Sherwood & Schneider. The remainder of my career, I have been a self-employed public relations professional. At this stage in my life, I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with others.
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