Tag Archives: PRLife

Travel for Business & Pleasure: Blurring the Lines

In #PR and in life we talk a good game about balance, but rarely do we achieve it.  Much of the time, we prioritize work or if we can get away, we try to stave off our to-do list for a day or two only to become even more stressed upon our return. Last week, for the first time EVER in my career,  I somehow discovered the perfect formula that allowed me to keep my work flow moving forward, to enjoy new sights and family time, and  to experience a less dramatic re-entry.

My husband and I completed a half marathon while our daughter ran the full 26.2 miles in Eugene, OR.
My husband and I completed a half marathon while our daughter ran the full 26.2 miles in Eugene, OR.

Looking back, there were three elements that made this possible:

  1. Select a Multi-Purpose Destination

My daughter (from NYC), and my husband and I (from FL) knew we wanted to do a destination race in April or May, so we researched the half and full marathons taking place in the U.S. during the spring season.  When my daughter suggested Eugene, OR, I knew that was the right one.  First, none of us had ever explored the Pacific Northwest and as outdoorsy, active people, we were excited to discover new and beautiful territory.  Second, it turns out that one of my clients, Laurel Hill, is located right in downtown Eugene – this was the perfect opportunity to schedule face-to-face time with my client, the distributor and the staff.  Working together virtually for nearly six months, this was a great opportunity to learn how their operation worked, and to get inspired with new ideas on how to create awareness of their unique, high quality knitting needles, crochet hooks and myriad selection of fiber arts tools.

After spending our first day getting acclimated to fun and fabulous Eugene, we met with Laurel Hill’s owner Rick Brown and his lovely wife Lynda.  They gave us a first-class tour of their city and we enjoyed the area’s excellent and varied cuisine.

Hendricks Park was in full bloom - we walked and talked with Rick & Lynda.
Hendricks Park was in full bloom – we walked and talked with Rick & Lynda.
Carbing up for the Eugene Marathon at Voodoo Doughnut - delicious!
Carbing up for the Eugene Marathon at Voodoo Doughnut – delicious!





Rick Brown, owner of Laurel Hill, took me on a tour of his showroom and distribution warehouse.
Rick Brown, owner of Laurel Hill, took me on a tour of his showroom and distribution warehouse.
Laurel Hill offers knitting needles, crochet hooks and every type of fiber arts tool you can imagine.
Bryson Distributing is filled with gorgeous displays and a vast inventory of fiber arts gizmos and gadgets.
The amazing staff at Bryson Distributing does everything from stocking their huge warehouse, to taking orders from around the world, to shipping to every destination near and far.

2. Add Days When You’re Away

If you are traveling a long distance (i.e., a 7-hour plane ride), it’s a good idea to build in a few days for sightseeing and adventures.  After the Race and two days of meetings in Eugene, our next stop was Portland, aptly named the Rose City.  We visited as many sights as possible including: the Nike Company Store,  the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the Oregon Zoo,  International Rose Garden, Powell’s Books, Salt & Straw Ice Cream and lots more.

The Columbia River Gorge - so beautiful!
The Columbia River Gorge – so beautiful!




A rose by any other name…all of them were at the International Rose Garden!










Final destination: Seattle – we only had two days left but we hit a lot of the highlights: the Space Needle, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum,  EMP Museum, Pike Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium (love those otters!), a ferry trip to Bainbridge Island and more – whew!

What an amazing and talented artist - Dale Chihuly's works are a colorful and intricate integration of art and nature!
What an amazing and talented artist – Dale Chihuly’s works are a colorful and intricate integration of art and nature!
The EMP Museum was fascinating – from rock ‘n roll to video games to movie memorabilia – so much to see!
We tried the chowder, the baked goods and the cheese – then we walked for miles so I think it all evened out.

3. Keep Up with Work at Your Leisure

There was much to do during the day but since we were in a different time zone, there was ample time to check and answer emails, keep up with conference calls, and check the status of ongoing projects.  Since I had let my clients and cohorts know in advance that I would be out of town, they expected that I would not be as immediately responsive as usual, but that I would respond that same day. It took the pressure off during daylight hours when we were exploring, but at the same time, no work situations went unanswered. Surprisingly, there were enough hours in the day to do it all.

This formula worked for me and for my clients – at least for this time.  I plan to apply these three tenets again next time I travel, and hope it will result in the same stress-free, yet productive, way.

How are you achieving (or not achieving) a work/life balance? I would love to know!



PKE News Briefs: Weekly Peeks from #SWFL

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA (June 4, 2015) —

Lee County Schools names PDQ Business Partner of the Year

Team members from PDQ with their award from Lee County Schools

Fast casual restaurant PDQ was awarded Business Partner of the Year at the annual State of our Schools/Partners in Education Breakfast at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre on May 29 in Fort Myers, Fla. Gulf Coast Town Center PDQ operating director Amy Johnson accepted the award from the Lee County School District and The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools.

Since the restaurant opened last year, PDQ has become involved in the community by cooking on site at events at Three Oaks Elementary, Pinewoods Elementary and Bonita Springs Charter and Estero High School. They have donated food for Three Oaks Middle School’s open house, and provided catering for beloved coach Jeff Sommer’s memorial service at Estero High School. PDQ has also given gift cards to reward students and as recognition for faculty and staff. They also participated in Veteran’s Park Elementary Teacher Appreciation lunch.

PDQ’s Fort Myers locations are at 12499 Cleveland Ave. and 17470 Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy. in Fort Myers. www.eatPDQ.com.

Hazelden in Naples older adult program serves as model for Betty Ford Center

Originally developed by Hazelden in Naples last year, a unique program designed to treat substance abuse in older adults will be replicated by the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, CA. Both organizations are part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

The [email protected]+ program was created at Hazelden inSouthwest Florida to treat what has been called one of the fastest growing health problems in this country: substance abuse in older adults. Addiction in older adults is estimated as high as 17% of the population.

Since the program started in November of 2013, several hundred clients have completed the Naples program with an outstanding success rate that has been noticed by other treatment centers around the country. The Betty Ford Center is collaborating with the Naples team to develop their version of the program, titled [email protected]+ to be more in line with their demographic makeup which skews a bit older.

Brenda J. Iliff, M.A., executive director of Hazelden in Naples said, “It was exciting to see the true team effort involved with this project, making the process both meaningful and timely.”

Iliff pointed out that as baby boomers age, the rates of alcohol and drug abuse will continue to rise through the year 2020. Older adults are less likely than younger adults to recognize the need for treatment. The incidence of addiction in adults over 50 is rising because of a decreased ability to metabolize substances, greater access to drugs for pain and anxiety (physical and emotional) and combining drugs, including alcohol. These factors establish a platform for chemical use, misuse and addiction, especially since substance use issues many times mimic medical concerns, making screening and assessment more complex. The need for specialized programs to address the unique concerns of people 50 plus are key.

The close collaboration between Hazelden in Naples and the Betty Ford Center will continue through the anticipated August launch date in Rancho Mirage.

Ultimate Mosaic introduces new option for creative, social outlet

Mosaic Class
Phil & Paige LeBoutillier with their mosaic works in progress

 Wilson Lopez and Lili Gequelin, owners of Ultimate Mosaic, in Fort Myers, Fla., announced that they now offer classes in mosaic art. Participants experience two-hour sessions to learn the basics of mosaics and to create their own work of art to take home or give as a gift.

Classes are offered on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. or Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m. with a minimum of eight people for each class. A fee of $45 includes all materials, refreshments and personalized instruction from mosaic artist Wilson Lopez.

“We are happy to offer something new and different to the community,” said Gequelin. “Perfect for date night, couples outings, girls night out and corporate events, those who have joined us so far are really having fun with their projects.”

“Our goal is to provide a new, fun creative outlet,” commented Lopez. “We may even discover someone’s hidden talent along the way who can progress along with us as the art form grows in Lee County.”

Ultimate Mosaic’s gallery and studio are located at 11400 Metro Parkway, Suite 3 in Fort Myers, Fla.

For more information on classes or the gallery visit UltimateMosaic.com or call 239-931-4649.