From left: Patrice Tanaka, co-chair of PR firm CRT/tanaka; Terrie Williams, president of PR firm Terrie Williams Agency; Pamela Fiori, editor-in-chief of Town & Country, Nina DiSesa, chairman of advertising firm McCann Erickson New York; and Myrna Blyth, author, columnist, and chair of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
Pink champagne flowed and chocolate-covered strawberries were served up as media-minded women mingled before last night’s New York Women In Communications panel discussion “Inside the Matrix Winners Circle.”
We were at Soho’s Scholastic auditorium to hear Matrix award-winners Nina DiSesa, chairman of advertising firm McCann Erickson New York, Pamela Fiori, editor-in-chief of Town & Country, Patrice Tanaka, co-chair of PR firm CRT/tanaka, and Terrie Williams, president of PR firm Terrie Williams Agency, share their perspectives on climbing the communications ladder.
Before an audience of about 80 women (and one man DiSesa’s hubby), moderator and media maven Myrna Blyth managed to keep the discussion far away from Hillary Clinton and Eliot Spitzer, turning instead to topics including honoring conservative-minded leading-ladies in the biz, Rosie O’Donnell‘s gasp-inducing emcee gig at last year’s Matrix awards, and what it’s like to excel in an industry that many still consider a boy’s club.
After the hour-long panel, Fiori told us about her 1975 interview for editor-in-chief at Travel & Leisure. The headhunter warned Fiori that being EIC would intimidate men and, alas, she’d be forced to live a husband-less life. “It didn’t scare me,” she said, adding that she quickly became used to exerting her authority. “That’s exactly the kind of man I wouldn’t want around anyways.”
Another eight women will join Fiori as Matrix recipients at the 2008 Matrix Awards hosted by People on April 7. This year will honor the likes of New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse, ABC News anchor Robin Roberts, and Gourmet‘s editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl.