33 was quite a year - the good and the not so good. The most notable is I lost my beloved Papoo right before his 92nd birthday. That was incredibly tough for me as we were very close. As I head down to San Diego this weekend to celebrate my cousin Ryan's wedding, I know he will be with us.
I continue to LOVE what I do and who I do it with at Porch, challenging myself to be the best head of media relations. Every day I feel fortunate to work alongside some extraordinary talent and feel valued, supported and stimulated two years into when I decided to close JVP Media and join Porch.
Maintaining close connections with those I love (my inner circle remains quite small) no matter the distance between us has been a priority. In addition to my monthly trips to San Francisco or New York, I'll be heading to Miami this month, to Atlanta to visit friends in November and to Jacksonville for Ayesha & Manav's wedding. (YES, I know I must head to Europe to visit you Erin & Alex Zito!)
Considering the heartache my family experienced this summer when Papoo passed, every one is healthy and happy. Special congrats go out to my brother Vincent who helped open the new Lynnwood Costco (it's AMAZING if you haven't been!).
Being Figgy's mom continues to be such a giant blessing and I am so thankful to have her in my life.
If I were to ask 34 for more, I would feel conflicted. I have everything I need in my life: a roof over my head, a well paying job, friends, family and a dog who love me and the self-awareness and security of who Jessica Piha is.
When it comes to wants - well, that's a different question.
My closest friends and family know I long to be a Seattle-area homeowner, my dream of residing in a single family home accompanied by a beautiful yard, vegetable garden, a big kitchen to accommodate my nightly cooking, an office for my after-hours #porchinit work and gigantic library. (See the house I'd buy should I win the lottery HERE.)
I also welcome an emotionally and physically present partner to join me on this journey of life. My bar stands pretty high for the man I know I want to be with but he's out there -- I'm sure. (Read Tish Durkin's 'It's Never To Late...')
So 34, there is nothing in particular I need but I sure do know what I want. We'll wait to see if you deliver.
Bon Voyage 33, thank you for some great memories (see below!)
In July, a gunman opened fire on Pier 14 shooting 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle in the back when she was walking along the Pier with her father. She later died at the hospital while an illegal immigrant was arrested and charged with murder. Authorities suspect that the shooting was random. There is now a political debate over San Francisco's sanctuary city status. Kate was a beautiful, young woman with a bright future ahead of her. She did not deserve to die at the hands of a killer who had been deported from the U.S. five times. You read that right. FIVE TIMES.
In response to the controversy, the U.S. House of Representatives passed what has been dubbed "Kate's Law", blocking states and cities from receiving federal law enforcement funding if they refuse to communicate with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) due to that state or city's "sanctuary city" policies. The law aims to create a budgetary consequence for refusal to follow federal law, as the killer in Kate's murder would have instead been deported for the sixth time had the San Francisco Sheriff's Department not chosen to ignore the detainer hold placed on him.
Sanctuary cities do not protect the best interests and safety of America citizen. Yes, my hometown of Seattle is a sanctuary city. The city of Seattle (along with 30 other cities across the nation) choose to turn a blind eye to non documented immigrants (and god knows who else).
Today, I was assaulted by a woman who threatened me, my dog and my life right in front of my apartment building in broad daylight. I do not know if she was an undocumented immigrant, mentally ill or homeless. I do know that I no longer feel safe in the city of which I pay taxes and am a law abiding citizen. Furthermore, it disgusts me that the City of Seattle has opened our doors to thousands of homeless people, creating safe haven for them before their own constituents.
What is the city doing to protect its citizens from those who threaten and assault them?
Temporary encampments were originally scheduled to open by mid-September for the homeless. That's been delayed yet again because we'd rather paint rainbow sidewalks and shut down the city for the Chinese President.
Lastly, I reported the incident to the police and hope nobody else has to experience the fear I felt today (or worse). It was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. I have called upon my elected officials to tackle the problem we have with homelessness and our sanctuary city status here in Seattle.
Sadly, I have little faith that my local leadership will address this problem before it is too late and there is blood on their hands.
I could have been Kate Steinle.
So could you.
If I had a squad, these would be my first-round draft picks of PR.....
If you know me well, you know that I used to loathe working out. I hated running, doing the elliptical, pretty much anything that involved heading to a gym. In all honesty, the last time I belonged to a gym was back in college, when all University of Miami students had access to the beautiful Wellness Center. Since then, I dabble in and out of hot yoga (which I still love) and walk Greenlake frequently but it didn't give me the strength I truly wanted for my body. Then, along came Barre3. I am so thankful to have found a workout that I love. Seattle's Roosevelt studio (located in the Whole Foods shopping center) is one of my newest homes and I'm so proud to be a Barre3 addict. I've never felt so fit and healthy.
This article from Vanity Fair perfectly describes the workout following the opening of a Manhattan-based studio last year.
In contrast to the frantic corner of Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street sits the new and calm Barre3 studio. An import from Portland, Oregon, this workout system was developed by notable wellness expert Sadie Lincoln and co-founded by Sadie and husband Chris Lincoln. With more than 70 studios worldwide, this is Barre3’s first in Manhattan.
As I am no stranger to ballet-bar-inspired classes, I was curious to see what this studio had to offer that was different. The Barre3 method is equal parts, yoga, Pilates, and ballet bar, and targets arms, legs, and core, to achieve shapely legs, a lifted seat, a strong core, and a toned upper body. Therefore, I was totally game.
The warm-up, similar to those in other Barre classes, involves all of the body. You may find yourself in a yoga warrior two that flows into a moving lunge, or in a ballet plié that morphs into squats. The core tension is seemingly never-ending, as a mixture of Barre and Pilates curve and yoga ab-centric postures are held nonstop. Oh, did I say that already? But, Barre3 is as hard as you make it. Scaling down the intensity isn’t frowned upon but encouraged for those who need to, as Barre3 philosophy is about a workout that is accessible to attendees of any age—young whippet, new mother, salt-and-pepper. Girls and guys alike will sweat and shake throughout class. Yes, guys take this class, as well as a host of A-listers—Christie Brinkley was in the one I attended.
The next day I definitely felt sore in my abdominals and inner thighs. I also felt the familiar ache of well-stretched muscles after a yoga class. The three practices in one keeps things interesting even for the veteran workout-ers out there. If you like Barre classes for the dance element, there may not be enough of that for you, but the yoga-flow sequences and Pilates elements keep the class engaging and challenging. Hey, you might like it so much that you even become a studio franchisee, which happened to Andrea Mason of Oklahoma.
In Mason's words, “After taking Barre3 for the very first time, I knew this was something special. It is not only a sophisticated and smart way to work out, but it supports the entire family and is now something I crave on a daily basis. It's a lifestyle. After deciding to make Oklahoma City our permanent residence, I knew that I couldn't live without Barre3 and that bringing a studio of this type to that market was the perfect way for us to imprint increased overall health in that community.” But if being a franchisee is not for you, there’s the Barre3 app for workout portability, or you can sign up online for your own personal Barre3 regime at home. "Warrior," "extend," and "plié" never sounded so good.
This article originally appeared in Entrepreneur.
The next time you are looking to hire someone for your team and you see a resume with "television producer" on it, take a second look. Producing a show is a lot like founding and running a business -- you need a message, a team, content or service and great execution. Any company will benefit by having a producer as a consultant or on staff.
Producers can direct a department, coordinate a live event or conference and produce a corporate video. If a company needs in-house help for coordinating an on site-video conference, media training or handling public relations with the press, a producer knows how to juggle those responsibilities.
Here is a list of 10 transferable skills that producers bring to businesses:
1. Team builders and leaders
Just like the employees of a company, producers are usually part of a bigger team where they are charged with leading a production. Business owner Andrew Schmertz, co-founder and CEO of Hopscotch Air, Inc., is, like me, a former television executive producer.
"If you are a producer, you need to involve your staff in the production of the entire program and encourage employees to ask for help and guidance from each other," he says. "Include people in the decision-making process, even when it is outside their job titles.”
Communicating with your boss or staff is key. Whether writing or speaking for a three-minute segment or an hour-long special, producers must connect to a diverse audience.
Anjie Taylor, a supervising producer and writer at The Talk, chimes in: "Producers have the ability to write quickly, with clarity and in a style that fits the business culture we are in. The person who best commands language will always be an asset and will usually stand out."
3. Big-picture planners
As a business owner, you are always thinking broadly about the company and all its components. Producers are big-picture planners.
Investigative producer David Manoucheri confirms this: "Any program has a lot of moving parts that have to fit together like a puzzle. You have to know how it all fits. We have the ability to make the necessary changes without being too married to something. Producers see the big picture."
4. Major multitaskers
Companies expect employees to perform more duties than ever before, and producers have extensive experience wearing many hats and juggling several balls at one time and dealing with all types of people. Shelly Heesacker, a field director and producer for national shows, says something as simple as making nervous people feel comfortable is a paramount skill for getting anything done.
5. Constant connectors
Producers are great networkers. I have acquired an eclectic list of contacts over the years that I can turn to when necessary. And if I don't know someone, I definitely know somebody who can connect me.
6. Rock-star negotiators
Business people negotiate every day, whether it is for themselves or their companies. The goal is to eventually make the deal.
"Every TV producer knows 'no' is not a final answer -- it's just the beginning of a dialogue on the road to 'yes,'" says Katherine Ann, a senior supervising producer of an Emmy-winning nationally-syndicated talk show. "We are used to outsmarting roadblocks."
7. Terrific troubleshooters
Most producers realize the importance of staying calm under pressure. Producers cover wars, disasters and reality-reunion shows gone amok.
"Producers know how to be a solution, not a problem," says former CBS News manager Nanci Ross Weaver. "When all falls apart, we have plans B, C and D before reporting in."
Senior casting producer Sharon Nash Alexander says producers are great troubleshooters and are flexible.
Executive producer and showrunner Eric Streit adds, "We know how to go into any situation at any spot on the globe, take stock of our resources and then adapt to create successful outcomes."
8. Super salespeople and marketers
Imagine an employee being able to creatively tell your brand's message in only 30 seconds to anyone who will listen. When producers aren't producing a show, they are concisely selling ideas to their bosses.
Producer Ava Odom Martin says, "We are able to break through the intricacies of your business to tell your story in the elevator speech."
9. Master money savers
With companies constantly cutting budgets, money needs to go far. Shows are notorious for wanting a lot of production with little resources. Producers know how to stick to a budget. If we cannot afford something, then we can probably negotiate a deal to get whatever is needed in even the most unusual situations.
10. Organized time managers
Every company wants their employees to put out as much work as possible in a day. Producers understand the value of time, money and meeting a deadline.
Emmy Award-winning talk show producer Joyce Coleman Sampson maintains that "it is extremely important to be organized and pay close attention to details. Effective time management is key because time is money."
Producers bring these 10 skills and more to the business table, and as I like to say, once a producer, always a producer. If you are an employer searching for that certain someone to add to your team, a producer is that person.
I recently returned from a very memorable vacation in Hawaii to celebrate my grandfather's 85th birthday at the historic Mauna Kea Hotel, which is celebrating its 50th birthday. I thought Bloomberg News did a phenomenal job of highlighting its uniqueness with this article, originally posted here and copied below.
Waves of heat rise from the blacktop. On either side, fields of rock, ebony and ashen are interrupted only by wan scrub or long-charred tree stumps, oxidized by the salt air to an eerie copper. The oft-snowcapped peak of Mauna Kea looks incongruous in the distance, the now-icy volcano from which all this scorched earth came.
This is the arid Kohala Coast on the western side of Hawaii’s Big Island, and it’s startling in its beauty. Barren, moonlike expanses meet brilliant blue sky above and turquoise waters at its fringes. It's hardly a landscape that screams "luxury resort."
Consummate environmentalist and developer Laurance S. Rockefeller poses with the scale model that would eventually lead to Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
But then, I’m not a Rockefeller.
In 1965, visionary financier and conservationist Laurance S. Rockefeller overcame some of the era’s greatest infrastructure odds to open what would become one of the world’s most famous beach resorts, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. As it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer—and offers a five-night VIP package for $50,000—we look at how this hotel opened up tourism on Hawaii’s Big Island and served as a model for luxury development.
Before the arrival of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, ranching was the Big Island’s big business. The resort sits on a beach where cowboys and their families would camp and fish. On invitation from Hawaii's governor, Rockefeller came to the island on his way home from Asia to consider opening a resort. He spotted the white crescent of sand on an air-scouting trip, fell in love, and—after a dip in its placid waters—signed a lease.
In the early 1960s, Kauna’oa Bay was a popular recreation area for ranch paniolo (cowboys) and their families. Rockefeller signed a lease for 1,800 acres of rugged Parker Ranch land, which remains, to this day, among the largest cattle ranches in the U.S.
Rockefeller needed to be a man of serious vision to see past the site’s shortcomings, including the lack of roads, fresh water, electricity, plumbing, vegetation, and pretty much every other infrastructural necessity. His serious means certainly helped, too. Even today, the nearest resort is a 15-minute drive and the nearest town, farther.
Mauna Kea kicked off development of the rugged Kohala Coast on Hawaii Island. Six other major hotels within four resort nodes now inhabit the coast’s nearly 30-mile stretch.
He used a strategy of "experting" or hiring a world-class team to crack the problem. Golf starchitect Robert Trent Jones Sr. pioneered a technique for turning lava rock into soil and roped in Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player to launch the course. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill created a mid-century modern cascade of open-air concrete galleries that blended into the environment, inviting the outside in and reducing the need for air conditioning and other energy drains. And iconic interior designer Davis Allen assembled a 1,600-piece museum-worthy art collection, placing the hotel contextually amid other Asian and Oceanic destinations.
After excavating 60 acres of lava and bringing in 5,000 square feet of marble, a mile of wood, and 20,000 cubic yards of concrete (much of it by barge), the Mauna Kea opened on July 24, 1965, as the most expensive resort of its time. It outranked the family’s Rockefeller Center in the American Institute of Architects awards a year later. Price tag: $15 million, or roughly $113 million in today’s dollars. Rates started at $43 a night, breakfast and dinner included.
"For a long time now I have stubbornly held to the view that anything Laurance S. Rockefeller can do, God can do as well," wrote Holiday magazine writer Caskie Stinnett in 1966. "But my first glance from a plane window at Mauna Kea, the resort that Rockefeller created amid the lava rock and desert waste of Hawai‘i’s west coast, caused me a moment’s hesitation. If nothing else, one had certainly picked up nicely where the Other had left off."
Anchored by the white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is dwarfed by its namesake, the dormant Mauna Kea volcano that towers 13,803 feet above sea level in the background. It is not unusual during winter months for the mountain to be capped with snow.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Beachfront Wing, which was added to the hotel in 1968, received a major refresh in 2013. Baths offer views to the beach and the ocean beyond.
It’s not, as many new resorts would have it, an amenities arms race of tanning butlers and pillow menus; it’s how the destination is invited in, an obsession with place. True luxury is an alchemy of design, setting, and service that makes you forget yourself, that lulls you into its rhythms, that encourages both discovery and relaxation. Rockefeller mastered the art form, opening up environments while protecting them, creating places that feel both homey and exotic.
All the upgrades and additions to the now-252-room hotel (from an original 154) have kept that vision in mind. A deep soaking tub and wall-less rain shower opened onto an ocean-view lanai in my room; others have glass walls facing the sea. The clean-lined modern design nods towards Hawaiian motifs with a color palette matched to the hues of water, sand, and sunsets. TVs, notoriously banned in rooms until the ’90s because they prevented you from being present in the experience, are hidden behind handsome wooden wall units.
Hawaii’s newer luxury resorts offer more glam and flash than Mauna Kea, but the magic here is in such throwback charms as the modest pool served by third-generation employees who pass down their parents’ and grandparents’ tales of celeb-studded parties. A weekly lu’au feels much as it did when the hotel created it for a Newsweek magazine photoshoot in the 1960s (thus stoking the fire-twirling-pig-roast-steel-guitar-at-sunset imaginations of beachy dreamers ever since). Golden Thai statues flanking the entrance are so well-loved by departing guests that they're regularly re-leafed.
Amid all this retro-ness, it’s easy to forget just how pioneering the resort was. Original chef Walter Blum is credited with spurring Hawaii’s earliest farm-to-table movement by giving local farmers incentives to raise crops for his restaurant.
Rockefeller elevated local crafts to high art, commissioning and installing traditional, graphically colored Hawaiian quilts next to his priceless collection of Asian and Oceanic art. How the collection is handled without preciousness—not tucked behind glass or in galleries—is quite impressive. You might be walking down a quiet hallway and stumble upon a Maori canoe prow or a Hawaiian tiki. Rockefeller's beloved pink granite Buddha, from a 7th century temple in southern India, hovers in a garden at the top of a staircase, encouraging you to explore a garden you otherwise might have missed.
Today the hotel attracts a multigenerational crowd: old money New Yorkers, finance types on honeymoon, and lots of big families that have been coming for years. It's not about showy luxury as much as heritage. It joined Marriott’s Autograph Collection in February.
"We’re very fortunate that Rockefeller had the vision to give human structure to a destination that at that time didn’t exist," 40-year employee Roxanne Pung says via phone after my visit. Ex-LA Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley, who has vacationed here for 49 years, agrees. "There are a lot of beautiful hotels in the world, but the Mauna Kea stands alone."
From the promenade level, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Skidmore Owings Merrill-designed architecture may appear daunting, but when viewed from the beach its architectural award-winning, terraced, open-air structure makes perfect sense.
I can surely attest to the burn out that one may feel following long hours and overnight shifts n the newsroom because I did it for almost four years. This new study from the University of Kansas (go JAYHAWKS!) and my sister's alma mater is the latest that highlights the adverse affects of working 'round the clock.
This article originally appeared on the University of Kansas website.
LAWRENCE — The field of journalism has changed greatly over the last decade, and those changes are taking a particularly hard toll on women working in newsrooms, new research from a University of Kansas professor shows. Female journalists are experiencing more job burnout and more intend to leave the field or are uncertain about their futures than their male counterparts, the study shows.
Scott Reinardy, professor of journalism, surveyed more than 1,600 journalists, including more than 500 women, about their levels of burnout, job satisfaction, organizational support, role overload and intentions to leave their job. Women reported higher levels of role overload and intentions to leave the field.
“Journalism, as a profession, hasn’t really grown in terms of gender as we’d hoped. So what you’re getting is a less diverse newsroom. It’s not going in a positive direction,” Reinardy said.
The study was a replication of a similar effort he made in 2009. Comparison of numbers from the two studies shows the trend of women experiencing burnout and intending to leave the field is increasing. In the 2009 study, 62 percent of women said they either intended to leave journalism or were uncertain about their future. The current study showed that number at 67 percent. The number was 55 percent for men in the new study.
Reinardy will present the research at the International Communications Association conference in May.
Reinardy examined the numbers through gender socialization theory, which claims that society puts certain expectations on people based on their gender from a very young age. Where women are more often expected to provide the majority of family care and raise children, men are expected to be the breadwinners and put work obligations before family. That was supported by the findings showing that women experience significantly higher rates of role overload or feel that they are unable to complete their assigned duties in the work time allowed.
Women also reported higher levels of exhaustion than their male colleagues, and while there was no significant difference between the two in terms of cynicism, both men and women were in what is considered the high range of cynicism as related to burnout. Just among women, those who stated they intended to leave the field had significantly higher rates of exhaustion, cynicism and significantly lower levels of professional efficacy, or feeling like their organization supported them.
“Collectively, this group of women are classic burnout cases,” Reinardy said. “They had higher rates of exhaustion and cynicism and felt less support from their organization. The only resolution is often to change jobs or leave the field altogether.”
While the amount of burnout among all journalists can certainly be viewed as a negative sign, the disparity between the genders is particularly troubling for several reasons. With fewer women in newsrooms, fewer will rise to management positions, which will likely have substantial effects on decisions made regarding newsroom employees. A traditionally male-dominated field, women started making gains in newsrooms about the time of the women’s movement and civil rights movements, which led to more “lifestyles” and “features” sections and eventually more equality in all news disciplines. Fewer women remaining in newsrooms will likely erode those gains and lead to questions if all topics will receive equal coverage, Reinardy said.
“Diversity of voices in incredibly important in a newsroom,” he said.
The gender gap also shows up in academia, as fewer women are entering news and information programs in journalism schools and more are opting for strategic communications tracks, he added. However, the situation is not completely negative as there are still many young journalists who are excited about the profession and optimistic about their roles. Reinardy said, in his research with journalists, many young professionals have said they embrace the new role of journalists and the changing face of the profession. Those who understand the new model and expectations of a journalist often reported the highest job satisfaction. The numbers can also provide a teaching opportunity in preparing future journalists to prepare for new roles and be aware of ways to combat stress among reporters, he said.
For the time being, though, role overload, indecisiveness of management, expectations of new roles such as social media and multiples forms of content have led to high rates of burnout, especially among women.
“It’s become far more difficult and complex to be a journalist,” Reinardy said. “And unfortunately there are a lot of people in newsrooms right now looking for other jobs.”