LIVINGSTON, NJ — More than 200 local businesswomen attended Sobel & Co., LLC’s Executive Women’s Breakfast “Creating Your Personal Brand” at the Livingston-based accounting firm’s Eisenhower Campus on Thursday, breaking the record for highest attendance ever at the monthly event.
Sobel & Co.’s chief growth strategist, Sally Glick, started this initiative to provide a unique and encouraging networking opportunity for professional women as well as to provide educational programs given by successful women in business. The breakfast program, which also highlights and gives exposure to local not for profits, is attended by women of all ages who are in different stages of their professional career development. With the program’s rapidly increasing popularity, Glick said it now requires a second room.
Moderator Meg Fry, business journalist at NJBIZ, said she was honored that Glick, who she said is specifically known for “connecting people and raising women up to the levels that they deserve,” asked her to moderate such an “esteemed and insightful panel” of mentors, including Richelle Delavan, Amy Delman, Ilene Greene and Marcia Jeffers.
"My best business stories typically arise from incredible interviews and one's creation of a unique and genuine personal brand,” said Fry, whose areas of expertise include women in business, the millennial workforce and entrepreneurship among other topics. “I learned as I listened and look forward to working with them all again in the future."
Topics of discussion included how to maintain a personal brand and how it helped each panelist in her individual career; Cause Marketing, defined as when a company takes a stance on a political or social issue; and how to bring transparency and trust in an industry through personal image. Stating that building a brand is a lifelong endeavor, Fry also asked each panelist to describe a time when she rebranded and how it took her to a higher level in her career.
Common themes in answering each of these questions included trustworthiness, kindness, being you, authenticity and patience.
“I came away with this in a nutshell: Focus, ambition, empathy and persistence will get you the success you seek,” said attendee Aimee Schenkel, Arbonne Representative.
Attendee Sharon Kornstein, AICI, CIP, ImageDesign LLC, said she especially enjoyed hearing the panelists’ personal backgrounds and stories.
“It was interesting to learn how they arrived in similar places from different backgrounds,” she said. “As far as my own takeaway, what I would apply is that a true, authentic brand creates loyal clients and customers, while a marketing campaign may convince you to buy something once.”
Thursday’s event also functioned as a collection for Jespy House, a nonprofit organization that “strives to enable adults with learning and developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential and to lead independent lives,” according to the website. Men’s and women’s sock, deodorant, shampoo, kitchenware and more were collected for the cause.
Panelist Amy Delman has been involved in public relations, marketing and branding for more than two decades. Her expertise lies in the utilization of media exposure to raise awareness and increase revenues in companies/not for profits where she has worked in-house or on a project basis. She has extensive relations with the television, radio and print media. Some high profile connections include Bloomberg Television and News, CNBC, WCBS, NJBIZ, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Panelist Richelle Delavan is the Director of Practice Development at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP, with more than 140 attorneys and offices in Morristown, Trenton and New York. She has been with Riker Danzig for more than 20 years in this role, overseeing the firm’s marketing efforts and brand strategy, including the marketing planning, advertising, public relations, communications materials, seminar planning, and website design and content. She was named a Leading Woman Brand Builder in 2016 by Leading Women Entrepreneurs. She is a past Board Member of the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, and former Chair of LMA’s Your Honor Awards Committee. She currently serves as a member of the Leading Women Brand Builders Advisory Council.
Panelist Ilene Greene is the founder and President of MarketShare Communications, a boutique-marketing firm. Greene started the company in order to have scheduling flexibility while raising her family. She single-handedly grew the business from the ground up and today, with her husband and partner Ted Polmar, MarketShare successfully provides small and medium-sized businesses the strategic marketing initiatives and production that helps them build brand awareness, think strategically and grow their bottom line profits. She was inducted into the NJ Advertising Club’s Advertising Hall of Fame in 2008 and named one of New Jersey’s “50 Best Women in Business” by NJBIZ in 2009.
Panelist Marcia Jeffers is the Chief Marketing Officer at Sills Cummis & Gross. With a background in both law and communications, she said law firm marketing became a perfect fit for her. Jeffers was previously selected as a Professional Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women VIP Division and was the recipient of three national awards along with her team—including Top Private Company Marketing Executive for 2012 (CMO 250 List) by ExecRank, ranked number 11 on 2012 MLF Top 50 Law Firms in Marketing and Business Development, and 2012 Recipient of Web Marketing Association’s 2012 Web Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development. Most recently, she was interviewed on numerous radio programs talking about the best seller, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”, written by her late sister Susan Jeffers.
Sobel & Co is a full-service accounting firm in Livingston specializing in family business and not-for-profits. For more information, visit the Sobel & Co., LLC website.