What part of town do you live in?
We are just behind Schenley Park off 57th behind Bird Road.
How long have you lived in the area?
We’ve been there for two years and we were in the northern part of the Gables before that. We moved to the Gables after a stint in Downtown Miami – before our daughter was born.
Where are you originally from and what brought you to town?
I was born in New York and grew up in Miami’s Westchester neighborhood. After working at several newspapers and majoring in Journalism in college at the University of Florida, I had a couple of job offers in public relations and journalism. I took the job at a global PR agency in Miami focusing on the Latin America market, where I could leverage my Journalism experience. I haven’t looked back since.
Would you tell us a little bit about your family?
My husband is in IT consulting and my daughter is six years old. She is curious, precocious and just a very fun person to be around. She is constantly wanting to learn and discover new things. So, we have a lot of fun and heck of a time trying to keep her busy. We’re constantly thinking about ways that we can, as a family, have fun together and experience new things. We work quite hard during the week, so during the weekend we try to really enjoy family time.
What keeps you busy during the week?
My job. As Head of Communications for Airbus in Latin America, it’s my job to protect and promote the brand in the region. I also oversee internal communications for Airbus in the Americas, which includes Canada, US and Latin America. Communications has been at the center of my entire career.
What does ‘Communications’ mean?
Communications encompasses many things, especially corporate communications. It’s everything from handling media requests, telling the Airbus story, helping prepare our spokespeople for media interviews and presentations, speechwriting, to coordinating events that provide our Commercial teams with the perfect venue to market our aircraft, helicopters or defense and space products.
Internally, it’s about keeping employees motivated and informed about the company’s business objectives. It’s also about keeping our internal communications content and channels relevant and compelling and ensuring that they receive information in an efficient way. We ensure there is a constant dialogue between employees, management and communications so that we can continuously enhance the process or adjust if needed.
I’ve always thought as communications on the outside, I had never thought about using it as an efficient tool to keep your staff motivated.
Absolutely. An engaged and motivated employee will want to go above and beyond for the company. Employees want to be informed about what’s going on in the business to deliver on their objectives. That information creates a sense of empowerment they can act on.
Also, when employees are motivated, they can serve as an advocate for the brand by telling their story within internal channels, in turn getting others excited too. For example, our company is based in Europe. A lot of what we do in Miami and Latin America can serve as a best practice or a source of inspiration to our Asian or Middle Eastern colleagues. Sharing our stories, not only helps us promote the great things we are doing down here, but it gives a voice to the employee.
Internal communications is the emotional core, the conscience, and the culture of the company.
What’s 20 years down the road? Where is Airbus / aviation going?
Wow, that’s a great question. The future of flight is already here. With the A350 XWB for example, we have an intelligent airframe made from corrosion-and fatigue-free advanced materials that combine composites, titanium and modern aluminum alloys. The wings are designed to adapt during the flight for maximum aerodynamic efficiency to reduce drag and lower fuel burn. And passengers are also benefiting from reduce jetlag and fatigue after a long-haul flight thanks to advanced air conditioning technology, LED mood lighting and quieter cabins and engines.
Aviation was trending towards larger aircraft, like the A380, and now seems to be going the other way – towards smaller aircraft. What is motivating the change and what are the benefits?
We have seen multiple waves of low-cost carrier airlines penetrate the Latin America market, which is the region I cover, making air travel accessible to remote communities. People who have traditionally traveled by bus and have never flown before are starting to adopt the idea of flying. A 20-hour bus ride, with a couple of stops along the way, is suddenly a couple hours by plane. It changes how families can celebrate together and keeps business trips cost down.
A constantly growing middle class in Latin America has resulted in the increased demand for air travel and these low-cost carriers (LCCs) are helping connect secondary cities not served by major airports. Many of these LCCs rely on single aisle aircraft, such as the A320neo, route openers.
How often do you come to the farmer’s market?
I go to the Coral Gables market as often as I can – when it’s in season. I try to walk – it’s about two-miles. When we’re going to Pinecrest, we try to make it more of an experience. I like to take my daughter and have a fun Sunday in the garden and lunch at the market.
What’s your ritual at the market?
I immediately run over to you to make sure I get my coins because I love them, and I don’t want them to run out. Then, my daughter likes to get a coconut water from the coconut water stand. The Venezuelan lady there is amazing and can really educate you on the benefits of coconut water. A couple of times we’ve tried the yoga. And, we love the Cracker Man. I’ve been buying his products for as long as I can remember.
Do you have any market stories?
I’m absolutely, 100%, in love with your Turmeric Golden coins. I can have up to two a day, but I have to be careful as I don’t want to run out before the next market. I’ve taken your coins on all sorts of business and personal travel. They’ve made it to France (where Airbus is based), to Russia and Brazil, and most recently to DC. When I’m traveling, healthy food options are my biggest challenge. So, these coins allow me to get delicious nourishment. On my way to Moscow, I had packed everything up, was out the door and in the car, and realized I didn’t have them. We went back to get them.
What do you think the market’s missing?
I tend to agree with everyone who answers this question. Also, I’d like to see more places offer prepared foods to bring home or to nosh – and have a meal.
Where restaurants do you go to and what do you like to order?
We eat out a lot. My daughter has declared herself a foodie. We like exposing her to as many flavors as possible and we don’t subscribe to the idea of taking her to restaurants that cater to children. We really want her to eat what we eat. We like the St Roche Market because you don’t have to eat at the same place every time and they’ve got that great bar in the middle and there’s a lot of healthy options.
We like Seasons 52 in the Gables, Matsuri on Bird Road and Dragonfly in Doral. For a date night, my husband and I really like Byblos and Planta on the Beach – the creativity that goes into their Vegan menu is incredible.
What is a worthy splurge?
I don’t really splurge too much on clothing or retail therapy. For me, my splurge is a great meal. Sharing that great meal with friends and family, great wine, and quality ingredients. I’m okay with paying more for healthy, local ingredients. We don’t have enough places that offer those options.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
There’s a place in Sunset Shops called Pop-Up Art. You can go and paint – they provide you with the canvas, the paint, the brushes, and the space to do it. They have music and you can bring in your own food. My daughter and I went so often, we decided to buy all the equipment and set up a little studio in our house. And, it’s a good rainy-day activity! It’s an inexpensive way to just have some fun.
Do you participate in any community groups or community events that are coming up that you might like to share?
We recently joined Temple Judea in November and are so happy in this community. They have welcomed us. We are a mixed family, and we’re raising our daughter Jewish. My husband is Jewish, and I am learning about Judaism for the first time in my life. I think we have found what we were looking for, an exposure of spirituality and a sense of community for us as a family. It’s a very family driven synagogue and the families we’ve met are just a pleasure to be around. I would recommend, if you feel like something is missing in your life, to find a community like this – whether it’s a synagogue, a church, or other type of community group.
Is there a question you would like to ask us?
Do you plan to market your products to other resellers?
(A+W) Not at the moment. We love the connection with the customer. It’s so wonderful to see something go from soil, to seedling, to harvest, to value added product, to customer. When you work with stores, you break that connection.
Is there a question you would like to ask the community or advice or a challenge or words that you would like to share?
We need to support people like you, as much as we can, because it’s something that makes our city so unique. I don’t think enough people are aware of just how hard it is to keep a business going. Even if the product is great, and the service is great, and the location is great, and the concept is great – if you don’t have enough traffic, it’s hard to keep it going. I love supporting great, local businesses who help us underscore who we are as community.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I have to read a lot, and I don’t necessarily read everything with joy, but I always look forward to your your newsletters. I think you’ve got something special going that you should keep going and pursue it further. There’s something magical about how everyone you profile have things in common. Whether it’s their outlook on life, food or wellness, it is a community of likeminded souls. It’s hard to qualify it, but there’s something here.