Davis Elen Women’s Panel

At Davis Elen, there are quite a number of personalities. We like that they bring so much creativity and insight to the table but also that we get to learn so much from each other. That’s why during March, AKA the Women’s History Month, we decided to dig deeper into some of our women leaders’ thoughts and lives to inspire us even further.

These are women who are bold and passionate about their work, with a keen ability to balance their work and personal life. This has been especially crucial as we have begun to work from home. Here are some key pieces of wisdom straight from the women speakers themselves.

On time management & work/life balance:

Debbie Zimmerman, SVP, Account Director: “Work/life balance wasn’t a thing in the 80s. When you wanted to be successful, especially if you were a woman, you were there. You made it happen. We’re a lot more enlightened today – Covid really drove it home – we all understand that there’s a mind-body connection, and that we need to look for that balance. To me, it’s a thing you’re always calibrating.”

Marianne Turner, SVP, Account Director: “I’m going to give you a really short, Type A answer. I schedule everything.”

Who they look to for inspiration and guidance:

Ricci Pruden, VP, Account Director: “My father. From him, I’ve taken a lot of life and career lessons. The first being that hard work will always pay off… And he would tell me, ‘If you don’t wake up excited every single day, truly excited to make a difference, then you’re doing something wrong.’”

Marianne: “My first boss. The number one thing she taught me to do was to be consistent. Consistently relied on by my colleagues, the creatives, whomever I was in touch with at the agency, and the clients.”

Recommended resources for advertising professionals:

Debbie: “Every day.. Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, LA Times, and I listen Monday through Friday to Marketplace podcast… For the industry, I look at AdAge, Adweek, MediaPost, webinars, blogs…” (Did we mention she is a voracious reader?)

Malu Santamaria, Partner, Group Managing Director: “For me, it’s about what interests me. This year I’ve been reading Joy at Work by Marie Kondo. It shouldn’t be a chore, it should be what’s interesting to you.”

And lastly, on what makes a great leader:

Malu: “The hardest part of a job, I found, is about really relating to people. Listening, understanding, and finding these connections more than the actual work. So the better you can get at relationships… the more success you’re going to have in anything you do.”

Liz Castells, President/CEO, Infusion: “Everything Eleanor Roosevelt ever freakin’ said. The woman was amazing. My favorite quote: ‘Remember, no can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ My second favorite: ‘You must do the thing that you think you cannot do.’”

Debbie: “An incredibly curious mind… dig deeper to understand why, always asking questions. Diligence. Lastly, take great pleasure in exceeding expectations. Good enough doesn’t work in my world.”

Marianne: “Motivated. Optimistic. Decision-making, right or wrong. When you’re not making a decision, you’re actually making a decision.”

A tremendous thank you to the women who shared their life stories and experiences, and for their resilience and drive that challenge and impact everyone at the company day in and day out. These are the people and characters that distinguish Davis Elen and contribute to its DNA and expertise. It’s no wonder we’ve thrived in our culture and work, and with our clients, through 2020 and even more so in 2021.